Riggers’ Mark Fay busy and loving it

It’s been a busy, yet enjoyable year for Mark Fay. The second-year member of the Red Deer Riggers is also playing football with the Central Alberta Buccaneers of the Alberta Football League. “It’s a bit of a juggling act, but I do what I can do and it’s been awesome so far,” he said following the Riggers 8-3 win over the Parkland White Sox in Sunburst Baseball League play at Great Chief Park Tuesday.

Riggers 8 White Sox 3

It’s been a busy, yet enjoyable year for Mark Fay.

The second-year member of the Red Deer Riggers is also playing football with the Central Alberta Buccaneers of the Alberta Football League.

“It’s a bit of a juggling act, but I do what I can do and it’s been awesome so far,” he said following the Riggers 8-3 win over the Parkland White Sox in Sunburst Baseball League play at Great Chief Park Tuesday.

Fay played football in high school at Lindsay Thurber, but took last year off to concentrate on baseball.

“It was good as I got to know the guys and now I’m a lot more comfortable and over the transition stage. Now I’m just playing ball and not worrying about fitting in.”

While he enjoys baseball he admits he missed football.

“The football guys have been egging me on since high school and I missed it to much to stay away,” said Fay, who plays corner for the Bucs. “So I decided to play a year and see if it takes me anywhere. Possibly I could play at the U of A. I’m glad I came back.”

Fay did attend the junior Edmonton Wildcats camp, but didn’t feel it was the right fit.

“It’s too much of a commitment with all the others things,” he said. “The university will be a commitment as well, but you focus more on your academics and that’s the main thing. Plus I can still play baseball in the summer.”

Fay has finished two years at RDC in kinesiology.

The 19-year-old will miss the Buccaneers final regular season game Saturday as he’ll be with the Riggers in Kamloops.

“But we have at least one playoff game,” he said.

His only disappointment on the football front this season came last Saturday when the Edmonton Army forfeited their game to the Bucs. It was to be the opening game of the new artificial turf in Lacombe.

“That was a big disappointment. I was ready, then at the last second they called and defaulted.”

Fay was in the starting lineup in left field for the Riggers Tuesday and was two-for-three with a walk and scored twice. He pitched a scoreless, hitless ninth inning in relief of starter Joel Peterman.

“It was nice to contribute,” said Fay, who hit eighth and along with Shayne Court, who batted ninth, collected four of the Riggers 11 hits, scored three times and drove in three runs. Court had two RBIs, a single, double and sacrifice fly.

“It was nice that we could work our way around the bases,” said Fay. “There were a few hit and runs and stolen bases . . . it worked out well.”

Peterman, who threw 130 pitches, won for the second straight game as he allowed two earned runs while scattering nine hits, walking four and fanning four.

“He’s been good for us,” said Fay. “He’s found his rhythm and when he’s throwing strikes he’s tough.”

And the team continues to play well, at the plate and on defence. Once again they turned in a pair of spectacular defensive plays as second baseman Denver Wik ranged far to his left to snare a lopping line drive in the first inning and right-fielder Jaret Chatwood made a outstanding diving catch to end the seventh inning with two men on.

“Right now we’re playing loose and that’s when we play our best,” said Fay.

Wik added a pair of hits for the Riggers while Matt Fay had a single, was hit once and walked. Jason Chatwood singled and walked twice while Curtis Mazurkewich had a single and a walk.

The Riggers open play in the Kamloops tournament Thursday at 3:30 p.m. (MDT) against the Northwest Honkers. They clash with Everett Friday at 12:45 p.m. and the host Kamloops squad Saturday at 10 a.m.

They play Tuesday in St. Albert and return home July 24 against Fort Saskatchewan. The Red Deer Stags are at home Thursday when they host Fort Saskatchewan at 7:30 p.m.

drode@bprda.wpengine.com