By Bruce Karnick [email protected] With the start of the Raiders season being postponed due to COVID protocol, that compressed the schedule. The compression of the schedule means Hastings will …
By Bruce Karnick
With the start of the Raiders season being postponed due to COVID protocol, that compressed the schedule. The compression of the schedule means Hastings will have 10 games in 16 days. Baseball seems like a laid back game, but done correctly, it is still a physically draining game.
In the first nine days, the Raiders faced Tartan, Mahtomedi, St. Thomas Academy (STA), Hill-Murray and Apple Valley. Mahtomedi and Tartan are leading the Metro East Conference at 6-2, followed by Hill-Murray and STA at 5-3. The Raiders currently sit at 1-3 in the conference and 2-3 overall.
Monday the 26th, the Cadets from STA were at Grossman. STA took the early 2-0 lead in the top of the second on a Ben Taxdahl tworun home run, but Hastings fought back and tied it with one each in the bottom of the second and third. That score held until the eighth where both teams scored one more each. Tied 3-3 entering the nineth, STA took 5-3 lead and that is where the game ended.
Wednesday was a bit more interesting for both Hastings and Hill-Murray. The Raiders were supposed to travel to Hill-Murray, but the Pioneer’s field was not playable. The Coaches and Athletic Directors decided to move the game to Veteran’s Park in Hastings.
Hastings fell behind early in the first inning 2-0, but cut into the Pioneers lead, scoring one in the bottom of the first. The game was played fairly cleanly, but the Raiders seem to lack a sense of urgency on the field. Hill scored two more in the fourth to make it 4-1. Hastings scored one in the bottom of the fifth, but Hill had scored one in the top to make it 5-2 Pioneers. Starting pitcher Jerry Schumacher left the game after the fifth allowing four earned runs. Schumacher was replaced by Jackson Schaffer who pitched lights out in relief. He had full control over an amazing curve that left batters and fans baffled. Hastings had a chance to log the come-from-behind win in the bottom of the seventh, but the Pioneers ended the Raiders push. The final 5-3 Hill-Murray.
The final game of the week for Hastings was Friday at Grossman against Apple Valley. Not a conference opponent, but they are in the section, so a win could help section placement. Connor Stoffel started on the mound for Hastings. Stoffel went five innings allowing one earned run. Simon Hedin came in for an inning of relief, but he struggled allowing four earned runs. Devin Peterson finished the game for Hastings, allowing no runs.
Hastings took the early lead scoring one in the first and second inning. Apple Valley scored one in the fourth and two in the fifth taking the lead 3-2 when Hastings rallied for three in the bottom of the fifth regaining the lead. The game went back and forth in the sixth, but Hastings kept the lead 7-4. The Eagles tied the game in the seventh forcing extra innings. Hastings finally notched the win in the bottom of the ninth when Logan McGrath scored from second on a wild pitch with two outs.
The Raiders take on North St. Paul on Monday at North, then travel to Henry Sibley for a doubleheader on Wednesday the fifth, before returning to Veteran’s Park for a doubleheader on Friday the seventh against South St. Paul. Game one starts at 5:00 and game two sometime after 7:00. With playing under the lights, more fans can make it to the game, and it would be awesome to see the park full of Raider Blue and Gold! Don’t forget, The Hastings Hawks open the concessions stand for everyone to enjoy.
Monday, May 10th, the Raiders return to Vets to a doubleheader against Simley, again at 5:00 and 7:00. Wednesday the schedule returns to normal and the boys travel to Tartan.
Raider pitcher Jerry Schumacher on the mound against Hill-Murray at Veteran’s Park. The Raiders fell 5-3 to the Pioneers. Photo by Troy Nordine