Much to Learn And A Long Way to Go

‘We’ll have to take advantage of every chance’
Maykell Guzman, who spent last year in the Dominican Republic, can hit as well as pitch. Jack Graves

   The rain predicted for Saturday — snow, as it turned out — didn’t arrive until the afternoon, which allowed East Hampton High School’s baseball team to scrimmage Mattituck here.
    The initial outing gave Ed Bahns and Will Collins — and their volunteer assistant, Kevin Brophy — a chance to give their 17-player roster a look in a game situation, and afterward there was agreement that while there was much to work on, if the young team continued to work hard and made steady improvement, that would be fine.
    Eleven players were lost to graduation last June. The sole senior on this spring’s squad is Peter Vaziri, the center fielder. Perhaps Maykell Guzman, who spent the past year in the Dominican Republic, is too, though, for the moment, the coaches are thinking of him as a junior.
    Guzman was one of four pitchers used in the scrimmage. “He looked good in the first inning, but had some control problems in the second,” Collins, who managed the team in the early going, said during a conversation Sunday. “He works fast, which isn’t a bad thing, but sometimes it’s too fast. He needs to take a breath.”
    Collins thinks Guzman’s fastball is in the 80s, but doesn’t know for sure given the fact that East Hampton has no radar gun.
    Others who pitched for the Bonackers Saturday morning were Peter Shilowich, Max Lerner (who also was not here last year), and R.J. Anderson, a lefty. Jack Link was expected to start Monday’s scrimmage at Pierson.
    Collins demurred when asked for the rotation. “We’ve got five or six candidates, though it’s likely Maykell will be number-one and Peter [who also had control problems Saturday] number-two. We’re definitely looking for a three. We should know more about that by the end of this coming week.”
    East Hampton’s in League VII, along with Amityville (which is to start the regular season here Monday), John Glenn, Shoreham-Wading River, Bayport-Blue Point, and Mount Sinai.
    The Bonackers are to play four games with each of their opponents, beginning with single games with each of them, after which they’ll play three-game series.
    Asked about hitting, Collins said that “we’ll have to know how to bunt and run the bases well in order to score. We’ll have to take advantage of every chance.”
    Guzman, for one, can hit, so well in fact that Bahns, during a conversation following the scrimmage, said that it was scary to toss him balls in close from behind a screen.
    “We’re not going to overpower anybody,” the head coach said, “but the main thing is that the kids listen and work, which they have been doing, and improve every day. . . . We don’t have the same talent we’ve had in the past. We’ve got a young team and a long way to go, but we’ll be patient.”
    Asked who the captains were, Bahns said, “We don’t have any yet, but Brendan Hughes [who played third base Saturday] will be one. He’s been stepping up.”
    The roster comprises Vaziri, 12 juniors, four sophomores, and one freshman, Kyle McKee.
    Aside from Hughes, Guzman, Shilo­wich, Anderson, and Link, the juniors are Tyler Restrepo, Danny Page, Ben Newberry, Cristian Mizhquiri, Bryan Gambino, Michael Abrams-Dyer, and Bryan Gamble. The sophomores are Jack Abrams-Dyer, Lerner, Adrian Mora, and Patrick Silich.
    Asked to assess the scrimmage, Collins said, “I’m glad it was our first day. If it were two weeks from now, I’d be disappointed. The great thing, though, is that all of these kids are very coachable. You tell them something, and they listen, and remember.”
    Southampton is to scrimmage here this afternoon at 4. Tomorrow, the Bonackers are to scrimmage at Mattituck.