On the eve of a three-game series with Amityville, the East Hampton High School baseball team had played single games with all of its league opponents, winning two games and losing three.
But for a tendency to blow leads, a tendency that Bonac’s coaches, Ed Bahns and Will Collins, hope to correct, “we could be 5-0 at this point rather than 2-3,” Collins said following the spring break’s first practice session.
That having been said, aside from the loss to Shoreham-Wading River, a game in which the Bonackers held a 6-1 lead in the fourth inning, only to wind up losing 11-6, “our kids have played well. . . . They’re giving it a good, hard effort.”
On April 3, in a game played here, East Hampton, behind A.J. Bennett’s pitching, defeated Elwood-John Glenn 13-4. The day before, at Bayport, with Michael Abreu on the mound, the team lost 4-1 after going up 1-0 in the fifth inning.
East Hampton jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second inning of the game with Glenn as Brendan Hughes, via a fielder’s choice play, and Brady Yusko, a freshman who’s making a serious bid to start at second base, drove in a run with a sacrifice fly. These runs were scored after East Hampton loaded the bases on two walks — to Cameron Yusko and Bennett — and a hit batsman — Abreu.
The Bonackers made it 5-0 in the third. Ryan Joudeh, the catcher and leadoff man, singled to get things going, took second on a passed ball, and moved to third on a balk. Brandon Brophy, who’s been hitting very well, drove Joudeh home with a base hit of his own. Deilyn Guzman’s grounder forced Brophy at second, but then Yusko and Bennett received free passes again, loading the bases for Abreu, whose sac fly plated Guzman. An error on a grounder hit by Brendan Hughes scored Yusko with East Hampton’s fifth run.
“But, as I’ve said, we’ve been having trouble holding onto leads,” said Collins. “They got four runs back in the fourth, and though they were all earned, mental mistakes played a part. We’d let another team get back into a game.”
Bahns’s assistant said that “the turning point was Peter Vaziri’s at-bat, which led off our fourth. He worked their pitcher for a walk after having gone down 1-2. Ryan singled, and Brandon drove in Peter with a base hit. Then Deilyn hit a three-run homer over the left field fence.”
The home team put more distance between itself and the visitors in the fifth. Hughes led it off with a single, Brady Yusko bunted him over to second, Vaziri drew another walk, and Joudeh, in reaching first base safely on an error, was credited with driving in Hughes. Brophy followed with a two-run single that plated Vaziri and Joudeh. Brophy then scored on a base hit by Bennett, which upped East Hampton’s lead to 13-4.
Peter Shilowich, a sophomore, pitched the seventh. “He had trouble finding the plate initially — he walked the first batter to face him and hit the next. But once he began throwing strikes he was fine. The third kid lined out to Cameron at third, and Cameron doubled off the guy on second for a double play. A groundout ended the game.”
Collins said Abreu, who pitched the Bayport game, “deserved better, though Bayport’s pitcher was very good. I think he was their number-one. As I told you, we had the lead in that one too, 1-0. Following a strikeout by Jimmy McMullan, Vaziri walked, and on a hit-and-run with Joudeh up, beat the throw from shortstop to second. Brophy then hit a fly ball to left that was dropped. That allowed Peter to score.”
In the bottom half, Bayport tied the score as the result of an error by McMullan at second, a passed ball, and a base hit.
The Phantoms touched Abreu for three more runs, on four hits (two singles and two doubles) in the sixth. “Then they shut us down in the seventh,” said Collins.
East Hampton was to have begun the three-game Amityville series with a doubleheader here Monday morning. The third game is to be played at Amityville this morning.