Red Deer 6 St. Albert 4
Up until Tuesday Ryley Doig had yet to play a higher level of baseball than for the U18 Tier I Red Deer CarStar Braves.
But at Gulls Stadium in Sylvan Lake Tuesday evening Doig suited up for his hometown Red Deer Riggers for his first taste of Sunburst League action.
The Grade 12 ball player went one for three from the batter’s box and started in centre field to help the Riggers claim the season opener with a 6-4 win over the St. Albert Tigers.
Doig explained after he was approached by Riggers manager Jaret Chatwood he agreed to play for the team whenever they need him.
And on his debut, Doig said he noticed a difference in the competition level when he suited up with the Braves in the Baseball Alberta Elite League.
“There’s higher quality pitching. It’s just better fastballs and off-speed pitches,” he said.
Last year Doig was one of the Braves’ top hitters and helped lead them to the provincial championships but lost in the final. He hopes to carry on his success at the plate for both the Braves and the Riggers.
“I’m hoping to grow on it, get better every day, and have a better year than last year,” Doig said.
“That winning culture just seems to be with the Braves the last few years so we’re hoping to grow on it and go all the way this year.”
When he’s not on the field playing the game he loves Doig is working with the coaches at the St. Joseph Baseball Academy in Red Deer. Doig added that the coaches at the academy have been a big help in his development.
“The coaches there Scott and Jason they’re top tier. They’ll make you better in every possible way including defence and hitting. I owe a lot to them,” he said.
He plans to put everything he’s learned about baseball in Red Deer to the test next year when he’s playing for the Big Bend Community College Vikings in Moses Lake, Wash.
He said he committed to the college after they offered him a spot for the next season. The opportunity came to fruition after his coaches at the academy helped get his name out.
“The coaches there saw me and liked me. I also have two teammates that were on the Braves last year who are down there. So I’ve got some buddies and it should be good,” he said.
What keeps him passionate about the game is almost everything about it but explained playing with his teammates is one of the best parts.
“You get to come out with guys who you spend your time with every day, have fun, hit balls, you know just do everything you want to.”