Three close games end in Raider losses
The Hastings Raiders baseball team has had a rough start to its season. After an encouraging win against Farmington, the Raiders lost four in a row to White Bear Lake, East Ridge, Park of Cottage Grove and Mounds View.
"The guys are working hard," head coach Paul Hartmann said. "They know we're close."
Hastings lost by only one or two points in three of the four games.
Despite the losses, the boys are still working hard and having fun, and hopefully that will turn into wins, according to Hartmann.
Vs. White Bear Lake
The Raiders only scored one run in a five-inning game against White Bear Lake April 12. The Bears scored nine runs in the first two innings with junior David Schoeberl on the mound. The Raiders had the bases loaded in the top of the third when senior Tyler Rohr was hit by the pitch and junior Nick Bachman advanced to home.
White Bear Lake scored two more runs in the bottom of the third and another in the fourth to beat Hastings 12-1.
"Our guys just weren't quite ready to play. ... I don't think this team was in it 100 percent," Hartmann said.
The defeat was a valuable lesson to the young Raiders in being prepared, he added.
Vs. East Ridge
Sophomore Aaron Stoneberg pitched the first five innings against the East Ridge Raptors last Wednesday (April 14). The Raptors took an early lead, scoring three runs in the first inning, but the Raiders kept them from scoring again until the sixth.
Schoeberl scored in the second on a single by junior Austin Nelson, and senior Justin Knoll put up the Raiders' second run on a double by Schoeberl in the third. The Raiders tied it up in the bottom of the seventh with one run by Nelson on a single by senior Ryan Hackel and another run by Hackel on a double by Knoll.
Hastings couldn't hold its momentum in the extra inning, however, and lost 4-6 after East Ridge batted two more runners home.
The Raiders were looking good for most of last Friday's game against Park of Cottage Grove. Junior Wes Hedlund scored the first of 10 runs on a double by Nelson in the second, and Knoll scored another in the third. In the top of the fourth, senior Tyler Rohr scored the Raiders' first home run of the season with junior Nick Huemoeller on second and Hackel on third.
It seemed to be a done deal as the Raiders gained four more runs in the top of the fifth. Junior Tony Hammes scored on a double by Huemoeller, and Hackel drove Nelson and Huemoeller home on a double, and then scored himself on a single by Rohr.
With a 9-0 lead, Hedlund took the mound for the Raiders and allowed seven Wolfpack runs in the bottom of the fifth. Hackel took over pitching with one out to go in the fifth and scored the last Raider run of the game in the seventh on a single by Schoeberl.
After two early outs in the last half-inning, the Wolfpack snapped back with a three-run home run to tie the game and another homer to beat the Raiders 11-10.
"We hit great on Friday," Hartmann said. "Unfortunately they hit a little better."
Vs. Mounds View
Hastings came back Monday afternoon ready to compete in the game against the Mounds View Mustangs.
"The key (Monday) was Nick Bachman," Hartmann said.
Bachman was supposed to start pitching in the game against Park, but illness kept him from playing.
Bachman allowed only one run in the first six innings. He was relieved by Stoneberg after two outs in the top of the sixth.
Although the Raiders held Mounds View to one run, they weren't able to score any themselves and lost 0-1.