While East Hampton’s 11-to-12-year-old traveling all-star team lost two games last week, resulting in its elimination from the District 36 Little League tournament, the 9-10s won both of their initial outings and were to have played a third game yesterday.
Christian Johnson, an impressive fourth-grader, started for the young Bonackers in Monday’s game against Mastic at the Pantigo fields, and while the visitors touched him for two runs in the top of the first inning, it was pretty much all Bonac after that as Tim Garneau’s crew cruised to a 13-6 win.
East Hampton quickly wrested the lead back in the bottom of the first inning, scoring six runs before it was over. Henry Garneau, a lefty, led off with a line single to center field. After Lou Britton, also a left-hander, was walked, Johnson drove in Garneau with a single, and Britton and Johnson alertly moved up to second and third on the play. Elian Abreu, the cleanup hitter, walked to load the bases with none out, and while the next batter, Chasen Dubs, struck out, Britton came home with East Hampton’s second run as the catcher let the ball get by him.
And so it went, as more passed balls and more walks led to more Bonac runs. Batting for the second time in the inning, with runners at first and second, Garneau doubled home run number six before Britton grounded out second-to-first to end the inning.
Johnson, who pretty much throws swift strikes, shut down the visitors in the top of the second. He led off East Hampton’s second with a high, deep fly to center field that Mastic’s center fielder one-handed over his head as he fell onto his back. Abreu followed suit, hitting the ball just about where Johnson had, but this time the center fielder dropped the ball, allowing Abreu to pull in at second. After Dubs struck out, an error by Mastic’s shortstop resulted in Abreu scoring, upping East Hampton’s lead to 7-2.
Mastic got one back in the top of the third, a run scoring on a passed ball with the bases loaded and none out. But Johnson closed the visitors out with two strikeouts sandwiched around an out at home as a runner tried to score on a passed ball.
A two-out line drive base hit by Britton that plated Zach Barzilay from third made it 8-3 in the bottom half of the inning. Johnson followed with a little nubber that remained inside the third baseline, putting runners at first and second for Abreu, who was walked after the count went full. Mastic brought in a reliever then to pitch to Dubs, who lined out to the pitcher, ending the inning.
The little Little Leaguers won game one by a score of 8-6 over North Fork. Garneau reported that North Fork led 6-2 after four innings, after which East Hampton came back to win.
A triple by Dubs that led off East Hampton’s fifth was followed by a double by Britton and four consecutive singles by Logan Gurney, Jackson Baris, Nate Wright, and Owen Ruddy. Johnson closed the door in the sixth, striking out the side in 12 pitches.
The 11-12s were shut out 10-0 at Southampton, and lost 6-3 to Riverhead.
East Hampton’s roster included Zachary Minskoff, Rudy DeSanti, Jack Healey, Luke Vaziri, Jack Murphy, Noah Lappin, Ryan Brewer, August Schultz, Hunter Fromm, Kurt Mathews, Jack Suter, Sean Tyler Tronsen, Chris Stoecker, and Hunter Medler. Steve Minskoff was the head coach.
Rich Swanson is to lead East Hampton’s 10-to-11-year-old Little League girls softball entry into the district tournament in two weeks.
Its roster comprises Lina Bistrian, Elizabeth Bistrian, and Grace Myers of the playoff-champion Sand Gnats, Isabella Swanson, Nina Gonzalez, and Alexis Vargas of the playoff-runner-up Express, Sophia Ledda, Ella Gurney, and Julia Kearney of the Owls, Olivia Brauer and Julia Short of the Bandits, Jaylean Schiappacasse of the Thunder, and Danielle Lackner and Maddison Neff of the Shamrocks.