Photo by JEFF STOKOE/Advocate staff------Riggers------Red Deer Rigger Denver Wik gets the force out on St. Albert Tiger Dan Curtis. Wik’s throw to first did not get to the base quick enough to make the second inning double play however during men’s baseball action at Great Chief Park Tuesday.

Photo by JEFF STOKOE/Advocate staff------Riggers------Red Deer Rigger Denver Wik gets the force out on St. Albert Tiger Dan Curtis. Wik’s throw to first did not get to the base quick enough to make the second inning double play however during men’s baseball action at Great Chief Park Tuesday.

Riggers rough up St. Albert Tigers

He’s not as busy as in past seasons, but Davin Gulbransen isn’t complaining. The veteran pitcher joined the Red Deer Riggers this spring after a dozen years as a player/co-coach with the Red Deer Stags, who officially ceased operations last December. Now he’s one of eight pitchers on a deep Riggers staff and is no longer handling coaching and managing duties.

Riggers 12 Tigers 4

He’s not as busy as in past seasons, but Davin Gulbransen isn’t complaining.

The veteran pitcher joined the Red Deer Riggers this spring after a dozen years as a player/co-coach with the Red Deer Stags, who officially ceased operations last December.

Now he’s one of eight pitchers on a deep Riggers staff and is no longer handling coaching and managing duties.

“Part of that (coaching) I miss, but really, I enjoy just being a player again,” Gulbransen said Tuesday after the Riggers skinned the St. Albert Tigers 12-4 in a Sunburst Baseball League game at Great Chief Park.

“After 12 years of kind of co-running the Stags with (Dan) Zinger, it’s been nice to step back and let someone else do that here.”

Gulbransen was with the Riggers for six years in the ‘90s before he and Zinger co-founded the Stags in 2001, four years after both played for two seasons in Sweden.

Gulbransen rejoined the Riggers for various tournaments and Canadian senior championships over the years and now he’s back on board full-time. The transition, he insisted, was smooth.

“It’s been a long time since the rivalry between the Stags and Riggers was ugly,” he said. “Over the last several years it was a fun rivalry. It was kind of like brothers growing up, where you always want to beat each other but at the same time you’re cheering for them if they’re playing somebody else

“There was a lot of good friendships on both sides. It was really easy to fit in here. It’s just a really good bunch of guys and we’re really having a great time. I know the three of us ex-Stags are having a great time.”

Gulbransen, who came over from the Stags with Kevin Curran and Byron Whitford, hasn’t been over-worked in his first season back with the SBL front-running Riggers, who improved to 6-2 with Tuesday’s victory.

In fact . . .

“The adjustment is going from pitching too much to trying to get innings in,” said the starter/reliever. “But this is about the deepest staff I’ve ever been a part of. We’ve got eight college-quality arms.

“You can’t get upset about your playing time because you look down the bench and there’s seven other legitimate arms. Some of the best pitchers in the province are on this team.”

The Riggers erupted for four runs in the third inning, then added three more in the fourth and two more in each of the fifth and sixth innings.

Jason Chatwood led off the seventh with a double and came home on Brant Stickel’s single to right field to conclude the contest due to the eight-run mercy rule after seven frames.

Chatwood was three-for-five at the plate with a double, triple and two RBIs, while Mike Ronnie drove in three runs with a two-for-four performance and Kerry Boon was three-for-four while knocking in a pair of runs. Shayne Court and Matt Fay, who stroked a double, each added a pair of hits for the winners.

The Riggers roughed up Tigers starting pitcher Craig Thomas for 15 hits and nine runs — although just four earned — over five and two-thirds innings. Mike Johnson got the final out in the sixth before giving up the decisive run in the seventh.

Dustin Northcott started on the Riggers mound and was touched for four runs — all in the fourth inning — on four hits. Joel Peterman worked the final three frames and blanked the visitors on two hits.

The Riggers are slated to visit St. Albert Thursday, with their next home game scheduled for July 2 versus the Edmonton Cubs.