ST. ALBERT — The Red Deer Stags coughed up five runs in the top of the seventh inning and fell 10-7 to the host Tigers in Sunday’s championship final of the St. Albert men’s baseball tournament.
“We were in pretty good shape and then we made some defensive errors and things just kind of got away on us,” said Stags co-coach and pitcher Davin Gulbransen.
Drew Taddia stroked a double for the Stags, with Adam Eisenbarth contributing a single and double and Shaun Connor cracking a grand slam home run. Chad Marchand took the loss, giving up two earned runs on four hits in the final two innings while recording two strikeouts.
James Carr started and went three innings, surrendering four earned runs on three hits while fanning one batter and walking five, and Gulbransen tossed two scoreless frames.
The Stags knocked off the Red Deer Riggers 7-6 in a semifinal as Taddia had three singles and Eisenbarth had a single, two doubles and drove in three runs.
Connor and Justin Dickson each stroked a double for the winners, as Gulbransen worked six innings for the win — allowing four earned runs on five hits while posting four strikeouts — and Carr mopped up.
Delton Kruk slugged a home run for the Riggers, while Mike Ronnie drove in a run and Kerry Boon had two hits.
The Stags opened the tournament with a 9-5 loss to the host Tigers on Friday.
Carr started the game, allowing just three runs in five innings on six hits and seven walks while striking out one. Rob Boik came in and gave up six runs over the final two innings.
On Saturday the Stags found their game and beat the Parkland White Sox in their morning match.
Marchand went the distance on the mound, allowing one unearned run on six hits and four walks while striking out one.
Carr led the Stags offence with a monster solo home run to left centre, his first of the season.
“He doesn’t hit too often because he’s a pitcher, but few people swing harder,” said Gulbransen.
Eisenbarth added an RBI double while Jordan Reiter had two singles and Taddia had three steals.
The Stags carried that momentum over into the evening when they beat the Calgary Redbirds 4-2.
Gulbransen pitched a complete game, giving up two runs on six hits while striking out four.
Reiter led the Stags at the plate with two doubles and a single while Taddia, Eisenbarth, Dan Zinger and Connor all chipped in with singles.