Riggers 21 Athletics 12
It was a slugfest between two heavyweights Tuesday night at Great Chief Park.
The Red Deer Riggers and Sherwood Park Athletics put on a hit parade in Sunburst Baseball League play, with the home side picking up a 21-12 victory. The two teams combined for 27 hits and 23 runs through just the first five innings.
”Fairly offensive on both sides, there were things on both ends– you don’t like to give up that many but you’re happy with what we produced on the offensive side as well,” said Riggers coach/ shortstop Jason Chatwood, who had had five hits and six RBIs in the win.
“Early, you get one that falls in and I think I had runners on base so obviously that played into it. Not trying to do too much. Hit some balls that fall. Sometimes things go your way.”
The Riggers offensive machine was truly churning in the win, with five runs two of the first three innings and eight in the eighth. They had to play catch-up in the seesaw battle, but the veteran squad just continued to chip away like they always do.
“We try not to have too many highs and too many lows. As you mature you understand that lots can happen like you saw tonight. You get up for these games against these guys,” Chatwood added.
“Maturity is huge and pitchers come in and battle, even when they don’t have their best stuff. All you can ask for.”
Red Deer scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the eighth when Ty Russell lifted a fly ball to right field that was misplayed by the Athletics. Russell broke the game open and cashed another three runs with an RBI double in the bottom of the eighth. Red Deer notched eight runs in the eighth.
Sherwood Park’s Nick Drews knocked in a pair in the top of the first and the troubles continued on the mound for Red Deer most of the night.
The Chatwood brothers got the home side on the board in the second inning, and the Riggers suddenly looked in control.
A bases-loaded, three-RBI double from Jason, followed by an RBI single from Jaret had Red Deer comfortably ahead 5-2 after two innings.
Riggers pitcher Wyle Cunningham couldn’t escape some erratic command in the third inning after he walked four and allowed two runs without recording an out.
Chad Price entered the game for Red Deer and promptly gave up a pair of base hits that scored three A’s runners and pushed the visitors ahead 8-5.
Cody Pendergast and Tanner Babiuk had RBI singles in the third for Sherwood Park, while Curtis Babiuk knocked in two more runners.
Jason Chatwood continued the offensive onslaught with his third hit of the night in the third inning. He laced a one-out, two-RBI double down the third base line to tie the game at eight.
Jason Louis pushed the Riggers back in front with yet another RBI double.
After the Athletics pushed across three more runs in the fourth, Louis and Chatwood each had RBI singles in the bottom half to restore the advantage.
Athletics’ Cole Schneider tied the game at 12 with an RBI single in the seventh inning.
Riggers outfielder Shayne Court singled home an insurance run in the eighth.
Davin Gulbransen earned the win on the mound for the Riggers.
With a loss Monday to the Confederation Park Cubs, Chatwood also noted that with only four teams it’s familiar battle every time out this season.
“I think you get to a point where you start to know the guys really well. You start to see some tendencies. You see teams almost once every other week so you build that rivalry with everybody,” he said.
“It’s nice because it’s competitive and it’s going to be close, you can’t take anyone lightly. Everybody has beat everybody. You have to show up and if you don’t, good chance you’re going to get beat.”
Red Deer is back on the diamond June 12 when they host the Confederation Park Cubs.