Coquitlam little leaguers off to provincials

Score rare win in district final against powerhouse Whalley on road to Williamsport

The Coquitlam Little League all-stars are off to Vancouver for the provincial championship but they’re hoping their summer travel plans go a little farther afield.

Coquitlam defeated the defending Canadian champions from Whalley 9-3 in the District 3 championship at Mackin Yard in Coquitlam Wednesday evening. Timothy Piasentin threw 80 pitches to get the win. Matthew Shanley went 3-for-3 with three runs driven in.

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It’s the first time Coquitlam has won the District 3 championship for 11 and 12 year olds since 2006.

“The kids were ecstatic,” said Robert Piasentin, one of the team’s coaches. “The kids were pumped the whole game because they knew if they played well they had a chance to win.

“A lot of these boys lost to Whalley in the district final last year. That was a bit of a bitter pill last year because we had a good team and we couldn’t get by them.”

The provincial championship will be hosted by the Little Mountain Little League at Hillcrest Park in Vancouver July 20 to 28. Coquitlam will play in the tournament opener at noon on Saturday (July 20) against the Kootenay champions from Trail, a perennial participant in the provincial and national championships. Coquitlam’s second game will be on Monday, July 22 versus Little Mountain.

“We think we have a good chance to do well, we have a very good team,” said Piasentin.

The winner will advance to Canadian championship Aug. 1 to 11 in Ancaster, Ont. The Canadian champion will move on to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Penn., Aug. 15 to 25.

• Coquitlam Little League A’s intermediate team (13-year-olds) and the junior team are already a step ahead of their younger counterparts. The A’s won the provincial intermediate championship on July 9 by thumping South Vancouver 16-1 in the final played in Saanich. That puts Coquitlam into the national championship to be played in Langley July 18 to 25.

The Junior A’s were also crowned provincial champs on Sunday in Saanich by scoring 68 runs in 13 innings over three games. They are off to the Canadian championship in Lethbridge, Alta., July 28 to Aug. 4 with the world championship in Taylor, Mich., Aug. 11 to 18.

ggranger@tricitynews.com

 

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