Legion baseball season under way
Now that the high school varsity season is over, Hastings Legion Baseball is under way.
There are 13 players on the team this year, and many of them are also playing for the Hastings Hawks when the legion schedule allows.
The team is mostly made up of the same guys who played on the high school varsity team, and head coach Mark Bauer said he's looking to build on that team's post-season success.
There are 26 games scheduled for the team over six weeks. Playoffs start July 21. Among the teams Hastings will play are Red Wing, Woodbury, Farmington, New Prague, Lonsdale and Faribault.
Hastings should play competitive ball all season long, Bauer said. He hopes the team can play well enough in the season to make in into the playoffs.
This is Bauer's first year coaching. A former player, he said coaching is his next step in the world of baseball. In practice, he plans to work on getting the team to be more aggressive on base passes, but other than that, it's all about drilling the basics.
In the team's first game of the summer, Hastings played Stillwater and won, 4-2.
This past weekend they played in the Fredrickson tournament. The first game was against a Nebraska team, and thanks to a bundle of walks and errors, Hastings lost, 8-3. Aaron Stoneberg started pitching and went three innings, allowing just one hit but six runs. He had five walks, and in the third inning, Hastings made three costly errors that let Nebraska take a 6-0 lead.
Senior Tyler Rohr pitched the next two innings and gave up two more runs. Tony Hammes was a bright spot in the game, pitching the last two innings. Hammes didn't allow a runner past second base. On offense, Hammes went one for three at the plate with one run scored. Austin Nelson also excelled offensively, with three hits on four at-bats, one run and one RBI.
Saturday, the team had two games. Errors were costly again in the first game against South St. Paul. Hastings jumped out to a 5-1 lead, scoring all five runs in the top of the fourth inning. Hunter Hillstrom drove in the first two runs in the inning. Nick Bachmann also had a key double in the fourth, driving in the third run of the inning. He also had a walk, going 1-3 with a run scored and the RBI double. David Schoeberl pitched the whole game, striking out seven. Schoeberl allowed seven runs, but only three of them earned.
Two errors in the bottom of the fourth allowed South St. Paul to tie the game at five. South St. Paul also scored runs in the fifth and sixth to end the scoring for the day. The final score was 7-5.
Hastings won their final game against Farmington, 3-1. Farmington had won its first two games of the tournament.
Bachmann pitched the first five innings and allowed only one run. In the sixth inning, Nelson took the mound to pick up the win. He struck out three batters in two innings and only gave up one base runner.
Andrew Lindberg started his first game of the season as catcher and threw out two Farmington base runners.
Hastings scored all three of their runs in the sixth inning. Brian Amble started off with a single up the middle, then Hammes followed with a walk. Nelson hit a two-run double on his first at-bat for the game, giving Hastings a 2-1 lead. Schoeberl followed with another double that gave Hastings a 3-1 lead.
Hastings could have easily won all three of the games, Bauer said, and it was the errors in both losses that cost them the games. With the hard work the boys have been putting into practice, those errors should get cut down as the season progresses, he said.