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Raiders split with No. 9-ranked Forest Lake

Taylor Pagel knows his Raiders can be dangerous.

On Monday, May 20, Hastings took down No. 9-ranked Forest Lake in a 2-1 road game. Though the team went on to split the double-header, Pagel, the Raiders' head coach, said the win was critical with section play looming.

"It's big going into sections," he said.

Hastings' Suburban East Conference record stood at 7-11 heading into the final regular season game Tuesday against Farmington. And even though those records are thrown out the door once Section 1AAA play begins, Pagel said it will take a special effort to advance in postseason play.

"It's going to take every single player's effort - even the guys on the bench," he said.

Hastings wrapped the final week of play beginning with a 14-4 loss May 15 to Stillwater. The Raiders claimed an early 4-0 lead, thanks to a bases-clearing triple from Jordan McTague.

"From there, the wheels just kind of fell off," Pagel said.

Senior pitcher Zach Anderson took the loss against the Ponies.

Later in the week, the Raiders ran into a buzzsaw - namely, University of Nebraska recruit Max Knutson, a senior pitcher for Mounds View. Knutson "just overpowered us" in the 5-0 loss, Pagel said. Despite the loss, Pagel said he witnessed a strong outing from Hastings senior pitcher Jack Day.

"We just couldn't produce any runs for him," the coach said.

This week, the Raiders played Forest Lake on Monday and Farmington on Tuesday.

Hastings' Game 1 win over Forest Lake came courtesy of what Pagel called "small ball" - getting runners on, moving them around the bases and plating runs.

The Raiders' two runs were driven in by senior catcher Joe Shingledecker and senior pitcher David McConnell.

Anderson started and was relieved by junior Pat Rough, who Pagel said "threw immaculate" against the Rangers.

In the second game of the double-header, Forest Lake plated all of its runs in a tough first inning for pitcher Sam Schoeberl, who took the loss in the 4-0 game. Pagel said his Raiders struggled the rest of the way to produce with runners in scoring position.

Hastings begins Section 1AAA playoffs on Thursday, May 23.