Astros place in top five at nationals

The Prince Albert U15 Astros returned from nationals with a 5th place finish, but also a lot of memories and experiences take with them for the rest of their lives.

Coach Jordan Ambrose and his team recently arrived back in Prince Albert after a 40-hour bus trip from Wilmot, Ont. Ambrose said he’s very proud of his young charges and how they played.

“We could have hit better, but still, fifth in the country is pretty good,” he said on Tuesday.

The Astros finished the round robin with three wins—enough to place them in the 4 vs 5 game against Team Quebec. The Prince Albert club hoped to avenge a 9-5 loss earlier in the tournament, but fell behind 3-0 in the first inning on route to an 8-1 loss.

Despite the disappointing end to the tournament, Ambrose said the club has a lot to be proud of.

“We lost to a good team from Quebec,” he said. “But we still played hard, and I’m proud of all of them. Our goal going into the tournament was to finish in the top six, and we did that.”

The trip to Ontario included a very full chartered bus, complete with all the players and members of their families. However, the club faced a four-hour delay on route to the tournament due to an accident on the highway.

The team was suffering from bus-lag and had a slow start to the tournament, losing to both the Napanee Express and Chatsworth Longhorns. However, after a relaxing night’s sleep, the Astros came back and beat the NIckason Construction Tara Twins, then the NL Selects. On day 3 of the tournament, first the Astros lost to the host Willmot Thunder, then won in a squeaker over the St. George Spartans. This was enough to gain the Astros the ticket to the Saturday playing in the playoff round, finishing in the top 6.

The team will be losing 7 players, who will qualify for the U17 team next spring, but even so, roughly half of this year’s team will be young enough to continue on with the team next season.

The team came away with two other national awards from the tournament. The Astro’s Harley Bergen earned the top catcher trophy, and Kamden Shewchuk also earned some hardware for his .500 batting average throughout the competition.

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