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All-Stars win first game

Langley All-Stars players celebrate winning the Canadian Little League Championship on Aug. 14. The team, now representing Canada at the Little League Baseball World Series in Williamsport, Pa., won their first game 6-5 against Saudi Arabia this afternoon (Aug. 19).   - Garrett James/Langley Times
Langley All-Stars players celebrate winning the Canadian Little League Championship on Aug. 14. The team, now representing Canada at the Little League Baseball World Series in Williamsport, Pa., won their first game 6-5 against Saudi Arabia this afternoon (Aug. 19).
— image credit: Garrett James/Langley Times

The Langley All-Stars have claimed victory over Saudi Arabia in their first outing at the Little League World Series in Wiliamsport, Pa.

The team of 11 and 12-year-olds, representing Canada, took their first game 6-5 over Saudi Arabia, representing the Middle East and Africa.

After a rocky start, the team regained their momentum in the fifth inning to win the game.

Things looked good in the bottom of the first, when Canada scored two runs from Nick Atkinson and Yi-Fan Pan.

The second inning showed very little action with no runs from either team. But in the top of the third, things began to fall apart for the All-Stars. An incredible five runs were scored by Saudi Arabia, crushing the spirits of the Canadian boys.

Canada scored just one run, from Cole Cantelon, in the bottom of the third.

And then Mother Nature stepped in, and brought a huge thunderstorm that forced a 90-minute delay in the game.

That may have been exactly what the All-Stars needed. After a pep talk from their coach, the team regrouped and came back to the game recharged for the fourth.

"The rain was the best thing that happened to them. It was a blessing the thunderstorm came," said Dave Mihalech, coach of the 1998 All-Stars that made it to the World Series, who's in Williamsport for the tournament.

"They came out and they were a different team. They played with purpose and got all the jitters out."

Cole Cantelon and Riley Ens brought home two more runs in the bottom of the fifth and Colby Ring scored the winning run in the bottom of the sixth to end the game 6-5.

"It's exciting to see them come back the way they did," Mihalech said. "They came back and played outstanding baseball."

Canada will play their next game on Sunday against either Europe or Latin America.

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