Riggers ready to redeem themselves after tough end to last season

A strange, but disappointing ending to the Sunburst Baseball League final followed by a quarter-final exit at nationals is still fresh in the minds of the Riggers. “It leaves a bitter taste in everybody’s mouth,” said Riggers coach and shortstop Jason Chatwood. “When you lose Game 5 of the playoffs at home.

A strange, but disappointing ending to the Sunburst Baseball League final followed by a quarter-final exit at nationals is still fresh in the minds of the Riggers.

“It leaves a bitter taste in everybody’s mouth,” said Riggers coach and shortstop Jason Chatwood. “When you lose Game 5 of the playoffs at home.

“We went to nationals after and we competed in every game, but I think with the group of guys we have we definitely can medal at the national tournament. We’re capable of being a top four team.”

With the best-of-five league final series tied at two wins each, the Riggers were up 8-7 over the Sherwood Park Athletics with two outs in the top of the eighth inning. But a collision at home plate jarred the ball loose, which would have been the third out.

The call was contested, under Baseball Canada rules the base runner has to slide or make an attempt to miss the catcher, but stood as a run. The A’s scored eight runs that inning and won the game 15-8, winning the series.

“By losing provincials and knowing we’re not going to nationals this year, it makes us want to get right back out there,” said Chatwood. “We want to get that opportunity to play for nationals next year.

“We don’t like losing and losing last year put a sour taste in everybody’s mouth. Guys worked hard during the winter and everyone was excited to get back and see each other. Our goal is to win the league this year.”

At nationals in Nova Scotia, the Riggers finished the round robin with two wins and two losses. They fell to the eventual silver medal winning Quebec team in the quarter-final.

The Riggers have won provincial titles in 2009, 2010, 2013 and in 2014. The A’s will go to nationals this year, while the Riggers will look to avenge last year’s loss.

Chatwood said the roster has kept its core group of guys, with only a few new faces. The hope is to have those new faces spur some competition within the team.

“I think we’re a pretty versatile team,” said Chatwood. “I think we’ll have a really solid offensive lineup top through bottom with a mix of guys who can get on base and have speed and then we definitely have some guys who can hit for power and guys who can get some RBIs.”

Leading the pitching rotation is the right-handed Dustin Northcott and the southpaw Josh Edwards.

“They’ve proven they can be successful in the league,” said Chatwood, adding he thinks the rotation is pretty strong.

“We look to (Northcott and Edwards) a lot and they’re leaders on the staff. Then we have guys who are good out of the bullpen or the spot starters, guys like Davin Gulbransen who have a lot of experience.”

Last year’s coach Curtis Bailey is back with the team as a player. Chatwood admits he will look to Bailey and others at times for coaching help.

The Riggers open the season with two home games, on May 10 and 17 at Great Chief Park starting at 7:30 p.m.. The first game is against the Parkland White Sox and then meet the A’s.

Just Posted

Two men facing charges in alleged abduction

RCMP issued alert for woman on Wednesday morning who was found safe later that day

Red Deer RCMP seek public assistance to identify suspect in indecent acts

Red Deer RCMP are looking for a man believed to be responsible… Continue reading

Rotary clubs host World Polio Day event

City to proclaim World Polio Day in Red Deer

RDC wins big at marketing conference

College won nine awards at the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations Conference

WATCH: Two weeks away from Canadian Finals Rodeo in Red Deer

In just two weeks, Ponoka’s Shayna Weir will compete with the best… Continue reading

Film with Fan Bingbing, Bruce Willis cancelled after tax case

BEIJING — The director of “Air Strike,” featuring Chinese actress Fan Bingbing,… Continue reading

Michael Buble shuts down rumours of retirement from music

LOS ANGELES — Michael Buble is shutting down rumours that he’s going… Continue reading

After Canada legalizes pot, industry eyes rest of the world

MONTREAL — Cam Battley is a top executive at one of Canada’s… Continue reading

Facebook’s election ‘war room’ takes aim at fake information

MENLO PARK, Calif. — In an otherwise innocuous part of Facebook’s expansive… Continue reading

Military to overhaul morale-boosting trips after review finds serious problems

OTTAWA — Canada’s top general is overhauling military morale-boosting tours after an… Continue reading

Police hand out a few hefty fines for allegedly violating Cannabis Act

The celebratory mood that marked the legalization of recreational cannabis lost a… Continue reading

PHOTO: Say goodbye to City Hall Park flowers

A sure sign that winter is on its way is when City… Continue reading

PHOTO: Chew On This! campaign draws attention to national poverty

Lunch bags were being handed out in front of The Hub downtown… Continue reading

Most Read