All-Stars overcome jitters in opening game

Timothy Piasentin and Kainoah Brankovic hit back-to-back home runs to spark the Coquitlam All-Stars, representing British Columbia, to an 11-0 win over the host team from Ancaster in their opening game at the Canadian Little League championship on Thursday.

The game was shortened to four innings because of the wide margin.

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All-Stars coach Robert Piasentin said the consecutive homers settled his team down after a whirlwind trip to Ontario just days after winning the provincial championship last weekend in Vancouver, then an early scouting session at the tournament to watch Quebec play the representative from the Prairies “to get a sense of what we might expect.”

Piasentin said while the coaching staff expected a relatively easy start to the tournament, it worked to ensure the 11- and 12-year old players didn’t take on an air of grandeur. 

“They have been hearing from everyone over here that Team BC is the favourite,” Piasentin said. “We want them to continue working really hard throughout each game.”

Their efforts, he said, even included shielding the players from a story in the local newspaper that painted the team as “Goliath” in the tournament.

However, the All-Stars’ first few batters may have felt more like David, Piasentin said.

“They were just squeezing their bats a bit too hard at the plate,” he said. “Everyone was a little bit on edge.”

It was only when Brady Dorwart stroked a double to lead off the third inning that the All-Stars were able to relax. Piasentin said. That hit was followed in short order by the pair of homers and the team was off to the races.

Piasentin said it was a relief for everyone on the team to get their first game under their belts.

Friday, the All-Stars play the Atlantic champions from Glace Bay, N.S. at 11 a.m. PDT.

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