2005 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 - Livingston American (District 8)
At Meadowbrook Field

Participating Teams
Section 1 Champions Sparta (District 20)
Section 2 Champions Rutherford National (District 5)
Section 3 Champions Toms River American (District 18)
Section 4 Champions South Vineland (District 3)

Click here to view 2005 district tournament results for New Jersey.

Tournament Results:

Opening Round:
Toms River American 6, Sparta 0
South Vineland 2, Rutherford National 0

Elimination Bracket Semifinals (four teams remain):
Sparta 3, Rutherford National 2 (elim.)

Winner's Bracket Finals:
South Vineland 4, Toms River American 3

Elimination Bracket Finals (three teams remain):
Toms River American 11, Sparta 1 (5 innings; elim.)

Championship Series:
Toms River American 3, South Vineland 0
Toms River American 10, South Vineland 0 (4 innings; TITLE) (No-hitter)


Everything was on the line when Toms River American Little League met South Vineland Little League for the third time in the 2005 New Jersey state tournament. A state championship. A summer's worth of hard work. A berth in the Mid-Atlantic Region tournament. And a chance to keep alive dreams of reaching the Little League World Series.

Toms River American pitcher Sean Wozniak gave it everything he had. And he gave South Vineland's hitters absolutely nothing.

Wozniak threw the first championship game no-hitter in the 49-year history of the New Jersey state tournament, and Toms River American scored in every inning of a mercy rule-shortened, 10-0 victory at Livingston American Little League's Meadowbrook Field.

With the win, Toms River American completed its climb through the tournament's bottom bracket, and claimed the league's first-ever state championship.

"He (Wozniak) was really a game-time decision," said Toms River American manager Paul DeMartino. "Sean was warming up, and his stuff just looked nasty. He had some pop in his fastball, and his curve was breaking just where we wanted it to."

Wozniak had previewed his title game success by striking out six of the seven batters he faced during a relief appearance in Toms River's first meeting with South Vineland, a 4-3 loss in the winner's bracket final. His title game effort was more of the same. Wozniak struck out nine batters in the four inning game, retired two hitters on comebackers, and induced one grounder to the second baseman.

Wozniak's effectiveness was a major obstacle for South Vineland to overcome, and Toms River's early offense made the challenge even harder. By the time South Vineland managed to put a runner on base via a third inning walk, the longtime District 3 power faced a 6-0 deficit.

"That broke our backs," said South Vineland manager John Triantos of the trickle of two-run rallies posted by Toms River American in the game's opening innings. "We just didn't play well."

Eric Pecoraro, who finished the game 3-for-3 with three runs scored, sparked Toms River's initial rally by leading off the game with a single to right field. He moved to third on a throwing error following Kyle Perry's infield hit, then scored on a first-and-third double steal attempt. Perry later scored on Brian Gilbert's double down the left field line, and a South Vineland team that had managed only seven hits in its first three state tournament games faced a 2-0 deficit before coming to bat for the first time.

Perry added to the lead with a two-run double in the second inning, and Toms River American scored twice more on Tanner Namiotka's sacrifice bunt and a wild pitch in the third. Two throwing errors and Alex Wheeler's two-run double keyed a four run rally in the fourth.

"We knew we had a hard job," said DeMartino after the game. "But we never predicted we'd win like this."

Wozniak's gem carried forward the momentum established the previous night, when Perry threw a one-hitter and Toms River American forced the tournament to a deciding game with a 3-0 victory over South Vineland. Perry fanned seven batters and allowed only two baserunners while registering his second complete game shutout of the tournament. Perry had scattered four hits, struck out five, and induced twelve ground ball outs in a 6-0 victory over Sparta Little League in the tournament's opening round.

Pecoraro opened the scoring with a first pitch leadoff home run in the third inning, and Perry followed with his own solo shot two batters later. Eric DeMartino singled and later scored on a fielder's choice to complete the scoring in the fifth.

South Vineland hurler Chet Godfrey, whose two-hitter helped his team to a 2-0 victory over Rutherford National in the opening round, struck out nine batters and allowed only five hits, but suffered his first loss of the summer.

South Vineland had also reached the New Jersey state championship game in 2000 and 2001, but finished second on both occasions. The 2001 squad also fell twice after advancing to the championship game without a loss.

"That's tough," said Triantos, a longtime volunteer who has taken five South Vineland teams to the state tournament, including the 1991 state championship team and a 1996 squad that finished in third place. Only one other New Jersey league (Millburn-Short Hills Little League) has reached the state tournament five times during that span.

Triantos' team reached the championship game by edging Toms River American in the winner's bracket final. South Vineland took the lead for good in the third inning when pitcher Holvin Figueroa reached on an error and eventually scored on a two-out wild pitch. The right-hander then retired nine of the final ten batters he faced to close out a four-hit, seven strikeout performance.

"It was an emotional game," said DeMartino, whose team drew even on two occasions in the game's early innings after home runs gave South Vineland the lead. "The guys never gave up."

South Vineland opened the scoring on back-to-back home runs by Godfrey and Chris Bell in the first inning. Toms River's Shawn Albers tied the game with a two-run shot in the bottom of the inning, then Quas Ives put South Vineland in front with an opposite field solo homer in the second.

Toms River tied the game in the third, when Steve Petrosino doubled and later scored on Eric DeMartino's sacrifice fly.

Paul DiMartino knew that, despite the loss, his team was far from done.

"It's our first loss of the year, and it came against a very good team," he said.

"They've got a lot left in them," he said of his players.

Toms River showed its resiliency the next evening, racing to a 10-0 lead after two innings in a 11-1, five inning victory over Sparta. Perry was bouncing back from a setback of his own -- he had collapsed in the dugout shortly after being struck in the throat by a foul ball while catching the previous night, and was taken to a local hospital as a precaution -- but he was in the lineup against Sparta, and opened the scoring with a two-run homer in the first inning. Gilbert added a two-run shot of his own later in the inning, then slammed a three-run blast over the center field fence in the second. Wheeler followed later in the inning with a two-run double.

"They are a very good Little League team," said Sparta manager Mick Curran after his team suffered its second loss of the tournament to Toms River American.

"They pitch well, play good defense, and obviously they can hit," he added. "They do it all. They have no holes."

"We were patient at the plate, and got the pitches we wanted," said Paul DeMartino. "Our guys were up to the challenge tonight and scoring early set the tone."

Two nights later, DeMartino's team used a similar formula to subdue South Vineland and become the second Toms River-based league to win the New Jersey championship. Toms River East American Little League reached South Williamsport three times during the 1990s, and won the Little League World Series championship in 1998. The community's past success means expectations are high for leagues that advance beyond District 18 tournament play.

"It's an honor," said DeMartino, whose team beat this year's Toms River East American squad 10-0 in a mercy rule-shortened pool game during District 18 tournament play. "They're our crosstown rivals, but we have the utmost respect for each other. A lot of them were here to support us, just like we were there to support them."

But by far the biggest support Toms River American received was from its pitching staff. Toms River allowed only five runs in their five state tournament games, and only once surrendered more than one run in a game.

"This group is relentless," said DeMartino. "And very mentally tough."

Tough enough to bounce back from a loss and overcome one of the state's most successful programs. And tough enough to become, of the 283 New Jersey leagues that started tournament play one month earlier, the last team standing.

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


  Opening Round 1 2 3 4 5 6 R H E
Toms River American 3 0 2 1 0 0 6 - -
Sparta 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 -
  Opening Round
Rutherford National 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 2
South Vineland 0 1 1 0 0 x 2 2 1
  Elimination Bracket Semifinals
Rutherford National 0 1 0 0 1 0 2 4 2
Sparta 2 0 1 0 0 x 3 4 2
  Winner's Bracket Finals
Toms River American 0 2 1 0 0 0 3 4 2
South Vineland 2 1 1 0 0 x 4 4 1
  Elimination Bracket Finals
Sparta 0 0 0 1 0 1 - -
Toms River American 4 6 0 0 1 11 - -
  Championship Series Game 1
South Vineland 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 3
Toms River American 0 0 2 0 1 x 3 5 0
  Championship Series Game 2
Toms River American 2 2 2 4 10 10 0
South Vineland 0 0 0 0 0 0 4

2005 New Jersey District Champions and Sectional Tournament Results

District Champions
in Section 1
District Champions
in Section 2
D1 - Morristown National
D2 - Wayne National
D4 - Dumont
D17 - Green Brook
D20 - Sparta

Section 1 Tournament
Host - New Milford (District 4)

Tournament Results:
1 - Morristown National 9, Wayne National 0
2 - Sparta 2, Green Brook 0
3 - Wayne National 5, Green Brook 2 (elim.)
4 - Morristown National 3, Dumont 0
5 - Dumont 7, Wayne National 3 (elim.)
6 - Sparta 1, Morristown National 0 (8 innings)
7 - Dumont 5, Morristown National 2 (elim.)
8 - Sparta 8, Dumont 6 (TITLE)

D5 - Rutherford National
D6 - Fort Lee National
D7 - West New York National
D8 - Livingston American
D9 - Clark

Section 2 Tournament
Host - Rutherford (District 5)
At Tom Mellody Field

Tournament Results:
1 - Clark 3, West New York National 2
2 - Fort Lee National 7, Livingston American 4
3 - Livingston American 11, West New York National 6 (elim.)
4 - Rutherford National 5, Clark 3
5 - Livingston American 9, Clark 4 (elim.)
6 - Rutherford National 14, Fort Lee National 4 (6 innings)
7 - Livingston American 8, Fort Lee National 7 (elim.)
8 - Rutherford National 11, Livingston American 5 (TITLE)

District Champions
in Section 3
District Champions
in Section 4
D10 - Old Bridge
D11 - South Wall
D12 - Ewing
D18 - Toms River American
D19 - Freehold Township National

Section 3 Tournament
Host - Toms River (District 18)

Tournament Results:
1 - Toms River American 3, South Wall 2
2 - Old Bridge 1, Freehold Township National 0
3 - South Wall 7, Old Bridge 5
4 - Toms River American 7, Ewing 6
5 - Ewing 9, Freehold Township National 3
6 - Toms River American 9, Old Bridge 2
7 - Toms River American 13, Freehold Township National 1 (4 innings)
8 - Ewing 11, South Wall 1 (5 innings)
9 - Ewing 5, Old Bridge 1
10 - South Wall 12, Freehold Township National 3



Toms River American 4 0
Ewing 3 1
South Wall 2 2
Old Bridge 1 3
Freehold Township National 0 4

The top two teams advance to the championship game.

Ties are broken based on records in head-to-head competition among tied teams. If a clear winner cannot be determined from head-to-head results, the tie is broken by calculating the ratio of runs allowed to defensive innings played for all teams involved in the tie. The team with the lowest runs-per-defensive-inning ratio advances.

In the event of a tie involving three or more teams, once the initial tie is broken, the remaining tied teams are again compared on head-to-head record to determine if a clear winner can be identified. If no clear winner can be identified from head-to-head results among the remaining tied teams, the runs-per-defensive-inning ratio is again used. This process is repeated until all ties have been broken.

Section 3 Championship Game

Toms River American 11, Ewing 8 (TITLE)

D3 - South Vineland
D13 - Cherry Hill National
D14 - Haddon Heights
D15 - Harrison Township
D16 - Ventnor
D21 - Winslow Township Athletic Association

Section 4 Tournament
Championship Game Host - Gloucester City (District 14)

Tournament Results:
1 - South Vineland 8, Winslow Township AA 0
2 - Haddon Heights 2, Harrison Township 1
3 - South Vineland 3, Cherry Hill National 1
4 - Haddon Heights 10, Ventnor 6
5 - Winslow Township AA 12, Ventnor 0 (elim.)
6 - Cherry Hill National 12, Harrison Township 1 (elim.)
7 - South Vineland 3, Haddon Heights 2
8 - Cherry Hill National 3, Winslow Township AA 1 (elim.)
9 - Cherry Hill National 15, Haddon Heights 4 (elim.)
10 - Cherry Hill National 4, South Vineland 0 (8 innings)
11 - South Vineland 5, Cherry Hill National 0 (TITLE)

Toward the past

Toward the present

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Last revision: 06/11/2006