UPDATED: Whalley baseball allstars fall a few runs short of dream trip to Little League World Series

Heartbreak for team Saturday in 1-0 loss to host Hastings at Canadian championships

Whalley's 2016 Major Allstars team.

VANCOUVER — Tears soon turned to smiles and laughter for the Whalley Major Allstars on Saturday afternoon.

The team of 11- to 13-year-olds fell just a couple runs short of realizing their dream trip to the fabled Little League World Series.

Instead of flying to Williamsport this week, the baseball-ing boys of Whalley may spend some time thinking about the Canadian Little League championship that could have been theirs.

On Saturday (Aug. 13), after dominating most teams during round-robin play, the squad lost 1-0 to the host Hastings team in the tournament final in Vancouver.

The result means Hastings, not Whalley, gets to represent Canada at the big show in Pennsylvania starting Friday (Aug. 19) against the Japanese champs.

Things weren’t all bad for the Whalley team following Saturday’s final game, however.

“We just went to Boston Pizza and the kids have forgotten about it already,” an upbeat team manager Marc Chiasson told the Now later that evening.

“Half of them were crying on the field after the game but we went (for dinner) and they were all laughing there and smiling, like nothing happened.”

Emotionally, it was a tough way to lose such a big game.

“We had one error in the fifth (inning) and it was unearned run Hastings scored, but hey, we win as a team and we lose as a team,” Chiasson added.

“We’re very proud of the boys. It was a good journey, a good run, but in the end we just couldn’t hit the ball – no hits today. We got on base with walks and stuff, but the bats were cold.”

Whalley was there as the B.C. champs, having earned the provincial banner with a 3-2 win over Trail on July 31 in North Vancouver.

Whalley was looking for its first Canadian crown since going back-to-back in 2005 and 2006.

This time at nationals, Whalley cruised to a 5-1 record during round-robin action at the 10-day tourney, and then scored an 8-4 win over Team Quebec in the semifinal on Friday evening (Aug. 12).

In Saturday’s all-B.C. final, similar to the scene for Whalley’s tight 5-4 loss to Hastings earlier in the tourney, a crowd of close to 4,000 crowded the diamond for the nooner at Hastings Community Park.

The energy around the park had to be startling for the young players. Fans were standing several rows deep beyond the outfield fences, and the streets around the facility were lined with cars for several blocks.

With the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the fifth, Hastings’ Nicola Barba, hit a 3-2 offering from Whalley reliever Haiden Letzing to left field to score Matteo Ripoli from third with the game’s only run.

Hastings starter Loreto Siniscalchi had no-hit Whalley through five innings, striking out 13 and walking four along the way.

Letzing ended up leading the tournament in hitting with a .667 average (12 for 18), to go with three home runs and 14 runs batted in.

On the mound for Whalley, Colton Frick pitched four-and-two-thirds innings in the final game before Letzing relieved him.

“Colton pitched a heck of a game and I think they were expecting Hayden to start, but we threw them a curveball, literally,” Chiasson said. “Hastings only had two or three hits on us the whole game, so it was great pitching all around, by everyone.”

Other players on the Whalley roster are Brandon Chiasson, Ethan Hein, Daniel Lafleur, Carter Spencer, Manny Birch, Rykan Stovern, James Tang, Noah Cassie, Mason Chien, Parkor Sarai and Luke Siemens.

“It was a great experience, and it’ll be a summer these boys will never forget,” Chiasson said. “We were treated like kings at both the provincials (in North Van) and at Hastings, too. It was fun, and we wish Hastings all the best in Williamsport. Hats off to them.”

Hastings finished the tournament at 8-0, and Whalley’s six wins in eight starts were by a margin of 60-7.

Looking ahead, Chiasson said this squad of allstars is pretty much good to go for another shot at a title. Surrey is home to most of the players on the team, with a few from the North Delta catchment.

“We’re trying to keep the group together to play again next spring in Whalley, and most of the kids will be back, and we’ll try for the Intermediate World Series,” he said. “We’ll play our house league season and then form an allstar team in June with the same basic nucleus as this year, and about 85 per cent of the kids want to do that, except one or two of the 10 or 11 of them.”

Of note, B.C. has won 11 of the past 12 national Little League titles in Canada. They finished second in the other, with White Rock/South Surrey falling to Ottawa’s East Nepean in the 2013 finale in Glace Bay, N.S.

(with file from Steve Ewen, PNG)

 

 

Just Posted

UPDATE: Missing Surrey snowshoer found dead on Mt. Seymour

North Shore Rescue resumed its search today after efforts were temporarily halted Tuesday due to snowstorm

Suspect charged after four Surrey banks were robbed in just four hours

Financial institutions in North Surrey targeted on Feb. 12

Surrey says WorkSafeBC should be in charge of asbestos abatement

City staff say WorkSafeBC has ‘greater knowledge, experience and expertise’ concerning asbestos

Surrey RCMP say 14-year-old boy stabbed at Guildford mall

Police say the boy had ‘non-life threatening’ injuries, suspect arrested

Former NHL star Fleury in Surrey for conference on child abuse

At Surrey City Hall, two-day event hosted by Sophie’s Place Child and Youth Advocacy Centre

‘Riya was a dreamer’: Mother of slain 11-year-old Ontario girl heartbroken

Her father, Roopesh Rajkumar, 41, was arrested some 130 kilometres away

Highway one will be closed tomorrow for avalanche control near Golden

The closure is expected to last for two hours

B.C. Seniors Advocate questions labour shortage in care homes

Are there really no workers, or are care aide wages too low?

B.C. business groups worry about looming economic decline in wake of NDP budget

The party’s second government budget focused on plenty of spending, business advocates say

Man injured in police shooting near Nelson has died: B.C. police watchdog

The death follows an incident in Bonnington on Feb. 13

Experts urge caution after 10 human-triggered avalanches across B.C.

One man is still stuck after avalanche on south coast

‘It consumed my life’: Inside the world of gaming addiction

World Health Organization classifies gaming disorder as a mental health condition

Police seize bottles of grapefruit vodka from wanted man’s snow-pants

The men were pushing two shopping carts with a woman inside

Tonight’s sporting event costs more than the Super Bowl, and Obama is going

Tickets are going for more than $4,000 to watch the Duke - North Carolina basketball game

Most Read