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Riggers get rocked in opening game at nationals

Red Deer Riggers playing manager Curtis Bailey still harboured a sense of humour following his team’s ugly 14-2 loss to New Brunswick in the Canadian senior men’s baseball championship Thursday at St. John’s, N.L.

“I haven’t been beat that bad in . . . I can’t remember,” Bailey chuckled.

Really, there was no other way to approach the setback than in a comical fashion, considering the way the game unfolded. Red Deer pitchers Drew Boyer, Sean Maguire and Mark Fay surrendered a total of 12 hits while their teammates managed just four in the contest called after five innings.

“Our pitchers didn’t start off too well. We allowed a few walks and a few hits and we couldn’t get anything going offensively,” said Bailey.

Boyer started on the Red Deer mound and allowed seven runs on four hits and five walks over two and one-third innings.

Maguire lasted one inning ­— giving up four runs on three hits and two walks — and Fay worked the final one and two-thirds frames, surrendering three runs on five hits.

Boyer and Fay each fanned one batter, while winning pitcher Jake Waugh recorded just one strikeout despite giving up only four hits and no walks.

“He (Waugh) wasn’t throwing overly hard . . . a lot of curveballs and change-ups,” said Bailey.

“We were swinging a lot on the first pitch and just kind of getting ourselves out.”

Red Deer trailed 14-0 before scoring twice in the fifth frame on catcher Jaret Chatwood’s double. Jason Chatwood also stroked a double and added a single.

Mike Washburn and Jody Peterson cracked home runs for New Brunswick and Washburn, Kris Keating and Kris McKay each cracked a double.

The Alberta champion Riggers return to action today with games versus Ontario and Saskatchewan. The Riggers take on host St. John’s in their final round-robin contest Saturday.

The bronze- and gold-medal games are scheduled for Sunday.

As Bailey noted, there’s still plenty of time for the Riggers to right their fortunes.

“If you’re going to lose one it might as well be the first one,” he said. “We’ll be better tomorrow and move on from there.”

In other games Thursday, Ontario blanked New Brunswick 2-0 and fell 7-2 to British Columbia, Nova Scotia rolled over Manitoba 7-1 and thumped Newfoundland and Labrador 11-3, and Saskatchewan knocked off St. John’s 8-3.

 
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