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ALL-GNCBASEBALL - Awards piling up following Raiders’ fine 2024 season

Awards piling up following Raiders’ fine 2024 season
Justin Hraby Coach of Year
Awards piling up following Raiders’ fine 2024 season
Justin Hraby Coach of Year


Questions surrounded the Medford Raiders when the baseball season started in March, but the team ignored the doubts and turned in one of the best springs in program history.

Recognition for that success started to come in with four players being unanimously selected for the 2024 All-Great Northern Conference baseball team, while two more earned second-team spots and head coach Justin Hraby was named the GNC Coach of the Year for the fourth time in five seasons.

The unanimous first-team picks are seniors Tanner Hraby, Braxton Weissmiller and Carson Carbaugh and junior Parker Lissner. Senior Nick Steliga and junior Evan Wilkins are the Raiders’ second-teamers.

Additionally, Hraby and Weissmiller have earned All-North Central District awards for their play from the Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association. Hraby was named the district’s Division 2 co-Player of the Year with Mosinee’s Keagen Jirschele, who was, to the surprise of no one, named the GNC’s top player as well. Hraby filled the utility spot on the All-District first team for the second straight spring and Weissmiller was named the second-team catcher behind Mosinee’s Gavin Obremski.

Hraby, Steliga and Carbaugh also were named to the 2024 Academic All-District team, an award that requires a minimum 3.8 grade point average. Hraby and Steliga went one step further, making it to the 2024 Academic All-State team with GPAs of 4.0 or higher.

This marks the fourth straight year the Division 2 District Player of the Year has been a Medford Raider. Logan Baumgartner won the award last year and Caleb Guden won it the previous two years. The district includes the Bay; Eastern Cloverbelt; Central Wisconsin East, North and South; Great Northern, Marawood, Marinette and Oconto, Northern Lakes and Wisconsin Valley conferences.

Under Justin Hraby and his coaching staff, Medford earned a school-record 25 wins while going 25-4 during the 2024 season, including a 10-2 mark in the GNC. The Raiders won a school-record 18 straight games during the regular season, won three post-season games in walk-off fashion after trailing in each one of them and fell one win shy of qualifying for state, dropping the WIAA Division 2 sectional final 7-5 to La Crosse Logan at Baldwin-Woodville on June 4.

Mosinee won the GNC title at 12-0 and is playing for the Division 2 state championship today, Thursday, in Appleton.

The award winners

Medford’s top concern coming into the season was pitching, considering the loss of Baumgartner and Ty Metz, who were first-team and second-team All-GNC hurlers in 2023.

But, led by Hraby and Steliga, the 2024 Raiders turned pitching into a team strength. The Raiders’ pitching staff posted an incredible team earned run average of 1.74, allowing just 49 earned runs in 196.2 innings pitched. During one stretch, Medford allowed one run or less in eight of nine games and the Raiders did that 13 times overall with six of them being shutouts. The Raiders allowed 3.8 runs per game and had a 2.00 ERA in GNC play, ranking second in both categories behind Mosinee (1.1 and 0.93).

Strong defense helps create great pitching and the Raiders had that as well with an overall fielding percentage of .937 with just 53 errors in 835 total chances.

In GNC play, Hraby was the league leader with five wins, ranked second in strikeouts with 42 and ranked third in ERA at 0.90 with four earned runs allowed in 31 innings pitched. He walked only 11 batters and gave up 20 hits while going 5-1 in the GNC.

Overall, Hraby was 8-1 with a 0.995 earned run average in 63.1 innings pitched. He pitched in 14 games, 13 of them starts. He allowed 43 hits and 22 runs, only nine of which were earned. He struck out 78 batters while walking 25 and hitting three. Opponents hit just .189 against him.

Steliga pitched his way into the number-two spot in Medford’s pecking order with an outstanding season. He went 8-2, with one of those losses being a 1-0 defeat to Marshfield on May 20. Steliga was 4-0 in the GNC with a 1.28 ERA, allowing five earned runs in 27.1 innings. He struck out 22, walked eight and allowed 23 hits and eight runs in GNC play. Overall, Steliga had an ERA of 1.84 with 16 earned runs allowed in 61 innings pitched. He appeared in 13 games with 10 starts and allowed 57 hits and 15 walks while striking out 39 and hitting only two batters. He was often able to go deep into games with his pitch-to-contact style with at-bats taking three pitches or less on 50.3% of batters faced.

While Carbaugh’s first-team selection was as an outfield, he contributed to the pitching success as well, going 2-0 with a save in 15.2 innings pitched. Five of those outs came in GNC play. He threw a complete game in a 10-2 non-conference win over Merrill on May 13, allowing just five hits and three walks.

Weissmiller tied Jirschele as the conference’s batting champion. Both were 24 for 44 for a .545 batting average and were the league leaders in hits, while Hraby was right behind them in third place at .459 (17 for 37). Weissmiller’s 14 RBIs ranked fourth in the GNC, while Hraby’s 19 runs ranked second and his three home runs ranked third.

Overall, Hraby hit .443 (39 for 88), had a .558 on-base percentage and a team-leading .761 slugging percentage. He hit five home runs, none more dramatic than his game-tying solo homer in the bottom of the seventh inning of the WIAA Division 2 regional final against Ashland, which Medford won in the eighth 4-3. Hraby had all five of the team’s home runs for the season until Max Dietzman’s two-run walk-off homer beat Merrill 5-3 in the eighth inning of the sectional semifinal.

When he was not pitching, Hraby was Medford’s shortstop. He posted an overall .888 fielding percentage.

Hraby, a UW-River Falls recruit, hit 13 doubles, drove in 26 runs, scored 42 runs, walked 21 times and struck out only five times out of the leadoff spot in Medford’s lineup. He will represent Medford at the Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association’s Senior All-Star Classic in Oshkosh June 2829. He is on the West team.

Hraby leaves the program as its career leader in hits (139), runs (127) and runs batted in (93). His 42 runs this year set the single-season school record.

Weissmiller, the number-three hitter in Medford’s lineup, finished with a .424 overall batting average with a team-high 42 hits in 99 at-bats. His hit total ranks third all-time in Medford history behind Baumgartner last year (46) and Guden the year before (43). He had a .454 on-base percentage and hit 11 doubles while driving in a team-high 27 runs. He only struck out 12 times in 108 plate appearances.

His biggest double and RBIs came with a three-run double in the bottom of the seventh inning that tied the May 28 WIAA Division 2 regional semifinal with Rice Lake at 7-7. The Raiders went on to win that game 8-7.

In his second season as Medford’s top catcher, Weissmiller was charged with just two errors on 178 total chances for a .989 fielding percentage, which is outstanding for that position. He was charged with one passed ball, threw out seven would-be base stealers in 43 attempts.

Carbaugh, Medford’s leftfielder and, eventually, its number-four hitter in the batting order, had a .361 GNC batting average (13 for 36) with a double, six RBIs and eight runs scored. He also drew six walks and stole seven bases. Overall, he hit .279 (24 for 86) with four doubles, 12 RBIs, 13 runs scored, seven walks against 13 strikeouts and he stole 10 bases in 10 attempts. He was hit by six pitches, a team-high. He had a four-hit game in Medford’s 12-1 win at Rhinelander on April 25 and had two hits in both sectional games.

Lissner, who split time at third base and shortstop and was the team’s number-two hitter in the order, followed up his honorable mention season of a year ago by hitting .378 in conference games (14 for 37) with two doubles and 12 runs batted in. He ranked fifth in the GNC in RBIs.

Lissner hit a solid .326 overall and had a .409 on-base percentage, going 30 for 92 with four doubles, 21 RBIs and 25 runs scored, which ranked second on the team. He drew 14 walks against just four strikeouts and tied for the team lead with three sacrifice flies and had a key sacrifice bunt in the sectional semifinal win over Merrill. He was six for six in stolen base attempts and hit .417 with runners in scoring position, second on the team behind Weissmiller’s .500.

Along with his pitching, Steliga had a solid year at the plate from the five-spot in the lineup. He hit a modest .205 in league play (eight for 39) but his overall average was .264 (24 for 64) with two doubles, 13 RBIs, 16 runs scored, nine walks drawn and two sacrifice bunts. He stole seven bases in eight attempts.

Wilkins’ first All-GNC baseball award was earned after he had just one error in 41 chances in centerfield for a .976 fielding percentage. In GNC play, the speedy number-nine hitter in Medford’s order hit .320 (eight for 25), while scoring 11 runs, drawing six walks and stealing six bases.

Overall in 29 games, Wilkins hit .284 (19 for 64), ranked third on the team with a .415 on-base percentage, hit three doubles, drove in 10 runs and scored 23 runs to also rank third on the team. He drew 12 walks, got hit by three pitches, put down a team-high three sacrifice bunts and stole 11 bases to rank second on the team.

Tanner Hraby GNC First Team First Team All-District

Braxton Weissmiller GNC First Team Second Team All-District

Carson Carbaugh First Team

Parker Lissner First Team

Nick Steliga Second Team

Evan Wilkins Second Team