Whalley a game away from Michigan

All-stars play for a national championship this afternoon

The Whalley All-stars will play for a trip to Michigan today in Lethbridge.

The team advanced to the championship game of the Junior Little League national tournament yesterday (Wednesday) with a 14-6 win over the host Lethbridge Giants in a semifinal contest.

They will play in the final at noon against the undefeated Rocky Mountain Red Sox, with the national champion heading off to the World Series Aug. 11-17 in Taylor, Michigan.

Arjun Sharma with four hits, Marcus Cleto with three, and Jordan Baxter, Brendan Yip and Clayton Sandover with two each helped Whalley get past the host team.

Whalley went 5-1 (won-lost) in the round robin to place second among the seven teams at the tournament for 13-14-year-olds.

The B.C. champions got off to a perfect start by defeating the host team 7-0 Wednesday evening, then defeating the Saskatchewan champions 10-4 on Thursday.

Sandover, Baxter and Zach Eastman each had a pair of hits Wednesday. Sandover’s two-run single capped a four-run sixth inning for Whalley. Sandover was also the winning pitcher, throwing four innings and allowing just three hits and a walk while striking out four batters.

Thursday morning, Whalley defeated the Saskatchewan champion Kiwanis Nationals, with Yip and Joshua Jawanda leading the way, each with three hits and a pair of runs scored. Cleto drove in three-runs, two on a two-out single in the fifth inning.

Keenan Wong was the winning pitcher, allowing three earned runs on three hits and a walk. Baxter threw four and two-third innings in relief, collecting four strikeouts. He surrendered a run on two hits and a walk.

The only loss of the tournament was a 2-1 setback against the unbeaten Rocky Mountain Red Sox in a game that took nine innings to decide. Yip drew a walk in the third inning, and scored on an infield out by Jawanda for the lone Whalley score.

After a day off Sunday, Whalley won twice on Monday to improve to 4-1 (won-lost).

The first win was a 3-2 decision over the Sidney Mines Ramblers of Nova Scotia. The B.C. team scored twice win the first inning as Cleto singled to score Yip from second, then scored himself when Baxter drew a bases-loaded walk.

Wong crossed the plate for the winning run in the third inning, scoring on a single by Jawanda. Wong and Jawada both had a pair of hits.

Whalley blew a 4-1 lead in the sixth inning against the East Nepean Eagles. The Ontario champions scored six times to take a 7-4 lead, but Whalley exploded for seven runs in the top of the seventh for an 11-7 victory. Wong, Yip, Cleto and Jawanda each had a pair of hits, with Yip and Cleto collecting two RBIs each.

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