Stags 10 Riggers 7
It’s been somewhat of a slow start to the Sunburst Baseball League season for Jason Fraser, but it appears as if he’s over what little slump he had.
Fraser had a three-run home run, a double, a run-scoring fielder’s choice and a pair of walks in leading the Red Deer Stags to a 10-7 victory over the Red Deer Riggers at Great Chief Park Tuesday.
“At the start this season I was putting a little to much pressure on myself and making the game harder than it should be,” explained Fraser.
“I realized I had to sit back and see the ball and not try to force things. Tonight it worked well . . . it’s encouraging for sure.”
Fraser’s home run in the fourth off Riggers reliever Colin Hodgson gave the Stags a 8-1 lead. However the Riggers managed to narrow the gap to 9-7 after eight innings.
“Every time we play them it’s a tough game,” said Fraser, who used to play for the Riggers. “Either team can come up big and beat the other one by double figures. It depends on who shows up. Tonight it went our way.”
It was the third time the two rivals met this season, and the second win for the Stags. The two clash again Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at Great Chief Park in their final regular season meeting.
“We see them a lot early, but it’s a good way to start the season as we get good competition,” said Fraser.
Davin Gulbransen went the distance for the second time against the Riggers, and recorded his second win. The first meeting he threw 150 pitches. Tuesday he finished with 152.
“Davin always give us a chance to win as he’s around the zone,” added Fraser. Riggers manager Curtis Bailey agreed.
“Davin did a good job of keeping the ball away from us and we got a little anxious and lost our focus a bit,” Bailey said. “We didn’t make the adjustments we needed to and we didn’t try to go with the pitch. In fact outside of Jordan (Weinkauf) I don’t think we had an opposite field hit.”
The Riggers also got a little sloppy in the field midway through the game.
“It started with our infield, we weren’t sharp,” said Bailey. “But we settled down a bit as we went along.”
Mark Fay started on the mound for the Riggers, allowing a single run in the first inning and four in the third. Hodgson went the rest of the way.
Fay gave up four hits and walked three. Hodgson allowed eight hits, including three in the ninth and two in the fourth, while walking two and hitting two.
“I think overall it was a positive thing for Colin,” aid Bailey. “He was still a little tight early but once he relaxed he did a much better job of being around the plate. The fact he threw six innings will help him moving on.”
Gulbransen allowed eight hits while walking five and hitting two.
Byron Whitford and Aaron Tweet added three hits each for the Stags. Mike Ronnie had two hits, a walk and was hit once and Weinkauf had a pair of hits for the Riggers.
The Stags are 4-1 while the Riggers slipped to 3-2.