Legion baseball marches toward substate

By Bruce Karnick
Posted 7/4/24

The Legion baseball regular season is one of the shortest seasons starting in the middle of June and culminating just before the substate playoffs that begin July 23rd. The regular season for 383 …

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Legion baseball marches toward substate


The Legion baseball regular season is one of the shortest seasons starting in the middle of June and culminating just before the substate playoffs that begin July 23rd. The regular season for 383 teams in Minnesota only lasts about six weeks yet Minnesota has the most Legion baseball teams in the country with Pennsylvania the second most with 305 teams.
This year’s Hastings Legion Post 47 Raiders were looking to close out their summer stronger than they did as the High School varsity team’s loss in the section playoffs. Many of the 18 graduating seniors are part of the Legion Post 47 team along with some of the Raider underclassmen. The goal? A trip to the American Legion World Series in Shelby, North Carolina on August 15-20.
The season is in full swing, and Hastings had a busy week facing Apple Valley in a 3-0 in, then West St. Paul in a 5-5 tie due to weather, a 4-3 loss to Jordan at the Mini Met and in the final game of the week, they took on the number two team in the state, an 11-4 loss to the Farmington Legion Post 189 Tigers on June 29.
During the win against Apple Valley, Hastings used three pitchers. Jack Seleski pitched two innings logging five strikeouts. Gavin Odman pitched three innings logging six strikeouts and Evan Nelson closed the game down for a two inning save with five strikeouts. Overall, the Raiders struck out 16 in the 3-0, 2-hit shutout win against Apple Valley.
Against West St. Paul, the scoring was a little back and forth. West St. Paul scored one in the first to take the lead and Hastings tied it in the bottom of the third with a double from Jack Seleski that drove in Cade Kimmes from first.
West St. Paul scored two more in the fourth to go up 3-1 then Hastings cut back into that lead with a bases loaded walk to Carter Lundstrom that pushed across a run. West St. Paul added two more in the fifth to go up 5-2 and Hastings once again fought back. This time, they tied it for good in the sixth inning. Gavin Radant hit a single, then Cade Kimmes followed with his own single. A wild pitch moved both runners up, then Jack Seleski walked to get the bases loaded. Evan Nelson walked to get an RBI and Johnny Teigland copied Nelson for another RBI walk and Mark DeNoyer hit a single to right scoring Seleski to tie the game 5-5.
The game started late on a wet Wednesday night, so they played one extra inning before calling the game a tie.
The final game of the week was against Farmington. Farmington jumped out to the early 2-0 lead in the first then added three in the second to go up 5-0 before Hastings logged their first three runs of the game in the bottom of the third. Gavin Radant led off the inning with a hard-hit single to right and Creed Peterson followed that up with a giant double to deep right center. That put runners on second and third for Jack Seleski and a grounder up the middle scored both Radant and Peterson.
Seleski moved to third when Evan Nelson hit a double to left center and then scored when Johnny Teigland grounded out to second. This brought the Raiders to within two. Gavin Odman scored in the fourth inning off another single by Radant and then the flood gates opened up for the Farmington offense. By the time the game was over, the Tigers won 11-4.
Head Coach Ryan Seleski is using the regular season to have one last hurrah with a group of 18 kids that he has coached since they were little. A group of kids that have been playing together since little league. Each kid is seeing the field multiple times, and they are just out there having fun. The tone of the regular season games is light and not nearly as serious as things will become for Substate.
“We’ll dial the lineup by substate,” said Coach Seleski. “Right now, we are having fun and I’m enjoying time with the boys. Everyone is getting playing time and we are creating memories as a team.”
The team is 3-3-1 for the season with just a few weeks to go before the substate tournament July 23-27 at Veterans Park in Hastings. As that gets closer, we’ll publish the brackets so you can go cheer on the boys.