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Jul 11, 2017 9:54 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

East Hampton Minors Win First District Championship Since 1992

The East Hampton Grey team fell to North Shore on July 5. KYRIL BROMLEY
Jul 12, 2017 10:26 AM

The East Hampton 9- and 10-year-old All-Stars won the District 36 Championship on Monday, 4-2, over Longwood at Stotzky Memorial Park in Riverhead, following the same philosophy they used to go undefeated throughout six games—a total team effort.With timely hitting, solid defense, strong pitching and smart baserunning, the young All-Stars did everything they could to bring the first district championship to East Hampton Little League in 25 years.

“We don’t have just one guy who is blowing guys away,” manager Henry Meyer said following the victory. “We’re using three, four pitchers a game, we’re getting timely hits, we’re stealing bases. We’re just playing the game the right way.”

Longwood took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning, but East Hampton struck back in the bottom of the fourth with three runs. The tying run scored when a ball off the bat of Leandro Abreu went off the glove of Longwood’s first baseman. Bruno Sessler then hit a grounder that also went off the first baseman, allowing Michael Newmark to score the go-ahead run from third. On that same play, Abreu saw Longwood wasn’t paying attention and dashed for home to make it 3-1.

Longwood bounced back in the top of the fifth with a run-scoring single to make it a one-run game. With one out and runners on first and third, East Hampton starting pitcher Tyler Hansen reached his pitch limit and had to be taken out of the game. Carter Dickinson came on in relief and performed admirably. He tagged out a base runner trying to score from third on a passed ball, receiving an accurate toss from catcher Hudson Meyer. Then Dickinson induced a fly ball to left field, which Victoreddy Diaz caught to end the inning with runners in scoring position.

East Hampton added an insurance run in the bottom of the fifth inning, then Dickinson easily struck out the side in the top of the sixth to finish off the victory. Dickinson threw his glove in the air in celebration, then proceeded to celebrate with his third baseman, Abreu, and the rest of the All-Stars followed suit.

Tim Garneau, an assistant coach on the team, along with Greg Brown, has been involved with East Hampton Little League for quite some time. He created the first 9- and 10-year-old All-Star team, he said, around five years ago when his children were playing.

“We’ve been so close a couple of times, to actually win ‘the pennant,’ it feels great,” he said. “I’m just really happy for the kids.”

There will be no rest for the weary. The All-Stars were scheduled to play their third game in as many days at District 35 Champion St. James/Smithtown on Tuesday, their first game of the Section IV Tournament, the next stop along the way to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The sectional tournament, which leads to the state tournament, is a double-elimination format, so win or lose, East Hampton will play again—on Thursday if it won on Tuesday, or Friday if it lost. If East Hampton wins a game it could be playing up until this Monday, July 17.

For bracket information, go to www.newyorksection4ll.com and click on ‘Baseball Divisions’ to the left side of the page under ‘Schedules & Results.’

Playing three days in a row has left East Hampton’s pitching a little thin, Meyer said. There is rain in the forecast, which would provide welcome relief, but either way, Meyer said, his team will be ready.

“We’re going to go with a couple of guys that can throw, but I think we can hit with anyone, and that’s all that really matters,” he said.

The East Hampton coaches employ a noticeably intense style, and that’s an “old-school East Hampton” philosophy, Meyer said, “from the 1990s,” where the coaches expect the players to be focused at all times. Meyer said his good friend, Vinny Alversa, who coaches the varsity baseball team at East Hampton High School and has a son, Kai, on the team, abides by the same philosophy.

“We’re intense guys and we expect [the players] to be focused,” he explained. “We don’t expect [them] to field the ball every time, or hit the ball every time. Just be focused and don’t make excuses, and these kids don’t.”

It’s clearly a winning philosophy.

The East Hampton 9- and 10-year-olds are managed by Henry Meyer, who is assisted by Tim Garneau and Greg Brown. Players include Andrew Brown, Hudson Meyer, Tyler Hansen, Carter Dickinson, Leandra Abreu, Victoreddy Diaz, Hudson Beckmann, Bruno Sessler, Livs Kuplins, Kai Alversa, Michael Newmark, Liam Cashin, Luke Rossano and Justin Prince.

Maroon Majors Fall In Semis

It was a strong tournament for both East Hampton 11- and 12-year-old All-Stars squads. The maroon team reached the semifinals after finishing pool play with a 4-1 record. They played Riverhead at Stotzky Memorial Park on Sunday and lost, 3-0.

The maroon team played in Pool A and was coached by Chris Anderson, Nicole Dickinson, Greg Eberhart and Dave Samot. Players included Jack Dickinson, Jake Krahe, Cassius Hokanson, Nick Schaffer, Richard Gosman, Nick Cordone, Zac Dodge, Trevor Stacheki, Nico Puglia, Aryan Chugh, Michael Locascio, Calum Anderson, Hunter Eberhart and Alex Lombardo.

The gray East Hampton team played 
in Pool B and lost its final two games of the tournament to finish with a 3-3 record, a win away from advancing to the semis.

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