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Ballpark Preview: Conway Bears


The Bears are eyeing down the 2023 fall baseball season with almost the entire varsity squad returning to the field. 

With several players that have started in the lineup over the years aging into maturity, Conway looks to capitalize on a strong pitching group rife with ample experience at the varsity level. 

Caleb Graves will be replaced by Jake Maxwell behind the dish, as Graves continues his education and baseball career at Culver-Stockton. Maxwell will be throwing the ball as well, in addition to catching.

“Maxwell is one of our tops bats who will hit in the top part of our order,” said long-time head coach Clay Bilyeu. 

Maxwell is a two-year starter who received 1st Team All-Conference, 1st Team All-District, and honorable mention All-State as a catcher in his sophomore season. 

The Bears run deep with pitchers: Issac Freeman and Cade Archer, seniors, who will be joined by cousins Brixon Bilyeu, junior, and Gentry Bilyeu, sophomore, on the mound this coming fall. 

“Freeman will be all over the field as well as pitching,” added Bilyeu. “Brixon and Gentry are among our top pitchers, and both are looking to take on an even bigger role this coming season. Archer, a 3-year starter, brings back a lot of experience to the infield as our shortstop.”

Freeman was awarded with All-District and 2nd Team All-Conference last year. Brixon stepped up in his sophomore season racking up 1st Team All-Conference, 1st Team All-Disrict, and 2nd Team All-State as an outfielder. Archer walked away from last season with All-Conference honorable mention. 

Quention  McGuire will returns to third base for his senior season. McGuire has been a two-year starter for Conway, making a name as a solid batter than can play all over the field. 

Mason Miller, junior, is coming back to first-base, bringing good hands and power at the plate. 

Tyler Vaugn, senior, and Jackson Gunter will return to the outfield. Evan Peter, junior, and Brady Rogers, senior, will be looking to fill the ninth spot as the final outfielder for the Bears. 

“Last year was Rogers’ first year playing baseball,” explained Coach Bilyeu. “He really came a long way. He is very fast and athletic. He will look to contribute more time in the outfield and possibly on the mound.”

The Bears are excited about the addition of talented freshman Easton Jones, who has been turning heads at the varsity level. 

“Jones showed us this summer that he is going to be capable of coming in and contributing at the varsity level right away,” said Bilyeu. “He will likely see time at centerfield along with significant innings on the mound. He’s proven himself a capable player in the infield as well. 

The Bears open their season with the annual Conway Fall Classic tournament on Aug. 25.


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