‘Incredible experience’ for young team

White Rock All-Stars eliminated from Little League World Series after two losses.

The White Rock All-Stars suited up for Team Canada at the Little League World Series in Williamsport

Despite back-to-back losses dashing their hopes for the Little League World Series title, the White Rock All-Stars have “fulfilled a childhood dream” in Williamsport, Pa. this month.

The team made up of Peninsula 11- and 12-year-olds has been stateside for more than a week, after they won the Canadian Little League Championships on Aug. 16 in Nepean, Ont.

And although the squad has not fared as well as they had hoped on the U.S. diamond – losing a hard-fought opening game Friday to Mexico 1-0, followed by a more decisive 16-4 loss to Chinese Taipei the next day – coach Bob Cumiskey told Peace Arch News the boys have soaked up every minute of the “incredible experience.”

“We knew coming here that on the international side, we’re in the stiffest competition in the world,” Cumiskey said Monday morning. “So we told our guys, ‘you’re already Canadian champions before you step on the field, but yes, you’re here to try and win some games.’”

A standout performance by pitcher Matthew Wilkinson in White Rock’s opening game Friday was not enough for the Canadian champs to secure a victory. Wilkinson threw five scoreless innings – racking up 16 strikeouts – before being relieved by Alen Sugimoto, who pitched the sixth.

Wilkinson was responsible, via strikeout, for all 15 outs his team recorded over five innings, and earned an extra one when one Mexican batter struck out, but the ball was dropped by the catcher and the batter made it to first base before he could be thrown out, thus extending the inning.

Mexico’s starting pitcher, Daniel Zaragoza, was nearly equal to Wilkinson on the mound, striking out 10 White Rock batters while pitching the full six frames.

Zaragoza was also responsible for his team’s only run of the game, which came in the bottom of the sixth inning when his single scored Raul Leon to end the game.

White Rock managed just three hits off Zaragoza – Kieran Ritchie had two, and Kole Turner had another.

“We had a very good game against Mexico, and it was a bit of a heartbreaker, losing 1-0,” Cumiskey said. “We just didn’t hit the ball as well as we would have liked.”

White Rock returned to the field Saturday when they faced off against Chinese Taipei, representing the Asia Pacific region.

Strong offence from Chinese Taipei in the first inning – when they racked up nine runs to Canada’s two – set the stage for a tough defeat for the White Rock squad after four innings.

“We got off to a rough start in the first, and there was no looking back after that,” Cumiskey said.

Though the players took the losses hard at first, Cumiskey said, it didn’t take the boys long to perk up.

“The good thing with 11- and 12-year-olds, they were in the arcade playing ping pong and in the pool swimming within an hour,” he said.

The players – who went undefeated throughout their regular season and lost only once in the Canadian championship – have been making the most of the experience. The squad has visited tourist spots around Williamsport and reaped the many benefits of being part of such a prestigious tournament, including a bounty of free bats, helmets and gloves courtesy of Easton.

“They’ve been treated like kings here,” Cumiskey said. “It’s incredible. It’s better than Christmas, they’ve all said – except for one kid. He said it’s a tie.”

Although they were out of the competition bracket, White Rock played a consolation game Tuesday before making the trip home.

Despite the players being “pretty amped up” to get a win before leaving the tournament, White Rock lost Tuesday’s game 18-6 against the Midwest squad, represented by American Webb City, Mo.

– with files from Nick Greenizan

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sven Spichiger, Washington State Department of Agriculture managing entomologist, displays a canister of Asian giant hornets vacuumed from a nest in a tree behind him Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. Scientists in Washington state discovered the first nest earlier in the week of so-called murder hornets in the United States and worked to wipe it out Saturday morning to protect native honeybees. Workers with the state Agriculture Department spent weeks searching, trapping and using dental floss to tie tracking devices to Asian giant hornets, which can deliver painful stings to people and spit venom but are the biggest threat to honeybees that farmers depend on to pollinate crops. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Crews vacuum ‘murder hornets’ out of Washington nest, first-ever in U.S.

The nest found in the city of Blaine near the Canadian border is about the size of a basketball

Surrey Pretrial in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Surrey Pretrial in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Staff members at Surrey Pretrial test positive for COVID-19

Ministry of Public Safety says employees tested positive between Oct. 18 and 23

Upgrades underway at the Sunnyside Reservoir, adjacent to Sunnyside Acres Urban Forest, raised concerns among some residents Tuesday (Oct. 20), however, stewards of the park say everything went off without a hitch. (Tracy Holmes photo)
‘No issue’ with South Surrey reservoir drainage, despite trail user concerns: urban forest steward

Forest visitor taken aback by ‘unprecedented flooding’ of trails

A new 23-storey condo development – which might also house a new White Rock city hall space – is proposed for the current site of 3 Dogs Brewing on Johnston Road, and will be discussed by the Land Use and Planning committee on Oct. 26. (File photo)
Civic centre could be part of new 23-storey White Rock condo tower

Development proposal to be discussed Oct. 26 by council’s land use committee

(Image: CDC)
Fraser Health orders Surrey food-processing facility to close amid COVID-19 outbreak

Staff member at Surrey long-term care facility also tests positive for the virus

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

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

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

BC Hydro map showing where power has been knocked out is dotted with over a dozen outages. (BC Hydro map screenshot)
Thousands without power in Lower Mainland on election day

One outage in Langley and Surrey is affecting over 4,000 customers

file
One dead after fiery crash near Agassiz

Agassiz RCMP report a 56-year-old man died Friday night

The possibility of the Canadian Premier League expanding to the Fraser Valley has been floated online. (Facebook photo)
Canadian Premier League possibly eyeing Fraser Valley expansion

Soccer league looking to add ninth team to the mix, B.C. markets potentially rumoured

Most Read