After scraping out a 14-13 win against Pennridge, PA, earlier in the day, Johnston's Junior Little League team exploded for 10 runs in the first inning and added six more in the top of the fifth to force a 10-run-rule end in the second game of a double-header to win the Eastern Regional Tournament in Freehold Township, NJ.
Gian Martellini scored twice in the offensively productive first inning for Johnston, and James Picchi scored in his second at-bat of the inning to trigger the early rally on the way to an 18-7 victory.
The local squad added two more runs in the top of the third and put the game away with a six-run fifth that made the score 18-3.
Michael Caparco closed out the game for Johnston, staving off a two-out rally by Pennridge that scored four runs in the bottom of the fifth to seal the victory.
Martellini again led the Johnston offiense, going 3-for-3 with 4 runs and an RBI. Joe Bongiovanni, Korey Fijal, Marc Conte, and Larry Dureault all added two runs each.
The afternoon contest followed a nail-biter of a first game, where Martellini hit a walk-off two-run homer to give Johnston its first victory over the Pennsylvania team that , earlier in the tournament.
With the victory, Johnston does what it could not in 2010 — advance to the Junior Little League World Series, which this year is being held in Taylor, MI, beginning August 14.
Information for this report was gathered from Gamechanger, a site hosted by the Freehold Township Little League.