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Jul 7, 2018 4:46 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

East Hampton Minors All-Stars Win District 36 Championships For Second Straight Summer

Kai Alversa started on the mound for the East Hampton Little League Minors All-Stars on Saturday. DREW BUDD
Jul 10, 2018 11:22 AM

The East Hampton Little League Minors All-Star Baseball team was fired up for its District 36 Championship game against North Shore Little League at the North Shore Little League Complex in Rocky Point on Saturday afternoon. East Hampton used a nine-run second inning en route to a 13-1 run-rule shortened victory to earn its second straight district title.Among a number of chants heard from along the third-base dugout on Saturday was one in particular that stood out from the rest. Jackson Carney got it started, shouting: “I’m fired up! You fired up?” With his teammates yelling in unison afterwards, “Yeah!”

That level of enthusiasm from the players has been fueling the team the past few summers and has continued this season. East Hampton’s Minors, which includes players age 10 and under, went undefeated in pool play, then defeated North Shore National on Friday evening, 8-3, in the semifinals to face North Shore American, which was also undefeated prior to Saturday’s game.

“These guys play ball. It’s really fun to watch,” East Hampton manager Michael Hand said after the game. “They come, they show up to play. They play year round, every one of these guys plays on a year-round team in addition to Little League. They’re a great group, they get along. It’s exciting.”

East Hampton defeated Sag Harbor, 12-1, on June 29, defeated Southampton, 10-0, on June 30, then clobbered Hampton Bays, 34-3, in their final game of pool play this past Tuesday. That actually led Hand and his coaching staff to be slightly nervous just because the team wasn’t really tested early on in the tournament, especially moving on to the single-elimination format in the semifinals and finals against perennial powerhouse North Shore. But it didn’t seem to matter much.

North Shore loaded the bases with no outs to start the game but only got a single run out of it, then East Hampton responded in the bottom of the first with a pair of runs to take a 2-1 lead. East Hampton then exploded for nine runs in the second inning, which included a two-run base hit by Trevor Meehan, a two-run triple by Luke Rossano, and a bases-clearing hit by Jackson Carney. Harrison Jenkins lined a single up the middle to bring another run in and another run scored on an error. After the dust settled, East Hampton held a commanding 11-1 lead after two innings, and whatever energy North Shore had from the first inning was totally drained.

Rossano drove in another run on a base hit in the third and he later scored on a passed ball to make it 13-1. Victoreddy Diaz came in to pitch for starting pitcher Kai Alversa in the fourth and, after giving up a lead-off walk to start the inning, he struck out the next two batters then got the final batter to ground out to Trevor Meehan at first base. The game was called due to East Hampton being up by 10 runs or more after the losing team got its fourth set of at-bats.

East Hampton will now move on in the tournament that ultimately leads to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The double-elimination Section IV Tournament started this Tuesday, July 10, at the Locust Avenue Complex in Oakdale against District 35 Champion Sayville. The winner of that game will play Thursday back at North Shore while the loser will drop down to the consolation bracket and play Thursday at Otsego Park in Dix Hills. The winner of the section advances to the state tournament, which begins July 21.

Half of this year’s All-Stars are now two-time champions, having won the district title last year, which was East Hampton’s first title since 1992. Those players include Andrew Brown, Victoreddy Diaz, Bruno Sessler, Kai Alversa, Livs Kuplins and Luke Rossano. They joined Tucker Bock, Jackson Carney, James Corwin, Harrison Jenkins, Trevor Meehan and Finn O’Rourke to make up this year’s team. Hand took over for Henry Meyer as the manager this summer, with Matt Meehan handling first base coach duties and Andrew “A-Rod” Rodriguez, the junior varsity head coach for East Hampton High School, serving as the team’s third base coach. Hand said that it’s been a joint effort between the coaches, along with Vinny Alversa, East Hampton’s varsity baseball head coach, and Erick Bock, who has been working on the field at Pantigo and supplying the team with drinks and other needs.

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Congratulations and well done...
By knitter (1300), Southampton on Jul 8, 18 2:50 PM