Prep Baseball Report

Edwardsville Takes Down Brother Rice To Repeat As 4A State Champions

By: Diego Solares
Area Scout, Illinois & Missouri

In last year’s state semi-finals, Edwardsville defeated Brother Rice to advance to the 4A championship game that the Tigers would ultimately win over Mundelein.

Fast forward a year later and these two clubs met again with a state title on the line.

Edwardsville and Brother Rice each won on Friday, pitting the two programs against each other in Saturday’s 4A state championship match. The final game of the 2023 IHSA season started at 7:15 PM.

It didn’t take the Tigers long to jump on the scoreboard, as they put up three runs in the top of the first inning. Andrew Hendrickson (2023; Lincoln Land CC) pulled a ground ball to second, scoring a runner from third, and Lucas Huebner (2024) barreled a loud two-run single up the middle.

The Crusaders didn’t score in the innings’ bottom half, but Brother Rice did score runs in the second and third.

Chris Daugherty (2024) drew a one-out walk and would score moments later on a beaming opposite field double from Aidan Nohava (2025), who was thrown out trying to stretch out a triple on a stellar relay from Caeleb Copeland (2023; St. Charles CC) and Cole Funkhouser (2023; Central Missouri). 

Brother Rice scored again in the third on an RBI single up the middle from sophomore Jackson Natanek (2025).

Edwardsville responded in the fourth. Kayden Jennings (2023; Illinois-Springfield) was hit by a pitch with one out and advanced all the way to third on an errant pick-off attempt. Lucas Krebs (2025) peppered a single to left-center, scoring Jennings, and giving the Tigers a 4-2 advantage.

As they did earlier, Brother Rice matched Edwardsville’s punch, scoring a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to tie the game up. Sean Sullivan (2023) started the inning off with a walk, moving to second on a single from leadoff man Bryce Nevils (2023; Western Kentucky) and chasing the Edwardsville starting pitcher, Hendrickson, from the game. Brother Rice put on a double steal, forcing a throw to third, which scattered into the outfield and scored a run for the Crusaders. Nevils would come around to score on an RBI groundout from Amir Gray (2023; Purdue), making it 4-4 after five. 

It didn’t take the Tigers long to break the tie. Jennings reached a one-out double down the left field line to give Edwardsville a runner in scoring position. After a batter’s interference call forced the inning’s second out, Funkhouser barreled his second single of the day just over the Crusaders’ shortstop, scoring Jennings, and making it 5-4. Edwardsville would add another run in the top of the seventh on an RBI double from Jennings.

Despite their timely offense, Edwardsville wouldn’t have won the state championship had it not been for Alec Marchetto (2024) and his performance out of the ‘pen. The PBR Future Games alumni fanned five, including striking out the side in the sixth, and didn’t issue a walk, surrendering only a hit over three scoreless relief innings. He relied mostly on his fastball, attacking and challenging hitters often in the mid-to-upper-80s, while touching 89 mph early on.

induced two weak groundouts and ended the game on a strikeout looking to secure the Tigers most important win of the 2023 season, finishing 33-9 with another state title. As back-to-back champions, with a large chunk of this group having played a part in last year’s title team, this Edwardsville team cements itself as one of the most successful in IHSA history.


+ Alec Marchetto (Edwardsville): 3 IP, H, 0 BB, 5 K, W
+ Kayden Jennings (Edwardsville): 2-for-3, 2B, RBI, 2 RS
+ Cole Funkhouser (Edwardsville): 2-for-4, RBI, RS
+ Lucas Huebner (Edwardsville): 1-for-4, 2 RBI
+ Sean Sullivan (Brother Rice): 2-for-3, 2B, 2 RS
+ Jackson Natanek (Brother Rice): 1-for-4, RBI, 1 ⅓ IP, 2 H, ER, 3 K


The 4A IHSA third place game featured New Trier (30-8) and York (25-15-1).

York scored first in the bottom of the first inning on an RBI single from Ryan Turner (2023). Turner would drive in another run in the third on a sacrifice fly.

Brenden Stressler (2023; St. Louis) put New Trier on the board in the top of the third with an RBI single.

New Trier scored runs in the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings. Max Miller (2024), Stressler, and Aidan Nolan (2024) all had RBIs.

The Dukes plated a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth inning on a two-run single from C Jack Braun (2023).

Neither team scored in the seventh inning, forcing extras, tied at 4-4. 

New Trier’s offense came to life in the top of the eighth, putting the Trevians up comfortably with a five-run frame. Graham Mastros (2023; St. Louis), Stressler, James Novakovic (2024; Purdue), and Trey Meyers (2025) all had RBIs in the inning. Stressler’s was a beaming two-run triple, while Meyers squeaked a double down the left field line.

The Trevians conclude their 2023 season with a 30-8 record and a third-place finish. York finishes the year 25-15-1.


+ Brenden Stressler (New Trier): 3-for-4, 3B, 4 RBI
+ Dylan Mayer (New Trier): 2-for-3, 2B
+ Max Miller (New Trier): 2-for-3, 2B, RBI
+ Aidan Nolan (New Trier): 2-for-3, RBI, BB, RS
+ Jack Wilson (New Trier): 2 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, K, W
+ Ryan Turner (York): 1-for-3, 2 RBI
+ Jack Braun (York): 1-for-4, 2 RBI
+ Eli Maurer (York): 2-for-4