The Whalley Junior League is headed to the Junior Little League Canadian Championships in Lethbridge following their win at the Provincial Championship.
Last week, the teenage sluggers beat baseball teams from Lynn Valley, the Fraser Valley, Coquitlam and Mt. Seymour to secure their spot at the national competition.
"Whalley has a winning tradition and plan on keeping that tradition going," said manager Doug Sandover.
The team of 13-and 14-year-olds went undefeated in the first round, quarter-finals and semifinals of the double knockout tournament, staying in the winners bracket up to the final.
They faced Mt. Seymour on Friday, falling behind 6-0 in the first inning, but battling back to lose by one point in an 8-7 loss.
"If we would've won the first one, it would've been over," said Sandover, citing the double knockout rules. Mt. Seymour already had one loss in the tournament, but held on to lead the losers bracket.
The team came back Saturday in a winner-take-all game, scoring 16-2 within the first four-and-a-half innings before enforcing the mercy rule and calling the game.
"They dug deep and showed a lot of heart to get to that point," he said. "I think that was a huge swing point for us and they never gave up."
Sandover commended the Mt. Seymour boys for putting up a fight throughout the five-team tournament.
"To come all the way back through the losers, you better believe it, they had a lot of heart as well," he said. "Kudos to them."
The team will have to win eight games between Aug. 1 and 9 in a round-robin tournament to take home the national title. Should they win, they'll head to the Junior League World Series in Taylor, Mich. to face teams from around the world.
"We got to play our first game first," said Sandover, hoping the boys will stay focused. "You never look ahead."
Meanwhile, the White Rock/South Surrey All-Stars in the 11-and 12-year-old division lost to the Hastings Little League 20-0 on Sunday at the B.C. Little League Provincial Championships in Trail.
The Peninsula team came home with five wins and two losses following the weeklong round-robin tournament. They lost only to North Vancouver team Forrest Hills, 10-8, on Wednesday and in the gold-medal game against Hastings.
Hastings is now headed to the Canadian Little League Championship in Edmonton, with their eyes on the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa.