The Red Deer Riggers faced their first bit of adversity on the weekend with back-t0-back losses Sunday at home in the Sunburst Senior AAA Baseball League tournament.
After games were completely washed out Saturday, the Riggers took on the Sherwood Park Athletics at Great Chief Park and came up short in an 8-7 loss. It was the first defeat of the season for the Riggers. They followed that with a 7-1 loss against the Confederation Park Cubs.
Red Deer battled back and forth with the A’s, but down 7-4 in the sixth, tied the game at seven. Sherwood Park squeaked out a run in the top of the seventh to win the game.
Sunday evening was another battle for the Riggers, but a grand slam by Ryan Murphy in the sixth and a few bounces going against Red Deer made the difference.
“Their pitcher threw really good and they had some big hits in big spots and we hit some balls hard right at guys,” shortstop and coach Jason Chatwood said.
Josh Edwards struck out five in five innings of work in the 7-1 loss for Red Deer.
The intricacies of a seven inning game, since the Riggers usually play nine, came into play for the home side at the tournament. They were forced into a few abnormal hitting situations, including asking five hitter Curtis Mazurkewich to drop down a bunt late in the game two.
“It’s a faster pace and you’re doing things you don’t normally do in a nine inning game, you’re trying to force runs especially if you’re down…just tough and they played good too,” Chatwood said.
Chatwood admitted in nine innings their offence has more time to get into a groove, but with seven inning games at nationals later this summer, they need to get used to that sooner rather than later.
“Tough weekend at home,” he said. “Just came up on the wrong end of a couple games. We were in both games. That seven inning ball game, it’s different and you have to score early and often. If you don’t, one bad inning and it’s too little too late.”