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Hawks beat Elko to advance

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sports Hastings, 55033

Hastings Minnesota 745 Spiral Boulevard 55033

The Hastings Hawks are still alive in the state amateur baseball tournament.

On Saturday, Hastings lost to Prior Lake, but in an elimination game Sunday, the Hawks beat Elko to extend their state tournament experience at least another week.

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Hastings will play at 3:30 p.m. Saturday against Savage in Gaylord.

Should the Hawks win, they'll play at 1 p.m. Sunday against the winner of the Cold Spring and Sauk Rapids game. If Hastings wins, they'll play the loser of the game between Shakopee and Prior Lake.

"We really think we can get to the final day," Hastings player/manager Adam Barta said. "With the team we have, and with the way we've been swinging the bat, we really think we can make it to the final day. It's hard for any team to come through the bracket and win it all. We'd have to win five straight games to win the whole things. That's a difficult task, but I think we can get to the final day.

"The final weekend of the state tournament is a crazy thing. Anything can happen."

Vs Prior Lake

Hastings lost to Prior Lake on Saturday in Gaylord,4-2.

Hastings had 10 hits off Prior Lake's Chris Swiatkiewicz, but had trouble getting runs across the plate.

"We had 10 hits, but we couldn't bunch anything together," Barta said. "Those hits were pretty scattered throughout the game."

Barta threw a complete game for Hastings, but took the loss. He allowed two earned runs, eight hits and had seven strikeouts.

Andy Salmela and Pat Kelly each had RBI singles in the sixth for the Hawks.

Vs Elko

On Sunday, Hastings beat Elko, 11-2.

Hastings drafted Red Wing relief pitcher Steve Boldt before the state tournament began. Barta called on Boldt to start the game with Elko, and Barta figured Boldt would last a couple innings before his arm tired out.

"His main goal going into the game was to give us a chance to be in the game, late in the game," Barta said.

Boldt struggled in the first inning and allowed two runs, but from that point on, he shut down Elko. He threw eight innings and was relieved in the ninth by Derrick Pfeffer.

Hastings got one run in the third to bring the score to 2-1, and then the Hawks tied the score in the sixth when Boldt hit a solo home run.

"That just gave our team a ton of confidence," Barta said.

Boldt finished with at triple, a walk, the home run and a couple runs scored. Pfeffer added a two-run homer, and Pat Kelly had three hits.

Stats

Kelly and Andy Salmela of Hastings lead the state tournament in hits.

The Hawks lead the tournament in team batting average at .324.

Kelly is the youngest starter in the tournament at 16.

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