The Coquitlam A’s will represent Canada at the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania after defeating Quebec’s Mirabel Diamond 6-3 on Saturday in the Canadian final. Photo: Courtesy of littleleague.org [PNG Merlin Archive]
Littleleague.org / PNG
Coquitlam hurler served up one of the most dominating pitching performance in the history of the Canadian championships by striking out 13 of the 14 batters he facedWith the B.C. Lions, Vancouver Whitecaps and Vancouver Canadians all languishing in last place in their respective leagues, it took a group of 12 year olds from Coquitlam to give this hard-luck sports market a winning team to cheer for.Coquitlam claimed the Canadian Little League baseball championship in Ancaster, Ont. on Saturday with a 6-3 upset win over Quebec’s Mirabel Diamond in the title game.It was the 13th time in the last 14 years that a B.C. team has won the right to represent Canada at the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Penn.Despite B.C.’s past dominance at the national tourney, Coquitlam was nobody’s pre-tournament favourite.“We were a team that was never really favoured,” said Coquitlam coach Bruce Dorwart. “Even going back to the provincials, Little Mountain was the favourite and, in fact, we were probably just middle of the pack if you were to rank the teams.”
Coquitlam Little League pitcher Matthew Shanley struck out 13 of the 14 batters he faced in the Canadian championship game.
The pre-tournament Little League handicappers probably didn’t count on Coquitlam hurler Matthew Shanley serving up one of the most dominating pitching performance in the history of the Canadian championships by striking out 13 of the 14 batters he faced during his 4 2/3 innings of no-hit baseball on Saturday.“He is just one of those kids that wants the game ball in pressure situations. I have a lot of trust and a lot of faith in Matt,” said Bruce Dorwart. “It was a big performance.”Shanley, who was pulled from the mound in the fourth inning after reaching his pitch count limit, confounded Mirabel with a curveball that proved to be both a devastating and irresistible punch-out pitch.Slugger Timothy Piasentin chipped in with a three-run home run in the fifth inning Saturday to help seal the win for Coquitlam.
Shanley’s phone lit up after his lights-out performance.“It’s been crazy … all the messages I’ve been getting from everyone and all the attention on social media,” said Shanley, who also belted a two-run home run. “I feel like a Coquitlam celebrity.”He could be a national celebrity once the Little League World Series gets underway.Shanley will be on the mound when Canada plays Mexico in their first game in Williamsport on Friday (3 p.m. PT).“I’m not going to think about it too much. I’ll try to do what I did at provincials and nationals and just play my game. The field here looks just like a (Major League Baseball) stadium. It must have 20,000 seats and I’m really looking forward to playing in front of all those people,” Shanley said Sunday, while standing next to Howard J. Lamade Stadium in Williamsport.“We’ve already accomplished our season goal. Now we just want to go out and try to get some wins and have a little fun.”Pressure is for mere mortals, not unhittable Coquitlam email@example.com/browniescott