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Massapequa Coast heading to Little League World Series after beating Toms River East

Massapequa beats Toms River, advances to Little League World Series
Massapequa beats Toms River, advances to Little League World Series 01:46

MASSAPEQUA, N.Y. -- Teams from New York and New Jersey faced off Friday for a spot in the Little League World Series.

As CBS2's Jenna DeAngelis reports, cheers erupted at Burns Park, where many gathered to watch their team on the big screen.

The Metro Region Championship Game was held in Bristol, Connecticut, with Massapequa Coast taking on Toms River East, ending with a 4-0 victory.

Massapequa now advances to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

This is Massapequa's first time going to the Little League World Series in their 72-year history. The boys, only 12 years old, are already making their mark.

"This is great. It's great for the town. There's so many kids involved in this program, and to see the older kids reach such a high level, it's just amazing. It's an inspiration for the younger kids, inspiration for the whole town," Massapequa resident Bill Martin said.

"It was amazing. I can't believe Massapequa is in the Little League World Series," resident Anthony Cimino said.

"So excited, can't believe these boys did it. Can believe they did it because it's a no-quit team," resident Debbie O'Fee said.

"It was pretty amazing to watch our team, like... We didn't know they were gonna get this far and then they won," resident Sarah Smith said.

"And to beat a legendary team like Toms River is just amazing," resident Mike Kirwan said.

Toms River, Massapequa Little League teams vying for World Series spot 02:51

Craig Garland, president of Massapequa Coast Little League, spoke with CBS2 before he left for the big game in Bristol. 

"To put it in perspective, the last Long Island team to advance to the Little League World Series was in 1978 by Rockville Centre Little League, almost 45 years ago," he said, calling the team "hometown heroes."

"As a coach you're trying to stay cool and calm and positive. And these kids, they are loose, they're excited," Massapequa Coast Assistant Coach Brian Bekiers said before the game. "I think it's a dream come true for them."

Just making it to the championship game was a dream for the Toms River East players, too. 

"They have the whole town behind them and we just wanna cheer them on," said Paul Mika, president of Toms River East Little League. 

Mika and fans boarded a bus on Friday afternoon to support the team in person. There were local celebrations, too. Toms River Council Vice President Matt Lotano said a street in downtown Toms River would be closed for a broadcast of the game.

Four teams from Toms River have made it to the Little League World Series in the last 24 years, according to Toms River Mayor Maurice Hill.  Hill said, win or lose, the team would return to a celebratory parade.

Both teams are making their communities proud.

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