Regional Champions!

The Lancers were crowned the IHSA Class 4A Belleville East Regional champions this week behind 2 fantastic pitching performances! Please enjoy the recaps below!

5/23/18(Regional Semi-Final)- Belleville East-1, Belleville West-0

The first pitching gem of the week belong to senior, Ryan Culley. Culley worked a complete game shutout to earn the win over West. In his effort, he only allowed 2 hits (1 infield hit), walked only 2 hitters, and struck out 8 Maroons.

The only run of the game would come in the bottom of the 5th and would be tallied to the Lancers. Hunter Davis drew a lead-off walk. Ben Cruikshank then bunted him over to 2nd. Then, with two outs and Davis still standing at 2nd, Gage Cruz stepped into the box. He fouled off several tough pitches before lining a triple into the right-center gap to score Davis.

Dean Criddle was there from the BND to cover the game. Here is the link to his story:


David Wilhelm was there from the St. Louis Post Dispatch and here is the link to his story:


5/26/18 (Regional Championship Game)- Belleville East-3, Collinsville-0

The second pitching gem of the week belonged to senior, Ben Cruikshank. Cruikshank, like Culley just a few days before him, went the distance to earn the complete game shutout. Cruikshank allowed only 1 hit, walked 3, and struck out 9 Collinsville hitters.

There was no offense to speak of until the bottom of the 6th. Drew Gray got things going with a 1-out single. After Gray swiped 2nd Base, Hunter Davis drew a walk. With 2 on and 1 out, Z Georgian came through with a huge hit to center field. Using his good jump off second and good speed, Gray scored on a bang-bang play at the plate. Using good base running, Davis took third and Z took second and the throw home. Sam McAnulty then came through with another big hit to left, scoring Davis. Ryan Culley would follow with a sac fly, giving the Lancers a 3-run lead.

Culley and Cruikshank were definitely the story of the regional. Combined they threw all 14 innings, while only allowing 3 hits and striking out 17 hitters!

What’s Next?

The Lancers now play the winner of the Edwardsville Regional, the O’Fallon Panthers, on Wednesday at 4:30 at Belleville West!




Although it was another disappointing week for the Lancers, we did finish off our conference season with a nice 8-1 win over Alton. See game recaps for the full week below!

5/16/18- Waterloo-7, Belleville East- 6

Ben Cruikshank got the start for the Lancers in this game and pitched well through 4 innings. Cruikshank pitched 4 innings of no-hit baseball, and allowed one earned run on 4 walks and struck out 5 hitters.

On offense, the Lancers collected 7 hits. Down 7-3 in the bottom of the 7th, the Lancers fought back to score 3 runs. But the game ended with the tying run stranded on 2nd.

5/17/18- Belleville East-8, Alton-1

Ryan Culley completed his regular season on the mound with a strong outing to earn his 5th win. 4 of Ryan’s 5 wins have been in conference games. Culley went 5 1/3 before running out of pitches. He struck out 7 hitters in his effort and allowed only one earned run. Sam McAnulty came in to earn the save by working 1 2/3 innings.

McAnulty also had 2 hits and drove in 3 runs. Hunter Davis also collected 2 hits in the game.

This was a HUGE win for the Lancers as it finalized our conference record at 10-4, which is good for second place in the always tough Southwester Conference!

5/19/18 (Game 1) Springfield Sacred Heart Griffin- 9, Belleville East-0

Evan Gray was the starter in this one and pitched really well. Gray went 3 2/3 strong innings, before being lifted for pitch count. He was able to strikeout 5 Cyclones in his effort.  There wasn’t much offense to speak of for the Lancers in game one of the double header.

5/19/18 (Game 2) Springfield Sacred Heart Griffin-6, Belleville East-2

After getting out to a 2-0 lead, the Lancers allowed 6 runs in the 4th and the rest was history. Jack Temmer pitched great in relief. He went 2 1/3 innings, allowing three hits and no runs.

On offense, Ryan Culley, Zach Gebhardt, Jack Temmer, Z Georgian, and Ben Cruikshank all recorded hits.

What’s Next?

The Lancers look to rebound this week and hope to make a deep run into the playoffs. We have a tune-up game Monday when we welcome Mascoutah to Lancer Stadium at 4:30.

Our first playoff game is against Belleville West on Wednesday at 4:30 at Belleville East. We will look to fine-tune a few things we have struggled with over the past two weeks and play better baseball in the playoffs.  My next post will be after the regional is complete!


Overall, it was a disappointing week for the Lancer, who posted a 1-4 record against a tough schedule. However, the one win was a big conference win over the Edwardsville Tigers! Please see game recaps below.

5/7/18- Alton-11, Belleville East-8

Unfortunately, the week got off to a rough start with a tough loss to Alton. The Lancers had a 8-5 lead going into the 7th, but allowed 6 runs and the game ended as a 11-8 victory for the Redbirds. Sam McAnulty pitched very well, going 5 1/3 and only allowing 2 earned runs.

On offense, Drew Gray, Gage Cruz, and Z Georgian all recorded 3 hits. Ryan Culley was 2-4. Hunter Davis, Evan Gray, Austin Hitt, and Sam McAnulty also recorded a hit a piece.

5/8/18- Belleville East-3, Edwardsville-2

Ben Cruikshank pitched a gem in this one for the Lancers. He went 6 strong innings, allowing only 3 hits, 1 walk, and 2 runs. He struck out 9 in the game. Evan Gray came in and pitched well to collected the save.

Cruikshank was also 1-2 with an RBI in the game. Sam McAnulty also drove in a run for the Lancers. Ryan Culley, Z Georgian, and Hunter Davis collected hits, as well. It was a very well played game by the Lancers to earn our 9th conference victory of the season.

5/10/18- O’Fallon- 12, Belleville East-0

This one got away from the Lancers as the Panthers put up 8 runs in the 2nd inning. They would add 4 more in the 5th for a 12-0 final. On offense, Austin Hitt and Gage Cruz were the only Lancers to record hits.

5/11/18- Triad- 9, Belleville East-6

In a back in forth game, the Lancers fell to the Triad Knights. Facing deficits of 3-0 and 6-3, the Lancers showed lots of life to come back two different times. But, eventually, we fell short.

Gage Cruz pitched well as the starter. Cruz went 4 innings and allowed 4 earned runs. He walked 3 and struck out 3 in his effort.

Ben Cruikshank was 2-3 with 3 RBI at the plate. Ryan Culley, Evan Gray, Sam McAnulty, and Austin Hitt also collected hits.

5/12/18- Normal Community-2, Belleville East-1

For the second time in the week, Sam McAnulty pitched well for us. He went 5 innings, and only allowed 2 runs. Evan Gray pitched well in a scoreless final 2 innings. However, the offense couldn’t get anything going and the Lancers took a 2-1 loss.

Ricky Dambacher, Sam McAnulty, Austin Hitt, Z Georgian, and Zach Gebhardt all collected hits. However, we came up short in a couple big spots with runners on, and could only push one run across the plate.

What’s Next?

There is no doubt this isn’t the week the Lancers wanted. We played 5 good teams, but we need to play better against good teams if we want to make a deep playoff push. We will look to respond this week…the final week before the playoffs begin. It is a week full of challenges, once again. On Wednesday, we will host Waterloo, Thursday we will travel to Alton, and Saturday, we will visit Springfield Sacred-Heart Griffin. The following Monday (5/21), we will host Mascoutah for a final tune-up before the playoffs begin.

We are hosting our regional this year. The schedule is as follows:

Wednesday (5/23) Belleville East vs. Belleville West 4:30 PM

Thursday (5/24) Collinsville vs. Granite City 4:30 PM

Saturday (5/26) Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2 11:00 AM


The Lancers posted a 2-1 record this week. Please enjoy the game recaps below!

5/1/18- Belleville East 7, Granite City-3

Typically if a team only scores in only 1 inning, they do not win the game. However, the 7-run 2nd inning was all the offense the Lancers needed in this one.

Sam McAnulty earned the start on the mound and gave us just what we needed…he left the game when his team was in position to win. McAnulty threw three innings of scoreless baseball, before running into trouble in the 4th. In that 4th inning, he gave up 3 runs. However, in earning the win on the mound, his total line was 4 innings, 7 hits, 3 earned runs, and 1 walk. Austin Hitt entered in relief. Hitt retired all 9 hitters he faced, including 5 strikeouts to earn the save.

Most of the offense for the Lancers came in the top of the 2nd. Hunter Davis led off and reached on an error on a hard-hit ball to short stop. Ryan Culley and Ben Cruikshank followed with back-to-back singles. Gage Cruz then delivered an RBI single to left to get the Lancers on the board. The next hitter, Evan Gray then popped a 2-RBI single into right-center, making the score 3-0. After a Drew Gray single to load the bases once again, “Z” Georgian delivered the big blow of the game. Z ripped a triple down the right field line, scoring all three base runners. During the following at-bat, Z scored on a wild pitch to make the score 7-0.

The Warriors would score 3 runs in their half of the 4th, but the Lancers would hold on for a 7-3 victory. The win moved our record to 16-7 and more importantly 8-2 in the Southwestern Conference!

5/2/18- Breese Central-5, Belleville East-3

This one did not go the way the Lancers had hoped. Breese Central scored 3 runs in the 1st inning, and 2 in the top of the 9th to secure the win over the Lancers.

A huge bright spot for the Lancers was Ben Cruikshank on the mound. Ben went 6 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing only 1 hit, 2 walks, and 0 runs. He really came in and settled things down through the middle innings of the game.

There wasn’t much offense to speak of in this one for the Lancers. Z Georgian and Austin Hitt both collected 1 hit. Drew Gray was 2-4 at the plate. Everyone else in the lineup was kept hit-less.

5/4/18- Belleville East-3, Althoff-2

One of the things we always tell our players is that it’s not only about the loss during a long season. It’s about how you respond after a loss. On Friday, the Lancers responded with resilience to win a tough game over the Althoff Crusaders. To make the win even sweeter, it took place on Senior Day at Lancer Stadium.

Ryan Culley got the start on the mound and gave us 5 very strong innings. Culley struck out 13 hitters, allowed 6 hits and an unearned run in his outing. Culley got to pitch the first inning to long-time friend and battery-mate, Ricky Dambacher. Dambacher has been catching Culley for years and the two have become very close friends. However, due to some arm injuries, Dambacher is no longer able to catch. Although he does not catch in games, Ricky has been instrumental in the development of our catchers this season. He is constantly working with our catchers during practice and advising them during games. But, on Senior Day he wanted to surprise Culley and his parents and get down behind the plate one last time. It was an awesome moment for those two to be able to share.  Austin Hitt then entered and earned the win in relief. Hitt worked 2 innings and allowed 2 hits, 3 walks, and 1 earned run.

On offense, Ben Cruikshank, Sam McAnulty, and Hunter Davis all recorded hits. The big offensive player of the game was Drew Gray. Gray went 3-3 with a walk and 2 RBI. With the Lancers down 2-1 in the bottom of the 6th, the offense came alive. McAnulty led off with a single. Cruikshank followed with a double over the left-fielder’s head. With 2nd and 3rd and 0 outs, a Crusader balk on the mound scored the tying run and moved Cruikshank to third base. After a strikeout, Evan Gray found himself up with one out and an 0-2 count. Gray fought through the at-bat and drew a tough walk. He would then steal 2nd base. After another strikeout, Drew Gray came to the plate with 2nd and 3rd and 2 outs. The go-ahead run was just 90 feet away. Gray would score Cruikshank on the infield single and the Lancers took a 3-2 lead. Hitt would then close out the 7th and the Lancers found themselves with a 3-2 victory on Senior Day!

On top of the win, Senior Day was a huge success. Thanks to all parents who provided food for the potluck after the game. Thanks to Candice Santos for donating awesome keepsakes to our seniors from the art department. And a HUGE thank you to Diann Donjon, Stephanie Cruz, Janell Georgian, Laurie Gray, and Carrie Faust for organizing the entire event!

What’s Next?

The Lancers are now 17-8 on the season and 8-2 in a tough Southwestern Conference! We have 5 games scheduled this week: Monday we host Alton, Tuesday we will welcome Edwardsville, Thursday O’Fallon will visit Lancer Stadium, Friday we will travel to Triad, and Saturday Normal Community will make the long trip to play. Saturday is also Alumni Day at Lancer Stadium! We are happy to welcome all Alumni back to town and provide a catered lunch for them, as well. The first ever head baseball coach of the Lancers, Mr. Larry Patton will be there to throw out the first pitch! We hope to see everyone there!



The Lancers only played 3 games this week, but they were all important Southwestern Conference games! We were able to post a 2-1 record in the 3 games. See below for game recaps.

4/24/18- Rita Menke Field Dedication

Our game against West was rained out and pushed to Wednesday of this week. So, we were able to be a part of the Rita Menke field dedication. Coach Menke is quite a Lancer and we were proud to be a part of her day!

Todd Eschman of the Belleville News Democrat was there to cover the field dedication and the link to the story is below.


4/25/18-Belleville East-11, Belleville West-9

This was the third time the Maroons and Lancers have met in the last two weeks and the game did not disappoint. The Lancers found themselves in an 8-3 hole after the 2nd inning, but our guys’ resilience shined through and we came back to post a 11-9 victory!

Ben Cruikshank got the start on the mound. He went 1 2/3 innings and allowed 8 runs (6 earned runs). But, Ben’s contributions at the plate would prove to be one of the difference makers in this one. More information on that will follow. Austin Hitt came in to relieve Cruikshank in the second inning. Hitt gave us 3 1/3 really strong innings. In his outing, he allowed only 2 hits and 1 earned run. He really came in to settle things down for us and earned the win on the mound. Evan Gray came in for the final 2 innings and earned the save. Gray only allowed 1 base runner as a result of a walk, and struck out 3 Maroon hitters.

On offense, Cruikshank was 3-5 with a double and 2 triples. All three of his hits started rallies for the Lancers. Austin Hitt added 2 hits of his own and Hunter Davis was 2-5 and drove in 4 runs. Other Lancers who posted hits were Dillon Donjon, Drew Gray and Sam McAnulty. Z Georgian and Gage Cruz did not record hits, but Z walked three times and Cruz walked 4 times in the game. The Lancers most important inning came in the 6th when we scored 4 runs to give us the 11-9 advantage and never looked back.

David Wilhelm from the Belleville News Democrat was there to cover the game and the link can be found below.


4/26/18- Collinsville-6, Belleville East-4

The game was tied 1-1 going into the 7th inning, and then the Lancers gave up 5 runs. When we were down to our final 3 outs and facing a 5 run deficit, we tried to use the same “comeback magic” that we used the day before, but came up a little short this time.

Ryan Culley got the start in this one and pitched well. He only allowed 1 run and struck out 12 Collinsville hitters in his effort. Evan Gray came in after Culley for two innings of work.

Collinsville was able to post a 5-spot on the top of the 7th. When the Lancers came to the plate in the bottom of the 7th, instead of folding and going down quietly, we battled until the very last pitch. Dillon Donjon led off with a single, Drew Gray followed with a double to left-center, and Z Georgian stepped to the plate and knocked a home run out to right-center field to make the score 6-4! It is Z’s first career varsity home run! After a pitching change, Austin Hitt, singled. Ryan Culley and Sam McAnulty drew tough walks to load the bases. But, back to back strikeouts ended the game and gave the victory to the Kahoks.

4/27/18- Belleville East-13, East St. Louis-0

In the third conference game in three days, the Lancers topped the Flyers to wrap up the 2-1 week.

Sam McAnulty got the start on the mound and earned the win. He worked 3 innings, allowed 2 hits, 0 runs, and struck out 8 hitters. Hunter Davis worked the final 3 innings and struck out 5 Flyers.

On offense, Austin Hitt had 4 hits, Z Georgian had 3 hits, Ben Cruikshank and Evan Gray both posted 2 hits a piece. Gage Cruz and Sam McAnulty each had a hit, as well. In addition, Sam Lehde singled in the 5th inning for his first career varsity hit!

What’s Next?

Another busy week is on tap for the Lancers. We travel to Granite City on Tuesday, then have 3 home games in a row. Wednesday we will host Breese Central, Thursday Alton will come to town, and Friday we will see the Althoff Crusaders visit. Friday is also Senior Day. We will celebrate the seniors prior to the game and enjoy a potluck after the game.

The Lancers now stand at 15-7 and 7-2 in the Southwester Conference. Our focus now is to continue to improve and be playing our best baseball as the playoffs start here in a few weeks.


It was a nice 5-1 week for the Lancers this week! It included wins over East St. Louis, Highland, Carbondale, and twice over Belleville West!

4/15/18- Belleville East-11, Belleville West-6

The Lancers collected a win at the annual Busch Stadium game this year! It was a solid offensive performance as the Lancers collected 9 hits and tallied 11 runs in the contest. It is fun to win this game, but more importantly the players always have a great time getting to play in that atmosphere!

4/17/18- Belleville East-10, East St. Louis-0

The Lancers topped the Flyers in this game played at Lancer Stadium. Z Georgian, Austin Hitt, Hunter Davis, and Evan Gray all collected hits. Davis also pitched the complete game shutout. He only allowed 1 hit and walked 2 in the contest. Davis struck out 10 Flyers.

4/18/18- Gibault-5, Belleville East-2

Unfortunately, Gibault got the best of the Lancers in this contest and this was the lone set-back of the week. Starter Evan Gray went 3 2/3, allowing 5 hits, 5 walks, and 5 earned runs. He was able to strike out 6 hitters in his effort on the mound. Sam McAnulty came in and worked 2 1/3 scoreless innings.

On offense, McAnulty and Austin Hitt both collected a hit a piece and Drew Gray was 2-4 with 2 doubles and 1 RBI.

4/19/18- Belleville East-6, Belleville West-3

The Lancers moved their Southwestern Conference record to 5-1 on Thursday when they topped cross-town rival Belleville West. Ryan Culley got the start and gave the Lancers 5 strong innings. Culley only ran into trouble in one inning. He gave up 3 earned runs in the 3rd inning, but other than that he put up all 0’s on the scoreboard. Overall, Culley struck out 11 Maroons in his effort on the mound. Ben Cruikshank came into a tough jam in the 6th inning and worked out of it. Then he finished off the game in the 7th to collect the win in relief. Cruikshank struck out 2 in his 2 innings of work.

Offensively, the Lancers were led by freshmen Drew Gray. Drew collected 3 hits, including a double to left-center field, and drove in 3 Lancer runs in the win. Culley, Hunter Davis, Z Georgian, and Evan Gray also collected hits. The big inning for the Lancers was the 6th. After great at-bats by Sam McAnulty and Evan Gray to draw walks, Culley stepped to the plate with 2 on and 2 outs. He ripped a base-hit to left-center to score the go-ahead run! After a walk to Dillon Donjon, Drew Gray stepped in and knocked in 2 insurance runs with a base-hit up the middle.

It was also Junior High Day at Lancer Stadium and it was awesome to see several junior high players from all of our feeder schools in attendance. I hope they are looking forward to soon becoming Lancers!

Dean Criddle, of the Belleville News Democrat, was there to cover the game and the link to the story can be found below.


4/21/18- Belleville East-3, Highland-1

Sam McAnulty was the story of this one for the Lancers. After the previous 2 scheduled starts were rained out, McAnulty finally got his shot as a starting pitcher against a tough Highland lineup. He threw a complete game to earn the win. His final line was 7 innings, 8 hits, 1 earned run, 3 strikeouts and 0 walks. McAnulty was helped by his defense, as well. The Bulldogs were able to load the bases in both the 4th and 5th innings with nobody out, and the Lancers were able to work out of both jams. With 2 outs in the 4th and the bases still loaded, Hunter Davis made a great play, ranging far to his left. He fielded the ball deep in the hole and threw out the runner by a step. The play kept the Lancer lead at 3-1 and changed the entire game.

Offensively, McAnulty, Ryan Culley, and Evan Gray all collected hits. Z Georgian and Drew Gray had two hits and an RBI a piece.

4/21/18- Belleville East-9, Carbondale-4

The Lancers showed resilience in this contest as we found ourselves down 4-0 in the top of the first. Drew Gray was getting his first varsity start against a solid Carbondale team and struck out the first hitter before running into a bit of trouble. Gage Cruz then came in and limited the damage to give the Lancers a chance to come back for the win.  Cruz’s line was 5 innings, 2 hits, 4 hits, 4 walks, and 0 runs to earn the win. Austin Hitt also provided 2 big outs on the mound and Ben Cruikshank pitched a scoreless 7th to wrap up the win for the Lancers.

Hitt and Hunter Davis collected 3 hits each on offense. Z Georgain had 2 hits and drove in 2 big runs in the bottom of the 4th with a double to left field to put the Lancers up 5-4. Ryan Culley, Drew Gray, and Evan Gray also had hits.

Overall, it was a good week for the Lancers! Not only did we put a few wins on the board, but we had several different contributors to those wins. We now stand at 13-6 overall and 5-1 in the always tough Southwestern Conference.

What’s Next?

The Lancers have yet another big week ahead! We travel to Centralia on Monday, head to Belleville West on Tuesday, host Collinsville on Thursday, and visit East St. Louis on Friday. With 4 games (3 of them being conference games) we will need to be on our game and play well to earn victories.



Unfortunately, the Lancers only posted a 1-2 record this week, but did post a big conference win over Edwardsville on Thursday!

4/9/18- Freeburg-5, Belleville East-4

Freshmen, Drew Gray, led off the game with a solo home run in the Top of the 1st inning, and the Lancers were off to a good start. However, in a back-in-forth game, the Lancers fell to Freeburg 5-4.

Evan Gray got the start on the mound and went 2 1/3 innings, gave up 5 hits, 5 walks, and struck out 3 Freeburg hitters. Sam McAnulty worked 3 1/3 innings, giving up 4 hits and 2 earned runs. Austin Hitt the came in to face one batter and struck him out.

On offense, Hitt, Dillon Donjon, Ryan Culley,  and Z Georgian all collected hits. Ben Cruikshank was 2-4 at the plate and, as previously mentioned, Drew Gray hit his first varsity home run!

Although it was a disappointing way to start the week, the Lancers did battle in this one and just came up a bit short.

4/10/18- O’Fallon-13, Belleville East-3

Ben Cruikshank got the start in this game and put up three 0’s to start the game on the mound. The game was scoreless until the 4th when O’Fallon scored 6 in their half of the inning. Cruikshank ended up pitching 3 2/3 innings, giving up 6 earned runs on 2 hits and walked 7 Panthers. He struck out 3 and picked off 2 runners in his effort. Gage Cruz also did very well behind the plate and threw out a runner trying to swipe third.

At the plate, the Lancers could only collect three hits. Z Georgian, Ryan Culley, and Drew Gray were the ones who hit safety in the game.

4/12/18- Belleville East-8, Edwardsville -1

We always tell our players that losing a game isn’t as important as how you respond after a loss. Our group really responded well after a disappointing game against O’Fallon to defeat a high quality Southwestern Conference opponent on the road.

Behind our senior leader, Ryan Culley, the Lancers only gave up 1 run in the game. Culley was dealing with a toe injury, but did an awesome job of battling through it and giving his teammates 5 strong innings. It was senior leadership at its best. Culley’s final line in the win was 5 innings, 2 hits, 8 walks, 7 strikeouts, and 1 earned run. It was Culley’s first earned run of the year after starting the season with 21 innings without giving up an earned run. Culley now stands at 4-0 with a 0.32 ERA so far this season. Sam McAnulty came in for 2/3 of an inning, and senior Austin Hitt closed out the game by getting the final 4 outs. Hitt struck out 2 Tigers. Catcher, Gage Cruz, had yet another good game behind the plate.

The Lancers collected 14 total hits on their way to scoring 8 runs. Culley, Dillon Donjon, Evan Gray, and Austin Hitt each had a hit a piece. Ben Cruikshank, Hunter Davis, and Drew Gray added two each. The offensive player of the game was Z Georgian, who was on base 5 times while going 4-4 with a walk. A good day at the plate and a Lancer victory was a great way for Z to spend his 17th Birthday! This was a big win for the Lancers, especially after losing two in a row before it. The Lancers now hold a record of 8-5 and are 3-1 in the always tough Southwestern Conference!

The Lancers were also featured a few times in the newspaper this week. See the links below to read the articles!




What’s Next?

The reason I am posting this on Saturday is because the Lancers actually have a game tomorrow afternoon! We will take on West in the annual Busch Stadium Game starting at 4 PM. After the game at Busch, it is another busy week for the Lancers. On Tuesday, we will host the East St. Louis Flyers, Wednesday we will visit Gibault, Thursday we will host Belleville West, and Saturday we will head to Highland to take on Highland and Carbondale. Hopefully the weather will cooperate and we will have a fun week of baseball!