Heading into the Cal Ripken World Series, head coach Ed McLaughlin knew his White Rock Selects squad would be in a tough spot.
After all, his team of 12-year-old ballplayers would be matching up against some of the world’s best in their age group.
The head coach’s prediction proved correct, as the Peninsula squad lost its first four games in the round-robin tournament, which began Saturday in Aberdeen, Md.
White Rock, representing Canada at the event, didn’t get to ease its way into the tournament, either – the squad’s first game was against the powerhouse Japanese team Saturday.
Japan, a pre-tournament favourite, won the game 31-1, scoring 10 runs in the first inning and 13 in the fourth, before the game was called off. White Rock struggled in the field against the Japan hitters, making 10 errors.
The team’s lone run came in the second inning, when leadoff hitter Jax Mullin walked, stole second and third base, and then scored on an error by Japan pitcher Ryoken Nakanishi.
Hunter Hughes had the lone base hit for the Canadian side.
The next three outings were far closer, with White Rock dropping games to Mexico (8-0), Korea (9-2) and on Tuesday, to Australia (9-4).
White Rock played the Dominican Republic Wednesday after Peace Arch News’ deadline.
Though they are still searching for their first win, there have been plenty of bright spots through four games.
Marc Ashford is having success at the plate, and is 5-for-11 (.455 batting average) with a double in four contests, while Hudsom MacMillan and Josh Cheng have four and three stolen bases, respectively.
The tournament wraps up Sunday, Aug. 21.
– Nick Greenizan