Lancers ready for run at state baseball title

Crest High's baseball team has rolled through the 2021 baseball season in dominating fashion. But the Lancers will face their toughest tests yet as the Class 2-1A State Tournament gets underway Thursday.



May 26, 2021 - 9:08 AM

Crest High head baseball coach Roland Weir, center, and his Lancer squad carry a 22-1 record into the Class 2-1A State Baseball Tournament, which begins Thursday in Great Bend. Photo by Richard Luken / Iola Register

COLONY — Don’t let records fool you.

When Crest High’s Lancers qualified for the Class 2-1A State Baseball Tournament, their 22-1 record assured the squad of a lofty seed. Sure enough, Crest is the third seed  when action picks up Thursday at Great Bend.

Meanwhile, their first-round opponent in Spearville enters the state tournament with a seemingly pedestrian 12-9 record as the sixth seed.

But looks can be deceiving. 

Spearville, which won a state baseball title in Class 2-1A in 2018, comes in having won eight of its last nine games after starting the year with a 4-8 record.

“They’ve played some tough competition,” Crest head coach Roland Weir noted. “They know how to play ball.”

In fact, Spearville, which also carries a Lancers moniker, has a number of seniors who contributed to their 2018 title as freshmen, Weir noted.

And like their Crest counterparts, Spearville’s squad has plenty of talent both at bat and on the mound.

Spearville’s squad sports a .370 batting average as a team, with five players batting above the .400 mark. 

Leading the way is senior Mason Dean, who’s batting a scorching .594 with 41 hits and 36 RBIs  in 21 games. He also carried the mound duties in Spearville’s 2-1 victory over Elkhart in their Regional Championship contest, striking out nine and allowing just four hits and no earned runs in the complete game victory.

Spearville has another potent pitching weapon in junior Easton Shenk, who carries a 1.09 ERA with 66 strikeouts over 38 innings. Shenk has allowed one earned run or fewer in his last seven outings, covering 33 innings.

“They’ve got some pitching,” Weir said. “And they go fairly deep in their lineup. They’re a solid squad.”

DON’T FORGET Crest is 22-1 for a reason.

The hometown Lancers also have made life miserable for opposing pitchers, sporting a .372 team batting average, led by sophomore Stetson Setter’s .522 mark. Setter has racked up a team-leading 36 hits and is tied with sophomore Holden Barker and senior Stratton McGhee with 33 RBIs apiece.

Therein lies part of Crest’s success, Weir noted.