2006 Little League® Baseball Canadian Region Tournament Historical Results
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Canadian Region Tournament
Major Baseball Division



Toward the past
2006

Toward the present

Canadian Region Tournament
Host - Whalley Little League (Surrey, British Columbia)
At Whalley Athletic Park

Participating Teams City League
British Columbia Champions Coquitlam Coquitlam LL
Maritime Provinces Champions Glace Bay (Nova Scotia) Glace Bay LL
Ontario Champions Nepean East Nepean LL
Quebec Champions Montreal Notre-Dame-de-Grāce Minor Baseball League LL
Prairie Provinces Champions Saskatoon (Saskatchewan) Saskatoon Riversdale Kiwanis LL
Host League Surrey (British Columbia) Whalley LL

NOTE: The 2006 Canadian Region Tournament is using a round-robin format. At the completion of round-robin play, the top four teams advance to the tournament's second phase.

Click here to view provincial tournament results for Canadian Region Tournament participants.


Tournament Results:

Round 1 (Saturday, August 5):
Coquitlam (British Columbia) 9, East Nepean (Ontario) 1
Saskatoon Riversdale Kiwanis (Saskatchewan) 6, Notre-Dame-de-Grāce (Quebec) 4
Whalley (British Columbia) 8, Glace Bay (Nova Scotia) 0

Round 2 (Sunday, August 6):
Glace Bay (Nova Scotia) 7, Saskatoon Riversdale Kiwanis (Saskatchewan) 0
East Nepean (Ontario) 11, Notre-Dame-de-Grāce (Quebec) 1
Whalley (British Columbia) 10, Coquitlam (British Columbia) 0

Round 3 (Monday, August 7):
Glace Bay (Nova Scotia) 3, Coquitlam (British Columbia) 1
East Nepean (Ontario) 11, Saskatoon Riversdale Kiwanis (Saskatchewan) 6
Whalley (British Columbia) 19, Notre-Dame-de-Grāce (Quebec) 0

Round 4 (Tuesday, August 8):
Glace Bay (Nova Scotia) 6, East Nepean (Ontario) 1
Coquitlam (British Columbia) 5, Notre-Dame-de-Grāce (Quebec) 2
Whalley (British Columbia) 11, Saskatoon Riversdale Kiwanis (Saskatchewan) 3

Round 5 (Wednesday, August 9):
Saskatoon Riversdale Kiwanis (Saskatchewan) 4, Coquitlam (British Columbia) 3
Glace Bay (Nova Scotia) 14, Notre-Dame-de-Grāce (Quebec) 3
Whalley (British Columbia) 9, East Nepean (Ontario) 2


Standings

W

L
Whalley (British Columbia) 5 0
Glace Bay (Nova Scotia) 4 1
Coquitlam (British Columbia) 2 3
East Nepean (Ontario) 2 3
Saskatoon Riversdale Kiwanis (Saskatchewan) 2 3
Notre-Dame-de-Grāce (Quebec) 0 5

The top four teams advance to the semifinal round. Tiebreaking games will be held if necessary to determine the four semifinalists.

Canadian Region Tournament Finals

Tiebreaker Game (Thursday, August 10):
East Nepean (Ontario) 6, Saskatoon Riversdale Kiwanis (Saskatchewan) 4

Winner's Bracket Finals (Thursday, August 10):
Whalley (British Columbia) 6, Glace Bay (Nova Scotia) 5

Elimination Bracket Semifinals (four teams remain) (Thursday, August 10):
East Nepean (Ontario) 12, Coquitlam (British Columbia) 7 (elim.)

Elimination Bracket Finals (three teams remain) (Friday, August 11):
East Nepean (Ontario) 7, Glace Bay (Nova Scotia) 6 (elim.)

Championship Game (Saturday, August 12):
Whalley (British Columbia) 10, East Nepean (Ontario) 0 (TITLE)
Batter-by-Batter recap


Summary:

Joe Burns' opinion was unwavering, much to the chagrin of those those with a more superstitious nature. But long before any games were played, the Whalley Little League (Surrey, British Columbia) manager was optimistic about his club's chances in the 2006 international tournament.

"Quite honestly," said Burns several months before the start of tournament play, "the group coming up this year is stronger than last year."

The declaration was no idle boast, and certainly wasn't meant as a slight to Whalley's 2005 all-star team -- a group that won the Canadian championship and became Canada's first team to advance beyond pool competition at the Little League World Series since the tournament's field expanded to 16 teams in 2001.

"We went to the World Series last year," the Whalley manager elaborated on the eve of the 2006 Canadian championship tournament, which Whalley would host at sparkling Orest Springenatic Field. "This year ... we're just better overall. It's hitting, pitching, defence."

The second time around, Burns felt, could be even better for his club.

Fast-forward to the Canadian championship game. Whalley left runners on base in each of the game's first two innings, and carried a 1-0 lead into the bottom of the third inning against East Nepean (Ontario) Little League. The top of Whalley's lineup was due up for a second pass through the batting order.

And the second time around proved to be better. Four batters and three home runs later, the lead was 5-0. By the end of the inning, it was 8-0. Two batters into the next inning, it was 10-0. Game over. And Whalley celebrated its 50th anniversary season with a return trip to the Little League World Series.

"As a team, they're the whole package," said East Nepean manager Shaun McGee.

"They had a few innings to catch up to the fastball," said the Ontario manager. "When they did, they capitalized on it."

Particularly the second time through the order. Whalley had grabbed an early lead when Austin Vetterl's RBI single scored Greg Finley in the second, but the fireworks started in the third. Centre fielder Mitch Comeau launched a 2-1 pitch over the right-centre field fence, and pinch hitter Brenny Dornblut followed by clearing the fence in centre. Pitcher Justin Atkinson walked, then Jeff Bouchard followed with a homer of his own. Whalley added three more runs later in the inning, and when Bouchard homered again in the top of the fourth, it pushed Whalley's lead to double-digits and involked the mercy rule.

Burns was not surprised by Whalley's third inning eruption.

"This group is so good at hitting and so confident, they knew on the bench it was going to happen," he said after the championship game. "They said on the bench 'we're getting to him, we're hitting him.' Sooner or later, the dam was going to burst, and away we go."

"We knew Whalley could really hit the fastball," explained McGee. "So we tried to keep it out of the centre area of the plate as much as possible. But they did a good job of hitting."

East Nepean finished 2-3 in the round-robin phase of the tournament, then needed three wins in two days to reach the championship game. Two of the wins came on walk-off home runs: Jamie Burritt reversed a 5-4 deficit with a three-run homer in the bottom of the sixth inning of a 6-4 victory over the Saskatoon (Saskatchewan) Riversdale Kiwanis Little League, and after a win over Coquitlam (British Columbia) Little League, Brandon Smith delivered a game-ending grand slam as East Nepean toppled Glace Bay (Nova Scotia) Little League, 8-6.

The climb to the championship game eventually depleted the Ontario pitching staff.

"Our other option was a curveball guy, but we couldn't use him because he pitched yesterday," said McGee after the championship game, "So yeah, we were running out of pitchers here.

"The best team won here today," added the Ontario manager. "There's no shame in being the number two team in Canada, that's for sure."

Whalley staked its claim to the top spot early in the tournament, rolling past its first three round robin opponents by a 37-0 margin. Only one opposing baserunner reached third base over the course of the three games, as Atkinson, Bouchard, and Kristopher Robazza turned in complete game efforts. Whalley homered six times in the third outing, a 19-0 victory over Montreal's Notre-Dame-de-Grāce Little League.

"It's obviously a great start, but the tough thing now is keeping the kids focused on playing one game at a time," said Burns. "We have to keep their heads on the ground now. That's our job as coaches."

That focus became critical as the tournament progressed: Whalley faced its toughest test in the winner's bracket final, needing a solo home run from Comeau in the bottom of the sixth inning to push past Glace Bay, 6-5. The Colonels stunned the partisan home crowd in the first inning, taking a 3-0 lead on Jonathan MacLean's long home run. Whalley rebounded, and carried a 5-4 lead with Glace Bay down to its final strike. Then Trevor Strong provided the day's second stunner, driving a solo home run over the left field fence to tie the game.

In the bottom of the inning, Comeau delivered the final momentum swing, drilling his third home run of the tournament to lift the host club into the championship game.

"It was a gut-check time for us in the sixth," said Burns after the game.

"This win was a character-builder, and we needed that," he added. "We answered them every time they scored, and that's character. Mitch came up at the end with a chance to make a big splash, and he did it. He got all the fans cheering."

Comeau had tied the game earlier as Whalley worked back from the initial deficit. Bouchard's two-run homer in the first sliced Glace Bay's lead to one run, then Comeau and Dornblut delivered RBI singles in the second. Atkinson added a solo home run in the fifth inning.

"We knew right after we played Glace Bay the first time that we were going to see then again," said Burns, whose team defeated the Colonels on the opening day of the tournament. "They're a very solid all-around team."

As was Whalley, who matched a number of Glace Bay's milestones with their ensuing championship game win. Whalley joined Glace Bay and Trail (British Columbia) Little Leagues as the only leagues to win five Canadian championships since the first all-Canada tournament was held in 1965. The three powers, along with Quebec's Valleyfield Little League, are the only leagues to win back-to-back Canadian titles during that timespan, and Whalley joined Glace Bay (1988) and Valleyfield (1992) as the only host leagues to win the Canadian championship.

Amongst the team achievements was a milestone reached by one of Whalley's players. Greg Finley's father, Stu, was the centre fielder on Whalley's first-ever Little League World Series qualifier in 1973. The Finleys became the fourth-ever father/son pair, and the first from Canada, to play in the Little League World Series.

"Any player who goes down there and experiences it will say the same thing - you'll remember it for a lifetime," said Stu Finley on the eve of the Canadian championship tournament. "It's a very cool experience."

And as Whalley can attest, it's even better the second time around.


Linescores:

  Winner's Bracket Final 1 2 3 4 5 6 R H E
Glace Bay (Nova Scotia) 3 0 0 0 0 2 5 7 -
Whalley (British Columbia) 2 2 0 0 1 1 6 - -
  Championship Game (Batter-by-Batter recap)
East Nepean (Ontario) 0 0 0 0 0 2 1
Whalley (British Columbia) 0 1 7 2 10 10 0


Photo Gallery:

Justin Atkinson retired the first eleven batters he faced in Whalley's 10-0 championship game victory over East Nepean. (Photo courtesy of Dave Thorvald Olson. Reprinted with permission.)

Braeden Smith and his Whalley teammates are all smiles after sweeping seven consecutive games at the Canadian championships. (Photo courtesy of Dave Thorvald Olson. Reprinted with permission.)

Whalley became only the third team to win the Canadian championship on their home diamond. The field's namesake, Orest Springenatic, was a longtime Whalley volunteer and managed the league's first Little League World Series team in 1973. (Photo courtesy of Dave Thorvald Olson. Reprinted with permission.)

Canada's finest, young and old, includes Whalley players Jerrod Gray, Jeff Bouchard, and Mitch Comeau. (Photo courtesy of Dave Thorvald Olson. Reprinted with permission.)




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