B.C. little leaguers are Canadian champs, headed to World Series in Williamsport, Penn.
A group of Metro Vancouver little leaguers is headed to the big time.
The Coquitlam All-Stars took the crown as Canada’s team, downing Quebec’s Mirabel Diamond 6-3 to win the Canadian Little League Championship in Ancaster, Ont., on Saturday.
It’s the 14th time in 15 years a B.C. team has won the national championship.
“The boys are just absolutely thrilled, and honestly we’re still in shock that we actually accomplished this,” said team manager Bruce Dorwart.
“I couldn’t be more proud of a group of kids. They played absolutely amazing all week.”
WATCH: Coquitlam ‘We Believe’ team look to extend Little League titles
The Coquitlam squad started strong, going up 3-0 early, in part on a two-run homer by 12-year-old pitcher Matt Shanley, who was virtually perfect on the mound before rotating out in the fifth inning.
“I had a lot of faith in Matt. He really came up huge in the final of the provincials and he’s one of those men who just wants the game ball in a clutch situation,” said Dorwart.
“I had every faith and trust in him that he was going to blow it by those Quebec batters and he did — like, 13 strikeouts, what a performance. And he came through one more time with a key home run.”
Coquitlam added some insurance in the bottom of the sixth, going up 6-0 on a three-run homer by Timothy Pisantien.
Quebec made it interesting by driving in three runs in the final inning, but it wasn’t enough.
The Coquitlam squad will be treated to a CFL game Saturday night between the B.C. Lions and Hamilton Tiger-Cats before boarding a bus early Sunday to head to Williamsport, Penn., for the Little League World Series.
No Canadian team has ever won that competition, but Dorwart said he’s confident his team can at least pick up a few wins.
“It’s always tough — it’s tough coming out of Canada, but this team is really resilient. I think this team hits like no other team … We’ve got some boys in the three, four, five spot that can really mash,” he said.
“We’ve had the mantra all summer of ‘We Believe.'”
Coquitlam will begin its World Series stand with a matchup against Mexico on Friday.