Riggers soaked 11-1 by Fort Saskatchewan

As it turned out, the weatherman didn’t do the Red Deer Riggers any favours Tuesday.

Red Deer Rigger Denver Wik during the disastrous fourth inning when the Riggers gave up six runs Tuesday.

Red Deer Rigger Denver Wik during the disastrous fourth inning when the Riggers gave up six runs Tuesday.

Athletics 11 Riggers 1

As it turned out, the weatherman didn’t do the Red Deer Riggers any favours Tuesday.

The forecast called for rain all day, but the skies cleared in the early afternoon and the Riggers’ scheduled Sunburst Baseball League date with the visiting Fort Saskatchewan Athletics was on.

Too bad for the local side, as the defending Canadian senior men’s champion Athletics cruised to an 11-1 victory in an evening engagement at Great Chief Park.

The game was called after eight innings due to the mercy rule.

The A’s broke the game open with six runs in the fourth inning on four hits and a pair of walks. Riggers starting pitcher Colin Hodgson visibly wore down and was replaced by Mac Girodat in the big inning, and Delton Kruk worked the final three frames for Red Deer.

“This was our third game in four days and we came out a little flat, obviously,” said Riggers playing coach Curtis Bailey.

“Colin has been hurt and he wanted to throw about 60 pitches tonight, but he started getting tired. I don’t think he was mentally ready to come in and throw strikes. He struggled down in the zone, especially in the fourth inning.”

Still, the game was scoreless until the visitors suddenly put a half dozen runs on the board. Athletics starter Cory Kokotailo blanked the Riggers through six innings before handing the ball to reliever James Fischer, who surrendered Red Deer’s lone run in the eighth inning.

“We’ve played against ‘Koko’ for a lot of years. Most of our guys have seen him four or five times,” said Bailey, in reference to the Fort Saskatchewan starter.

“He doesn’t do anything special, but he’ll make you get yourself out before he’ll get you out.

“I think we got a little anxious at the plate and it showed. We’d get two hits in a row and then it would be pop-up, pop-up, ground out. We just couldn’t string many hits together.”

Jordan Weinkauf’s RBI single finally got the Riggers on the board, but the Athletics had already plated four runs in the top of the eighth to erase all thoughts of a comeback.

Bailey, with a second-inning double, had the only extra-base hit for the Riggers, who fell to 3-3-1 in league play and will face the Redbirds Thursday in Calgary before participating in the St. Albert Tigers tournament starting Friday.

“We’re looking at a minimum of three games and possibly five over three or four days,” said Bailey. “That’s a lot of baseball.”

The Riggers probably won’t feel nearly as worn heading into St. Albert if they can beat the Redbirds Thursday night.

“We’d like to get our bats going in Calgary and establish a good mood amongst the guys . . . have everyone feeling like they’re working together,” said Bailey.

“If we can go into the tournament feeling that way we should be all right.”

Justin Vion paced the Athletics with three hits, while Henry Duke contributed two, including a double.

gmeachem@bprda.wpengine.com