White Rock's Matthew Wilkinson – shown here pitching at the Canadian Little League Championships – struck out 16 Mexico batters today at the Little League World Series. White Rock lost the game 1-0.

White Rock’s Wilkinson strikes out 16 in loss

White Rock drops first game at Little League World Series, 1-0 to Mexico.

A big day for pitcher Matthew Wilkinson was not quite enough for the White Rock All-Stars to win their opening game at the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa.

The Canadian champs fell 1-0 to Mexico Friday afternoon, despite a 16-strikeout performance from Wilkinson, who threw five scoreless innings 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.

With the loss, White Rock now moves into the consolation bracket of the double-knockout tournament – and will have to go undefeated the rest of the way in order to make it to the finals – and will play Saturday at 3 p.m. against the winner of a game between Japan Chinese-Taipei, which is slated for Friday night.

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