The Red Deer Riggers Baseball Club finally managed to score some luck with the weather and were able to get back on the diamond for the St. Albert Tigers Tournament last weekend. The Riggers’ previous two games were cancelled after high winds in Red Deer last week and a rain-out in Sherwood Park the week prior.
“It was a good weekend overall,” Short-stop Jason Chatwood said. “It was an eight team tournament with two pools of four. The top team out of each pool made the finals.”
The Riggers were pooled alongside the Edmonton Cardinals, South Jasper Place Jays and the Sherwood Park Athletics. The Riggers realized immediately what the tournament was going to come down to.
“Once we got the schedule and once we knew that once we were put in the same pool as Sherwood Park, we had a pretty good idea that would be the deciding game,” Chatwood said. “It kind of was. We ended up losing 2-1 in extra innings.”
The Athletics would go on to win the Tigers Championship, meaning the deciding game of the tournament was against the Riggers.
“I have to say our game definitely seemed like the finals, even though it technically wasn’t,” Chatwood said. “We really can’t be disappointed losing 2-1. It was a pitchers duel and Dustin Northcott threw a heck of a game. Their guy threw an awesome game too. We just couldn’t find a way to scratch that one run across.”
The Riggers took the Athletics right to the wire, but extra innings can often be a coin flip – especially when both teams are excelling defensively.
“Once you get into extra innings, anything can happen,” Chatwood said. “We had a couple chances with runners on base and it just didn’t work out. They got a guy on and he found a way to score.”
The Riggers ended up finishing the tournament above .500 at 2-1, however only the top-seed team from each pool advanced to the final. Chatwood spoke about the elite competition throughout their league.
“It is good to be competitive and have some tight games,” he said. “The teams have some good pitching and it seems like anyone can beat anyone every night. It makes us get better.”
The Riggers are hoping to get back to a regular schedule after not throwing the ball competitively for two weeks.
“Next week we play Tuesday, Thursday and we will be pretty consistent with league games after that up to our tournament which is the July 21st-23rd weekend,” Chatwood said. “It is going to be good, we have six confirmed teams and we are waiting to hear from a couple more. We are looking to have an eight team tournament. “
Chatwood is excited for his team to bring in some of the best baseball teams in the province.
“We have had good success in the past with good ball all throughout the day,” he said. “Prices are good, there is usually beer sales and concessions. It is usually a really good weekend and in the past Red Deer Minor Ball has had some games going on at the same time. It is good ball and if we get good weather, it is a great weekend down at Great Chief Park.”