HAMPTON, NJ - The Randolph East All Stars run to a Section 1 championship and a place in the New Jersey Little League Final Four came to an end on Thursday night. Randolph lost its rematch to a tough Somerset Hills squad by a score of 10-4. Somerset Hills moves on to play for a spot in the Little League World Series.
The game was not without highlights for Randolph, with the boys making some impressive defensive plays to keep the game in striking distance. Jimmy Pepe threw a frozen rope from behind the plate to nail a runner trying to steal second. Justin Townsend, who started the game for Randolph East, pitched fantastic despite the score in a losing effort. Townsend painted the corners for a couple strikeouts, battling the strong lineup of Somerset Hills.
The Randolph East Boys made solid contact on the ball all night and that resulted in scoring four runs off a pair of two-run homers.
The runs for Randolph East came in the top of the fourth inning with Chris Ascione hitting a long shot over the center field wall. Ascione’s blast scored Aden Koenigsberg who reached base to lead off the inning.
Niko Flores also got into the act with a long ball of his own. Flores’ two run homer came with Ryan Cox as the base runner. Randolph East never gave up, and knowing they were up against a talented team they came out of the game with their heads held high. Their gritty play made for a fun few weeks for those who came to watch, the consensus being it was a great run by a great group of players.
Head Coach Mike Townsend said after the game “I told them no one can take away your district championship.” Townsend then added “Their banner will be hanging in Freedom Park and that will always be a great memory for the kids. They created a great run and gave their parents, fans and town something to be very proud of.”