Whalley Little League players Ian Huang (left) and Cole Balkovec, wearing their Team Canada gear, get ready to go live on ESPN’s broadcast of a game Thursday at the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. (Photo: twitter.com/WLLBALL)

B.C. Little Leaguers to be honoured at Blue Jays game; PM offers congratulations

Surrey baseball entourage ready to fly home after being on the road for more than a month

A summer of fun and games isn’t over just yet for Whalley Major Allstars.

Canada’s entry in the Little League World Series lost an elimination game Wednesday in Williamsport, capping a spirited run at the Pennsylvanian town’s fabled baseball tournament.

The Surrey-based squad fell 9-4 to a Puerto Rican team in front of more than 2,600 spectators.

The teams were supposed to play Tuesday, but the game was rained out and rescheduled for Wednesday, with the loser eliminated and the winner moving on to play in Thursday’s International bracket semifinal.

PHOTOS: Whalley’s Little League World Series run is over after loss to Puerto Rico.

Heading into action Wednesday, Whalley had won two games (against Spain and Mexico) and lost one (to Panama) during the 10-day tournament, which closes with the championship game Sunday.

The Whalley contingent will remain in Williamsport until early that day, when they’ll travel by bus to Toronto to be honoured at a Blue Jays game, with VIP treatment, before flying home.

It’ll be another long day of travel for the players, coaches and families but, as bench boss Mike Marino told the Now-Leader, “we’re all used to it now.”

The team has been on the road for more than a month, after winning the provincial championship in Trail and the national title in Mirabel, Quebec. From there, they traveled directly to Williamsport.

Marino said his players were disappointed by Wednesday’s loss, but were still having fun.

“This group is funny that way, they’re so resilient. They’re enjoying the moment, enjoying each other, just like we’d won today.

“They’re sad but proud, you know,” the coach continued.

“I really thought we were right there with them. It’s disappointing but awesome because we really thought it was a winable game for us, it really was.”

Following the game, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau offered his congratulations in a tweet.

“To the young sluggers of (Whalley Little League) in Surrey – your great run at the Little League World Series made fans proud in BC and across the country,” he wrote. “Congratulations on all your success in Canada and in facing the world’s best. Job well done.”

On Friday, the team will play an exhibition game against Team Australia, for fun.

Marino said his players should be proud of getting to the Elite Eight round of the 16-team tournament.

“I’ll take it,” he said. “If someone said to me you’d go 2-2 in the World Series, would you take that? I’d say hell yeah, every day.”

This is the sixth time Whalley Little League has earned a trip to the World Series (previously in 1973, 1978, 1997, 2005 and 2006), and the 21st time that a team from British Columbia has earned the nod, including 13 of the last 14 tournaments.

Whalley’s 13-player roster includes Joey Marino, Andre Juco, Kai Sheck, Ian Huang, Zeaden Pleasants, Nate Colina, Colten Myers, Jaren Ashbee, Ty Grewal, Cole Balkovec, Dio Gama, Jordan Jaramillo and Mattias Brisson. They’re coached by Marino, Lucky Pawa and Dean Mayencourt.

Just Posted

Boil water notice lifted for residents in North Shuswap

Notice put in place after damage found at Scotch Creek water system

Salmon Arm councillors tackle proposed 4.6 per cent tax hike

City budget deliberations underway at council chambers

Salmon Arm airport: Appreciation Day plans underway, borrowing flies for new runway

City to go ahead with borrowing more than $800,000 to construct Taxiway Charlie

New trial ordered for Salmon Arm optician convicted of sexually assaulting 14-year-old boy

Kenneth Pilkington was ininitally found guilty of the offense

Children’s discovery centre, new restaurant planned for RJ Haney Heritage Villlage

Board asks Salmon Arm council for a $25,000 contribution, will be decided at budget time

Second young woman dies after rollover crash near Williams Lake

‘Someone’s going to get her heart, which is awesome, because she has the best heart in the world’

Google searches for ‘how to vote’ surge on Election Day

Interest spikes despite social media campaign by Elections Canada

Troll Grandfather bridges gap in Okanagan

Spotlight Kids’ Series show comes to Vernon Sunday

Kelowna council opposes ‘racist’ Quebec secularism bill

The city joins Calgary, Montreal, Victoria, Kitchener and Brampton in condemning the bill

Alberta man pleads guilty, fined for hunting without a licence in North Island

It’s the responsibility of each hunter or angler to know whether they are considered a B.C. Resident.

Sentencing date set for former West Kelowna teacher charged with child luring

Former Mount Boucherie teacher Bradley Furman will be sentenced on Dec. 16

New trial ordered for Salmon Arm optician convicted of sexually assaulting 14-year-old boy

Kenneth Pilkington was ininitally found guilty of the offense

B.C. mayor apologizes for removal of Queen’s portrait from council chambers

‘I prefer to be inclusive of the many aspects of our history’

Most Read