Battle for the Arch: Game Recap

Kevin Moulder & Drew Locascio
Missouri Scouting Director & Illinois Scouting Director

The Battle For The Arch took place on Tuesday, September 28th at GCS Ballpark in Sauget, IL. The invite-only event featured a select team of 2022 and 2023 graduates from Illinois matched up against a select team from Missouri. Position players took place in a pro-style workout, followed by a nine inning game where pitchers threw one to two innings a piece.

The inaugural event featured a number of high-level prospects from both states. Today we look at a few of the standouts from the event. 


Caeleb Copeland OF / Edwardsville, IL / 2023

OF Caeleb Copeland (Edwardsville, 2023) is a 5-foot-8, 180-pound, compact, strong, left/left outfielder who impressed throughout the day. Copeland led the event with the top exit velocity of 105 mph off the bat during BP. It's an aggressive swing that was consistently on the barrel in BP and he also doubled down the left-field line during game play. Copeland arguably made the best two catches of the night as well; playing right-field he crashed into the right-field wall and was still able to hold on for the out. A couple innings later he made a sliding catch while playing left-field. Impressive showing at his first-ever PBR event.

Owen Cornett 1B / Du Quoin , IL / 2023

Another left-handed hitter who stood out at his first-ever PBR event was 1B Owen Cornett (DuQuoin, 2023). Cornett has a prototypical 6-foot-4, 220-pound, middle-of-the-order, first baseman's and showed off a swing built for the position as well. It is a fluid, strong swing built for elevating the baseball to the pull-side of the diamond with authority. Cornett registered a max exit velocity of 98 mph and with a max distance of 379’, leaving the yard on a number of occasions during BP. Left-handed power bat to follow moving forward.

Cole Funkhouser SS / Edwardsville , IL / 2023

MIF Cole Funkhouser (Edwardsville, 2023) was yet another first-time PBR participant who left a lasting impression. Funkhouser showed a fluid, loose swing with a feel to hit during BP; routinely lining balls to all fields while staying within himself. He then showed off some of the better infield actions during the workout portion which carried over to game play. Funkhouser looked comfortable on the move, ranging with ease to both sides and showing body control. During game play, Funkhouser made a web-gem type of play on a ball up the middle that he fully-extended for, spun and fired an accurate throw to first. He has an innate feel for the game, confident/sure hands and high-baseball IQ. Upside middle infielder who seems to just be scratching the surface of his potential. Also, ran a 6.93 laser-timed 60.

Tony Konopiots SS / Downers Grove North, IL / 2023

One of the more intriguing prospects during the workout portion of the event was INF Tony Konopiots (Downers Grove North, 2023). Konopiots has a 6-foot-1, 185-pound, wide-shouldered, athletic frame that continues to get better on every look. Konopiots took a polished round of BP, showing off advanced ease and balance at the plate while repeating his swing at a high-level. Konopiots peppered both gaps throughout his rounds of BP with a max exit velocity of 94 mph. The swing is currently built to work gap-to-gap with plenty of power to tap into moving forward. Defensively, he is a smooth, actiony defender with the ability to profile all over the infield. High-follow 2023 prospect.

+ The three Illinois catchers’ Brian Twomey (Riverside-Brookfield, 2022), William Millard (O’Fallon, 2023) and Brayden Biggs (Belleville West, 2023) all showed well defensively during the workout. All three flashed sub-2.0 pop times with strong, accurate arms. Twomey’s arm played true, with carry and he led all Illinois’ catchers with a low pop time of 1.82.

+ Two left-handed arms that threw well for Team Illinois were LHP/OF Evan Foster (Maroa-Forsyth, 2023) and LHP Logan Geggus (Edwardsville, 2023). Both pitched in the low-80’s with Foster showing advanced feel for a curveball that averaged 70 mph with late, sharp action and an average spin rate of 2226 rpm. Geggus is a 6-foot-1, 190-pound, strong-bodied, broad-chested left-hander who filled up the strike zone in his outing, which included coming out of the bullpen in a high-stress situation. Geggus, who came in with the bases loaded and one out, proceeded to get the next two hitters out while stranding the runners on base. The uncommitted junior challenged hitters throughout with a fastball that was up to 82 mph.

+ A couple of noteworthy right-handed arms were Danny Mack (O’Fallon, 2022) and Joseph Swanson (Pekin, 2022). Mack featured one of the better breaking balls of the night, a hard slider at 75-78 mph which plays out of the same window as his low-80’s, T84 mph fastball. The slider has late, sharp bite and spun at an average of 2329 rpm. Swanson has a 6-foot-2, 180-pound, long-limbed, loose body and ran his fastball up to 87 mph in his outing. Swanson also showed off an above-average slider with sweeping action at 73-76 mph and an average spin rate of 2445 rpm.


Brayden Biggs IL Belleville West 2023 C  
Gannon Burns IL Edwardsville 2022 SS  
Caeleb Copeland IL Edwardsville 2023 OF  
Owen Cornett IL Du Quoin 2023 1B  
Evan Foster IL Maroa-Forsyth 2023 LHP  
Cole Funkhouser IL Edwardsville 2023 SS  
Logan Geggus IL Edwardsville 2023 LHP  
Riley Iffrig IL Edwardsville 2023 1B  
Kayden Jennings IL Edwardsville 2023 SS  
Eli Kieser IL Normal University 2023 SS  
Tony Konopiots IL Downers Grove North 2023 SS  
Danny Mack IL O'Fallon 2022 RHP  
William Millard IL O'Fallon 2023 C  
Luke Range IL Edwardsville 2023 OF  
Joseph Swanson IL Pekin 2022 RHP  
Brian Twomey IL Riverside Brookfield 2022 C  



Joe Siervo OF / SS / Parkway Central, MO / 2022

Created an impact for team Missouri driving a home run over the right centerfield wall while reaching base twice during the game. A well rounded player who consitently shows he can impact the game at the plate, on the bases and defensively, Siervo is one of the top uncommitted players in the Missouri 2022 class.

Connor Earleywine 2B / OF / Jefferson City, MO / 2022

Opened the event up in style by running 6.53 and 6.55 60. A classic leadoff hitter type Earleywine, took a steady BP round spraying linedrives gap to gap from the left side of the plate. During the game he stayed true to form grinding out a couple of at bats for walks and then stealing two bases on the evening. Defensively he shows versatily with the ability to play both second base and centerfield where he shows good range and a solid throwing arm.

Brysen Nepute OF / LHP / Christian Brothers College, MO / 2023

The two-way talent had a strong showing during the pregame workout standing out in all three phases of the workout measuring at the top of the 60, OF defense and BP (TrackMan & Blast Motion). During the game Nepute also struck out a pair of batters in his inning of work on the mound. The left hander features a tight swing and miss curveball and has the ability to run his fastball into the upper 80's.

Jack Niedringhaus LHP / MICDS, MO / 2022

Got the starting nod for team Missouri on the mound and struck out four batters over his two innings including striking out the side in his second inning of work. Niedringhaus demonstrates a good feel for pitching and has a couple plus secondary offerings both his changeup and curveball were swing and miss pitches. The high academic lefty is coming off a strong junior campaign where he went 4-0 with a 1.30 ERA over 32.1 IP with 54 K's.

Nolan Folks LHP / Holt , MO / 2023

Had perhaps the most dominant performances on the mound during the Border Battle. Folks struck out four batters during his two scoreless innings of work relying on an effective three pitch mix (FB, CH, CB) keeping hitters off balance. The curveball in particular is the main swing and miss pitch in the arsenal.



Cannon Stuckey C / RHP / Lafayette, MO / 2023

Spent most of the event showing off his arm stregnth. First in the pregame workout checking in with an event best pop time and then during the game with the events top velocity on the mound. Stuckey also demonstrates a strong swing and has plenty of pop in his bat.

Austin Almany C / 1B / St. Pius X, MO / 2022

The 6 foot 1 200lb strong armed catcher showed well during the pre-event workout recording mulitple sub 2.0 pop times during the defense. Offensively Almany showed pull side power and a steady round of centerfield to leftfield well hit line drives and fly balls. During the game Almany showed impressive receiving abilities with soft hands and good blocking ability from behind the plate. Almany committed to Jefferson College in the days following the event.


David Broughton 3B / St. John Vianney, MO / 2023

Was a standout player for team Missouri taking perhaps the most consistent round of BP during the pregame portion of the event. Broughton put on an impressive show of consistent upper 80's to mid 90's line drives working gap to gap in the center of the field. He transferred this over to the game by driving in the games first run with a sacrifice line drive into CF for an RBI.



Austin Almany MO St. Pius X 2022 C Jefferson JC
Luke Aubuchon MO Fort Zumwalt East 2022 SS  
David Broughton MO St. John Vianney 2023 3B  
Kyle Byrne MO CBC 2023 1B  
Grant Dotson MO Jackson 2023 2B  
Connor Earleywine MO Jefferson City 2022 2B  
Nolan Folks MO Holt 2023 LHP  
Zach Johnson MO Webster Groves 2022 OF  
Payton Mills MO Troy Buchanan 2023 SS  
Brysen Nepute MO Christian Brothers College 2023 OF  
Jack Niedringhaus MO MICDS 2022 LHP  
Avery Oravetz MO Lafayette 2023 OF  
Joe Siervo MO Parkway Central 2022 SS  
Cannon Stuckey MO Lafayette 2023 C  
Edward Uschold MO Parkway South 2023 3B  
Tyler Whitworth MO Hazelwood West 2023 1B