The host Ancaster Diamondbacks used aggressive baserunning and some timely defence while taking advantage of a Moose Jaw All-Stars squad that struggled on the mound and in the field to take an 12-5 win at the Little League Canadian Championship on Friday afternoon.
The loss knocks the All-Stars to 0-2, meaning they’ll likely need to win the rest of their games in order to have a chance at reaching the playoff round – recent results have shown that a 4-2 record should be enough to at least get into a tiebreaker.
The All-Stars gave up a run in the first inning, but wasted little time getting that back and then some in their half of the frame – Simmons drew a lead-off walk, Noah Thul followed with a single to right field and Javin Boynton brought everyone home with a three-run home run on the first pitch he saw from Ancaster starter Ben Goodacre.
Moose Jaw starter Max Simmons ran into control issues in the second inning, with four walks and a hit batter contributing to four Diamondbacks runs and a 5-3 lead as Ancaster sent 10 hitters to the plate in the frame.
After shutting down the All-Stars in their half of the second, Ancaster went right back to work, scoring another four runs on a pair of hits and three walks from Simmons and mid-inning replacement Gerritt Gulutzan to take a 9-3 lead.
The All-Stars got two back in their half of the third, as Cooper Gregor doubled home Maguire Payne with two outs and came home himself on a single by Ryan Duncan.
Ancaster’s defence took over from there, holding off the All-Stars the next two innings – including a fifth-inning double play that saw Diamondbacks reliever Patrick Short snag a Nathan Piso screaming line drive before doubling off Duncan at first -- while scoring another run of their own in the fifth and two more in the sixth to build a 12-5 lead.
Pisio tossed the fourth and fifth innings and the first two outs of the sixth, giving up three runs on three hits while walking three. Cooper Gregor got the final out of the sixth.
In all, Ancaster ended up recording 10 hits and used 10 Moose Jaw walks and two errors to score their 12 runs.
Simmons finished the game 2-for-3 with a run scored, while Duncan was 1-for-2 with two RBI.
The All-Stars are back in action Saturday when they take on Atlantic representatives Glace Bay, N.S. Game time is 12 p.m. Moose Jaw time and will be streamed on CBC.ca.
The remainder of the All-Stars schedule is as follows:
Aug. 3 – Atlantic (Glace Bay), 12 p.m.
Aug. 4 – Rest day
Aug. 5 – Alberta (Calgary West), 9 a.m.
Aug. 6 – British Columbia (Coquitlam), 7 a.m.
Aug. 7 – Ontario (Ottawa West), 10 a.m.
Aug. 8 – Rain date, tiebreakers
Aug. 9 – Semifinals, 8 a.m. and 11 a.m.
Aug. 10 – Championship final, 8 a.m.