Freehold Township, North Wall have tough road to title


FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP — For the 12-year-old Little League All-Stars of Freehold Township and North Wall, their prospects for the New Jersey Division 3 tournament have changed dramatically after Friday’s results against non-regional teams.

The Hamilton Township Recreation Baseball Association (HTRBA) knocked Freehold Township into the losers bracket with an 11-6 decision.

Similarly, Milltown bounced North Wall back into the losing group with a 5-4 finish.

The new reality for Jersey Shore hopefuls is that another Division 3 tournament loss and their summer dream of reaching the Little League World Series comes to an end at Freehold Township Little League’s Sherwood Gloth Tournament Field. .

North Wall manager Brian Hunt could probably speak for the two local teams involved in this dilemma when he mentioned what awaits them, should North Wall or Freehold Township win the Section 3 tournament.

“We have to find something,” Hunt said. “Now we have to win on Saturday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.”

It’s a daunting task when you have throw limits and a limited roster. But that’s the way to go for North Wall and Freehold Township.

Freehold Township starting pitcher Julion Polo (#19).  Freehold Township Little League falls to Hamilton in Freehold Township, NJ on July 15, 2022.

Freehold Township emptied the bullpen

Once the coaching staff at Freehold Township realized there was a chance the host team might not win Friday’s game, they turned to survival mode and tried to hold the pitch by using five pitchers. in Friday’s game. Julian Polo started and threw 61 pitches. After that, the bullpen was convened and Dario Rodriguez (13 pitches), Ryan Van Kleef (42 pitches), Kobe Dancel (20 pitches) and Conne Nolan (12 pitches) all took the mound. Due to Little League pitching rules, Polo and Van Kleef are unavailable on Saturdays, because “if a player throws 21 to 35 pitches per day, one (1) calendar day off must be observed.”

More: District 19 Tournament ThrowbackRewatch the District 19 tournament game by game

Freehold Township's Warren Perski (#5) at home plate.  Freehold Township Little League falls to Hamilton in Freehold Township, NJ on July 15, 2022.

North Wall dropped a heartbreak

North Wall took advantage of a miscommunication between Milltown pitcher Roshan Jagannathan and catcher Tyrus Lazar to take a 1-0 lead as North Wall’s Luke Dana scored from third base.

A second set filled with errors put Milltown up 3-1. North Wall’s Stanley Kingman was at home plate when he walked. However, the ball drifted away from the catcher and it allowed another runner to score from third base for a 4-3 lead in the third inning.

But Milltown’s Ryder Redondo hit the game-winning hit, an RBI single, in the fourth inning.

“We committed suicide defensively. I think we got a deserved run. Unfortunately, we had our backs against the wall and weren’t looking for any excuses, but we were missing our receiver, which is a big part of our game,” Hunt said. “And it changes the 12-player versus 13-player scenarios and what you have to do (under little league rules). It’s hard but that’s what we have to face.

More: District 11 Tournament ThrowbackRewatch the District 11 tournament game by game

Hamilton Austin Wright is welcomed home after hitting a three-run homer.  Freehold Township Little League falls to Hamilton in Freehold Township, NJ on July 15, 2022.

Freehold Township, HTRBA each had a big third innings

Freehold Township started in the first half of the inning with RBI singles from Kobe Dancel and Bradley Santoro and with a two-run double from Ryan Van Kleef for a 4-0 lead.

That lead evaporated in the bottom half of the third as HTRBA headed for the plate swinging for the fences. In fact, HTRBA’s Austin Wright, the team’s third batter, homered a three-run homer to center field to cap his team’s 8-run third inning. Teammates Shane Sammons added a double RBI and Evan Lopez and Ethan Willever each had RBI singles. Additionally, Alex Alonzo scored a two-point brace.

More: District 18 Tournament ThrowbackRewatch the District 18 tournament game by game

Freehold Township's Aiden Rivera (#7) is home safe for Freehold Township's first set of games when the home throw comes out of the catcher's glove.  Freehold Township Little League falls to Hamilton in Freehold Township, NJ on July 15, 2022.

All hands on deck approach for future north wall pitching

Despite losing 5-4, North Wall only used two pitchers, starter Will Hunt and reliever Chris Knight. Hunt threw 53 pitches and Knight 50 pitches. According to Little League rules “If a player throws 36 to 50 pitches per day, two (2) calendar days of rest must be observed.” So neither Hunt nor Knight are available Saturday for North Wall, but if the team wins Saturday, they will be available Monday. Knight started his last batter under the 50-pitch threshold, so Little League rules allow him to return to that threshold as far as pitch count is concerned. That’s why it’s potentially available on Monday.

“We were close. Another runner or a big hit there. We score and equalize and we play more and I like our chances at that time. It didn’t work out today for us. We committed suicide. We had bases loaded in the first run and only put one (run) through. It’s a tough way to start,” North Wall’s Hunt said. “You think we’re going to have more and it just didn’t come after that as far as racing goes. We didn’t have a huge run that put us in the lead and could have changed the scenarios.

Sherlon Christie is a sportswriter at Asbury Park Press and has been covering Jersey Shore sports since 2004. Don’t miss any of his coverage by subscribing at You can contact him at


About Author

Comments are closed.