By Bruce Karnick [email protected] For the second weekend in a row, HYAA played host to a baseball tournament at Veterans Park. This time it was an eight-team tournament for 15AAA baseball. …
By Bruce Karnick
For the second weekend in a row, HYAA played host to a baseball tournament at Veterans Park. This time it was an eight-team tournament for 15AAA baseball. Originally, the field was supposed to be Hastings, Lakeville South, Eagan, Lake Elmo, Cottage Grove, Apple Valley, Farmington and Rochester. Rochester dropped last minute so Hastings 14/15A boys stepped up big time to play at a much higher level than they are used to.
The tourney started Friday at noon with Cottage Grove taking on Farmington in a MSHSL state preview as the older boys from each town were going to be squaring off later that evening at Target Field. Park earned the W 5-1 in the HYAA tournament, but that did not translate to a Park win at the high school level. The Tigers won state 12-10.
Game two feature Park against the Hastings Gold 14/15A team. The nerves of the Hastings Gold team showed against the older opponents, Park easily taking the win 15-0. The Park boys asked to play a back-to-back game so they could go cheer at Target Field.
Game three had Hastings against Lake Elmo at 6:00, Hastings grabbed the lead, but Lake Elmo fought back and tied the game at four in the seventh. Because it was pool play, the game did end in a tie with time running out.
Game four on Friday waws Apple Valley vs Hastings Gold. Apple Valley, like Cottage Grove was a very difficult opponent for the 14/15 year old’s to face. The difference is, Hastings had built some confidence at the plate against Park and they continued to hit the ball well. Hastings did lose 13-3, but the fact that kids almost a full year younger scored three runs was a huge ego boost for the Raider Gold team.
Saturday started at 8:00 am. Lake Elmo and Eagan. Lake Elmo won 6-4. Farmington and Apple Valley played game two with Apple Valley winning 8-4. Game three brought Lake Elmo back to Vets this time against Lakeville South. Lake Elmo won 6-4.
The Saturday afternoon game was the first Hastings action of the day. The gold team went against Farmington, losing 14-2. The big piece of the 14/15A team playing was getting extra at bats against live pitching and to get fielding in. This was a huge learning experience for the boys and they will be better off from it.
With the Hastings 14/15A team being done for the weekend, the 15AAA team took the field against Lakeville South, defeating them 4-3.
Apple Valley played Cottage Grove in a nail biter of a game. They played back and forth most of the game and trailing 8-4 in the top of the seventh, Apple Valley tied it 8-8. Cottage Grove roared back to win 9-8 in the bottom of the seventh, making them the only 3-0-0 team in the tournament.
Hastings and Eagan played the last game Saturday, Hastings went on to win that by 10.
With the final day’s matchups set, Hastings was the pool A one seed, Cottage Grove was the pool B one seed. Lake Elmo and Apple Valley both the two seeds.
Mother Nature decided she had seen enough baseball by the middle of the fourth inning of the Hastings and Apple Valley game and a downpour occurred. The mess of rain that was sorely needed around the area cause the tournament director, Ryan Hanson, to call the tournament off for the weekend. All four of the remaining teams had their bid to the state tournament in hand so there was no reason to risk player injury or field damage by playing on a saturated field.
Cottage Grove technically had the overall one seed followed by Apple Valley, then Hastings and Lake Elmo, but no trophies were awarded. Best of luck to the teams as they finish their summer!
Hastings Raider Evan Nelson pitched his team to a win on Saturday against Lakeville South in the HYAA 15AAA Tournament. Hastings won the first seed of Pool A and had the third seed overall in the tournament. Photo by Bruce Karnick