The Red Deer Riggers looked water-logged from the first pitch and never recovered in the opener of the Sunburst Senior AAA League final.
A rainy Sunday night at Great Chief Park in Game 1 of the best-of-five series, the Sherwood Park Athletics opened the scoring with three runs in the first inning and piled on eight more for an 11-0 victory.
Athletics pitcher Adam Paulencu carved up the Riggers with nine strikeouts and allowed just three hits over seven innings. He also beat the Riggers twice in the league final last season.
“He’s firm, he throws the ball hard and he throws fastball, slider with command,” Riggers shortstop Jason Chatwood said. “He gets ahead in the count and keeps the ball down. He was good tonight. We gave them a couple extra outs tonight and they took advantage of it. They set the tone and we couldn’t battle back.”
Dustin Northcott didn’t have his best stuff on the mound for Red Deer, he battled through four innings allowing nine hits and four earned runs.
Chad Price entered the game in relief and struggled through three more innings. He let up nine hits and five earned runs.
Tait Yuzda drove in three runs for the Athletics and went 3-for-4. Jason Sutherland and Jeremy Harasymchuk each added to RBI in the win.
The two clubs will be back in action Monday night at Great Chief Park for Game 2 of the series. First pitch flies at 7:30 p.m.