Ryan pitches perfect game for Toms River in Little League tournament
Midsummer magic is in the air again for the Toms River Little League as pitcher Brandon Ryan threw a perfect game Sunday afternoon against Lacey. His win helped carry the Toms River Little League National League all-stars into the tournament’s second round of play which begins Friday night in Jackson. Toms River National is playing this year to defend their league’s District 18 Championship won last year by the league in the major league tournament, the first step in the long journey to Williamsport and the Little League World Series. Last year’s team made it all the way to Williamsport.
Coach John Ryan (no relationship) had a plan for the night. Brandon was supposed to pitch two innings and get some time on the mound before switching pitchers and letting everyone get some play time as the team had already secured their spot in the second round. But after the second inning, Ryan had not yet let a batter on base and was already piling up the strike outs, so coach Ryan left him in the game.
Toms River started the game giving Ryan a comfortable four run lead going into the top of the second inning. Despite Jared Klecan, Steven Tunney and Joey Sclafani each going 2-3 with Sclafani hitting a two run shot deep to left center, one run was all Toms River National was going to need.
Over 5 innings, Ryan pitched to 15 batters, striking out 10 and yielding no walks to clinch a perfect game, complete game win. At the plate he was also 2-3 with two singles. Ryan also had some great defensive glove work to support him. Shortstop Nyisztor made two great plays that might have otherwise gotten out of the infield as he quickly gobbled them up and got the runners out at first. Jared Klecan made a running catch from second base into the outfield to preserve Ryan’s perfect no-no. Outfielder Brant Reyman also put away one of the few balls hit by Lacey to make it out of the infield. After 5, the game was called on the 10 run mercy rule as the weekend storm wasn’t the only thing rolling through Lacey Sunday afternoon.
In Little League tournament play, shutouts are hard to come by and they can at often times turn into home run derbie. No hitters are much more rare, but Ryan’s perfect game will go down in District 18 history as one of the most notable pitching performances in the tournament. Coincidentally, Ryan, who shares the same last name as his coach John Ryan, also shares the name of one of the greatest Major League pitchers of all time, Nolan Ryan. Except, Nolan Ryan never threw a perfect game.
Brandon Ryan's Perfect Game Box Score
Lacey 0 0 0 0 0 - 0 Toms River N 4 2 1 1 3 - 10
WP- Ryan (K:10,BB:0,H:0 AB: 2-3)