Hastings scored three runs in the ninth inning to pull ahead of North Platte on Monday and that ended up being the difference in Hastings' 9-6 win in the district tournament at Bill Wood Field.The North Platte First National Bank Seniors end the season with a record of 31-19. Hastings (26-17) will play Kearney for the district championship on Tuesday.
Hastings scored the first run of the game when Mason Spilinek hit a single to right field in the first inning off of pitcher Dalton Pflughaupt.
The game remained 1-0 until the third inning when Luke Volz gave North Platte the lead with a three-run single into left field. North Platte scored another run an inning later to take a 4-1 lead.
But with two outs in the top of the fifth, Alex Panganiban hit a two-run home run to left field to get Hastings back into the game.
Panganiban relieved Hastings starter Jared Foote in the bottom half of the fifth and the First Nationals got one of those runs back right away.
But Hastings answered with two more in the sixth to tie the game at 5-5. Both teams scored a run each in the seventh and then held each other scoreless in the eighth.
North Platte's Jayden Kruse, who relieved Pflughaupt in the seventh, walked Panganiban and Spilinek to begin the ninth and that proved to be the First Nationals' undoing.
Zach Merrill and Ryan Kern got back to back RBI base hits and then Braedon Valentine brought in another run for good measure with a sacrifice bunt.
Panganiban held the First Nationals scoreless in the bottom of the ninth to punch Hastings' ticket to one of the two state tournaments in Class A.