2010 New Jersey State Little League® Tournament Results
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New Jersey State Tournament
Major Baseball Division

Toward the past

Toward the present

New Jersey State Tournament
Host - HTRBA (Mercerville) (District 12)
At Van Horn Park

Participating Teams
Section 1 Champions North Hunterdon National (High Bridge) (District 17)
Section 2 Champions West New York American (District 7)
Section 3 Champions Toms River National (District 18)
Section 4 Champions Northfield (District 16)

Click here to view 2010 district tournament results for New Jersey.

Tournament Results:

Opening Round:
North Hunterdon National 4, Toms River National 1
Northfield 9, West New York American 7 (8 innings)

Elimination Bracket Semifinal (four teams remain):
Toms River National 11, West New York American 3 (elim.)

Winner's Bracket Final:
North Hunterdon National 5, Northfield 3

Elimination Bracket Final (three teams remain):
Toms River National 10, Northfield 0 (4 innings; elim.)

Championship Series:
Toms River National 8, North Hunterdon National 4
Toms River National 8, North Hunterdon National 7 (TITLE)


It would be easy for followers of Little League baseball in Toms River, New Jersey, to take success for granted.

Home to some 109,000 people, the township first registered on the national conscience as a youth baseball hotbed when the Toms River East American Little League arced from strength to strength during the latter half of the 1990s, reaching the Little League World Series three times and winning the title in 1998.

The league's sustained success raised expectations for future tournament teams in the area, but getting to Williamsport remained just as difficult as it has always been, and even for Toms River, is never a given. So when the 2010 Toms River National Little League all-star team powered its way to the New Jersey state championship and ultimately reached the Little League World Series, it took more than just the name on the jerseys. As a different league than the late-nineties "Beast of the East" juggernaut, and a team competing in a new, pitch count-limited, expanded Little League World Series era, Toms River National also relied heavily on a ferocious offense and a tenacious, never-say-die mentality.

Toms River National's fortitude was on display throughout the team's run through the New Jersey state tournament at HTRBA Little League's Van Horn Park in Mercerville. The District 18 champions dropped to the bottom bracket of the double-elimination tournament following a loss in an opening round game, rebounded with three victories to force a winner-take-all championship game, and then rallied from a late inning deficit to defeat North Hunterdon National Little League, 8-7, to claim the state championship. With the win, Toms River National advanced to the Mid-Atlantic Region tournament, and moved another critical step forward on their journey toward the Little League World Series.

The title game showcased just how treacherous the Road to Williamsport can be to navigate. In a game that featured six home runs and four lead changes, Toms River trailed early, pulled ahead by a 6-2 score, and then coughed up the lead in a five-run North Hunterdon rally. Only after Michael Tiplady led off the fourth inning by driving a laser over the left field fence that tied the game, and Patrick Marinaccio drove a curveball for an opposite field home run in the next inning did Toms River pull in front for good -- and only after reliever Kevin Blum curtailed a last-inning North Hunterdon rally did the Nationals punch their ticket for the Mid-Atlantic Region tournament in Bristol.

"I probably aged about five years in that last inning," said Toms River manager Paul Deceglie, after Blum stranded two baserunners by inducing a game-ending comebacker by the leadoff hitter in North Hunterdon's batting order. "I was just sitting there with my fingers crossed."

North Hunterdon National grabbed an early lead when John Wilson lined a solo home run in the top of the first inning. But Marinaccio answered with a solo shot in the bottom of the inning, and Jeff Ciervo followed with a mammoth, 300-foot blast with a runner aboard. Justin Friedman's solo homer in the second narrowed the Toms River lead, before Russell Petranto slammed a three-run shot that cleared the right field fence in the bottom of the second and gave Toms River a 6-2 advantage.

North Hunterdon responded in the third, sending nine batters to the plate and scoring five runs. Andrew Meiner drove in the first run with a single, and Wilson later scored on a throwing error. Friedman then followed with his second home run of the game, a three-run blast that pulled his team into the lead.

Tiplady and Marinaccio soon added their game-turning home runs, with Marinaccio's blast representing Toms River's eighteenth home run in five state tournament games, and their 67th since the start of the international tournament.

Toms River was forced into the tournament's bottom bracket following a 4-1 loss to North Hunterdon National in the tournament's opening game. The loss represented a rare power outage for the District 18 champions, who had scored nine or more runs in 13 of their 14 district and sectional contests. But Wilson, a left-hander, struck out 13 and allowed just Marinaccio's solo home run in the fourth inning over the course of 5-2/3 innings. He also paced North Hunterdon's offense with a pair of solo home runs.

"John has been huge for us all year long," said North Hunterdon manager Frank Crisologo. "He's a gamer... He has great poise for a young kid, and knows how to pitch. That's hard to teach in a twelve- or thirteen-year-old, but he loves the game and it shows."

"Wilson on North Hunterdon was phenomenal," agreed Deceglie. "He was the reason they won."

But the Toms River manager believed that his team was still in the hunt despite the setback.

"This team doesn't give up," said the Toms River skipper. "They're a little down now, but when they come back (for their next game), they'll have a great chance to win."

The next day, Toms River National adjusted course, and belted five home runs while eliminating West New York American, 11-3. Marinaccio enjoyed a 3-for-3 day that included two home runs, while Petranto homered in each of his final three plate appearances and drove in seven runs.

"Five home runs, that's actually on the low end of some of the single-game totals we've had this summer," noted Deceglie.

"We know that all successful teams go through a bit of adversity," Deceglie said. "North Hunterdon's pitcher threw gem against us, but we came out today ready to play and that says a lot about these kids.

"I have no doubt that we will win (tomorrow)," he added. "And that we are capable of beating the winner's bracket champs twice. I know we can do it."

True to their manager's words, Toms River scored in each of its three offensive innings the next day, and rolled past Northfield Little League, 10-0 in four innings. The field was damp from a rain system that moved through the area earlier in the day, and Deceglie challenged his team prior to the game to take an aggressive approach on the basepaths that would place extra pressure on the defense. That mindset paid off in the first inning when two runs scored on a Northfield throwing error.

"I told the kids early on that they had to run everything out," explained Deceglie. "The bottom line is, the ball was coming up wet. And if you hustle, you might make something out of it. That's exactly what happened in the first inning, and it set the tempo of the game."

Blum and Marinaccio added two-run shots in the second inning, and Blum added another home run in the third that helped push the Toms River advantage to 10-0 and invoke the mercy rule.

"They're a great hitting team," remarked Northfield manager Dennis Foreman.

The victory earned Toms River National a rematch with North Hunterdon, as the District 17 champions had followed their opening round with a come-from-behind, 5-3 victory over Northfield. Toms River continued its torrid hitting, and in contrast to the power shortage in the opening round loss, the Nationals drove three home runs in the top of the first inning, and moved to a 5-0 lead before North Hunterdon sent its first batter to the plate. The early flurry sparked Toms River National to an 8-4 victory.

Joey Rose started the fireworks with a three-run home run to right field, and on the very next pitch, Ciervo homered to nearly the exact same spot. Two batters later, Anthony Deceglie drove a solo home run beyond the center field fence.

"On the coin toss, we always choose away because we like to drop the hammer right away," said Paul Deceglie. "And that's what we did today, and we put a five-spot up in the first inning. It gives us momentum to go through the rest of the game."

Marinaccio and Jake Loffredo each added run-scoring singles, and Ciervo belted a second home run in the fourth inning.

While North Hunterdon's starting pitcher did not survive the first inning, Ciervo scattered five hits and held North Hunterdon National to three runs over 4-2/3 innings of work. Marinaccio and Zach Burns combined to register the final four outs and force the tournament to a final game.

"They're a tough team," said Frank Crisologo. "Nothing good comes easy."

North Hunterdon was hitless in the game through three innings, but narrowed the deficit to 8-4 with a pair of late inning rallies. Wilson homered as part of a three-run fifth, and Chris Iazzeth drilled a solo shot in the sixth.

"It says a lot about North Hunterdon and their program," said Paul Deceglie of his opponent's comeback efforts. "They never stop -- they're just there. And not for a second did I think that they're not in the game."

The next day, neither team backed down as the two finalists went toe-to-toe before Toms River National eventually locked down the state championship.

"A lot about the heart of this team is not about them being baseball players," pointed out Paul Deceglie. "But that they're champions off the field. They're great students, great kids. They're great friends. They do more off the field together as a group than they do on the field."

That would require a lot of togetherness off the field. Because with stops in Bristol and South Williamsport beckoning, Toms River National still had a lot of time together on the field in front of them.

Follow Toms River National at the Mid-Atlantic Region Tournament -- Click here to view results.


  Opening Round 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 R H E
Toms River National 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 - -
North Hunterdon National 0 0 2 0 2 x 4 - -
  Opening Round
Northfield 0 0 5 1 0 0 1 2 9 15 0
West New York American 2 2 0 2 0 0 1 0 7 13 3
  Winner's Bracket Final
Northfield 0 0 2 0 1 0 3 7 2
North Hunterdon National 0 0 0 0 3 2 5 7 1
  Elimination Bracket Final
Northfield 0 0 0 0 0 4 3
Toms River National 2 4 4 x 10 10 0
  Championship Series Game 1
Toms River National 5 1 1 1 0 0 8 - -
North Hunterdon National 0 0 0 0 3 1 4 - -
  Championship Series Game 2
North Hunterdon National 1 1 5 0 0 0 7 - -
Toms River National 3 3 0 1 1 x 8 - -

2010 New Jersey District Champions and Sectional Tournament Results

District Champions
in Section 1
District Champions
in Section 2
D1 - Roxbury National
D2 - Pequannock
D4 - Ramsey
D17 - North Hunterdon National (High Bridge)
D20 - Sparta

Section 1 Tournament
Host - Wallkill Valley (Franklin) (District 20)

Tournament Results:
1 - Roxbury National 7, Pequannock 2
2 - North Hunterdon National 5, Ramsey 3
3 - Roxbury National 13, Sparta 4
4 - Pequannock 6, Ramsey 5 (elim.)
5 - Sparta 7, Pequannock 6 (elim.)
6 - North Hunterdon National 7, Roxbury National 4
7 - Roxbury National 13, Sparta 6 (elim.)
8 - North Hunterdon National 8, Roxbury National 0 (TITLE)

D5 - Lyndhurst American
D6 - Fort Lee American
D7 - West New York American
D8 - Nutley American

Section 2 Tournament
Host - Edgewater (District 6)

Tournament Results:
1 - Lyndhurst American 5, Fort Lee American 1
2 - West New York American 2, Nutley American 0
3 - West New York American 7, Lyndhurst American 1
4 - Nutley American 10, Fort Lee American 0 (5 innings; elim.)
5 - Nutley American 5, Lyndhurst American 1 (elim.)
6 - Nutley American 9, West New York American 7
7 - West New York American 9, Nutley American 6 (TITLE)

District Champions
in Section 3
District Champions
in Section 4
D10 - Sayre Woods South
D11 - Manasquan Brielle
D12 - West Windsor
D18 - Toms River National
D19 - Colts Neck

Section 3 Tournament
Host - Manchester-Lakehurst (District 18)

Tournament Results:
1 - Sayre Woods South 7, West Windsor 1
2 - Toms River National 20, Manasquan Brielle 12
3 - Colts Neck 10, Sayre Woods South 9
4 - West Windsor 7, Manasquan Brielle 1 (elim.)
5 - West Windsor 8, Sayre Woods South 1 (elim.)
6 - Toms River National 22, Colts Neck 2
7 - Colts Neck 6, West Windsor 4 (elim.)
8 - Toms River National 10, Colts Neck 0 (TITLE)

D3 - Pennsville
D13 - Willingboro
D14 - Erial
D15 - Woodbury
D16 - Northfield
D21 - Berlin Boro

Section 4 Tournament
Championship Game Host - (District 13)

Tournament Results:
1 - Pennsville 7, Woodbury 5
2 - Berlin Boro 6, Willingboro 5
3 - Northfield 17, Pennsville 0
4 - Erial 15, Berlin Boro 2
5 - Berlin Boro 7, Woodbury 1 (elim.)
6 - Pennsville 9, Willingboro 7 (elim.)
7 - Northfield 13, Erial 4
8 - Berlin Boro 15, Pennsville 12 (elim.)
9 - Erial 10, Berlin 1 (elim.)
10 - Erial 11, Northfield 7
11 - Northfield 7, Erial 6 (TITLE)

Toward the past

Toward the present

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Last revision: 06/12/2011