What Else Is New? Toms River Team Wins State Little League Title
The incredible success of Little League baseball in Toms River has become somewhat expected and is not always marked with public celebrations but rather reactions like “oh they won again.”
For the second straight year the 12-year olds from the Toms River East Little League have won the state championship and they did so in dominating fashion outscoring their three opponents in Pequannock 31-1 which included a 9-0 victory over Rutherford in the finals. It’s the fourth time in the last 12 state tournaments a team from Toms River has emerged as New Jersey’s best and this latest group will have a few days at home before heading to Bristol, Connecticut.
Unlike in the past they will not compete in the Mid-Atlantic Region but rather in the newly-created Metro Regional Tournament. Little League Baseball has expanded once again to 20 teams with the new regions being the Metro, Mountain, Panama & Puerto Rico. A cynic like yours truly believes expansions are just money grabs but I’ll leave that for another day.
The bottom line is Toms River East only has to deal with the state champs from Connecticut, New York & Rhode Island in order to advance to the World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. They open play Saturday in the region against the Massapequa Coast Little League from New York and it’s always a huge plus if you can win your opener in a double-elimination tournament.
This team relies on a strong pitching staff as evidenced by the fact they allowed only one run on the state tournament. Logan Macchia was brilliant in final and joins Brady Gillen and Christian Mascaro in making up their “big 3” on the mound which gives manager Mike Mendes solid options to choose from.
The summer of baseball continues for these kids as well as their families who I’m sure are busy making plans to spend some time in Bristol, Connecticut. The team leaves Friday morning.
Toms River East 12-Year Old All-Stars
#2 Michael Mendes OF, 2B
#4 Tyler Todaro OF, P
#5 Bryce Tomitz OF, P
#8 Christian Mascara IB, P
#9 Jake Gallagher 3B
#12 Brady Gillen CF, P
#13 Kevin O’Donnell OF, 3B
#17 Jayce Cappello SS
#25 Ryan McHugh C
#43 Phillip LaGrossa 2B
#54 Logan Macchia P, 1B, OF
#88 Deklin Sloan 3B, P
#99 Gavin Senger P
Manager: Mike Mendes
Coaches: Ed Todaro, George Gallagher