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Jul 17, 2017 2:37 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

East Hampton Minors All-Stars Eliminated From Section IV Tournament

Carter Dickinson shows his teammates where he hit a ball off the fence in left center field during the District 36 Championship on July 10. DREW BUDD
Jul 17, 2017 4:09 PM

It was a quick but valiant effort for the East Hampton 9- and 10-year-old All-Stars in last week’s Section IV Tournament.

The young group—which won the District 36 Championship, 4-2, over Longwood on July 10—lost its first game of the double-elimination sectional tournament to St. James/Smithtown, 12-5, at Gaynor Park in St. James on July 11. Then, two days later, on Thursday, July 13, East Hampton—playing its fifth game in six days,—lost, 7-2, to Huntington Tri-Village at the Central Islip Little League fields.

The sectional tournament leads to the state tournament, which ultimately leads to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

East Hampton manager Henry Meyer said that his team was competitive in both games before falling apart in one inning, which made the season-ending loss tough to take.

“We had the opportunity to win both games but they slipped through our fingers,” he said.

In the first game of the tournament, East Hampton was winning, 5-2, before a rain delay of about an hour. Meyer said his team came out flat after the long break and it allowed St. James/Smithtown to come back for the win.

East Hampton and Huntington Tri-Village—which pulls players from Harborfields, Elwood, Huntington, South Huntington and Cold Spring Harbor school districts—were tied at 2-2 in the fifth inning before East Hampton’s pitching hit a wall and couldn’t find the plate, leading to a number of walks.

Kai Alversa, an eight-year-old, started on the mount for East Hampton because its pitching had been stretched thin with all of the games it had played in the past week. Meyer said Alversa did an admirable job and kept the team in it.

East Hampton trailed Huntington Tri-Village by a run in the fifth inning but had Tyler Hansen on third base. Meyer told Hansen earlier in the game that if he gets to third base he may have to create a scoring opportunity and that’s exactly what he did. Hansen acted as if he was going to steal home, going halfway down the third-base line, and after drawing a throw to third, he raced home and tied the game.

“But we couldn’t get anything more going from there,” Meyer said.

With half the team expected to move up to the 11- and 12-year-old All-Star team next summer, Meyer is hoping that this year’s team will be able to make another run two years from now, when the now 10-year-olds are 12 and the now 9-year-olds are 11.

“It will be kind of exciting to get that whole group back in two years and see how strong they’ll be,” he said. “As I’ve been telling the guys, it’s hard to get on a 10-, 12-game winning streak,” which is what’s needed to win the tournaments, Meyer explained. “You’re going to lose a game here and there. If you look at the best high school teams, even they lose a couple of games in a season. It’s tough. You have to be really deep in the pitching department.

“They got an extra three weeks of baseball, though,” Meyer added. “It’s been a crazy three weeks but it was fun.”

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