Canada’s run at the Little League World Series came to an end Wednesday with a 9-4 loss to Puerto Rico.
The Whalley Major Allstars from Surrey, B.C., entered the game with confidence after a 6-4 win over favoured Mexico on Monday. But they missed a chance to take control of Wednesday’s game when they managed just one run with two on and one out in the bottom of the second inning.
The lack of run production came back to haunt Canada. The Puerto Ricans broke the game open with four runs in the top of the third inning to take a 5-2 lead. Canada scored twice in the bottom of the third to cut the lead to one run, but the Caribbean representatives sealed the win with two in the fourth and sixth innings.
Puerto Rico will move on to face the loser of a game later Wednesday between Japan and South Korea in the international semi-final.
Carlos De Jesus led Puerto Rico with three hits and three runs batted in, including a solo shot in the first and a two-run homer in the top of the sixth.
Dio Gama had a single and a double, drove in two runs and scored on a wild pitch for Canada. Nate Colina also had two hits, including a double.
Canadian starter Jordan Jaramillo allowed seven runs (five earned) on eight hits and struck out six in 4 2/3 innings in picking up the loss. Cole Balkovec gave up one hit – De Jesus’s sixth-inning homer – over 1 1/3 innings of relief.
Eric Rodriguez earned the win for Puerto Rico, striking out six and allowing one earned run over 4 1/3 innings.
The game was originally scheduled for Tuesday before being postponed because of rain.
After De Jesus opened the scoring in the top of the first with his first home run of the game, Canada tied it at 1-1 in the bottom of the inning when Andre Juco scored on an error.
Canada had the chance to do some damage in the bottom of the second, but settled for a 2-1 lead when Gama scored on a wild pitch. That set up runners on second and third with one out for Canada, but Juco grounded to the third baseman for a double play.
Puerto Rico scored four in the top of the third for a 5-2 lead, highlighted by Rodriguez’s two-run double.
Gama’s two-run double in the bottom of the third cut the lead to 5-4, but Puerto Rico restored the three-run advantage with two in the top of the fourth. After a scoreless fifth, De Jesus’s second homer of the game capped the scoring.