Little League: Hastings continues pastings

Team BC so far undefeated at the Canadian Little League baseball championship in Edmonton.

At the Canadian Little League baseball championship in Edmonton, B.C.’s champion from Hastings breezed through the round-robin portion of the tournament going undefeated in its first five games.

Save for one loss against White Rock at the B.C. championship in Trail last month, the team from Vancouver-Burnaby has devastated opponents and continues its merciless pace at the nationals, outscoring teams 58-1, good enough for first seed as they get set to start playoffs on Friday.

Hastings faced possibly its toughest opponent, Ontario’s High Park Braves, to open the tournament on Saturday, but a stellar three-hitter by Ataru Yamaguchi paced the B.C. squad to a 3-0 shutout win.

Steve Moretto led Hastings to victory on Sunday with a 12-0 shellacking of Quebec. Moretto hit a home run, went 2-for-3 with two RBIs, and closed out the game on the mound. Moretto leads all hitters with 10 RBIs and three home runs, and is fifth in average hitting .526.

The team faced Glace Bay, the representative from the Atlantic, in its third match winning 19-1 but giving up the only run scored against them in the tournament.

The hitting machine continued to roll as it bombed host Edmonton, Mill Woods White Sox 9-0. Cole Dalla-Zanna went 3-for-4 for Hastings and Carson Ho was 2-for-3 with a home run. Dalla-Zana is hitting a torrid .643, best in the tournament so far.

In its final match of the round robin on Wednesday, the B.C. team put an exclamation mark on its run to the playoff with a 15-0 pasting of the Prairie representative from Lethbridge. Yamaguchi had a 3-for-4 game, driving in three, while Dalla Zana picked up the win. Both Yamaguchi and Dalla-Zana lead all pitchers with 2-0 records.

Team B.C. plays fourth seed on Friday with the winner advancing to Saturday’s final.

The final four seeds are still up in the air, as Atlantic Glace Bay and Ontario race for the second seed with identical 2-2 records, while Quebec 1-3 plays Host Edmonton 1-3 Wednesday night. When the round is over three teams including Prairie will have identical 2-3 records, with runs for-and-against deciding the third and fourth seeds.