By: Katie Francis, Follow South Jersey News Reporting Intern
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — Over the weekend, the Toms River East little league baseball team continue its Little League World Series run the same way it started: with a comeback.
The team was down 3-0 going into the sixth inning in the Mid-Atlantic Regional Tournament semifinal. It rallied in the final inning, scoring six runs and making it to the Mid-Atlantic final. Toms River East’s Carson Frazier hit a three-run double to contribute to the cause. Frazier is following in the footsteps of his uncle, Todd Frazier, who led the team to a championship in 1998.
Although the Ocean County team fell to Pennsylvania in the Mid-Atlantic championship game, both Mid-Atlantic finalists were invited to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
The first games of the Little League World Series tournament began Thursday. Toms River East was defeated by Nebraska’s Hastings Baseball team with a score of 5-2.
Despite the loss, the South Jersey team got its redemption in the double-elimination Little League World Series in comeback fashion. The team won its do-or-die match-up with Connecticut 11-4 after scoring eight runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Toms River was trailing 4-3 entering that inning and 4-1 in the third, but a flurry of substitutions gave the Garden State’s lone representative at the tournament a lead it wouldn’t look back from.
After Cailen Cimorelli hit an RBI single to tie the game at 4, Joey DiMeo came to the plate with the bases loaded. He hit a grand slam to burst the game wide open and give his team an 8-4 lead. Toms River loaded the bases again later in the inning, and it scored three more runs thanks to an RBI single by Cole Garrison, a walk drawn by Dominic Roma, and a hit-by-pitch on Cimorelli.
Toms River’s squad will get back on the field Tuesday for a game against the loser of Michigan and Texas’ game, which was postponed to Monday due to inclement weather.
The tournament is made up of 16 teams and is divided into two brackets of eight: the Hank Aaron and Tom Seaver brackets. After falling to Hastings, Toms River East is now five wins away from the Hank Aaron final. The winners of each bracket will compete in the Little League World Series championship game on August 29.
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This article was produced by a Follow South Jersey news intern thanks to a grant provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation through the New Jersey Health Initiatives program to create hyper-local news to meet the informational and health needs of the City of Bridgeton, N.J.