Coquitlam clinches spot in Little League semifinals

A 15-3 win Monday over the previously unbeaten team representing Ontario has given the Coquitlam All-Stars a guaranteed spot in Friday’s semifinals at the Canadian Little League championships in Ancaster, Ont.

Coquitlam has won all four of its games heading into a showdown Wednesday with Quebec, the only other team that had still to lose a game as of Tuesday. Coquitlam’s scheduled game Tuesday against the Prairies team, from Moose Jaw, Sask., was rained out and will be played Thursday.

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All-Stars’ coach Robert Piasentin said after some initial jitters early in the tournament, the team has settled into the rhythm of the national event and found its groove.

“The boys were relaxed, having a lot of fun and playing really well,” Piasentin said of Monday’s game against Ontario’s side, from Ottawa.

Nolan Loverin went three for three at the plate, and Everett Bertsch collected two hits in two at-bats.

Coquitlam scored three runs in the first inning and then added eight more in their half of the second inning, sending 14 batters to the plate.

“It was a great game for the boys’ confidence,” Piasentin said.

Meanwhile, Wednesday's game with unbeaten Quebec has been clouded with a controversy after the host team filed an official protest last Saturday questioning whether the team was operating as a proper Little League team.

According to media reports, several other teams have also expressed concerns the Quebec team, Diamond Baseball Academy from Mirabel, may be importing players from outside its territory, a contravention of Little League rules.

Coquitlam manager Bruce Dorwart told the Hamilton Spectator his side would have filed a protest had Ancaster not already done so.

“I think every other team here has the same suspicions,” he said.


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