The Red Deer Riggers’ bats were ‘en fuego’ against the Sherwood Park Athletics on Tuesday night, with both teams slugging it out to an eventual 21-12 Red Deer win.
In a four-hour game that went into the final minutes of Tuesday night, the Riggers managed to get a good idea what both teams can do at the plate.
“It was fairly offensive on both ends,” Manager Jason Chatwood said. “They scored 12 runs too. You don’t like to give up that many, but we are happy with what we produced on the offensive side.”
Chatwood managed to notch six RBIs on the night.
“I had baserunners on almost every time and that helps. I got some balls to fall and sometimes things go your way,” he said.
As is coming tradition, the Riggers were playing from behind at several points throughout the game including being down 5-2 in the first inning, 8-5 in third inning, and 11-10 in the fourth inning.
“We try not to have too many highs or too many lows,” Chatwood said. “As you mature, you understand that lots can happen like the game tonight.”
The Riggers went up for good after an Athletics error in the bottom of the seventh inning put Red Deer up 13-12. They would add eight more runs in the eighth inning to put it away for good.
“You get up for these guys,” Chatwood said. “Pitchers came in and battled even when they didn’t have their best stuff. That is all you can ask for.”
Riggers’ pitchers threw over 200 pitches combined in the game.
“It is still early and we are still trying not to stretch guys out as far as pitch count. We are trying to get a feel and we have quite a few guys on the staff. We are trying to manage them.”
He added the game allowed them to get a close look at the A’s roster.
The next step for the Riggers will be tightening their defensive game, which will come with field time according to Chatwood.
“Guys are starting to get more comfortable, getting outside lots and getting their reps,” he said. “We are trying to get some routines with practice and playing one to two games per week.
“You are seeing guys more and more comfortable with their at-bats.”
Chatwood said it is important to find their groove quickly in the Sunburst League.
“It is a quick season once it it gets going,” he said. “It is hot and heavy once it starts and we are getting ready to roll.”
He added every game is a rivalry game.
“You get to a point where you know the guys well and you see some tendencies. You see teams every other week and you build that rivalry. It is nice to have every team competitive this year.
“Everyone can beat everyone, so if you don’t show up — there is a good chance you could get beat.”