The 2014 Canadian Fast Pitch Championships are well underway in the Atlantic provinces with the Astros U18 and U16 men’s teams seeing some success.
The U18 Astros team is currently sitting at 2-2 at the Canadian Championships in Gander, Nfld.
The Astros U18 men’s team lost their Wednesday evening game against Team New Brunswick 12-9.
The game was close, though the Astros’ biggest problem was leaving runners on base. Team New Brunswick scored 12 runs on six hits, while the Astros scored nine runs on 12 hits.
The Astros left seven runners on base through the course of the game, while Team New Brunswick only left two.
Rylee Cyr, Rylan Gibb, Nick Patrick and Craig Kosmynka all had triples in the game. At the bottom of the third, Kosmynka hit a triple but was tagged out at home for the second out of the inning when Kennedy Boldt advanced to first base.
Gibb later had a triple bringing in Boldt. Gibb then came home after a wild pitch.
The U18 team pulled through and won their game against Nova Scotia’s Brookfield Elks in two extra innings on Wednesday morning.
The win proved to be a struggle.
“We started with (Wacey) Strongeagle and he was battling with some illegal pitch calls,” Nagy said. “Our sticks were working, thank goodness, because that’s what kept us in the game.”
Strongeagle’s back foot was sliding off the mound. While he concentrated on keeping his back foot planted, his front foot began sliding off the mound as well.
The illegal pitch calls threw off Strongeagle, and caused runners to advance on base. Six Elks runners crossed home plate at the top of the fourth inning, beginning to close the seven-run lead the Astros had built.
After allowing runs in, veteran Riley Mathieu was brought in.
Mathieu started being called on illegal pitches as well.
“As far as I’ve seen (Riley) pitch, he’s never done anything illegal in his life,” Nagy said. “On his very first pitch the umpire calls him on an illegal pitch because he’s come out of the shoot.”
After taking a closer look at the pitching mound, it was discovered that the pitching mound was crooked. After some makeshift digging, Mathieu didn’t have a problem on the pitch.
But by then the damage was done, the Elks tied the score at the top of the sixth 10-10.
“We brought in Nick Patrick and he came in and finished, what we hoped would be finishing off the game in seven innings,” Nagy said. “We ended up having to go to nine.”
The Astros and Elks matched the innings, run for run in the seventh and eighth. At the bottom of the ninth, the winning run came home.
The Astros lost their first game 15-2 to the Ontario Otters in five innings on Tuesday.
“We didn’t have many errors or anything like that, we just weren’t hitting,” coach Robyn Nagy said.
The game started at 11 a.m. Newfoundland time. Nagy said while the game wasn’t particularly early, the boys struggled to adjust being three and a half hours ahead of home.
The Astros remained scoreless until the bottom of the fifth inning when second baseman Noah MacPherson hit a double, bringing in Kennedy Boldt who was sitting at second and Craig Kosmynka who was on first.
MacPherson stayed on second as Ryland Gibb and Rylan Couture both struck out to end the game with a final score of 15-2 for the Otters.
The Astros won their second game of the series against Ontario’s Chatsworth Express 11-5 on Wednesday evening.
Winning pitcher Nick Patrick had an impressive 16 strikeouts throughout the seven innings.
The Astros U18 team play the Saskatoon Selects on Thursday at 11 a.m.
The U16 Astros Team was 1-0 in their championship series in Fredericton, N.B. by press time on Wednesday.
The Astros took on Team B.C. and won 12-5 in five innings.
B.C. took an early lead with two runs at the top of the first inning
After a single hit to pitcher LeBlanc, the throw to first baseman Nick Basaraba resulted in an error. The mistake proved to be costly as runners on first and second scored.
At the bottom of the fourth, Nick Basaraba made it to second, after an error by B.C.’s right fielder allowed him to steal another base.
Garret Feige followed up with a triple of his own bringing Basaraba in to score.
At the bottom of the fifth, Basaraba also had a triple, resulting in an RBI.
According to coach Andrew Kutnikoff, the game was straight forward, although dealing with a three-hour time difference was the biggest challenge.
The Astros’ second Wednesday game against Nova Scotia’s River Rats was delayed to 9 p.m. Newfoundland time due to rain.