A Massapequa little league team has a chance to make...

A Massapequa little league team has a chance to make it to the upcoming Little League World Series. Credit: Craig Garland

Live on ESPN — the Massapequa Coast Little League baseball team! Now that’s very cool.

Massapequa Coast, the 12-year-old New York State champion, will take the field in the winner’s-bracket final against Fairfield American of Connecticut in the Mid-Atlantic Metro Regional of the Little League World Series at 1 p.m. Monday in Bristol, Connecticut.

Massapequa Coast needs two more wins in Bristol to qualify for the World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, which starts on Aug. 16. Massapequa Coast took the first step with a heart-thumping 6-3 extra-inning win over perennial powerhouse Toms River East on Saturday.

“We had a huge win and we’re having a blast,” said Massapequa Coast coach Roland Clark, a lefthanded pitcher who played in the Mid-Atlantic Regional for the Massapequa International Little League in 1989. “The players are so excited about the live broadcast on ESPN. We’re trying to keep them focused and at the same time let them enjoy the experience. Our strength has been our unity. All 11 players have contributed in a big way.”

Massapequa Coast’s opponent, Fairfield American, beat Cumberland of Rhode Island, 3-1, in an opening-round game. Toms River East and Cumberland will play in an elimination game.

A Massapequa Coast win Monday would set up a winner-take-all final on Friday. A loss would force Massapequa Coast to beat the Toms River East-Cumberland winner on Wednesday to reach the final.

“We never quit when we’re down,” third baseman Michael Clark said. “It’s just a never- give-up attitude because we know we can score runs.”

Massapequa Coast, which captured the New York title last weekend, the first championship in the league’s 72-year history, used a three-run seventh inning to forge the 6-3 win. Christian Bekiers hit a one-out double, advanced to third on Joey Lionetti’s single and scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch. Mikey Castellano, who bats cleanup, then hit a two-run home run.

“It was Mikey’s first home run of the season,” Roland Clark said. “He had a free swing and blasted a 3-1 fastball. We knew it was going out right away.”

Massapequa Coast will go with righthander Brendan Hanley, who started the state championship game last Sunday. If all goes well, Lionetti will get the ball for the final and the chance to go to Williamsport.

“We have so much confidence in each other,” Lionetti said. “We play defense, throw strikes and we can hit.”

While the Massapequa Coast Little League is making its presence known on the national stage, it is recognized as a Little League powerhouse at all age levels on Long Island.

Behind this talented 12-year-old team is an 11-year-old team that has won back-to-back state titles under coach Jon Henchy.

“Massapequa Coast dominated again this year with four teams advancing to state finals,” said Craig Garland, the Massapequa Coast Little League president since 2005. “We’ve captured 30 district-level championships and 17 Long Island titles in the last decade. It’s an amazing feeder to our school program. Our players learn the fundamentals at a very young age. We’re very proud of the entire program.”

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