The Red Deer Riggers have things going their way in the Sunburst Baseball League at this point and it’s a run which veterans of the team can’t recall ever seeing before.
“The guys have been asking about that,” said Coach Curtis Bailey, who has been with the Riggers for more than two decades now. “I know we’ve won like nine or 10 games but I don’t know if we’ve ever won 14 though.”
At this point, the Riggers sit on top on the league with a pristine 14-0 record and their next closest rival would be the Fort Saskatchewan A’s who sport a 6-8 won/loss record.
Bailey said in years past the Riggers might drop a game or two when someone might not get a key hit or make a play in the field.
This year, this veteran group of players is hitting on all cylinders in the field or at the plate.
“No one is panicking about it. It’s like, we’re down two runs, okay we’ll go score four and no one’s over anxious about it, they’re very calm, good demeanor on the bench and things work for us.”
The elephant in the dugout moving forward is the zero in the loss column but Bailey said the focus of this group is so keen it shouldn’t be a distraction as they march towards another league and provincial title.
“We are trying to take it one game at a time, trying to stay focused each at bat, each inning, each pitch, almost like playing in the moment of here’s what we’re doing now, here’s what we need to do and we’re doing it.”
There is no definitive record for wins in one season in the Sunburst league said Bailey because the schedule has changed over the years with some season’s composed of 25 games and others setup as a 20 game schedule like this year.
“I don’t know but if we went undefeated I think that would be a record of some sort,” said Bailey. “But really, if we get down to nationals or even provincials and we don’t win, what’s the point right?”
He said the Riggers have a good blend of young and old in comparison to other teams in the Sunburst league and that’s a real advantage as well.
Bailey said while a perfect year would be something to remember, it’s not something which the players dwell on during a game.
“We just want to go out and do our best every time and if we focus more on that before each game, let’s have a good at bats, let’s keep ding what we’re doing, pitchers throw strikes and we’ll be good.”