Riggers handed first two losses of season

Red Deer team continues to look ahead

The Red Deer Riggers Baseball Club were handed their first two defeats on Sunday against Sherwood Park Athletics and the Confederation Cubs.

The Riggers played a tight 7-8 loss to the Athletics and were right in it against the Cubs until the sixth inning when the Cubs loaded the bases on a Riggers’ throwing error – leading to a two-out grand slam by Athletics’ player Ryan Murphy. The Riggers would eventually fall 7-1 to the Cubs.

“It wasn’t really what we planned with the rain and weather on Saturday,” Riggers’ short-stop Jason Chatwood said. “We had a couple tight games yesterday that we ended up on the wrong end.”

Despite the losses, Chatwood didn’t think the Riggers played too bad, with only a couple mistakes that led to the grand slam against the Cubs.

“We had an chance early on to get out of the inning,” he said. “They found a way to string some runs together and it ended up leading to them hitting a grand slam. It was one of those baseball things where you give someone an extra chance, they end up putting something together. Overall, I feel we played pretty solid for the most part other then a couple spots here and there. I didn’t feel like we were out of the games.”

After starting the season 7-0, Chatwood feels the Riggers can learn from these games and also can also adjust to both the Athletics and Cubs – who they will be competing against all season.

“Both of those teams are off to a good start, which is good because we will see them lots throughout the year,” he said. “When we had such a good start, it is easy for teams to get up to play against us – especially when we were undefeated. They wanted to give us our first losses. We see them enough throughout the year, which gives us a chance to make some adjustments on a couple guys and maybe pitch a couple guys differently.”

He added his team needs to do the, “Same thing as other teams do against us – you have your game plan and you go from there.”

At 7-2, the Riggers are still in the drivers seat of their season according to Chatwood.

“For the most part, I feel like our defence and pitching has been very solid,” he said. “Our hitting has been consistent top to bottom in the line-up. We haven’t had to rely on certain guys – we have had lots of guys come up and get big hits. If you look at our couple losses where our defence is normally sound, we gave up a couple extra outs and that is what hurt us. I felt like our pitchers pitched really good yesterday.”

The game against the Cubs saw the Cubs steal several hits from the Riggers with great fielding plays.

“We had a lot of balls hit very hard that they made some really good plays on. If those go our way, then those games could be a different results,” Chatwood said. “If we get guys on, we can manufacture runs. As a team, we don’t strike out much and we do a good job of getting the ball in play.”

Chatwood added the field crew deserves a lot of credit for ensuring the field was ready for Sunday after the rainy conditions.