It would be easy to overlook what Joel Peterman did for the Red Deer Riggers Tuesday.
Offensively the Riggers collected 17 hits, walked nine times, had one hit batter and were the recipients of three errors as they pounded out a 20-4 victory over the Red Deer Stags in Sunburst Baseball League action at Great Chief Park.
All Peterman did was retire 15 of the last 16 batters he faced and finish with a seven-hitter.
“I finally found my rhythm after the third inning and I was throwing strikes and when I throw strikes I’m effective,” he said.
Peterman gave up two runs in each of the second and third innings. In fact Riggers veteran left-hander James Dykstra was warming up in the third as the Stags had scpred twice and had two runners on and none away. But Peterman managed to strikes out Jamie Duncan and entice Aaron Tweet to hit into a double play and from then on he was rolling.
The only batter to reach base against him the rest of the way was when he walked Dan Zinger with two away in the seventh.
Peterman threw 110 pitches, but didn’t have any thoughts of coming out.
“I was in such a good rhythm my arm felt great,” he said. “He settled in after the third inning and was tough,” said Stags veteran Byron Whitford. “It was a good start for him. He’s battled for them all year and has come in in some tough spots this season and did a good job.”
Peterman, who pitched at Minot State University, changed his arm slot two years ago, going almost underhand. It was a pitch he’s been working on and it appears as if he’s getting more comfortable with it.
“I worked a lot with my pitching coach at college and some of the guys up here have offered some good advise,” said Peterman. “Usually when I tire a bit my ball flattens out, but tonight I had more movement. In fact as the game went on I don’t think they got a hit off me as I was throwing strikes with all my pitches so they couldn’t just look for the fastball.”
Peterman did say he enjoy the way the Riggers bats were producing.
“It’s easy to win a ball game,” he said. “But this team is built on defence and hitting. Our hitting has been awesome of late and our defence was once again outstanding. It’s underrated and is one of the biggest parts of our game.”
That was obvious early on with the game still up for grabs when first baseman Mike Ronnie made a spectacular diving stop of a ball and was able to flip to Peterman to get Kevin Curran.
“That was a great play as was Jason (Chatwood’s) play up the middle,” said Peterman. “When you get defence like that it makes it easier for the pitcher.”
The Riggers scored once in each of the first two innings on starter Jordan Ostrov, then added five runs in the third against Ostrov and Davin Gulbransen.
“Both pitchers (Ostrov and Peterman) were struggling a bit early, but they were hitting the ball real well and we didn’t string together our hits at the right time,” said Whitford.
The Riggers managed to score three runs off Gulbransen over three innings then exploded for 10 runs off rookie right-hander Walker Craig and Dan Zinger in the top of the seventh.
Mike Ronnie continues his hot hitting with a single, two doubles, a triple and six runs batted in while Jason Chatwood had three singles, a double, was hit by a pitch and added three RBIs. Chad Northcott had three singles, a walk and three RBIs and Curtis Mazurkewich had a double, triple, sacrifice fly and two RBIs. Matt Fay had three singles and a walk and Jaret Chatwood a single and two walks.
Curran had two singles and two RBIs and Jason Fraser two singles for the Stags.
The Riggers saw their record increase to 6-2 while the Stags are 2-7 and in a battle with St. Albert and the Parkland White Sox for the fourth and final playoff spot.
“This was a tough game but we’re still in the battle for the playoffs and we face Parkland Saturday (7:30p.m. at Great Chief Park) and St. Albert Tuesday, so those are big games for us,” said Whitford.