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Baseball: Hastings aims to break out of slump

A baseball slump can often last much longer than it takes to snap out of it.

Just one big hit can erase a stretch of inconsistent play from everyone's mind and start another stretch of consistent play.

And the Hastings High School baseball team hopes that hit is coming soon.

"We are playing with every team right now,"?Hastings head coach Paul Hartmann said. "We just have to come up with that key hit in a big spot to get this thing turned around."

The Raiders dropped a pair of Suburban East Conference games recently and are in the midst of a six-game stretch where runs have been scarce.

Hastings lost to Cretin-Derham Hall 5-1 last Wednesday and fell to Mounds View 5-3 Monday at Grossman Field in?Hastings.

The team's game against Park of Cottage Grove Tuesday was rained out.

But even though runs have been hard to come by lately for the Raiders, they started hitting the ball like they did earlier in the season in the Mounds View game.

The Raiders put together 10 hits against a Mounds View team which is still undefeated at 11-0.

But of the 10 hits the Raiders had, they couldn't find the clutch hit when they needed it.

The Raiders led 3-2 heading into the sixth inning, but Mounds View was able to take the lead on a pair of two-out hits.

Hastings came close to tying the game in the final innings, with runners on second and third with two out.

But senior John Jamison's line shot to left field was snagged for the final out.

"We have been able to give ourselves opportunities to win games with some nice rallies," Hartmann said. "But now we need to cash in when we get those chances.

"And we are close. (Jamison)?hit that ball right on the screws, and five feet one way or the other and its a tied game."

The same was true against Cretin, when the Raiders loaded the bases in the sixth but only drove in one run, which came on a walk to senior Bobby Speedling.

"We are competing hard still and if we keep competing like we did last week, sooner or later, things will start to go our way,"?Hartmann said. "We are going to turn this thing around."

The Raiders played Roseville Wednesday, after Star Gazette press time. Hastings plays under the lights at 7:30 p.m. tonight (Thursday) at Forest Lake.