The Red Deer Riggers will host their annual Rigger tournament this weekend, which promises to be a good preview of the National Championships.
“It is a six team tournament,” Riggers Manager and Short-stop Jason Chatwood said. “We have the four teams in our league and then we have the Calgary Cardinals and a team from Edmonton which is like a college-prep team.
“It should be a good weekend of ball. There will be lots of games happening Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Hopefully the weather is nice and it should be a great time.”
The tournament coincides with Red Deer’s Westerner Days, which Chatwood hopes will help bring people down to Great Chief Park for baseball.
“Hopefully it will be busy and a good time for everybody,” he said. “There is a full concession and a beer gardens that the City built new this year. Should be great and it is usually a really great atmosphere with great games leading into the end of the regular season and the playoffs.”
Winning the tournament would be a feather in the Rigger’s cap, who currently sit at 7-4 in the Sunburst League (pending Tuesday’s matchup).
“It would be nice to get some momentum going and the tournament is always nice because they are seven-inning games, which is a similar format to nationals,” Chatwood said. “They are quicker games and you have to score early. It is good playing those games heading into Nationals at the end of the summer.”
The tournament is also fortunately placed on the schedule, with many of the veteran Riggers rounding into form.
“We are starting to get a little more consistent,” Chatwood said. “Our defence and pitching is really coming around. Our bats are consistent for the most part, so I am really liking how things are shaping up.
“Our maturity is always a positive, with us never getting too high or too low. Everyone is doing what they need to do to get ready for the last stretch here.”
The tournament promises to be exciting throughout, with the Sunburst League being very competitive this season.
“Everybody is beating everybody this year. There is a lot of parity in the league, which is nice,” Chatwood said.
He added the tournament, “Will be a great time for families and kids to come out and watch. Hopefully it’s a busy atmosphere with good weather and good baseball.”