Tourney Hopefuls

The older kids were to have played at the Pantigo East field here Monday evening against Southampton
Tucker Coleman drove in two runs with a single that he tried to stretch into a double in the fifth inning of Saturday’s 9-10-year-old Little League playoff game with Eastend. That he was ruled out at second mattered little inasmuch as he’d treated East Hampton to a 10-5 lead. Craig Macnaughton

As of earlier this week, both East Hampton Little League all-star teams — the 9-and-10-year-olds and the 11-12s — were alive in District 36 pool play, though as of Monday afternoon the little ones, coached by Liz Genovesi, were in better shape record-wise, at 3-0, while Tim Garneau’s 11-12s were 2-1, having lost 10-4 the day before at Hampton Bays.

The older kids were to have played at the Pantigo East field here Monday evening against Southampton, which was 0-3 going in. The younger Bonackers were to have played their Southampton counterparts, who were 2-1 as of Monday, last night.

“The Hampton Bays coach told me he was out of pitchers, so we may be able to move out of our pool if Hampton Bays loses two and we win two. If we both finish at 4-1, they’d get the nod because they have the tiebreaker,” the coach said.

Garneau’s crew kept it close at Hampton Bays Sunday despite the fact that the Baymen’s pitcher, “a kid who had a good curve and changeup and kept us off balance,” fanned 14. “And that was in six innings.”

Elian Abreu started on the mound for the Bonackers, and by the end of the first three innings had six strikeouts to his credit.

The home team’s batters touched him up a bit in the fourth, scoring four runs thanks to several base hits and a couple of walks.

East Hampton got one back in the bottom half. After Logan Gurney singled, Lou Britton doubled him home. Subsequently Britton was caught trying to steal third. “Their catcher has an amazing arm . . . he hit a solo shot in the fifth.”

Jackson Baris led off Bonac’s fifth with a single, J.B. Stewart walked, and Liam Leach drove in Baris with a base hit, for 4-2.

“We had the bases loaded with two outs,” said Garneau, “and Logan hit a hot grounder to third that I thought would go through, but their third baseman made an amazing play to get a forceout there. It looked like we were about to go ahead. . . .”

Hampton Bays put the game away with five runs in the sixth, and last, inning.

“It all unraveled for us after Lou Britton, whom I’d brought in to relieve Elian, got hit in the shoulder with a one-hop smash. He had to go to Stony Brook Hospital. It could be a fracture. At any rate, he’ll be out for seven to 10 days, which obviously hurts. He’s one of our best hitters and pitchers.”

Garneau was to have started Gurney on the mound Monday. Neither Christian Johnson nor Abreu, because of their pitch counts, was eligible. Thus Garneau was hoping that Gurney would go all the way.

Gurney, he said, had got a big hit in Friday’s 3-0 win over Eastend, tripling with two outs in the fifth to give East Hampton a 1-0 lead. East Hampton tacked on two more in the sixth, on a double by Britton and, following two strikeouts, a long home run to center field by Pat DeSanti. Britton pitched the first two innings, Johnson the last four.

Garneau’s squad began the playoffs with a 7-2 win over Moriches Bay, the defending District 36 champion, last Thursday.

East Hampton’s 9-to-10-year-old team played here Saturday morning against Eastend, which is to say Westhampton Beach, and won handily 12-5.

There was only one bad inning, the bottom of the fourth, during which East­end put five runs across to tie the count at 5-5.

East Hampton put it away in the top of the fifth. Colin Ruddy led off with a single, and Aidan Herlihy and Luke Walter drew walks. Ruddy alertly stole home before Eastend’s pitcher and catcher had resumed their positions, on the mound and at the plate, putting East Hampton ahead 6-5.

Then, after Charlie Condon struck out, Kody Vela, who had replaced Colin Wright in the order’s ninth spot, drove one to within one hop of the center-field fence, an authoritative double that scored Herlihy and Walter, for 8-5.

Matthew McGovern drew a walk, and a wild pitch enabled Vela to move up to third and McGovern to advance to second. Tucker Coleman then drove them both in with a line drive into the outfield. Coleman was caught trying to stretch it into a double, but East Hampton by that time had a 10-5 lead. Burton Garneau, who had driven a run in with a double in the first, singled in the third, and walked in the fourth, ended the inning by flying out to center field.

Coleman, a left-hander who relieved the starter, Tucker Genovesi, with the bases loaded and no outs in the bottom of the fourth, shut Eastend down without a run in the fifth and sixth.

Meanwhile, in the top of the sixth, East Hampton added two more. Genovesi and Ruddy led off with back-to-back doubles, Genovesi coming home on Ruddy’s. With Herlihy up, Ruddy stole third. Herlihy, after drawing a walk, continued on toward second, where he was tagged out, but Ruddy scored East Hampton’s 12th run on the play.