Whalley Major Allstars celebrate their Canadian Little League Championship win Saturday in Quebec. (Photo: Twitter.com/WLLBALL)

Team Canada’s next game postponed at Little League World Series

They’re back in action on Wednesday against Peurto Rico

Canada’s team at the Little League World Series wasn’t worried about a rain-cancelled game halting their momentum.

That’s because head coach Mike Marino doesn’t consider the Canadians’ dramatic run at the tournament as anything out of the ordinary for his team.

“We don’t think we were just riding a hot streak, we’re going to keep going,” Marino said in a phone interview from Williamsport, Pa., on Tuesday after Canada’s elimination game against Puerto Rico was postponed until Wednesday.

“We’re a resilient team and stuff doesn’t faze us too much. This group of boys, when something’s thrown at them they just deal with it and move on. It’s pretty cool to see.”

The Canadian champions — the Whalley Major Allstars from Surrey, B.C. — are coming off thrilling victories over Mexico and Spain in must-win games after opening the tournament with a loss to Panama.

Canada beat Spain 2-1 in 10 innings on a walk-off single on Saturday before holding on to knock off Mexico 6-4 on Monday, escaping a bases-loaded jam in the ninth.

“Our confidence level is pretty high right now. We think we can play with anyone here,” Marino said. “We still have some pitchers coming up that we can throw, and our bats are coming around. … So we’re ready to go.”

Puerto Rico (2-1) also lost its tournament opener before reeling off two straight wins to stay alive.

The winner of the Puerto Rico-Canada game will advance to the international semifinal to face the loser of a Japan-South Korea contest.

Canada has appeared in every Little League World Series since 1952 (the tournament began in 1947), when a team from Montreal made the quarterfinals. A Stoney Creek, Ont., squad had Canada’s best result when it finished second in 1965, and two Canadian teams finished third — one from Trail, B.C., in 1990 and one from Langley, B.C., in 1998.

But Marino said his players aren’t really thinking beyond their next game.

“They just like playing,” he said. “They don’t really look at the big picture of it all like: ‘OK, this could be the furthest a Canadian team has gone in a long time.’ They’re not thinking about that. They just want to play baseball.”

It’s been a busy week for the Canadians, who also watched MLB’s Little League Classic between the Mets and Phillies on Monday afternoon, an experience Marino called “unbelievable” after some Philadelphia players gave the kids their bats and batting gloves.

They also got a selfie with former Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista, now a member of the Mets.

“He obviously played in Toronto a long time and I think he had a soft spot for us,” Marino said. “He talked to us briefly, just ‘hey, how’s it going,’ and ‘keep up the good work,’ stuff like that.”

READ MORE: Whalley wins another nail-biter, stays alive in #LLWS

The Whalley team’s resilience has also captured the attention of the baseball community in B.C.

Nathan Parade de la Feraude, an assistant coach with the Whalley Chiefs senior team, said everyone on his men’s squad has been talking about the Canadian Little Leaguers.

“We play gritty, tough out, hustle baseball,” he said of the Whalley mentality. “It’s no surprise we’ve been able to climb back into games and steal some victories.”

Parade de la Feraude played on the Whalley team that made it to the Little League World Series in 2005 and called it “one of the best summers of my life.”

He figures registration for Whalley baseball will get a boost because of the Little League success.

David Laing, executive director for Baseball B.C., thinks that could be true for the province as a whole, too.

“I think every time our sport gets publicity, whether it be the Blue Jays being successful or the (Vancouver) Canadians having another playoff run at Nat Bailey (Stadium in Vancouver), or our little leaguers from Whalley running around and taking on the world, it generates good interest, and any time we get good interest, we get more and more people wanting to try our game,” he said.

Laing said the Canadian team came into the event with the right attitude.

“I don’t think anyone within the group had really crazy expectations,” he said. “I think they were just going to go and play and see what happened.”

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Tea, crafts, music and dance this weekend in Greater Trail

Grapevine: Events in the Trail area for the week of Nov. 15 to Nov. 21

Trail Smoke Eaters grind out win over Vernon Vipers

Trail Smoke Eaters Kent Johnson scored the game winner in a 3-2 victory over the Vernon Vipers

Car accident prompts advisory from Greater Trail RCMP

Extrication by regional firefighters; driver and passenger walked away with minor injuries

Trail mayor announces task force to address crime

Coun. Sandy Santori was appointed to the Community Safety Task Force

Do-it-yourself requires sophisticated tools

“I am all for working on your own vehicle if you relish the challenge …” Nutini writes

Education, training a big part of trade fair

Exhibitors are seeing a lot of interest in education, training or skills upgrading at the Black Press Extreme Education and Career Fair

Drug-related deaths double for B.C. youth in care, advocate says

Teens say positive connections with adults key to recovery

Children’s strawberry-flavoured medicines recalled due to faulty safety cap

Three different acetaminophen syrups part of nationwide recall

Around the BCHL: Junior A cities to host World Junior tuneup games

Around the BCHL is a look at what’s happening in the league and around the junior A world.

International students hit hard by B.C. tuition fee hikes

Campaign seeks regulatory controls be imposed on post-secondary institutions

Selkirk College nursing students visit Honduran migrants

Students were overwhelmed by migrants’ hope in the face of poverty and displacement

Trudeau pushes for more Saudi accountability in Khashoggi killing

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada is still seeking clear answers from Saudi Arabia about what happened to Jamal Khashoggi

School bullying video shows how people with disabilities are devalued: advocates

Brett Corbett, who has cerebral palsy, is seen in a video being stepped while lying in water

CFL will use extra on-field official to watch for illegal blows to quarterback

If the extra official sees an illegal blow that has not already been flagged, they will advise the head referee, who can then assess a penalty for roughing the passer

Most Read