The White Rock All-Stars are set to compete in the Little League World Series this week in Williamsport

The White Rock All-Stars are set to compete in the Little League World Series this week in Williamsport

All-Stars qualify for Little League World Series

White Rock 12-year-olds head to Williamsport, Pa. after defeating East Nepean in Canadian Little League Championships.

The White Rock All-Stars are taking their talents to the world stage.

The White Rock-South Surrey Baseball Association’s 12-year-old Little Leaguers are set to take on the world this week, at the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa.

On Sunday afternoon, the team of Peninsula 12-year-olds punched its ticket to the prestigious tournament – which is broadcast on television across North America and features some of the world’s top young players –  after a convincing 16-0 win over the host squad from East Nepean, Ont.

The White Rock champs now head immediately across the border to Pennsylvania, where they’ll play in the World Series’ International Division at the end of the week, alongside fellow regional champions from Japan, Mexico, Australia and the Caribbean, among others.

In Sunday’s final, White Rock and East Nepean played relatively evenly in the early going – the only runs scored in the first three innings came when the B.C. champs plated three in the second inning, after a runs of singles from Trent Lenihan, Marcus Bradley, Kole Turner and Kai Cumiskey combined with an error by an East Nepean outfielder.

The 3-0 lead held until the fourth, when White Rock exploded for five runs, highlighted by a home run – his fourth of the tournament – from Darius Opdam Bak.

The fifth inning was much of the same for the high-power White Rock offence, as the team exploded for eight runs.

The All-Stars sent 11 batters to the plate in the inning, and Lenihan put an exclamation point on the offensive barrage with two home runs – giving him five for the week.

East Nepean couldn’t close the substantial gap in the bottom half of the inning, and the game ended early on account of the mercy rule.

On the mound for White Rock, Matthew Wilkinson proved nearly impossible for East Nepean batters to hit, striking out 12 while allowing just one hit over the course of the game.

He finished the week as one of the tournament’s top pitchers, leading all hurlers in wins, with two, and strikeouts, with 31.

White Rock had a fair numbers of batters atop the tournament leaderboard, as well. Turner led all hitters in batting average with a .652 mark – Wilkinson, Opdam Bak and Taeo Maisonville also finished in the top 10 in average – while Lenihan finished with the most home runs.

Opdam Bak and Wilkinson finished in a second-place tie for homers, with four apiece. Opdam Bak also ended up leading the tournament in RBI, with 16.

After losing just one round-robin game earlier in the tournament – to the High Park Braves of Ontario – White Rock assured itself of a spot in semifinals with a win Wednesday over Moose Jaw.

Then, on Thursday, White Rock wrapped up its round-robin schedule with a 9-8 victory over High Park, to finish in top spot in the round robin.

In Saturday’s semifinal tilt, the B.C. representatives cruised to an 11-1 win over Nova Scotia’s Glace Bay Colonels, while East Nepean upset their provincial rivals from High Park for the second berth in the championship game.

Against Glace Bay, Opdam Bak earned the win on the mound, striking out eight over four-and-one-thirds innings, and Jay Mather came into the game in relief to record the final two outs, one of them by strikeout.

As was the case for much of the tourney, White Rock relied heavily on the long ball – Opdam Bak, Wilkinson, Turner and Alen Sugimoto all hit home runs to pace the offence.

Now, White Rock will trade their black and teal uniforms for red ones – adorned with the Maple Leaf. In Williamsport, they’ll hit the field for the first time Friday, when they square off against Mexico at 11 a.m. Pacific Time.

Just Posted

This year’s Virtual Hike for Hospice raised just over $30,000 with the support of participants including Marlene. (Contributed photo)
PHOTOS: Virtual hike raises $30K for Peace Arch Hospice Society

Community support smashes fundraising goal

A Grade 8 class at L.A. Matheson Secondary. March 2021. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
B.C.’s return-to-school plan good, but Surrey teachers hope there is room for adjustments

Surrey school district to receive $1.76M of the $25.6M provincial pandemic-related funding

Surrey Fire Service battled a dock fire along the Fraser River late Friday night (June 18). It was on Musqueam Drive, near Industrial Road, around 10:45 p.m. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Fire engulfs pier on Surrey side of the Fraser River

Pier has reportedly been unused for a long time

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Most Read