Two different Hastings Raiders legion baseball teams came to play Thursday night as they hosted St. Paul Park for a doubleheader at Veterans Park. The Raiders, with a team made up of players who played on different levels this past high school season, won the first game easily, 10-1, before falling in the second game, 10-4, as the weekend's heat wave rolled in.
Game one blowout
Hastings took advantage of superb pitching in game one by recently graduated Doug Nordine. After a bit of trouble in the first when St. Paul Park was able to scratch across a run, Nordine settled in and batters had no answer for him. Nordine threw a complete game and gave up just that one run on four hits and three walks with five strikeouts.
The Raiders were scoreless in the bottom of the first but they then brought in runs in four of the next five innings. They scored two in the second on an RBI single by Drew Davis and a sacrifice fly by Cory Wolters, and another in the third off a fielder's choice by Will Lavin. In the fourth, they added three more when Blake Warner walked to bring in a run and Lavin added a two-RBI single. Hastings sealed the game with four runs in the fifth with an RBI single by Davis, a two-RBI triple from Wolters and a sacrifice groundout from Jake Biermaier.
Wolters led the Raiders offensively, going 3-for-3 with three RBI and two runs scored. Lavin also had three RBI while Davis had two on his two hits. Isaac Flynn walked three times and scored twice.
Game two letdown
Game two of the doubleheader saw both teams flip their roles as St. Paul Park quickly jumped on the Raiders and maintained their lead the rest of the game to win, 10-4. Tom Ritt started for Hastings on the mound but struggled with his control. St. Paul Park scored two runs in the top of the first, one in the second and then blew the game wide open as they chased Ritt in the sixth inning to the tune of six runs. Ritt threw 5 ⅔ innings and gave up nine runs (eight earned) on 11 hits and five walks while striking out two.
Wolters relieved Ritt but St. Paul Park was still able to score the two runs Ritt left on base. They then scored one more in the top of the seventh. Wolters pitched 1 ⅓ innings and gave up one run on two hits with two walks and two strikeouts.
Hastings managed to score two runs in the third and two in the fourth but had plenty of other chances over the course of the game as they stranded eight baserunners. Lavin continued his solid hitting with an RBI single in the third, while another runner scored as Flynn reached on a fielder's choice. In the sixth, one run scored on an error for the Raiders while Davis added an RBI double.
Despite some struggles on the mound, Ritt was excellent offensively, going 3-for-4. Lavin also had three hits, an RBI and a run scored. Wolters and Davis each had two hits.
Hastings next plays on Sunday, July 1, at Veterans Park against West St. Paul and then host Northfield for a doubleheader on July 9.