Stags 10 Riggers 9
Now that the Red Deer Stags have won their season series with their city rivals, they can look ahead to even bigger and better things such as more games against other Sunburst Baseball League opponents.
The Stags rallied from a 9-4 deficit to slip past the Red Deer Riggers 10-9 Thursday at Great Chief Park, improving their league record to 5-1. The Riggers fell to 3-3.
The Red Deer squads wrapped up their season series in the process, with the Stags winning three of four outings. Both clubs swept a doubleheader from the St. Albert Orange Tigers last weekend.
“It’s a bit of a new scheduling thing with the league,” said Stags veteran first baseman Shaun Connor, in reference to the fact the two Red Deer squads met each other four times in the first two weeks of the season. “The league is trying to make it more travel efficient for teams. We did see them (Riggers) a lot early but it’s also good competition early in the season and it gets the guys going.”
Connor, who played his first full game of the season Thursday after returning from an injury, likes what he sees in the 2011 version of the Stags.
“We’ve got a good group with a lot of experience down the lineup,” he said. “Guys have been here awhile and obviously we have guys who can hit up and down the lineup.
“We’re off to a good start. We’re 5-1 and took the (season) series from the Riggers and that’s no small feat. These were also well-contested ball games.”
The Stags trailed 9-4 heading into the bottom of sixth inning, then plated five runs off Riggers starting pitcher Joel Peterman. Jason Fraser contributed a two-run single and Connor cracked an RBI double, his second of the game.
Dan Zinger’s double to shallow right field off Riggers reliever Jaret Chatwood drove in the winning run in the eighth inning.
Jordan Reiter started on the Stags mound and was relieved by Scott Trapp, who came up big for the winners.
“Scott did a really good job of shutting the door in those middle innings. He gave us a really good chance to win, so all props to him for doing that,” said Connor. “That’s just it — if we can shut guys down in the middle innings we’re always going to be in the game, especially when we’re the home team with that last bat. We didn’t need it tonight but we were right there and Scott did an amazing job coming in with a couple of guys on (base).”
Tim Dell worked the final three innings for the Stags and was rewarded with the win.
Zinger was three-for-four at the plate with two RBI. For the Riggers, Mike Ronnie cracked a triple and drove in three runs.
The Riggers are home to the St. Albert Tigers Orange Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. The Stags’ next home game is June 23 versus the Tigers Orange.