Raiders earn second seed in Section 3AAAA tournament, host Park of Cottage Grove

By Bruce Karnick
Posted 5/31/24

The Hastings Raiders finished the regular season in a big way with two big wins including a must win against section opponent Eastview. First, the Raiders dismantled Lakeville South 13-3 on May 20, …

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Raiders earn second seed in Section 3AAAA tournament, host Park of Cottage Grove

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The Hastings Raiders finished the regular season in a big way with two big wins including a must win against section opponent Eastview. First, the Raiders dismantled Lakeville South 13-3 on May 20, then on May 21 they came from behind to topple the Lightning 5-4 for a key section seeding win. Had the Raiders lost that game, there is a good chance they could have fallen as far as the fifth seed.
Against Lakeville South, Hastings was on an offensive tear. Each Raider logged at least one hit. Sawyer Tjomsland, Evan Nelson, Jack Seleski and Chuck Wagner all had one. Alex Hendrickson, Blake Vandehoef and Mark DeNoyer each had two. John Teigland and Cade Kimmes both had three hits. Vandehoef stole three bases, Seleski two and Tjomsland, Nelson, Teigland, DeNoyer and Wagner each stole one.
Carter Lundstrom shut the Cougars down logging five strikeouts with one walk and only three runs allowed on six hits over six innings. DeNoyer came in to close the game in the seventh inning striking out one of the three batters faced, allowing no hits and no walks.
The game against Eastview was a nail biter. Hastings seemed to have the proverbial big win hangover from the previous day, and they just did not seem to be themselves. Eastview scored two in the first, one in the second and one in the third off starter Jack Seleski. Seleski was pitching well; Eastview was just hitting better.
Coach Ryan Stoffel knew the game was a must win to get a chance to have a good seed in the section tournament, so he was quick to pull the trigger on his starter. Hendrickson replaced Seleski in the fourth and that change seemed to ignite a fire for the Raiders.
Hastings scored one in the fifth inning that started with Lundstrom walking to lead off the inning. Tjomsland followed suit and Hastings had two on with no one out. Hendrickson struck out, Nelson popped out to short and all of a sudden, the Raiders were looking at two on and two out. Seleski walked to load the bases and Teigland walked scoring the first and only Raider run before the inning ended.
Hastings was not done. Vandehoef struck out to lead off the sixth then Hastings hit four straight singles to cut the lead to one. Hendrickson drove in those two with a shot right up the middle to make the score 4-3 Eastview. Nelson walked and Seleski popped out to second for the second out of the inning. With the bases still loaded, Teigland drove a shot to left field, scoring two and giving the Raiders the 5-4 lead and that was all they needed to complete the comeback win.
Seleski struck out two and walked two of the 15 batters he faced while allowing two hits and four runs. Hendrickson also struck out two but walked only one in the 15 batters he faced.
Hastings finished the regular season 16-4 overall with an 11-game win streak to close things out.
With the second seed, Park was scheduled to come to town on Memorial Day, but Mother Nature had other plans. Storms moved in late Monday afternoon forcing the game to be moved to Tuesday so we will get you that game recap next week.