River Falls- The Hastings Raiders baseball team’s first time on a baseball diamond in 2023 was on Good Friday, when the Raiders traveled up to River Falls to take on Woodbury in a non-conference, non-section game that kicked off the 2023 season. Both teams arrived and immediately got to work clearing snow off the turf field, making it easily ready for play. Once the game started, it looked like it was going to be an offensive slugfest.
The bats were flowing early, as Woodbury would get on the board in the top of the first inning. Hastings added a run themselves in the bottom of the 1st, when Eddie Peine, who had a phenomenal day, batted in their first run of the season. It looked like it was going to be an offensive affair, with Woodbury adding 4 runs in the second and the Raiders adding two more to make it 5-3, but it was all Royals after that.
Woodbury would add 4 more runs in the third, and one in the sixth to bring it to a 10-3 margin that the Raiders could not come back from.
Hastings threw 4 arms in the contest, with Gavin Odman getting the start. He went the first two innings, while he was relieved by Aaron Vandehoef, who went 2/3 before Matt Sherry came in and pitched 2 1/3, and Mark DeNoyer pitched the remaining two frames.
Peine led the way offensively for the Raiders, going 2 for 4 with 2 RBIs and 2 doubles. Tanner Anselment also had a strong day, going 2 for 3 with an RBI. Jack Seleski and Evan Nelson also had a hit for the Raiders in the contest.
Hastings opens its home slate at Grossman Field on Wednesday against North Saint Paul, with aspirations of a Metro East Conference championship. The originally scheduled home opener against Park of Cottage Grove was moved to April 20 as a result of the field conditions not being playable on that day. The home opener at Grossman is also the debut of the new scoreboard and windscreen in the outfield.
KDWA will have coverage of every home and away Hastings Baseball game in the 2023 season.