Baseball: Raiders hit tough stretch
Bad. Good. Bad.
That's how the season has gone so far for the Hastings baseball team.
The Raiders lost their first four games of the season.
Then won their next two.
Then lost their next three.
"We ran into a tough stretch of games this past week," Hastings coach Paul Hartmann said. "Our team defense played really well. We made a lot of great plays and our defense is not hurting us like it did early in the year. We need to pitch a little bit better, and we need to stay disciplined at the plate.
"Our margin for error is very small. We need to play very well if we want to win. We are capable of doing it. We've done it. We just need to do it more consistently."
Hartmann's goal is to compete in the section tournament. He realizes what the team is going through now is preparing them for that tournament.
"We've gone through some growing pains as a team the first half of this season," he said. "I think that this will make us stronger at the end of May, which is when we want to be playing our best baseball. Our team has really come together over the last month. We hope that this translates into some W's."
Hastings lost to Park on Friday, 7-3. The Wolfpack scored five runs in the fourth inning to pull away.
Devon LaCoursiere pitched the first four innings. He was relieved by Ryan Hackel, who through the final three innings.
Hastings scored one run in the bottom of the third. Tyler Rohr singled to lead off the inning. He advanced to second on a single by Eric Harris and moved up to third on a sacrifice bunt by Justin Knoll.
Pat Guelle had a sacrifice fly to right field to score Rohr.
Hastings added another run in the fourth inning. David Vogelgesang reached on an error. He got to second on a ground out by Jake Ryan and moved to third on a single by LaCoursiere. He scored on a single by John Wahlstrom.
In the sixth, Hastings added its final run when Wahlstrom knocked in Ryan.
"Justin Knoll, Eric Harris, and John Wahlstrom have really sparked us offensively and we have received consistent production from David Vogelgesang and Patrick Guelle," Hartmann said.
Hastings lost to Stillwater on April 22.
It was a wild game, with the Raiders holding a 1-0 lead until the bottom of the fifth.
In the fifth, though, Stillwater scored four runs to take a 4-1 lead.
Hastings countered in the top of the sixth with three runs to tie the score 4-4.
But, in the bottom of the sixth, the Ponies added a run and held on for a 5-4 win.
David Vogelgesang pitched for Hastings.
The run in the third inning was scored by Knoll, who led off the inning with a single. He advanced on a single by Guelle and scored on a double by Vogelgesang.
In the sixth, the rally got started after a leadoff walk to LaCoursiere. Ryan reached on an error and both runners advanced, thanks to a single by Wahlstrom.
With the bases loaded and one out, Harris singled to score LaCoursiere.
Knoll hit a fielder's choice that scored Ryan and Wahlstrom.
Hastings lost to Rochester Mayo on Monday, 10-5.