Stags rally again for win

Just two nights after erasing a large deficit and pulling out a 14-13 win over the Red Deer Riggers, the Red Deer Stags were determined to repeat the feat.

Calgary Redbird Brent Cooper breaks up a double play with a hard slide into Red Deer Stagg second baseman Dan Zinger during Sunburst Baseball League action at Great Chief Park on Thursday. The Stags rallied late to win 9-8.

Calgary Redbird Brent Cooper breaks up a double play with a hard slide into Red Deer Stagg second baseman Dan Zinger during Sunburst Baseball League action at Great Chief Park on Thursday. The Stags rallied late to win 9-8.

Stags 9 Redbirds 8

Just two nights after erasing a large deficit and pulling out a 14-13 win over the Red Deer Riggers, the Red Deer Stags were determined to repeat the feat.

Thursday’s rally wasn’t nearly as long and dramatic, but still resulted in a 9-8 win for the Stags over the Calgary Redbirds in a Sunburst Baseball League game at Great Chief Park.

“It certainly is rewarding to come back like that, but it would be nice to put up some runs earlier,” said Stags playing coach Shaun Connor, who watched his club strike for four runs in the eighth inning for the measure of victory.

“With that being said, our guys just stay in the ball game. We know we have the hitters to do that. If we can make our pitchers just stay in the game and keep it close, we always have a chance.”

The visitors tagged Stags starting pitcher Jordan Reiter for six runs through the first six innings, then scored two more off James Carr in the seventh for an 8-4 lead.

But the host squad got one back in the bottom of the seventh and after Carr shut the Redbirds down in the top of the eighth, scored four times on a bases-loaded throwing error and a two-run double from Byron Whitford.

Carr picked up the win as the Stags improved to 4-4 in league play.

“James threw really well,” said Connor, who stroked a two-run double in the fourth inning. “I really liked what I saw of him today. His stuff was very good.”

Whitford was four-for-four on the night with two doubles and two singles, while Jason Fraser aided the Stags’ cause with a pair of singles.

The Redbirds, who used Tom Gayef and Adam Tedesco on the mound, never managed an extra-base hit. Tyler Warner had three singles and Evan Gerwing and Caleb Smith each stroked a pair for the visitors.

The second positive result in as many games was extra gratifying for Connor, considering the Stags fell flat in their own tournament last weekend.

“We had to hit the reset button a couple of games ago because we weren’t playing together. We didn’t have a group focus,” he said.

“The last two games have been a lot better for us. We still have to minimize some runs out there but I just like the team morale a little better now. Guys are picking each other up and just staying in the ball game, they’re keeping the intensity up all the way through. Like I said, I know we have the guys who can put up runs in bunches at any time.”