Graves leads Riggers over Tigers

Aaron Graves looked like he’d never been away. After playing a pair of recent road games with the Red Deer Riggers following a four-year absence from the Sunburst Baseball League team, Graves made his 2015 home-field debut Tuesday night at Great Chief Park and did so in grand fashion.

Aaron Graves looked like he’d never been away.

After playing a pair of recent road games with the Red Deer Riggers following a four-year absence from the Sunburst Baseball League team, Graves made his 2015 home-field debut Tuesday night at Great Chief Park and did so in grand fashion.

The Lacombe native went three-for-four at the plate with a solo homer and two singles and made a diving catch in right field to seal the final out in a 9-3 Riggers victory over the St. Albert Tigers. And so what kept Graves busy during his rather lengthy hiatus?

“Being a dad,” he replied. “I’ve retired a few times over the years and I think you come back a little hungrier each time. This is a good team and I’m just glad to be a part of it and help out wherever I can, in whatever role.

“It’s been a long four years but it feels pretty good.”

Graves was attending a recent golf event with a handful of Riggers players when it was mentioned that the team was in need of another body.

“I jokingly said that I feel pretty good and it translated into a practice the next day and now a few games,” he said. “My wife’s not overly excited about the whole thing, but you know what, you should do it while you can because you miss it when it’s gone.

“This might be my last hurrah and this is a great group of guys.”

The Riggers trailed 3-2 when catcher Curtis Mazurkewich approached the plate in the sixth inning and cracked a two-run shot over the right-field fence. From there, the hosts exploded for five runs in the seventh frame, with Jason Louis contributing an RBI single, Kerry Boon smashing a three-run homer to left field and Graves singling home Mazurkewich.

Jaret Chatwood doubled and scored Red Deer’s first run in the fourth inning and Graves hit a solo shot in the fifth.

The Riggers improved to 9-7 with the win and moved into a tie for first place with the Sherwood Park Athletics. St. Albert fell to 8-8.

“This is a big win,” said Graves. “We needed this because the league is tight. This is a change to when I used to play in that the league means a lot more now in terms of provincial weighting. Everyone came to play tonight, it was good to see.”

Josh Edwards worked the first six innings on the Riggers’ mound, giving up three runs on six hits — including a solo homer by Taylor Wiebe — while recording nine strikeouts. Dustin Northcott blanked the Tigers over the final three frames, surrendering just a single hit.

St. Albert starting pitcher Craig Tomas was chased in the seventh inning and reliever Brad Macuch gave up a single run before being replaced by Wiebe, who worked the eighth. Wiebe gave up a double to Chatwood in a scoreless inning.

Northcott surrendered a lead-off single to open the ninth frame, but then fanned the next two batters and watched as Graves went full out for the final out.

“Might as well wrap it up proper,” said Graves, in reference to his defensive play. “It was a fun game to be a part of. I’m just glad to be back.”

• The Riggers kick off their own tournament Friday with a 7:30 p.m. contest against the Tigers.

The Edmonton Confederation Park Cubs meet Sherwood Park at 9:30 a.m. Saturday and the Calgary Cardinals and Tigers follow at noon. From there, the Athletics and Calgary Wolfpack clash at 2:30 p.m., the Cubs and Wolfpack battle at 5 p.m. and the Riggers and Cardinals meet at 7:30 p.m.

The semifinals are set for noon and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, to be followed by the championship game at 5 p.m.

Just Posted

Patrons practice on a putting green as the Whitestone Bridge looms in the distance at Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point in the Bronx borough of New York on Tuesday, May 4, 2021. Former President Donald Trump has a rich history of fighting back when he’s down and making others pay, and that’s exactly how he intends to deal with New York City over its plans to fire his company from running the city golf course. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Dump Trump? Kicking him off NYC golf course may not be easy

Trump Organization has been reeling after the Capitol riots

A photo illustration made December 14, 2012 in Montreal shows a computer in chains. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Irish health system says it’s targeted in ransomware attack

Health care systems have been a target before

A woman wearing a mask talks on her phone near an exhibition depicting a rover in Mars in Beijing on Friday, May 14, 2021. China says its Mars probe and accompanying rover are to land on the red planet sometime between early Saturday morning and Wednesday Beijing time. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
China Mars rover to land between Saturday and Wednesday

Only the United States has successfully landed a spacecraft on Mars

Smoke rises following Israeli airstrikes on a building in Gaza City, Thursday, May 13, 2021. Weary Palestinians are somberly marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, as Hamas and Israel traded more rockets and airstrikes and Jewish-Arab violence raged across Israel. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)
Palestinians flee as Israeli artillery pounds northern Gaza

Israel called up 9,000 reservists as fighting intensifies

Bo’s Bar and Grill owner Brennen Wowk said the hospitality industry is looking for more clarity from the province around what conditions must be met to allow for restaurants reopening. (Advocate file photo)
Frustated restaurant owners want to know government’s reopening plan

Restaurant owners feel they are in lockdown limbo

Team Canada’s head coach Troy Ryan talks with players before the start of the of the Rivalry Series at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, February 3, 2020. Ryan of Spryfield, N.S., has been named head coach of Canada’s women’s hockey team for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Troy Ryan to coach Canadian women’s hockey team in 2022 Winter Olympics

Ryan was Canada’s assistant coach from 2016 to 2019

FILE- In this April 19, 2021, file photo, people wearing masks as a precaution against the coronavirus wait to test for COVID-19 at a hospital in Hyderabad, India. Misinformation about the coronavirus is surging in India as the death toll from COVID-19 rises. Fueled by anguish, distrust and political polarization, the claims are further compounding India’s crisis. (AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A, File)
Misinformation surges amid India’s COVID-19 calamity

Distrust of Western vaccines and health care also driving misinformation

FILE - In this Friday March 6, 2020, file photo, Britain’s Prince Harry visits the Silverstone Circuit, in Towcester, England. In an episode of the “Armchair Expert” podcast broadcast Thursday, May 13, 2021, Prince Harry compared his royal experience to being on “The Truman Show” and “living in a zoo.” (Peter Nicholls/Pool Photo via AP, File)
Prince Harry thought about quitting royal life in his 20s

Feared his family would have to deal with the same spotlight that was on his late mother

Mental health: Gossiping, backbiting and forming factions is unhealthy

We all know of dysfunctional organizations, which can be as troublesome as… Continue reading

Family practice physician Christina Tuomi, D.O., (right) gets Homer's first dose of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine from Emergency Department nurse Steve Hughes (left) on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020 at South Peninsula Hospital in Homer, Alaska. Tuomi has been the hospital's medical lead throughout the pandemic. (Photo courtesy Derotha Ferraro/South Peninsula Hospital)
Alberta physicians: Vaccines are our path forward

As the AMA representatives for Alberta’s family physicians, we were immensely relieved… Continue reading

Vancouver Canucks' Nils Hoglander, right, is checked by Calgary Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom during third-period NHL hockey action in Calgary, Thursday, May 13, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Lindholm, Tkachuk lead Calgary Flames in 4-1 win over Vancouver Canucks

Lindholm, Tkachuk lead Calgary Flames in 4-1 win over Vancouver Canucks

Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine, right, drives to the basket against Toronto Raptors center Khem Birch, left, and guard Jalen Harris during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Chicago, Thursday, May 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
LaVine, Markkanen lead Bulls past Raptors, 114-102

LaVine, Markkanen lead Bulls past Raptors, 114-102

Most Read