Coquitlam heads to Ancaster, Ontario, for the Canadian Little League Championships this week after defeating Little Mountain 5-3 Sunday to win the B.C. titleThe Coquitlam All-Stars are the B.C. Little League provincial champions after a 5-3 win over Little Mountain on Sunday.The victory earned Coquitlam entrance into next week’s Canadian Little League Championships in Ancaster, Ontario, where the team will face some of the best ball age-group players in the country.Coquitlam had a record of winning big in the annual tournament, and Sunday’s game was no exception. The team took an early lead in the first with a monster three-run home run by Timothy Piasentin, but then it gave up a pair of runs that tightened things up.“We got a ball game,” shouted one Coquitlam fan after Little Mountain pulled within a run with a dinger by Jordan Stewart.But Stewart later took the mound for Little Mountain and gave up two runs on Piasentin’s second home run of the game.In the sixth and final inning, with one out remaining and the score 5-3 in its favour, Coquitlam retired starting pitcher Matt Shanley, who by that time had pitched the longest game of his career. A handful of pitches and one fly ball later the kids from Coquitlam rushed the field in victory.
Coquitlam’s Timothy Piasentin celebrates one of his two home runs in a B.C. Little League championship game, which they won 5-3 over Little Mountain. Photo: Arlen Redekop/Postmedia
Piasentin, who drove home all five of Coquitlam’s runs, said the pressure in Sunday’s game was the most he’d faced, but he said he’d never played better. Already he was looking to next week.“I’m a bit nervous, but if we play like we did here, we’ll be good,” said Piasentin.Shanley said the game had lots of action and lots of pressure. Going into it he was prepared for some tough innings.“You know, I knew Little Mountain was a good team. I’ve played … with some of them, so I knew it was going to be close. But you’ve always got to be confident,” he said.Shanley’s father Paul said it “was unbelievable” to watch his son pitch such a strong game. “As a dad I couldn’t ask for anything more.”
Coquitlam pitcher Matthew Shanley got the win on Sunday as they beat Little Mountain 5-3 to win the B.C. Little League provincials. Photo: Arlen Redekop/Postmedia
Coquitlam Manager Bruce Dorwart said his team had shown absolute heart.“We were behind in games all week and the kids just kept battling and battling,” he said. “I can’t say enough of these kids. I’m so proud of them. They never give up.”Dorwart said B.C. teams have a strong recent track record in national competition. Teams from this province have gone on to represent the country at the Little League World Series in 13 of the last 14 years, he said.Brent Holm, a resident of Vancouver who came out to watch the game, could relate to the pressure the 11 and 12-year-old players would have been under, in front of a large crowd and with so much at stake. Holm said he played at the provincials in 1985 and 1986 as a youngster.“I think they’ll always look back at this summer and remember it,” he firstname.lastname@example.org