After what could only be described as a terrific season both locally and internationally, the White Rock All-Stars – also known as Team Canada – are returning home from the Little League Baseball World Series, held in Williamsport, Pa., after placing third internationally.
In their last game of the series, Team Canada trailed Mexico in the semi-final match 2-0 by the second inning, but battled back, tying the game 2-2 by the top of the fourth. It wasn’t enough, however, as Mexico batted in three runs in the bottom of the fifth.
Mexico goes on to play Japan on Saturday.
The boys may be returning home without a gold, but they are returning with a lifelong memory and, possibly, new friends.
“They’ve been pleased with how they are playing but they have really been enjoying their experience here, building relationships and friendships with players from other teams,” coach Ryan Hefflick said Tuesday during two days off after their two-game winning streak.
Hefflick told Peace Arch News the Canadian team is soaking in the opportunity to interact with their counter-parts as all teams spend time together in the dormitory.
“We’re all dorming together, swimming together, playing ping-pong together. Our boys had a ping-pong competition with the Japanese players this afternoon… On the field it’s competitive, but outside of it there’s a lot of friendship and sportsmanship,” Hefflick said.
Before heading into the ping-pong competition, coach Hefflick offered some sound advice to his team of 11- and 12-year-old boys.
“I told our boys, whatever you do, don’t bet any money against them because it’s their national pastime. It was close, we lost by two points.”
The team had an undefeated run in their home country, winning the provincials then advancing to win nationals in Medicine Hat, Alta.