One thing was guaranteed following the final day of round-robin play at the provincial senior AAA baseball championships Saturday at Great Chief Park — there will be a Red Deer team in the final.
The Red Deer Riggers and Stags both posted 4-2 records, which left them in a tie for second behind the 6-0 Fort Saskatchewan A’s and set up a meeting in the 1 p.m. semifinal.
The A’s take on the 3-3 Calgary Redbirds in the 10 a.m. semifinal with the winners meeting at 4 p.m.
The Riggers won twice Saturday, beating the St. Albert Tabbies 8-4 and edging the Calgary Cardinals 5-3 in an extra inning.
The Stags lost 15-5 to the A’s before beating the St. Albert Tigers 9-2.
The Riggers had their hands full in both games, scoring four times in the top of the sixth to break a 4-4 tie with the Tabbies, then scoring once in the sixth to tie the Cards before winning in the eighth.
“A lot of stress in those two games,” said Riggers manager Curtis Bailey. “If we lose we could have been out.”
The Riggers used their younger pitchers Saturday. Colin Hodgson started against the Tabbies and allowed four runs on four hits over 3 1/3 innings. Mac Girodat worked a scoreless 2 1/3 innings before Delton Kruk came on to get the final four outs.
Denver Wik led the offence with a pair of hits and three RBIs while Aaron Graves had three hits and Jason and Jaret Chatwood two each.
The Riggers had their hands full with Cards starter Tom Sidorkewicz, who pitched all eight innings. The Red Deer scored once in each of the first two innings to led 2-0, but the Cards got to Riggers starter Tyler Dunsmore for a run in the second and two in the third.
Dunsmore went five innings, allowing the three runs on six hits. Jaret Chatwood went the final three innings, allowing one hit each inning.
Jaret also started the winning rally with a double in the top of the eighth. Wik moved him to third and then with two out Matt Fay lined a single up the middle and stole second from where he scored on a throwing error on Kruk’s grounder.
“A great effort by Jaret, in fact both our young pitchers,” said Bailey. “They gave us a chance to win and that’s all you can ask.”
Fay and Jaret Chatwood had two hits each.
Fort Saskatchewan scored five times in the fourth against James Carr and Travis Guynup to snap a 2-2 tie with the Stags.
But the Stags, behind left-hander Josh Edwards, controlled the game against the Tigers, scoring once in the first, five in the fourth and three in the fifth.
“We were able to take care of business when we needed to and got to where we wanted to be,” said Stags manager Dan Zinger. “I was upset this morning, but we didn’t get the pitching against a very good team.”
Zinger decided Saturday morning to go with Edwards against the Tigers, 0-6, rather than the A’s.
“We felt Eddy was a better match up against the Tigers,” he said. “It was a good decision as a team.”
Edwards allowed two runs on four hits.
Byron Whitford had two singles and a double, Jordan Reiter a single and a double and Kevin Curran two singles.
The Redbirds grabbed fourth by beating the Tigers and losing to the A’s Saturday.