The Prince Albert Astros have won another provincial championship. The Bantam Astros fastball team is made up of a group of kids who are used to winning. The same kids have won provincials five out of six times in their age group. The only time they didn’t win, they came second.
Their streak of victories began in 2012. They won gold in the squirt division, repeating the following year. In 2014 and 2015, they won peewee gold. They earned silver last year in 2016, their first year of bantam, improving to gold this year.
During that time, the team also took home a pair of Western Canadian Championships.
The most recent provincial victory came over July 6, 7 and 8 in Saskatoon. The Astros swept their competition, winning all three round robin matches before shutting out Saskatoon 3-0 to earn the title. They outscored their opponents 42-5 over those four games.
“Our pitching was good, and the bats were more than adequate,” said assistant coach Steve Bicknell.
“The last game was a good, close game.”
The team will pick up some players from some of the other provincial finalists to fill out its roster before nationals, which will take place in Cobourg, Ont., from Aug. 9-13.
“It gives you a little bit of depth,” Bicknell said. “There are a lot of unforeseen things that can happen. It’s very humid there. You can never have enough pitchers and bodies to help you in situations if someone gets hurt or thrown out.”
The Astros will keep practicing, as well as playing exhibition matches against the U19 team, the midget squad and some men’s teams to prepare for the national tournament.
For more on this story, please see the July 12 print or e-edition of the Daily Herald