It’s starting to get interesting for Toms River Little League All-Star manager Pete Avallone and his coaches, Jim DeRose and Ray Roncin. 

Toms River Little League coaches (Kevin Williams, Townsquare Media NJ)

After beating the Maryland state champs from West Salisbury 10-5 on Tuesday Toms River secured a spot in Friday’s Mid Atlantic Region semifinals in Bristol, Connecticut.  Now 3-0 in the tournament the Mapletree Road gang plays Delaware this morning (10am) as pool play concludes and a victory would secure the top seed in the nationally-televised semifinals.

Avallone told me this morning that Jonathan Giordano will make the start but will be limited to 35 pitches so he can be available for Friday or even Sunday which is when the championship game is scheduled.  It has been thought all week that the Pennsylvania state champs from Philadelphia would be Toms River’s biggest obstacle to win the regional but they were knocked off by New York last night.

Those two teams along with Delaware will join TR in the semis but the matchups will not be known until after today’s action.

Avallone does feel like his team is starting to play better as the week goes on especially at the plate where they have scored 28 runs in three games.  Yesterday they rallied from an early 4-0 deficit with Colin Baker driving in three runs and Christian Wood going 3-3 with a pair of RBI’s.  Nick DeRose turned in another sharp relief effort sandwiched in between starter Phil Antoniotti and Wood who got the final five outs.

After Toms River plays this morning they will be off until Friday’s semifinals which will be televised by ESPN.

A bit closer to home the Toms River South Alumni Association is gearing up for next Saturday’s “Battle of the Badges” charity softball game.  Officers from the Toms River Police Department will oppose the Ocean County Corrections Department on Saturday, August 16th at Ken Frank Stadium (6:30pm).

Tickets are just $5 and there will be plenty going on in addition to the softball game from music to prize drawings, food and more.  I will serve as Master of Ceremonies for the evening in which all proceeds benefit the Toms River South Alumni Association.  For more on the organization you can visit their website at