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Raiders finish regular season, prepare for playoffs

Justin Knoll lobs the ball to first base to force out a Stillwater runner.1 / 2
Raider pitcher David Schoeberl was the starting pitcher in the Raiders' game against Stillwater May 19.2 / 2

The Hastings Raiders baseball team is putting the regular season behind them and getting ready for playoffs, which begin Saturday.

Senior captain Tyler Rohr is working to keep his team motivated and ready to play.

"Every game, I've got to keep complimenting the guys," he said.

This season has not been anything like what Rohr expected.

"I expected the season to go a lot differently," he said.

He explained that he figured his teammates' hard work would have paid off more than it has.

Even though their season record is discouraging, the boys aren't done fighting. Their two wins against Forest Lake and Woodbury proved that the Raiders can compete in the Suburban East Conference, Rohr said.

"We're right there with these guys," he said.

Moving into the playoffs, Rohr is looking to the Raider pitchers to lead the team.

"If pitching goes well, the game is going to go well," he said, "... and we'll go from there.

Vs. Park

The Raiders waited nearly two weeks for their second match-up against Park of Cottage Grove. The game was originally scheduled for May 7 and was rescheduled twice due to weather before the boys got play May 18.

Although the Raiders went into the game after two wins in a row, they couldn't hold onto their momentum and lost 6-9.

Vs. Stillwater

The boys lost 1-5 to Stillwater May 19. Stillwater scored early and was able to keep adding to its score throughout the game. Hastings struggled to get runners on base, but Rohr was able to score a run in the bottom of the sixth on a double by David Schoeberl.

Schoeberl pitched the entire game. He struck out three batters and walked one.

Vs. Cretin-Derham Hall

The game against Cretin-Derham Hall May 21 ended in another loss for the Raiders. After CDH scored two in the second, Austin Nelson scored in the third on a double by Schoeberl. The Raiders couldn't score more for the rest of the game and lost 1-7.

Aaron Stoneberg pitched the first four innings and was relieved by Wes Hedlund after two outs in the bottom of the fourth.

Vs. Red Wing

The Raiders wrapped up their regular season Monday night with a 3-2 win against Red Wing.

"We had a great atmosphere to play in with it being senior night, youth night, and playing in Miesville," head coach Paul Hartmann said. "Our guys responded very well to the environment."

Red Wing scored first in the second inning, but Hedlund tied the game with a run on a single by Justin Knoll.

The Raiders pulled ahead in the third. Nelson scored on a single by Rohr, and Rohr scored when Ryan Hackel was out on a fly ball to right field.

With no runners on base, Red Wing hit a home run, but the Raiders kept them from scoring again.

"We played our best defensive game of the year behind a very strong pitching performance by David Schoeberl," Hartmann said. "This was a huge win for our kids. We kept our emotions in check in the seventh when Red Wing made a run on us and showed great maturity. This should be a huge confidence boost for us as we head into section play."

The Raiders play their first playoff game Saturday at 1 p.m., but their opponent and the location have yet to be determined.