The Massapequa Coast Little League team is one win away from Williamsport.
The recent winners of the New York 12-year-old championship held on for a thrilling 7-5 victory over Fairfield American of Connecticut in the double-elimination Mid-Atlantic Metro Regional in Bristol, Connecticut, on Monday.
Massapequa will face the winner of Wednesday’s elimination game between Toms River East and Fairfield American in the regional final on Friday at 7 p.m. on ESPN.
Friday’s winner will advance to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, which begins on Aug. 16.
Fairfield scored four runs in the top of the sixth inning to cut the deficit to 7-5. With two outs and runners on first and third, Christian Bekiers struck out the final batter to close out a long, successful day for Massapequa that spanned nearly 5 1⁄2 hours.
The game quickly entered a two-hour weather delay in the middle of the first inning, followed by another weather delay of approximately 90 minutes after the third.
Starting pitcher Brendan Hanley allowed one run in three innings and Bekiers pitched the final three to secure the victory.
Joey Lionetti gave Massapequa an early jolt at the plate, hitting a two-run home run to right-center in the bottom of the first.
Bekiers was at shortstop to begin the game and nabbed a runner at home with a quick relay throw to end the second.
Fairfield cut the deficit to 2-1 in the third, but Anthony Badagliacca had an RBI double and Bekiers added an RBI groundout in the bottom of the fourth to extend Massapequa’s lead to 4-1. Liam St. George’s RBI single capped a three-run fifth.
Massapequa flashed plenty of stout defense throughout the day. Alex Pagano made a diving catch down the rightfield line to begin the fifth, and later in the inning, with two on and one out, St. George ran in and made a diving catch in leftfield.
Massapequa Coast Little League roster (12-year-olds)
2 Ryan Huksloot
3 Christian Bekiers
4 Liam St. George
7 Michael Clark
13 Joey Lionetti
14 Mikey Castellano
15 Danny Fregara
16 Anthony Badagliacca
24 Alex Pagano
27 Brendan Hanley
34 Lucas Mininni