The Moose Jaw All-Stars have been searching for their game all through the first week of the Little League Canadian Championship and on Wednesday, they finally found it.
Trehvan McMorris tossed five innings, giving up only five hits and – most importantly – walking only one as the All-Stars picked up an 8-3 win over Ontario representative Ottawa West on Wednesday in Ancaster, Ont.
The victory saw the All-Stars improve to 1-4 and marked a welcome departure from the host of woes that had plagued the squad through their previous four games – walks and defensive miscues had been the prime architects of their less than stellar record through the early going.
It also kept their playoff hopes alive: the right combination of wins and losses through the remainder of games Wednesday and Thursday could see the Prairie representative land in a massive tiebreaker situation.
Heading into play Wednesday, the bottom four teams were Atlantic at 2-3, Alberta 1-3, Ancaster 1-4 and the All-Stars 0-4. A win over B.C. in their final round robin game would improve Moose Jaw to 2-4. Should Alberta then defeat Atlantic Wednesday and Ancaster defeat Alberta Thursday night, that would create a four-teams-with-two-wins tiebreaker scenario.
The All-Stars got on the board in the bottom of the second when Jackson Folliott hit a lead-off single, McMorris reach on an error at second base and Owen Varjassy was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Noah Thul cracked a hard-hit ball that forced an error at short, allowing Folliott and McMorris to cross the plate with the game's first two runs.
Ottawa West got on the board in the fourth, scoring their first run and getting runners to second and third before McMorris escaped the inning with a pair of infield outs and a strikeout to hold a 2-1 lead.
It was the All-Stars' turn to take advantage of an opposition miscue in their half of the inning, as Max Simmons hit a slow roller to short, only to have the throw to first go high and score Cooper Gregor from second. Javin Boynton then drew a bases-loaded walk to score Ryan Duncan, extending the All-Stars' lead to three. That set the stage for Maguire Payne, who slashed a single through the left side, scoring Tyson Ross and Thul for a 6-1 edge. Back-to-back errors brought home another run, with Nathan Pisio dropping a ball in between three outfielders that scored Boynton and gave the All-Stars a 7-1 lead.
They'd tack on another in their half of the fifth before Ryan Duncan came on in relief of McMorris to record the final three outs.
The All-Stars will play their final round robin game Thursday at 9 a.m. Moose Jaw time, with the contest streamed live on CBC.ca.