The Carnduff Astros came home from the recent provincial under-11 (U11) Tier 5 tournament in Mossbank with some extra hardware, after winning the provincial championship.
The Astros opened the tournament by going 3-0 in the round-robin, defeating the Unity Cardinals 18-0, the host Mossbank A’s 10-0 and Lanigan Pirates 14-7.
They advanced to the semifinal, which they won 7-4 over the Lucky Lake A’s, a game that the Astros trailed at one point, according to coach Mason Crossman. The victory sent them to the provincial final game, which they won 9-3 over the Churchbridge Hornets.
“We did everything well,” Crossman told Lifestyles. “We had a really successful tournament pitching. They threw lots of strikes and forced them to put the ball in play. We didn’t walk a lot of guys, which, in mosquito baseball, that’s a pretty big deal to make the other team hit their way on and hit their way around the bases.”
The Astros also benefitted from timely hits, which is why they were able to score 58 times in the five games.
“That makes everything else easier, too,” said Crossman.
The Astros had strong regional representation, with six or seven kids from Carnduff, and a few players from neighbouring communities to fill out the roster.
Those players came together and played well as a team.
“They come from their house teams, where they’re quite spread out, and there’s different levels of competition, so for them to come together and play on the same team and have success is good for them.”
Most of the kids have been to provincials before, and Crossman believes that experience is one of the big reasons they thrived at provincials.
“They knew how it works and what happens at it, so that was one of the advantages we had on the weekend was we were experienced, as much as you could say that for mosquito baseball.”
Four of the 12 players will be eligible to return next year.
Crossman hopes the opportunity to win a provincial championship will be big for these kids as most of them move up to the U13 level next year. It will give them a big confidence boost, and they have a greater understanding of how doing their part can lead to a team victory.
“When you have team success like that, it means everyone is playing well and having success with what they’re doing,” Crossman said.