Team Canada got off to a rough start at the Little League World Series on Friday.
Adan Sanchez had three hits, including a home run, and three RBI to lead Latin American representative Panama past the Whalley Major Allstars from Surrey, B.C., in their opener 8-3.
Brian Villarreal gave up just one hit in 3 2/3 innings, struck out seven and walked four to pick up the win for the club from Vacamonte.
Carlos Arcia added three hits and an RBI for Panama, while Arod McKenzie had two hits and an RBI.
Ian Huang started for the Canadian squad, taking the loss after giving up five earned runs in 1 2/3 innings.
Canada has never won the Little League World Series, but has appeared in every tournament since 1952. Last year’s Canadian representative from White Rock, B.C., lost in the international semifinal.
The Whalley Major Allstars advanced to the tournament by winning the Canadian championship last weekend in Mirabel, Que.
Canada is slated to play Spain on Saturday.