The Hastings Hawks baseball team ended their season in the Section 1B playoffs when they were swept and eliminated by the Northfield Knights. Despite being swept and a less than stellar regular season record, manager Shawn Matson said he believes his team finished the year playing their best ball and made important strides over the summer.
"I really do, we really were in the last month of the season starting to play our best ball," he said. "I'm really proud of how the guys came together as a team, we started to mesh at the end of the season there."
Matson said he was particularly happy that they were able to get their younger players reps and put them in situations that will help them in the future.
"The main thing I was really pleased with was I was able to get the younger guys from Hastings and Cottage Grove a lot of good, quality at-bats and experience and time in situations that will help them all when they go back to college and hopefully next summer when they come back to us," he said.
Looking ahead to the future, Matson said that not much will change heading into next season.
"I would expect next year's team to look pretty similar," he said. "We're always looking to add a couple pieces here or there, I think we're going to try and pick up another arm or something. But for the most part, I would hope that we'll have our core back, our young core of guys."
Half of Hastings' wins on the season came in the last two weeks of the season. They finished with an overall record this year of 4-26 including the playoffs. Four players hit over .300 this summer-Adam Medlicott .370, Ben Bundschu .365, Spencer Diedrich .313 and Jordan Jeske .300. Bundschu led the team with 12 RBI while Jason Greeder had 10. Cody Leflay hit the team's lone home run according to their stats on the Minnesota Baseball Association website. The team's four wins on the mound came from Bundschu, Spencer Kopp and Nick Horsch with one win unaccounted for.