The final weekend of high school sports is upon us as the Edwardsville baseball team heads to Duly Health & Care Field in Joliet, Ill., to compete in the Illinois High School Association state Cass 4A semifinals starting Friday. This is a state record 18th appearance in the IHSA state tournament as the Tigers are looking to win their second consecutive title and their fifth overall.

Let’s preview the Tigers’ quest in this week’s edition of the Friday Fast Break sponsored by Triad Bank.


Photo Credit – Edwardsville High School Baseball


Edwardsville moved on to the semifinals after defeating Oswego East in the Super Sectional 5-2 earlier this week. The Tigers will take on Elmhurst York Friday at 3 p.m. while Chicago Brother Rice and New Trier Winnetka will face off in the second semifinal starting at 5 p.m.

The road to the state final four for Edwardsville was not an easy one as they defeated Quincy Senior 6-4 and Collinsville 5-4 in the regional round. The Tigers then knocked off Southwestern Conference rival O’Fallon 9-5 and Minooka 3-2 in the sectional round at Illinois Wesleyan last week.

Edwardsville head coach Tim Funkhouser is in his 25th year at the helm as he has won 771 games in his time as the bench boss as he looks for his third state title. The Tigers are led at the plate by Caeleb Copeland who enters the semifinals with a .400 batting average while driving in 40 runs with 12 extra-base hits. Cole Funkhouser adds to the Edwardsville offense with a .387 batting average and has a team-high 52 hits which includes 16 extra-base hits and 26 runs batted in. Riley Iffrig joins the attack with a .377 batting average and leads the team with eight home runs.

Pitching has always been the calling card for the Tigers and this year as Logan Geggus leads the squad with a 10-0 record on the year with a 2.14 earned run average with a team-high 71 strikeouts. Alec Marchetto adds to the pitching staff’s depth with a 6-1 record with a 3.80 ERA while Joe Chiarodo is 5-2 on the season with a 0.98 earned run average while striking out 65 batters.

The Dukes enter the semifinals with a 25-13-1 record after they defeated Honongah Rockton in the Super-Sectional 5-0 earlier this week just outside of Chicago. This is the third appearance in the semifinals for Elmhurst as they have won the state title in both of their two previous appearances.

Josh Fleming will be the player to watch for the Dukes as he leads the team with a .464 batting average while adding 31 extra-base hits and driving in a team-high 38 runs. Ryan Turner will add to the Elmhurst attack with a .402 batting average with 31 runs batted in and eight doubles.

Elmhurst has a very balanced group on the pitching staff as Joey Pagni will lead the group with a 5-0 record in seven appearances while holding a 1.67 earned run average. Ryan Sloan adds to the staff with a 4-1 record with a 0.91 earned run average while striking out a team-high 88 batters.

The winners of the two semifinals will square off in the Class 4A title game Saturday at 3 p.m.


Jim Powers

Jim Powers

Jim Powers has been covering prep sports in the St. Louis area for 15+ years and a part of the Missouri State High School Activities Association Championship Broadcasts for the past 11 years. Powers is also a part of the Fox 2 Verlo Mattress Prep Zone Friday nights at 10:10 during the football and basketball seasons. If you have a prep sports story, please contact Jim at Follow Jim at @hssportscaravan