The B.C. Little League Minor Provincial championship was decided in a suitably thrilling match on Saturday at Andy Bilesky Park with the Hastings All Stars prevailing over the Highlands All Star team 17-6.
The score does not adequately reflect the tension and thrilling moments in the hard fought match, highlighted by great plays, and an electric atmosphere in the provincial final.
Highlands brought the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the fifth. With the score 10-6 and the bases loaded, Highlands’ top hitter Jed Decooman stepped up. Decooman was 12 for 20, with three doubles, a triple, one home run, and seven RBIs over the seven games played, and was facing Laughlin Holbrook who had come on in relief of Luca Buljevic.
With two out, Holbrook had ceded a double to Dylan Stevens, then a walk to Sam Aslanowicz to load the bases before facing Decooman. But Holbrook came with the heat, getting the North Van slugger to swing through the first two pitches, and after taking one, the young right-hander would sit the Highlands player down with a hard fastball to get the third out, and a elicit a huge sigh of relief from the parents.
After a tentative start, Hastings broke a 1-1 tie in the second inning, scoring five runs to take a 6-1 lead. Highlands would make it 8-3 in the fourth and Hastings scored two more in the top of the fifth before Highlands plated three in the bottom of the fifth to cut the lead to 10-6. Loreto Sinisalchi was a force on the mound for Hastings going three and two-thirds innings, allowing two earned runs on five hits and two walks while striking out four.
But it was all Hastings in the top of the sixth, as they overpowered their North Vancouver counterparts, scoring seven runs highlighted by back-to-back doubles by Sinisalchi and Nicola Barba on their way to the provincial title.
For more on the B.C. Little League championship see Tuesday’s Trail Times.