Toms River East falls to Massapequa

BRISTOL, Conn. – After rising up to win a pair of elimination games to reach the Metro Region championship game, Toms River East’s magical run ended a win short of reaching the Little League World Series Friday night.

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

As the final out was record, the disappointment was apparent for the New Jersey champions, with the program looking to send a team to Williamsport, Pennsylvania at the World Series for the second straight year and fifth time overall.

Aug 12, 2022; Bristol, CT, USA; Toms River East catcher Ryan McHugh (25) misses a throw allowing New York right fielder Mikey Castellano (14) to score a run during the second inning at A. Bartlett Giamatti Little League Leadership Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

“A lot of emotion. It has been once heck of a summer,” said Toms River East manager Mike Mendes, who played in the Bristol region in 1990 for Brick. “These kids, they really came together. I thank them all for letting me be a part of their lives. I know they are going to remember this forever. I remember when I was 12 and played in Bristol. I know they are going to.

“I’m proud of all of them. They fought hard.”

In all, Lionetti allowed four baserunners, hitting three batters, while striking out nine.  

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