Riggers 14 Stags 3
Mark Fay knew when he joined the Red Deer Riggers this season he’d have to prove he deserved playing time.
So far so good.
Fay collected a hit in his first at bat in the Riggers’ first game of the Sunburst Baseball League season last Thursday — a 10-7 loss to the Red Deer Stags — then he worked three perfect innings and picked up the win in a 14-3 victory over the Stags at Great Chief Park Tuesday.
“I knew I had to prove myself and make a push to show I was ready to play and I couldn’t be happier with the way it’s worked out,” said Fay, who also knew he’d get an opportunity to pitch a lot this season.
“I thought I would as I pitched a lot last year (with the Red Deer Midget AAA Carstar Braves).”
Fay came in to start the fourth inning with the Riggers holding a 12-1 lead.
“I was still nervous, eventhough we had a big lead,” he said. “It was my first outing of the year and I had to stay within myself.”
He did just that.
“I’m not a big strikeout pitcher, but I try to be around the plate and throw ground balls,” he explained.
Fay got five fly outs and four ground outs in the nine batters he faced.
“Nine up and nine down, you couldn’t ask for anything more,” said Riggers manager Curtis Bailey. “He didn’t throw that hard, but he was around the zone.”
Bailey knew coming into the season Fay, who threw the most innings for the Braves last year, would see duty on the mound as well as in the outfield.
“We knew he was a guy who could play all over and the way our pitching is this year we need everyone to throw some. He’ll just have a bigger role than some and will probably start some games and eat up innings.”
Despite the three hitless innings, Fay knew the Stags were no pushovers.
“They have a lot of skill, more than I faced in midget, but I also had a lot of skill behind me.”
Mark is one of three brothers on the Riggers joining Matt and Alex.
“It’s kind of weird with us all being together,” said Mark. “I used to be a bat boy for them.”
Brent Lazzarotto started on the mound for the Riggers, allowing a run, three hits, two walks and hit a batter.
Jaret Chatwood pitched the seventh inning, allowing two runs on one hit and two walks.
Scott Trapp, who also played with the Braves last season, started for the Stags and gave up 11 runs, including eight in the second inning, on 12 hits.
“We needed to see what the young kid could do and while he struggled some we didn’t help him either,” said Stags manager Dan Zinger.
“He certainly deserved a better fate. That second inning we gave up eight runs, but it should have more like three or four. Our infielders have to catch the ball.”
The Riggers got a couple of breaks in the innings, with bad hop singles, but they also stroked the ball with authority when they got a chance.
“We did get a few breaks, but overall we hit the ball solidly,” said Bailey.
Tim Dell replaced Trapp with two on and none away in the third inning and he went the rest of the way, allowing three hits and three runs.
Jason Chatwood had a single and solo home run while also being hit twice for the Riggers while Jaret Chatwood, Kerry Boon, Shayne Court and Denver Wik added two hits each.
The two teams play each other twice more next week — Tuesday and Thursday at 7:30, p.m. at Great Chief Park. The Riggers play the St. Albert Tigers Orange Saturday in St. Albert and the Stags play the Orange Sunday in St. Albert.