By Bruce Karnick
With the final game approaching on the schedule, Hastings had to mix in the remainder of the suspended HillMurray game last week. The Raiders made a second trek to St. Paul to face the Pioneers on their home turf. The first meeting between the two went to Hastings, 101. Hill-Murray had other plans this time, defeating Hastings, 96.
Hastings followed that up with their senior night game against Northfield to finish the regular season. That game was played May 24 at Veterans Park under the lights. Northfield took a 10 lead in the top of the first, but Hastings came roaring back scoring four in the bottom of the first. Hastings added two more to go up 61.
Northfield put three on the board in the fifth closing the gap to 64. Hastings held on to that lead until the sixth when they extended the lead scoring seven to make it 134 which is where the game finished.
Jackson Schaffer was the big bat of the game reaching on his first at bat with a single in the first then crushing a home run to left center, his fourth at bat was almost the same spot as the homer and that fell in for a triple. Mitch Iliff and Connor Stoffel each had two hits, Tanner Anselment, Eddie Peine, Gavin Odman, Axel Arnold and Carson Thuet each had one. Schaffer and Odman each had three RBIs, Arnold had two, Iliff, Stoffel, Anselment and Alex Hendrickson each had one.
On to Sections!
The Raiders had an exceptional season this year on the diamond, winning 17 of 20 games and winning all three games in the section after defeating Cottage Grove 71, Apple Valley 73 and Burnsville 134. The 19point run differential in the three games of the section and the fact that Hastings outscored their opponents 17292 on their way to 17 wins did little to earn some respect with the section seeding committee.
This is an alltoocommon theme for Raider sports. It happened to hockey and girls’ basketball this season and the slighting of Raider Sports in the section seems to be the norm. Hastings is in a section usually with teams from the South Suburban Conference. Those teams stick together making Hastings the odd team out, so it’s time for Hastings to prove them wrong.
Park of Cottage Grove is given the one seed with a section record of 01 (lost to Hastings) and a 136 overall record. Rosemount and Lakeville North are the second and third seeds. Eagan is fifth. All teams played Memorial Day for round one at the high seed.
In that game against Eagan, Hastings had a 42 lead heading into the fourth inning. Eagan came back to tie and eventually win the game 54. The loss for Hastings bumps them to the wrong side of the bracket, meaning they will need to win an extra game to make it to the state tournament. The next opponent is #8 Apple Valley on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. at Grossman Field. If the Raiders win that, they will play again on Friday at the high seed.
Section 3AAAA tournament results. #1 Park – 6 vs #8 Apple Valley 5 #2 Rosemount – 9 vs #7 Burnsville 8 #3 Lakeville North – 9 vs #6 Eastview 7 #4 Hastings 4 vs #5 Eagan – 5 Wednesday will see Rosemount vs Lakeville North and Eagan vs Park in the winner’s bracket. Hastings vs Apple Valley and Eastview vs Burnsville in the playback side of the bracket.