By: Michael Mandarino, Follow South Jersey Managing Editor
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — Toms River East’s baseball team was eliminated from the Little League World Series on Tuesday following a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Texas.
Texas’ squad, which hails from a city near Dallas called Abilene, scored a run in each of the first two innings. Texas’ team used strong pitching to stifle Toms River’s bats and effectively fend off the team from South Jersey. Toms River only recorded two hits in the game, and Steven Malato scored its only run of the game in the fifth inning thanks to an error by the Texas defense.
Toms River had chances to get back in the game — including a bases-loaded scenario in the third inning — but Texas’ strong pitching and defense effectively eliminated South Jersey’s lone representative at this year’s tournament.
The Toms River East team was the third since 2010 to represent the Jersey Shore at the prestigious baseball tournament. Toms River National made it to Williamsport in 2010, and Holbrook qualified for the Little League World Series in 2017.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy shared words of support for the Toms River squad shortly after its defeat on Tuesday evening.
“So proud of Toms River East for representing the very best of New Jersey in the Little League World Series! You’ve made us all proud,” Gov. Murphy said on Twitter, “and we’re looking forward to rooting for you next season on the baseball diamond.”
This year’s Little League World Series is being played without fans due to the Delta variant of COVID-19. The players’ families can still attend the games. Last year’s tournament was canceled altogether because of the coronavirus pandemic, and this year’s competition doesn’t include international teams due to COVID-19 concerns.
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