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Blue Jays honour Canada's Little League champs

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays provided the ultimate send-off to the Hastings All-Stars baseball team from British Columbia on Sunday afternoon.

Hastings won the Canadian Little League championship on Saturday in Edmonton, Alberta, with an 11-1 victory over the Lethbridge Southwest All-Stars, and were then honored the following day at Rogers Centre.

The British Columbia squad will now represent Canada at the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa., which begins on Thursday.

Hastings' squad outscored its opponents 74-2 during the seven-game tournament, and cruised to victory in the championship game after scoring 10 runs in the fourth inning against Lethbridge.

"It's an unbelievable feeling," Hastings manager Vito Bordignon told the Edmonton Journal. "For these kids (aged 11 and 12), it's once in a lifetime. They're pumped to go, the bunch of them."

The 12-player squad was honored prior to Toronto's game against the Yankees on Sunday afternoon. They watched batting practice, had the opportunity to meet some players, and were then introduced before the national anthems.

Canada is set to play its first game on Friday afternoon against Mexico. Last year's squad was represented by Langley, British Columbia, and while that club defeated Taiwan for the first time in the country's history, it was eventually eliminated by Japan.

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