Hastings smashed the ball around the yard with four hits, two of them doubles, and pulled away from Columbus United Federal Credit Union in the seventh for a 6-1 win Thursday at Pawnee Park Legion Field.
The Junior Blues hung around for the first six innings despite allowing two unearned runs and committing five errors. Jack Faust pitched those six innings and kept his team in contention on an effort that included five hits, one earned run, a walk and three strikeouts.
But four hits and a walk in the seventh provided more than enough offense for Hastings to hand CUFCU a second straight loss. The Blues started 0-5, won four in a row but have now lost back-to-back games.
They were set to return to the diamond Friday night at home and try to get back on the winning track before morning rain canceled the game. No makeup date has yet been announced.
Although the scoreboard showed a five in the error column, Columbus only paid for two of those thanks to Faust pitching out of a few jams. An error at short in the first came around to score following a single and a triple. Faust walked the next hitter but threw it by the No. 6 hitter for the second out and had help from catcher Brennen Jelinek throwing out the runner at third on a botched squeeze attempt.
Faust stranded a runner at second in the second after an infield hit turned into another base on a throwing error. He left one at third in the third and set Hastings down in order in the fourth. A one-out single in the fifth came around on a single then an error at short and made it 3-0. That runner reached third but was left there when Faust induced back-to-back ground balls.
Faust finished his night pitching around a one-out error in the sixth on two straight fly balls to center.
Jude Maguire came on in relief and retired the first hitter he saw on a grounder to third. He gave up a double but was on the brink of ending the inning thanks to a strikeout. But Hastings pulled away from there when four straight hitters reached base on a single, double, walk and another single.
CUFCU scored its lone run in the third when Eli Kreikemeier was hit with one out, moved to second on a wild pitch, third on a passed ball and came home on an error. Columbus left seven on base including a runner at third in the third, runners on the corners in the fourth and had one caught stealing and another stranded at second in the fifth.
Matthew Kinnison sparked some brief hopes in the seventh when he led off with a walk. He was erased in the next at-bat on a double play.
Nate Tenopir is the sports editor of The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at email@example.com.
Hastings.............................................................2-0-0-0-1-0-3 -- 6-9-2
CUFCU Junior Blues (4-7)......................................0-0-1-0-0-0-0 -- 1-6-5
Loss: Jack Faust (1-1) 6IP, 5H, 3R, 1ER, 1BB, 3K. 1B: Alex Griffith, Faust, Bentley Willison, Caden Kapels, Matthew Kinnison. 2B: Brennen Jelinek. R: Eli Kreikemeier. BB? Willison, Kinnison. SB: Willison 2, Faust.