The Ottawa West Twins are one step away from representing Canada at the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Penn.
The Twins defeated the Toronto High Park Braves 9-8 to capture the Ontario championship Wednesday night at Veteran’s Field in Kingston.
“Winning the provincial title is unbelievable,” said Twins assistant coach Luke Hamel.
Ottawa West enjoyed a 9-2 lead but the Braves rallied for six runs in their final at-bat to make it a nail-biting finish.
Hamel says the Twins scored one more run than their opponents and that was all that mattered.
“We have an incredible group of 13 kids,” Hamel said. “They’ve improved so much in the last six weeks. They’re such a joy to be around. I look forward to coming to the park every day.
“They never doubt each other or themselves. There’s not a team in the world that this team doesn’t think they can beat. These kids dream big and they work hard to achieve that dream. It’s the greatest group of kids I’ve ever been a part of.”
Making the game’s final out was catcher Gabriel Symes, who made a diving catch in foul territory to win the championship.
“It was pretty exciting,” said the 12-year-old Symes. “I can’t put it into words.
“I’m kind of shocked right now but I will say that the boys played well. We made some great plays and stayed positive throughout the game. Our confidence never wavered, especially in that final inning.”
One of the pitching stars for Ottawa West in the five-day tournament was Carson Colvin.
“Our goal was to come to Kingston and have some fun and hopefully make it to the finals,” said Colvin, a big right-hander.
“We really hit the ball well,” added Colvin. “I think we averaged more than 10 runs per game except for tonight, but nine was good enough to win. Gabe made a great catch at the end to help us win when Toronto was trying to come back.”
The Twins, managed by Fern Lefevbre, will now represent Ontario at the Canadian Little League championships Aug. 1 to 11 in Ancaster, Ont.