U15 Astros split pair of games Friday

Nathan Reiter/Daily Herald Zane Litzenberger prepares to hit a pitch during the U15 Boy’s Canadian Fast Pitch Championships at Rotary Field on Friday afternoon.

The Prince Albert U15 Astros split a pair of games Friday during the U15 Boy’s Canadian Fast Pitch Championship Friday afternoon at Rotary Field.

Astros head coach Neil Finch says Prince Albert has played strong defense to start the tournament so far.

“I’m really happy with how we’re playing defensively. Offensively, our bats need to get rolling a little bit more. still need to hit the ball more and so if we start doing that, we’ll be absolutely fine. Defensively, we’re playing really well.”

The tournament was delayed because of rain Thursday, causing the Astros to need to play three games Friday.

Prince Albert would play a tight game in their first game of the day against Ontario’s Wilmot Thunder, falling 4-3.

The Astros drew first blood when Willis Finch scored on a wild pitch in the top half of the first inning.

Wilmot answered back on the bottom half of the inning when Daniel East reached on a leadoff single, steal second base and score on an error.

Wilmot would take the lead in the bottom half of the third inning after Hayden Waechter scored on a passed ball.

Prince Albert answered back in the top of the fourth when Cohen Ball drove home Dante Gamble with a triple to left field.

Astros starter Zane Litzenberger and Thunder starter Rowan Dibben traded zeroes on the score column until the bottom half of the sixth inning when Wilmot broke through for a pair of runs.

Nate Roth smacked a hard ground ball up the middle for a single, and advanced to second base on a wild pitch.

Dibben helped his own cause two batters later with a single down the right field to give Wilmot a 3-2 lead. Dibben scored later in the inning on a wild pitch.

Prince Albert threatened to tie the game in the top half of the seventh. Willis Finch brought the Astros within a run with a single to left field, driving home Cohen Ball.

Litzenberger stepped to the plate and hit a deep fly ball to center field, but Rowan Dibben made the running catch to end the game.

Litzenberger took the loss on the mound for Prince Albert, firing a complete game of six innings, allowing four runs, two earned on five hits, walking three batters and punching out ten.

Rowan Dibben earned the win for the Thunder, firing six and two thirds innings allowing three earned runs on seven hits walking four and punching out eight.

In their second game of the day against the Ochapowace Loud Voice, the Astros would score early and often on their way to an 11-3 victory.

Finch says it was nice to see the Astros put up a big number on the scoreboard.

“(It was) really nice rebounding from the last two games because we lost a tough one 2-1 on Wednesday and then that game 4-3. To come back and get a convincing win, it was nice to see.”

Prince Albert scored five runs in the top half of the first inning off Loud Voice starter Boston McKay, who only lasted one third of an inning allowing five runs, four earned on two hits and walking four.

Zane Litzenberger provided some fireworks for the Astros in the top half of the third inning with a home run to dead center field.

Results from the Astros 7 p.m. game against the Napanee Express were not available as of press time.

The Astros play the East Hants Mastodons at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday. Playoffs begin Saturday afternoon.