TOMS RIVER-It’s been a long two years since Holbrook Little League was in the Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA, but they are back on track and hoping to get there again this year. On Monday, July 8th, Holbrook defeated Toms River East Little League 7-4 to win their first district championship since a scandal rocked their organization after a successful 2017 campaign that had the team go all the way to Williamsport.
The league, plagued by arrests of two long-time board members, accused of stealing funds, has also seen extensive churn in their board of directors in the past two years.
On the field, those events were a million miles away from the boys who have dominated their opponents all summer long.
In the second inning, Toms River East Little League kicked off the party scoring three runs off starting pitcher Danny Hutchinson, giving up a series of singles to give TRELL a 3-0 lead early in the game.
In the bottom of the second inning, Ray Lehman answered back, hitting a line drive shot over the right field fence, but that was all Holbrook could muster in the inning, leaving bases loaded.
After pitching a 1-2-3 third inning, Holbrook continued chipping away after Jack Osbamd reached base to lead off the inning on a dropped third strike. Donovan Louis-Jacques then singled to center field to score Osmond. Matt Grau, who pinch ran for Louis-Jacques was then driven home on a single by Nick Sirico. Sirico then scored the go ahead run on a fielder’s choice by Hutchinson.
At the end of three innings, Holbrook took a 4-3 lead.
Holbrook put up two more runs in the 5th inning, making it a 6-3 game. With a runner at third base, Toms River tried to play small ball to get back in the game, but could only muster one run on a bunt single before Hutchinson struck out the side to end the inning and the game.
Holbrook now plays in Toms River East Little League in the Section 3 tournament. In order to get to Williamsport, Holbrook still has a long road ahead of them. Victories in section tournament, state and regionals are a must and the competition gets tougher at each level.