By Bruce Karnick
The Hastings Hawks had a busy week, hosting the Hudson River Rats on July 6, then the Rochester Roadrunners on July 8 before heading down to take on the Dundas Dukes on July 10. The first two games of the week were prime opportunities for Hawks to change things in the lineup to give guys opportunities to get in the normal starting lineup.
Against the River Rats, the assistant managers Cole Benson and Jordan Jeske ran the show while Manager Shawn Matson was out of town for a welldeserved vacation. The assistants went with a pitching by committee approach to see multiple guys that have not had a ton of opportunities to pitch. Ben Teigland started on the mound for Hastings, and he threw four solid innings. Connor Stoffel relieved Teigland for two. Nick Horsch took over for Stoffel to start the seventh but had to come out in the eighth due to a pulled muscle, which led to having Noah Paulseth come in for the save attempt.
Hastings pitching kept the River Rats at bay for five innings when Hudson scored three in the sixth, and they added one more in the eighth. The Hawks pitchers combined for nine hits allowed with four runs Offensively, Hastings scored four in the third which was kicked off by an Isaac Flynn single to left. Jackson Tessman hit an identical single, giving Hastings runners on first and second with no outs. Jake Biermaier laid down a beautiful sacrifice bunt to move the runners over and made it to first safely. A throwing error allowed Biermaier to advance to third and scored the other two runners. With the 20 lead and still no outs, Cory Wolters hit another single to left scoring Biermaier. Jackson Schaeffer also hit a single to left to move Wolters to third. Evan Khrin then hit a single to left scoring Wolters and capping off the big inning.
Hastings held onto the lead into the sixth then added two more insurance runs. A single by Drew Davis up the middle gave Hastings a quick baserunner to start the inning. Davis then stole second and moved to third on an error by the catcher. Tessman got Davis home with a fly ball to right and Wolters knocked Tessman home with a hard fly ball double to center.
The Hawks won 64 to start the week. Regional opponent, the Rochester Roadrunners came to Vets on Friday. Rochester grabbed the lead to start the game scoring one in the top of the first and adding one in the fourth. Hastings cut the lead in half in the bottom of the sixth when Stoffel led off with a double and then scored on a Schaeffer sacrifice fly to center.
The seventh inning, things broke open. After a quick and efficient first half of the game, the second half seemed to be an entirely new game, and the timing showed it. Three Rochester runs in the top of the seventh and five Hawks runs in the bottom of the seventh started the descent into madness. The Hawks had the lead 65 when Wolters took the mound to start the eighth.
The first batter he faced took a sixpitch walk and the second batter hit a hard single between short and third, barely getting by the infielder’s glove. The third batter had a similar single, this time to the first base side of the infield, scoring one. The inning didn’t get any better. After that frame, Hastings now trailed 116.
The Hawks scored one more in the bottom of the ninth to finish the game with an 117 loss before traveling to Dundas.
The box score for Dundas was not available as of press time, but the game was an exciting one from start to finish. Dundas jumped out to an early 40 lead in the first and Hastings fought back to gain the lead late in the game. Dundas tied the game at five in the bottom of the eighth and won the game 65 in walkoff style when the final batter crushed a double to score one in the bottom of the ninth, ending the game.
CCVL Class C Standings
Red Wing 40
Cannon Falls 22 Lake City 05 With going 12 for the week, the Hawks drop to 1211 on the season overall. In the Classic Cannon Valley League, they are 77, going 32 against Class C teams and 45 against Class B teams.
The Hawks have another busy week with games at River Falls at 7:30 p.m. on July 13, then home for Rivertown Days and the River Rumble on July 15 at 8 p.m. against Prescott and then a Saturday matinee on the July 16 at 5 p.m. against StewartvilleRacine, the last Hawks home game of the regular season. The final game of the regular season is six days later, at Cannon Falls to determine second place in the CCVL for Class C. First and second place bypass the section tournament and go right to Regionals.