The Hastings Raiders baseball team sat a game above .500 with two weeks left in the regular season and seemed to be in good position to really build confidence heading into section playoffs. However, a challenging five-game stretch from May 13 to May 22 saw Hastings lose two close Metro East Conference matchups-5-4 to Tartan and 6-4 against Mahtomedi-and then get blown out by St. Thomas Academy, East Ridge and Woodbury by a combined score of 28-1. They finished the regular season on a five game losing streak and a regular season record of 8-12. The Raiders were 8-8 in the MEC, which was good for fifth behind Tartan, Hill-Murray, Mahtomedi and St. Thomas Academy.
The good news for Hastings is that the section playoffs are a brand new season where anything can happen and what happened in the regular season goes out the window. They earned the No. 6 seed in Section 3AAAA and will take on No. 3 Burnsville on Memorial Day, May 27, at Alimagnet Park in Burnsville. The Blaze went 12-8 this spring and finished second in the South Suburban Conference with a 12-6 record. Should the Raiders win, they would play the winner of No. 2 East Ridge and No. 7 Rosemount on Wednesday, May 29, at Alimagnet. Hastings played both teams during the regular season, losing to Rosemount 7-6 and East Ridge 12-1. On the top half of the bracket, No. 1 Eastview-also ranked No. 7 in Class AAAA-faces No. 8 Park and No. 4 Apple Valley plays No. 5 Eagan. All games in the Section 3AAAA playoffs will be played at Alimagnet.