Photo by ASHLI BARRETT/Advocate Staff

Riggers open at home with a win

When the Red Deer Stags folded before last season and Kevin Curran moved over to the Red Deer Riggers, it was a perfect fit. Not only can he play a variety of positions in the infield and outfield, he’s an excellent leadoff hitter.

When the Red Deer Stags folded before last season and Kevin Curran moved over to the Red Deer Riggers, it was a perfect fit.

Not only can he play a variety of positions in the infield and outfield, he’s an excellent leadoff hitter.

A example of that was Tuesday when he collected four hits in six trips to the plate as the Riggers came from behind to down the Parkland White Sox 11-4 in their Sunburst Baseball League home opener at Great Chief Park.

“Kevin’s in a good spot for us,” said Riggers playing manager Curtis Bailey. “He has good baseball savvy and understands what it takes to be a good leadoff hitter.”

Curran isn’t one to worry about where he’s at on the field or in the lineup.

“I play wherever they need me,” he said.

The Riggers, who won 9-8 Monday in 10 innings over the Cubs in Edmonton, are 3-0 on the season and have scored 35 runs.

“A lot of guys are getting a lot of at bats, which is good for this time of the season,” said Bailey. “And really it’s funny because we didn’t have a chance to get outside to practice. But the guys have a good approach and good at bats. They’re not swinging at a lot of bad pitches.”

“We have the type of team that can score a lot of runs, plus we’re having a little luck,” said Curran. “The thing is we’re putting the ball in play which is a good thing.”

And while he likes the fact they’re scoring, Bailey likes their outlook even more.

“We’re not taking anything for granted. We’re working to get better.”

The Riggers had their hands full early against Sox starter Brad Michaleski, who held a 4-2 lead after five innings.

“He was around the zone, never anything down the middle,” said Curran. “He was tough, but in the end it was important for us to stay disciplined.

“I’m not sure if he threw a splitter, a fork ball or what, but it was a tough pitch,” added Bailey.

“He threw well and challenged us, which was good.”

The defending league and provincial champion Riggers got to Michaleski in the sixth inning as they scored five runs on six hits, a walk, a hit batter and an error.

Adam Baron came on to get the final out in the sixth, then gave up three runs on four hits in the seventh. The Riggers got their final run off Mark Eggertson in the eighth.

Davin Gulbransen started for the Riggers and gave up unearned runs in the third and fourth and two runs in the fifth when he appeared to be tiring a bit.

Winning pitcher Sean Maquire got the final out in the fifth and allowed a hit in the sixth. Joel Peterman tossed a solid three innings for the save, allowing just two hits while fanning five.

Overall the Riggers managed 19 hits with Shayne Court adding three and Jason Chatwood, Mike Ronnie, Kerry Boon, Bailey and Jason Louis two each. Kyle Radke had a double and a home run for the White Sox.

On Monday the Riggers fell behind 7-0 in the first inning, before battling back behind the pitching of Dustin Northcott and Mark Fay.

Matt Davis started and didn’t get out of the first inning. Northcott came in and threw 4 1/3 innings, allowing two hits and fanning nine.

Fay picked up the win, as he worked five innings, allowing one unearned run on five hits and five strike outs.

Louis and Ronnie had three hits each.

The Riggers visit the Fort Saskatchewan A’s today and are at home next Tuesday when they host the Cubs.

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