After losing two of three games in a series with Shoreham/Wading River last week, it’s crunch time for the East Hampton baseball team.
The Bonackers (6-8) will need to win five of their last six games to advance to the Class A playoffs. They have a three-game series coming up with first-place Bayport/Blue Point (11-2), with two of those games at home, and will conclude the regular season with a three-game set with Elwood/John Glenn, with two games on the road. Teams must finish with an above-.500 record in league play in order to advance to the postseason.
East Hampton beat Glenn handily, 13-4, in the two teams’ first meeting of the season, and suffered a narrow 4-1 loss to Bayport.
On Friday, the Bonackers avoided the sweep by beating Shoreham, 14-5. Plenty of hitting along with errors by Shoreham made it a good day for East Hampton. The Wildcats took an early lead when Nick Bottari hit a two-run homer in the top of the first, but East Hampton tied it with two runs in the bottom of the frame. East Hampton had gotten out of the top of the inning when shortstop Mike Abreu and second baseman Brendan Hughes turned one of their three double plays turned that day.
East Hampton took the lead for good in the bottom of the second, when Deilyn Guzman, the starting pitcher that day, homered to make it 3-2. East Hampton scored twice more in that frame to make it 5-2 but really broke the game open in the third, batting around and tallying five runs to go up 10-2. An error allowed two runs to score, while A.J. Bennett had a two-run single, and Cameron Yusko had an RBI double.
Hughes hit a solo homer, the first of his varsity career, in the sixth inning.
Guzman got the win, going five and two-thirds innings, and allowing three hits, five walks and four hit batsmen, with three strikeouts.
Brandon Brophy, Bennett, Hughes, and catcher Ryan Joudeh each had three hits on the day, while Yusko was 2 for 3 with two RBIs. Bennett led the team with four RBIs.
East Hampton’s bats were not nearly as prolific in the first two games of the series. The Bonackers had to face one of the best hurlers in the county on Tuesday, April 24, in the opening game at home, falling 3-0. Shoreham’s Mike O’Reilly tossed a complete-game three-hitter with 11 strikeouts and no walks. Brophy, Yukso and Abreu had the only hits, coming in the third and fourth innings.
Abreu started for East Hampton and pitched well but took the loss. He gave up nine hits and five walks with four strikeouts in seven innings.
East Hampton lost, 5-2, the following day in Shoreham. Bennett started for East Hampton; a lack of run support equated a loss for him that day. Bennett went six innings and gave up five earned runs on 10 hits, walking two and striking out five. Shoreham scored two runs in the second and a run in the third. Bennett scored in the fifth on an error to make it 3-1, but Shoreham added two more runs in the bottom of the inning to go up 5-1. Yusko had an RBI in the sixth, but it was not enough.
East Hampton was slated to start its series with Bayport on Monday, April 30. (For results, see this week’s Monday Roundup article).ON THE SCHEDULE: Thursday, 5/3, vs. Bayport, 4:30 p.m.; Friday, 5/4, at Bayport, 4:30 p.m.; Monday, 5/7, at Glenn, 4:30 p.m.; Thursday, 5/10, vs. Glenn, 4:30 p.m.; Friday, 5/11, at Glenn, 4:30 p.m.