Toms River East Little League fall in regional final to Massapequa, 4-0

BRISTOL, Conn. – After rising to win a pair of playoff games to reach the Metro Championship game, Toms River East’s magic run ended with a victory before reaching the Little League World Series on Friday night .

Massapequa Coast’s Joey Lionetti shot a no-hitter in a 4-0 victory as the New York champions completed an unbeaten run in the region, including a pair of wins over Toms River East.

While the final was a record, the disappointment was evident for champions New Jersey, with the program looking to send a team to Williamsport, Pa., for the second straight year and fifth time overall.

In all, Lionetti allowed four base runners, hitting three batters, while striking out eight.

August 10, 2022;  Bristol, Connecticut, USA;  Toms River East second baseman Philipp LaGrossa (43) throws the Connecticut batter off his knees during the third inning at the Bartlett Giamatti Little League Leadership Training Center.  Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Last year Toms River East lost in the regional final but qualified for the World Series as the top two teams received invites as there were no international teams due to the coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19.

Toms River East was trying to reach the Little League World Series for the fifth time, including in 1995, 1998 and 1999, winning it all in 1998.

It would have been the eighth Ocean County team to reach the World Series, along with Lakewood, who won the title in 1975, Toms River National (2010) and Jackson-Holbrook (2017).

This is breaking news, so check back throughout the night for updates and quotes from Bristol.

After:For Toms River East Little League, World Series glory within reach – here’s why

After:Toms River East seeks to build on a rich tradition

Here are the key moments

Lower fifth inning: Massapequa extends lead

After Alex Pagano scored a single and Mikey Castellano was hit by a pitch, Macchia earned an out. But after the runners advanced on wild ground, Michael Clark powered a home run on a sacrifice fly to make it 3-0. Macchia hit his total and Tyler Tedero came in relief, with a Liam St. George single scoring their fourth run.

Best fourth set: Massapequa goes up 2-0

A two-out trade allowed Massapequa to extend their lead to 2-0. After Mascaro retired the first two batters of the inning, second baseman Anthony Badagliacca hit a single, before moving to second on a wild pitch. Then leadoff batter Christian Bekiers hit an opposite-field single down the left-field line, scoring Badagliacca from second. Mascaro came out of the inning, but his pitch count dropped to 76, just nine under the 85-pitch limit.

Second inning down: Massapequa strikes first

Massapequa charged the bases with no outs, as Mikey Castellano and Ryan Huksloot swooped in to open the frame, before Michael Clark laid down a sacrificial bunt that receiver Ryan McHugh fired to third in an attempt to get the lead runner , but the throw was not in time. Castellano then scored on a throwing error by Christian Mascaro on a ground ball. But Mascaro was able to limit the damage to a single run by striking out the next three batters.

First run down: searing defense

Toms River East’s defense was excellent throughout the tournament, and it continued the first time they stepped onto the court. After Joey Lionetti delivered a one-out single, Alex Pagano hit an accurate base at second. Philipp LaGrossa picked it up, returned the ball to shortstop Jayce Cappello who completed the double play to end the inning.

Top first run: TRE strand runner

Mike Mendes led the game in getting hit by a pitch, moving to second on a wild pitch. But Lionetti settled in and called out Brady Gillen, before Jayce Capello was second. Then Lionetti called on Macchia, who homered for a two-run in the first inning of Wednesday’s win, to hit a high fastball to end the threat.

Toms River East (visitors)

2. Michael Mendes CF

12. Brady Gillen RF

17. Jayce Cappello SS

54. Logan Machia

8. Christian Mascaro

9. Jake Gallagher P

43. Philipp La Grossa 2B

4 Tyler Todaro LB

25. Ryan McHugh C


5. Bryce Tomitz

13. Kevin O’Donnell

88. Deklin Sloan

99. Gavin Senger

Personal: Manager Mike Mendes, coaches Ed Todaro and George Gallagher.

Massapequa Coast (Home)

3. Christian Bekiers SS

13. Joey Lionetti P

24. Alex Pagano 1B

14. Mikey Castellano RF

2. Ryan Huksloot C

7. Michael Clark 3B

4. Liam St. George LF

15. Danny Fregara CF

16. Antoine Badagliacca 2B


27. Brendan Hanley

34. Lucas Minini

Staff: Director Roland Clark; Coach Brian Bekiers.

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