The Hastings Raiders baseball team played a surprise home opener Monday evening at Grossman Field after Hill-Murray's field was deemed unplayable. The game between the Raiders and Pioneers was played in gusting winds and was a roller-coaster of exciting moments, both good and bad. After seeing several ties and lead changes, Hastings held off a Pioneer comeback in the top of the seventh to win 7-6 despite committing seven errors over the course of the game. They improve to 1-1 on the season after losing their season opener to Park, but now the season is on hold due to the snow storm currently blanketing much of the state.
Hill-Murray scored one run in the top of the first but the Raiders responded in the bottom half with an RBI-single by senior Isaac Flynn, who also started on the mound for Hastings. This would be the theme of the game, anytime a team took a lead the other would match or take the lead themselves.
Senior Will Lavin started a double-play at third base to end the top of the second and get the Raiders out of a jam. However, they would then leave the bases loaded and it was still 1-1 after two innings. Hastings took a 2-1 lead after three innings thanks to an RBI-double by Lavin but Hill-Murray tied the game again in the top of the fourth after the Raiders committed three errors. But once again Hastings retook the lead after drawing two consecutive walks and senior Drew Davis scored on a wild pitch to make it 3-2 Raiders after four.
Another Hastings error allowed the Pioneers to tie the game again in the fifth but junior Tom Ritt gave them the lead again on an RBI-triple. However, in the top of the sixth Hill-Murray scored two runs thanks to more Raider errors and led 5-4. That lead did not last though as Hastings answered with three runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning courtesy of an RBI-double by junior Alex Otto and a two-RBI single by Lavin. The Raiders led 7-5 heading into the top of the seventh and Lavin came in to close the door. Another Raider error cost another run but they were able to get out of the inning and win 7-6.
The Hastings pitchers threw well and the offense was able to get timely hits when needed. The wind definitely helped a few balls drop in the outfield-or in one case right in front of home plate-for both teams. Despite their errors, the Raider defense never gave up that big inning that often lets games get away and they were able to pull out the win despite the mistakes.
Flynn went six innings as the starter and gave up five runs (only one earned due to the errors) on eight hits with two strikeouts and one walk to get the win. Lavin got the save and gave up one run (not earned) on one hit with two strikeouts and a walk. Lavin also led the Raider hitters with three RBI on 2-for-4 hitting. Otto led the team with three hits, Davis walked twice and scored twice and as a team Hastings tallied nine hits.
Due to the weather, the Raider game against Woodbury at the University of Northwestern in St. Paul on Thursday is postponed. Hastings travels to Henry Sibley on Monday, April 15, but with the amount of snow that game is also in danger. They are scheduled to host South St. Paul on Wednesday, April 17, travel to North St. Paul on Thursday and Simley on Friday.