Bonac District 36 Champions

The first in a quarter-century
Atta boy: East Hampton’s 9-10 Little Leaguers were congratulated by their parents after Sunday’s 13-4 win here over Patchogue-Medford. On Monday, in Riverhead, they won the District 36 championship. Jack Graves

East Hampton’s 9-10-year-old traveling all-star team rode its pitching, hitting, and heads-up baserunning to a District 36 championship, the first in a quarter-century, this week.

The littlest Little Leaguers were the last one of Bonac’s postseason entries standing as of Sunday afternoon, the two girls teams and the two 11-12 boys teams having been ousted — the 11-12 Maroons, coached by Chris Anderson, having been shut out 4-0 Sunday by Riverhead in a playoff semifinal, the same team that had pulled the rug out from under them by way of a walk-off home run in last year’s district 9-10 final.

“It was incredible, Longwood [the team East Hampton played in the final] was 6-0 going in,” said one of the young Bonackers’ coaches, Tim Garneau, Tuesday morning. “They’d been beating teams 33-0 . . . I don’t think our kids know what fear is. Yes, you could say they were quietly confident. The coaches [Henry Meyer, Greg Brown, and Garneau] told our kids to keep it loose and to have fun. Their pitcher, a big kid, struck out our first three batters, but then, in the second inning, Carter [Dickinson] unloaded on him, hitting the fence. It was a bomb, almost a home run. Although he didn’t score, that lead-off double of his, I think, set the tone. I don’t have the book, but we nailed a couple of their runners at the plate, made double plays . . . Tyler Hansen pitched great for us. He pitched most of the game, until we had to take him out because he’d reached his 75-pitch limit, the limit for that age. We brought Carter in then. He got the last two outs and the save. The final score was 5-3. . . . They were surprised.”

Thus the young Bonackers, who were treated to an East Hampton Fire Department parade through the village on their return Monday, were to have begun play in the eight-district Section IV tournament at Gaynor Park in Smithtown-St. James Tuesday evening. The top two sectional teams are to vie in the state tournament next week. 

Meyer, Garneau, and Brown managed the pitch counts well in the fifth — and last — game of pool play with Eastport-South Manor on July 5, and in the semifinal versus Patchogue-Medford Sunday, using four pitchers in that one. 

Hansen, the team’s ace, and Leandro Abreu combined for a 10-0 “mercy rule” shutout of Eastport-South Manor at the Pantigo fields on the 5th — Hansen pitching the first four innings.

Abreu started Sunday’s game, giving way to Hansen with the bases loaded and none out in the top of the third, at which time East Hampton led 6-2. Hansen, who can wheel and deal, got out of the jam with just one run scoring, on a force play at third base. 

Dickinson, who had started behind the plate and had moved to first at the beginning of the third, came on in relief of Hansen with one out and one on in the fourth. He gave up a run, bringing Patchogue-Medford to within 6-4, but the young Bonackers effectively put the game away with six more runs in the bottom half.

Liam Cashin, pinch-hitting for Livs Kuplins, was hit by a pitch to lead off East Hampton’s fourth. Cashin moved to second on a wild pitch with Andrew Brown, the leadoff hitter, up. Brown then lashed a double into the outfield that scored Cashin with East Hampton’s seventh run.

Hudson Meyer popped out to short for the first out, after which the visitors made a pitching change. Hansen went all the way to second — and Brown to third — on a fly ball to left field that was dropped. With Dickinson at the plate, Brown came home on a wild pitch, after which Dickinson doubled in Hansen for 9-4. 

Abreu, the fifth batter in the lineup, reached first base safely on an infield hit, and Victor Diaz, who had struck out his first two times up, came through with a two-run double for 11-4. Diaz advanced to second, and then to third on subsequent wild pitches, and scored when Bruno Sessler, following Justin Prince’s strikeout, singled through the right side for 12-4. 

The bases were loaded when Meyer came up for the second time that inning, but the runners were stranded as he popped out to the pitcher on a 3-1 pitch.

But the damage, as aforesaid, had been done. Dickinson, who had become more effective after lengthening his stride, notched a strikeout after giving up a full-count walk. With Patchogue-Medford’s sixth hitter up, and the count 2-2, Hansen, who was catching at the time, foiled an attempt to steal third, after which Dickinson struck the batter out. Meyer was brought in to relieve Dickinson at that point, and he ended the inning with a strikeout.

East Hampton got one more in the bottom half. Hansen led off with an infield hit, stole second with Dickinson up, and scored on Dickinson’s 6-to-3 groundout.

“With the exception of Abreu, all our pitchers will be available for the final,” Garneau said afterward.

As for the July 5 game, Hansen doubled in a run in the first, Meyer tripled in two in the second, Prince doubled in two in the third, Abreu singled in one in the fourth, and Brown drove in two with an opposite-field double in the fifth. 

Carter Dickinson’s lead-off double in the second inning of Monday’s championship game “set the tone,” according to one of his coaches, Tim Garneau. Craig Macnaughton
Tyler Hansen has been lights out on the mound for East Hampton’s 9-10 traveling all-star team. Jack Graves