The Hastings Hawks played three games this past week and during the Fourth of July weekend. Hastings fell to the Hampton Cardinals 12-1 on July 4; snapped their losing streak with a win over the Austin BlueSox 5-3 on Saturday, July 8; but then lost to the Red Wing Aces 8-6 on July 9.
The Hawks managed just two hits and one run in the loss to the Cardinals. Spencer Diedrich had both of those hits and Eric Weber had their only RBI. Dennis Reinhart pitched 4 2/3 innings but was roughed up for 10 runs (all earned) on nine hits and four walks to go with three strikeouts. Jesse Olson relieved him for 1 1/3 and gave up two runs on two walks and a hit.
Hastings won a tight game against Austin that saw the Hawks get out to a 5-0 lead and hold it. They scored two runs in the bottom of the second on RBIs from Reinhart and Wes Hedlund.
In the bottom of the fifth they added three more runs on an RBI double by Jaryd Marks and a two-run double by Ben Bundschu.
Hastings was able to survive a scare in the top of the seventh when the BlueSox scored three runs of their own after two errors by the Hawks and went on to win 5-3.
Hastings' manager Shawn Matson said the team has been ready to break out of its slump for a while now.
"We've been close for the last month or so," he said. "We've been improving every game for the last month, it's nice to finally break through and get a win."
The change in the team has been evident in every facet of the game.
"We've gotten more timely hitting, have improved the quality of our at-bats, our pitchers are throwing strikes and our defense has been making plays," Matson explained.
From here on out, Matson said his team needs to continue improving.
"We just have to concentrate on having good at-bats, not giving at-bats away, playing good defense and make the plays we should make," he said.
Cole Jernberg pitched 6 2/3 innings and gave up three runs (none earned) on seven hits and two walks to go with three strikeouts. He was relieved by Ben Bundschu who threw the remaining 2 1/3 without allowing a run.
Jake Dale led Hastings with three hits, followed by Marks with two hits. Bundschu led the team with two RBIs, while Marks, Reinhart and Hedlund each had one apiece.
In the game against the Aces, Matson said that his team trailed 6-0 after two innings but were able to fight back and make the game competitive. They eventually lost 8-6.
The Hawks traveled to Elko to play the Express on Wednesday, July 12, after this article went to print. They then host their across-the-river rival, the Prescott Pirates, on Friday, July 14. They host the Miesville Mudhens on July 16.