After somewhat of a nervous start, the White Rock all-stars have rounded into form and taken the lead in round-robin action at the Canadian Little League championships in Glace Bay, N.S.
The B.C. titleholders are 4-0 and have outscored their opponents by a 38-8 margin. Six of those runs against came in their opening game Saturday against Prairie representative Saskatchewan, a 9-6 victory. Since then, White Rock has rolled over Ontario 9-2, Quebec 10-0 and the Maritimes 10-0, the latter two games abbreviated to four innings by the mercy rule.
“We definitely got off to slow start in the 9-6 game,” White Rock coach Jeff Crossley said from Glace Bay. “All the teams had played on Friday and we had a bye so Saturday was our first game and I think we kind of struggled with the adjustment and nerves and stuff like that. So I don't think we showed anybody too much that day. But I think we've got people's attention now.”
Teams from B.C. have captured the national championship eight straight years and then continued on to represent Canada at the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa. Crossley said people in Glace Bay have heard all about the kind of talent B.C. is sending to the nationals.
“We were in a local diner and the 65-year-old lady serving us said 'oh, White Rock, we've heard all about you, you're the team to beat!' so the whole town is really into this,” chuckled Crossley. “I think people definitely expect a good team and a strong team from B.C., whether it's White Rock, Hastings, Little Mountain, Langley or whoever.”
White Rock's next game is Wednesday versus host Glace Bay, followed by Alberta on Thursday. Semi-finals are scheduled for Saturday with the final set for Sunday.
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