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Hastings 16U VFW baseball team finishes third at Stillwater

The Hastings Raiders 16U VFW Baseball team went 3-1 in the VFW Stillwater tournament and captured an exciting third-place victory over the Burnsville Blaze with a final score of 7-6. Sam Skoyen, who pitched five, and one-third innings, and struck out four batters, led the Raiders on the mound.

"He was too much for a good Burnsville team," head coach Taylor Pagel said.

Hastings was also successful creating hits and driving in runs versus Burnsville as Andrew Tank had two hits and one RBI. Also getting in on the batting action was Wyatt Kruse, who had two hits on three at bats, and two RBI's.

The Raiders battled hard all weekend to get to the third place game, and they started the weekend tournament by defeating Irondale 8-6. Tyler Sylvester did it all for the Raiders as he made an impact both pitching and hitting.

"Tyler threw an amazing game," Pagel said. "He went six and two-thirds innings, struck out four batters and he got the win."

Sylvester also had two hits on four at bats, two RBIs, and a home run. Logon Gove and Tucker Tilleraas both did their part in the win, contributing two hits and an RBI each.

Hastings would then go on to play Lake Elmo in their second game of the weekend. The Raiders picked up the narrow victory with a final score of 7-6. The theme of strong pitching continued for the Raiders as Andrew Wester pitched six complete innings, striking out four batters. Every Raider batter contributed in this win as the team had every batter record at least one hit. Wester got it done with his bat, too, getting two hits on two at bats and two RBIs. Cory Anderson also went two for two, but it was Jake Dale who captured a walk-off hit to win the game for the Raiders.

Dale's walk-off hit propelled Hastings to a match up with Eagan where the winner would advance to the championship game. Eagan proved to be too much for the Raiders though, and Hastings fell to the Wildcats 10-4. The Raiders pitched well, but between errors and a couple of walks, the good hitting Wildcats team were on base most of the game. Skoyen and Sylvester each had two hits. Skoyen also had an RBI. The loss put Hastings in the third place game where they were able to defeat Burnsville 7-6.

"It was a great way to start the VFW season, and we are excited about this year's group of kids because they play with intensity, and love the game of baseball," Pagel said.