Preseason Team Countdown: No. 47 Edwardsville



By Sean Duncan
Executive Director

Leading up to the start of the high school season, we will count down the top 75 preseason teams every day as part of our comprehensive season coverage:

Team:
Edwardsville
Preseason Rank:
47
2013 Record:
27-10
Conference:
Southwestern
IHSA Class:
4A
Head Coach:
Tim Funkhouser
Playoff Run: Lost in Regional Final (Alton)
2013 Final Rank: Not Ranked

Returning Starters: 4
Returning Pitchers:
2

TOP PLAYERS
Brock Weimer, C, 2015
Alex Meyers, RHP/1B, 2014 (Concordia)
Austin Werner, OF, 2014 (Kaskaskia JC)
Jake Garella, INF/RHP, 2016
Jacob Fischer, MIF, 2014
Matthew Zielonko, OF, 2015
Jordan Hovey, INF/RHP, 2015

X-FACTOR
Austin Werner. The 6-foot-2 outfielder is a top-level athlete, having run the 60 at 6.79 with a 92 exit velocity at a past PBR event. As a junior, he was limited to only 47 at-bats due to injury, but enjoyed a strong summer campaign.

KEY PLAYERS LOST
Drew Curtis, 1B (St. Louis)
Jordan Heckler, SS (Western Illinois)
Cole Hagen, RHP (Missouri State)

STAT RAT
Two-way standout Alex Meyer posted a 3-2 record with a 3.57 ERA in 33.1 innings as a junior. He also batted .304 with 17 RBI.

OUTLOOK
The Tigers have some major holes to fill, especially on the mound. The graduation of staff ace Cole Hagen leaves Coach Tim Funkhouser with only three victories on the mound returning from last year. The All-State bat of Drew Curtis is another big void. Nevertheless, Edwardsville always has talent coming up through the ranks, and with four starters coming back, the offense should produce enough runs. Junior catcher Brock Weimer (.274 BA) is solid behind the plate, and three-year starting infielder Jacob Fischer (.298 BA, 21 runs) returns as well. Look for sophomore Jake Garella to build off a solid freshman year on varsity.

BOTTOM LINE
In the highly competitive Southwestern Conference, Edwardsville doesn’t come into the season as one of the favorites. Their unproven pitching is a big question mark. But Funkhouser’s teams are always fundamental, play sound defense and put pressure on defenses. The Tigers may be a year away from being a top 25 team in the state - where they usually finish - but Edwardsville is always good for 20-plus wins every year.

Season Countdown

+ Preseason Team Rankings

+ Updated Illinois 2014 Player Rankings

+ June Event Schedule

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