Prep Baseball Report

No. 25 Normal West hosts No. 8 Edwardsville and Kaneland

By Drew Locascio
Illinois Scouting Director

No. 25 Normal West played host to No. 8 Edwardsville and Kaneland in a three team, three-game set on Saturday at the Corn Crib in Normal, Illinois.

Schedule from the event:

Game 1 - No. 25 Normal West vs Kaneland: 11:00 am

Game 2 - Kaneland vs No. 8 Edwardsville: 1:30 pm

Game 3 - No. 8 Edwardsville vs No. 25 Normal West: 4:00 pm

The Tigers of Edwardsville put up 11 runs in game one and 12 runs in game two, coming away as the only 2-0 team on the day. Normal West was out a couple of their key players due to Covid quarantine but showed plenty of intrigue despite going 0-2 on the day. Kaneland, who went 1-1 on the day, will be a team to watch. Kaneland fought back in game one of the day and their middle-of-the-order was dangerous all day long. 


Kaneland 7, No. 25 Normal West 5

All of the scoring took place from the bottom of the fourth inning on. Once Normal West starter, RHP Jesse Courtney, a sophomore Illinois State commit, came out of the game, the Knights of Kaneland did most of their damage.

Kaneland scored two runs in the fifth, three in the sixth and two more in the seventh to lead them past Normal West 7-5. Sebastian Cabeza, a Black Hawk JC commit, lined a two-run single to left field to get the scoring started for the Knights in the fifth. Cabeza, who took good at-bats and swings all day, finished 1-for-3 in game one.

Trailing 5-2 in the top of the sixth, senior Jake McIntire delivered a two-out bases clearing double to plate three runs and tie the game at five. Sophomore Patrick Collins followed up with the game-winning hit in the top of the seventh, driving a triple over the center fielders head which scored two runs, giving them the lead at 7-5. Junior Zach VanCura went three-up, three-down in the bottom of the seventh to close things out for Kaneland. VanCura went three innings out of the bullpen, scattering two hits, one run, no walks and struck out three. Kaneland starter, senior Brady Popovich went four innings, allowing three hits, two earned runs, walked two and struck out four.

Normal West starter, Courtney, is a talented, strong sophomore with a bright future both on the mound and at the plate. Courtney went five innings, scattered, four hits, one earned run, struck out eight and walked two. Courtney, who was coming off covid, sat 83-85 mph in the first couple innings. Courtney also went 2-for-3 with a double, RBI and run scored.


No. 8 Edwardsville 11, Kaneland 1 (5 innings)

It was all Edwardsville Tigers in game two of the day, despite facing one of the top arms in the state, Eastern Illinois commit, RHP Tyler Conklin. Edwardsville took quality at-bats all game long, did not expand the zone and made Conklin pay for pitches left out over the plate.

Fireworks started in the third inning when former Team Illinois Future Gamer, uncommitted junior Grant Huebner and junior Spencer Stearns hit back-to-back solo home runs to left-center field. Rend Lake JC commit, Senior Rogelio Berumen, would follow with a double that one-hopped the left-field wall and senior Evan Funkhouser, a St. Charles CC commit, then drove a deep drive to center field and he was able to scoot around the bases for a two-run inside-the-park home run. In all, the Tigers scored seven runs in the frame breaking the game open for good. 

Huebner finished 2-for-3 with a home run, double, two RBI’s and a run scored. Senior Kyle Modrusic finished 2-for-3 with a double and run scored. Missouri State commit, senior Hayden Moore also doubled in the win, drove in a run and scored twice. 

Left-handed hitter, Erik Teran, went 1-for-1 with a double in the loss.  

On the mound, senior Cam Grant got the start on the mound. Grant went three innings, allowing four hits, one run, struck out two and walked on. Conrad Heppler and Carson Krapf came out of the bullpen, allowing a combined one hit, no runs, four strikeouts and two walks. 


No. 8 Edwardsville 12, Normal West 7

Game three of the day saw a back-and-forth affair between Edwardsville and Normal West. Edwardsville held a 4-1 lead in the bottom of the fourth when Normal West put up four runs to take a 5-4 lead at the time. Edwardsville would go on to score three runs in the top of the fifth to take back the lead and then a five run seventh inning put the game away.

Sophomore Caeleb Copeland was the highlight of the final game for Edwardsville. The left-handed hitter, who took quality at-bats all day long, lined an RBI to left-center field in his first at-bat of the game and then drove a two-run home run to right-center field in the top of the seventh inning. Spencer Stearns, who homered in game one of the day, later cleared the bases with a barreled line-drive that rolled all the way to the left-center field wall for a three-run double. 

Down 12-6 in the bottom of the seventh, Normal West made things interesting pushing one run across and loading the bases with nobody out. However, Stearns, who was in out of the bullpen, struck out the next three batters to preserve the win and get Edwardsville to 2-0 on the day and 4-1 on the season. 

Eli Hensely went 2-for-4 with a triple and two runs scored in the loss. Joe Jefferson and Clint Goodman doubled for Normal West while Goodman also walked three times. Eight Normal West batters had hits in the loss. 

Stearns, Copeland and Gannon Burns had multiple hits in the win for Edwardsville. Freshman Alec Marchetto will be one to follow for the Tigers. The physical right-handed pitcher came out of the bullpen, ran his fastball up to 82 mph and ended up going 1.1 innings, scattering two hits, one run, none earned.

For more in-depth notes from the games - and all other games that we cover - visit the Illinois Scout Blog.