Spearville rallies to knock off Crest, 4-2

An electric, young baseball program, filled with electric young players, announced its arrival this year when Crest High’s Lancers steamrolled their way through the regular season.

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Sports

May 28, 2021 - 4:02 PM

Crest High catcher Avery Blaufuss, left, awaits a throw while Spearville’s Easton Shenk crosses home plate for the first run Thursday in the teams’ Class 2-1A State Baseball Tournament. Spearville rallied to win, 4-2, ending Crest’s season at 22-2. REGISTER/RICHARD LUKEN

GREAT BEND — An electric, young baseball program, filled with electric young players, announced its arrival this year when Crest High’s Lancers steamrolled their way through the regular season.

But their ultimate dream — challenging for a state title — will have to wait a year.

Crest’s season came to a heartbreaking end Thursday in the Class 2-1A State Quarterfinals when Spearville pushed across a pair of sixth-inning runs to prevail, 4-2.

The loss added the final chapter to Crest’s magical 22-2 season.

“It was a great season,” Lancer head coach Roland Weir said. “I’m proud of all the kids. It’s just sad we couldn’t take one or two more games.”

The game turned with two outs in the top of the sixth with Spearville runners on second and third.

Crest’s sophomore ace Trevor Church induced a weak ground ball to short, but the throw home was not in time to nab Spearville runner Kenny Zimmerman, giving Spearville a 3-2 lead.

A wild pitch to the next batter allowed Spearville catcher Mason Dean to score the pivotal insurance run.

Spearville starting pitcher Easton Shenk took it from there. He allowed a leadoff single in the bottom of the sixth, but Dean threw out courtesy runner Ryan Golden trying to steal second. Shenk then struck out four of the final five Crest batters to slam the door.

Shenk was masterful at keeping Crest’s batters off balance for much of the game.

“We got some runners on base. We just couldn’t take advantage of it,” Weir said.  Crest put its first two batters on base in each of the first three innings, but Shenk was able to avoid any serious damage.

“We just never squared anything up,” Weir said. “We never could get anything going.”

The sole exception was Kobe Miller’s two-run single with one out in the bottom of the second, putting Crest on top, 2-1.

After spotting Spearville a quick 1-0 lead with a triple and sacrifice fly in the first, Church settled down nicely into the middle innings.

But Dean singled with one out in the fourth, and advanced to second on an errant pickoff throw. The mistake proved costly when Dean scored on Tanner Miller’s ground ball single through the right side to tie the score.

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