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Jun 25, 2019 10:27 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

East End All-Stars Start District 36 Tournament With A Walk-Off Victory

Patrick Fay slides in ahead of the ball at home plate to score one of East End's first runs. DREW BUDD
Jun 25, 2019 5:07 PM

It’s been a bit of an up and down start for the 12-and-under East End All-Star team in the District 36 Tournament, which ultimately leads to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

After defeating Southampton, 8-7, in walk-off fashion—a game it was comfortably leading, 6-0, at one point—on Saturday at Hampton West Park in Westhampton, East End dropped its second game, 9-1, to Sag Harbor at the Bridgehampton Fire Department field on Monday evening. East End, as of Tuesday morning, is tied with North Shore American for second place in Pool ‘A.’ East Hampton and Sag Harbor are both tied for first, being undefeated in their first two games while Hampton Bays and Southampton are both 0-2.

After each team plays each other once, which will wrap up this Sunday, the top two teams from each pool move on to the semifinals of the tournament. Pool ‘B’ this year is made up of North Shore National, Eastport-South Manor, Moriches Bay, North Patchogue/Medford, Riverhead and Mastic.

East End, which is made up of residents from East Quogue, Quogue, Westhampton Beach, Westhampton, Remsenburg and Speonk, jumped out to a 4-0 lead in its opening game with Southampton on Saturday, then Brody Schaffer showed why his teammates yelled out “Bye! Bye! Brody!” whenever he stepped to the plate, launching a two-run home run a good 20 feet over the fence in left center field to give his team a commanding 6-0 lead in the middle innings. Behind a strong start from Luke Hefter on the mound, it looked like East End was going to cruise to its first victory, but Hefter had to be taken out due to pitch count limits and Southampton mounted its comeback—with two outs—in the top of the six inning.

A two-run single by Daniel Palumbo brought Southampton within a run of East End’s lead at 6-5, and after a single by Travis Kreymborg, Daniel McDonnell roped a two-run single of his own to give Southampton its first lead of the game at 7-6.

East End, to its credit, didn’t hang its head. After two quick outs to start the inning, East End managed to get a pair of runners on for Sean Cullen, who stroked a double to right center field, allowing Fin Drake to score the game-winning run, giving East End the walk-off victory.

On Monday, East End manager Ryan Fay, who is also the president of East End Little League, gave credit to a strong Sag Harbor team. He said his team put the ball in play against a tough pitcher, but couldn’t find the open holes for key base hits. And then Sag Harbor, he said, was able to find the gaps and drive in runs.

East End is managed by Fay, who is assisted by Sean Brand, Chris Gobler and Dave Passarello. This year’s 12U squad is made up of Liam Brand, Christian Bruschi, Sean Cullen, Fin Drake, Patrick Fay, Luke Gobler, Luke Hefter, James Monserrate, Jason Passarello, Jacob Permakoff, Kyle Salerno, Brody Schaffer and Reese Smith.

East End hosted East Hampton on Wednesday and was scheduled to play at North Shore American on Friday at 5:45 p.m. and then at Hampton Bays on Sunday at noon.

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