District 5 Lynn Valley is proving to be the cream of the crop at the 2018 BC Little League Major Championship at Andy Bilesky Park.
The North Vancouver team cruised to a 9-2 victory over Beacon Hill Monday morning to go to 3-0 and seize sole possession of first place in the six-team tournament. A combination of brilliant defence and a superb pitching rotation has limited opponents to just seven runs over their opening three games, while the District 5 bats came through when it counted most.
Lynn Valley took a 4-1 lead over Beacon Hill through four innings, and scored five more in the top of the sixth inning en route to its third straight win, while Beacon Hill fell to 1-2.
Lynn Valley opened the tournament against 2016 provincial champion, Whalley. Tied 0-0 after five, each team plated a run in the sixth to make it 1-1 and force extra innings. Whalley then took a 3-1 lead in the top half of the seventh off a two-run bomb that would normally be enough to secure the win, but Lynn Valley wasn’t about to call it quits. The team loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom half of the inning, putting the spotlight directly on Nick Frers, who stepped up and belted a grand-slam home run for the 5-3 walk-off victory.
Lynn Valley kept their solid pitching and defensive game going with a close 3-2 victory over Little Mountain on Sunday afternoon.
The Trail All Stars, meanwhile, came out of the gate swinging at Andy Bilesky Park on Saturday, however, Sunday was not so kind to the local team.
Following a celebratory opening ceremonies that marked 65 years of Trail Little League – highlighted by former Trail Little Leaguer and Major League Baseball player Jason Bay throwing out the first pitch – Trail rung up 10 runs in the first inning and another eight in the second on the way to an 18-0 thumping of Beacon Hill.
The win was a promising start for the Trail side, whose manager, D.J. Ashman, said earlier that hitting would be key to their success.
In Sunday’s game, Trail played in a highly anticipated match against Whalley. But unlike it’s opener, Trail’s bats went silent, as the Lower Mainland team mercied the Trail All Stars in four innings with a 10-0 victory.
Whalley’s Jordan Jaramillo went four innings without giving up a hit, walking one batter, and striking out seven in the shut out victory.
After a scoreless first inning, a Trail error set Whalley up for three straight hits on their way to a 7-0 lead in the bottom of the second.
Trail couldn’t find any holes in the Whalley infield as a couple of slick fielding plays kept the All Stars off the board in the top of three. Then Whalley’s Ian Huang smacked a three-run shot in the bottom half of the inning, and ended the game via the 10-run mercy rule after a scoreless fourth inning for Trail.
Following the tough loss to Trail, Beacon Hill made a dramatic turn around in Sunday’s match, with a 3-2 win over New Westminster. Beacon Hill led 2-1 heading into the bottom of the sixth but a solo home run by New West tied it to send it to extras. It didn’t take long, however, as Ben Sargent hit a solo home run in the top of the inning to give the Victoria team a 3-2 victory over New West.
New Westminster started the tournament with a 13-9 victory over Little Mountain and now sit at 1-1, tied with Trail and Whalley, prior to their games Monday afternoon. Little Moutain fell to 0-2 and played Whalley at 1:30 p.m. Monday, while Trail faced New West in the evening match. The scores were unavailable at press time.
Today’s games will see Whalley take on Beacon Hill at 10 a.m., Lynn Valley play New West at 1:30 p.m. and Trail versus Little Moutain at 5 p.m.