Davis fitting in with Riggers

The Red Deer Riggers knew heading into the season they had to add to their pitching staff.

Red Deer Stags’ Shaun Connor

Red Deer Stags’ Shaun Connor

Riggers 11 Stags 6

The Red Deer Riggers knew heading into the season they had to add to their pitching staff.

That was accomplished when left-hander Matt Davis graduated from of the Red Deer Carstar Braves and agreed to join the defending provincial senior A champions.

“He’s been a real good addition and had thrown well for us,” said Riggers manager Curtis Bailey following the Riggers 11-6 win over the Red Deer Stags in Sunburst Baseball League action at Great Chief Park Tuesday.

The Riggers have been a nice fit for Davis as well.

“A great group of guys and I was accepted right away,” he said.

“But then I’ve known a lot of the guys coming up through minor baseball and Matt and Alex Fay were my coaches in minor ball.

“It’s nice to come in and see the guys you haven’t seen for a while as they’ve been away to school in the States.”

Davis received a scholarship to Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo, which plays in the CCBC league.

As a rookie with VIU Davis wasn’t sure how much he’d throw this season.

“But I was pleased with the amount I pitched and the season went well as we beat Thompson River University (of Kamloops) for the league championship,” he said.

Davis also didn’t know how much he’d throw for the Riggers either, plus he only expected to see playing time on the mound.

He’s taken a regular turn on the mound and also saw some playing time in the field,.

“In fact my first game they started me at first base . . . that’s something I hadn’t done for a while, but it was great.”

Davis stepped onto the Riggers at the perfect time as they head to the Canadian championships in Dartmouth, N.S., at the end of August.

“That’s something I’m looking forward to, but we have other things to worry about first,” he said. “And it is first-things-first.”

The Riggers have their tournament this weekend, then face the Stags in the league playoffs next week — likely Wednesday — then it’s the provincial playoffs, Aug. 6-8 in St. Albert.

Davis, who came in for starting pitcher Colin Hodgson in the fourth, picked up the win Tuesday, tossing three innings of two-hit ball. He allowed an unearned run in the sixth.

Hodgson gave up two runs in the first and scattered four hits while Joel Peterman came on to throw the seventh and eighth innings, allowing a pair of unearned runs in the eighth. Brent Lazzarotto pitched the ninth.

“It was good to get several guys some innings and we also got everyone into the game, which is important at this time of the year,” said Bailey.

The Stags also used three pitchers with Jordan Reiter starting and allowing seven runs over four innings. Nick Ryan worked into the sixth and left with the bases loaded and none away. Colin Amendt came on and the Riggers managed to score three times in the sixth and one in the eighth on the rookie right-hander.

“It was nice to get everyone some playing time and for some of the pitchers who don’t throw that much to get some innings as we head toward the Riggers tournament and the provincials,” said Stags co-manager Shawn Connor.

Mike Ronnie had a pair of singles and a double for the Riggers while Matt Fay singled and walked four times. Denver Wik, Jaret Chatwood and Delton Kruk had two singles and a walk each while Jason Chatwood had a single, two walks and was hit by a pitch.

Connor had a single, double and a walk for the Stags with Dan Zinger adding two singles and Kevin Curran a single and two walks.