TOMS RIVER — The Point Boro baseball team are the Ocean County American Legion Baseball League champions after defeating Toms River South on Monday, 9-3.
The Panthers were able to jump ahead of the Indians early in the game scoring nine runs in three innings, bringing the trophy back to Boro after their last win in 2015.
“Any win against Toms River South is a good one. Tonight was a great one,” said Point Boro head coach David Drew. “Toms River South is a great team and they have a beautiful ballpark and a lot of tradition and a lot of history.”
Boro opened the game by putting Sam Collins and Christian Aurin on base, setting up Jack Brennan for the RBI double, scoring Collins and giving the Panthers an early 1-0 lead. But it would be the Panthers’ showing in the second inning that set them apart from the Indians for the championship win.
The Panthers created a steep lead, as the Indians could not recover from the deficit. With plenty of later opportunities for South to close in on the lead, Aurin converted multiple fly balls to center into final outs of innings, stalling South from encroaching on the Boro lead.
“Most of them I was scared because I couldn’t see it at first,” said Aurin on deep fly balls that were caught in the lights. “I had no idea where they were. I just thought ‘stay cool and don’t get too hyped up so you don’t mess up.’”
Andrew LaSpina not only threw the entire game for Boro, but earned the MVP award for his outing.
“It’s awesome,” said LaSpina. “I was just thinking that I have to do good to help the team out. Everyone played well and helped me, they put up a lot of runs and that made me feel better out there.”
With the win over Toms River South, Boro not only takes the championship title but earns a spot in the 2017 American Legion New Jersey State Tournament.
“It’s great to see the Point Boro Panthers won the title this year, a great team and a great coach in Dave Drew and staff,” said Chuck Robbins, chairman of the Ocean County American Legion Baseball League. “I’m glad they stuck with us. They’re one of our loyal teams, they’ve stuck with us through the years for Legion baseball.”
They will face the host team of Mercer County, tomorrow at noon at Mercer County Park, in West Windsor. The tournament is double elimination, if the Panthers win one game they will play either on Monday or Tuesday.
For more on this story, read The Ocean Star—on newsstands Friday or online in our e-Edition.