May 03, 2006
East Hampton Baseball Team Takes Their Lumps
Less than two weeks ago, the East Hampton varsity baseball team was silently rejoicing in what could easily be described as one of its best ever starts to its League V season. The Bonackers had won their first four league games, were only five victories away from a playoff spot, and stood all alone in first place.
The perfect start to a season after going 4-14 the previous year; what more could the Bonackers ask for?
Two weeks later, East Hampton's players are likely quietly asking to end a five-game skid that has put their "dream season" in jeopardy of transforming into a spiraling nightmare. In the world of high school baseball, a few bad weeks can spell disaster. Fortunately for the Bonackers (4-5 in League V), they aren't cashing in their playoff tickets just yet.
"We had a tough week," said East Hampton head coach Ed Bahns. "We didn't play that well this week. We were weak in the field and we didn't pitch that well in the first two games. And when we did get the pitching, we didn't get the support. You're not going to win games making five or six errors."
After starting the season on the highest of high notes which included a three-game sweep of Huntington (East Hampton won 8-7 on April 6 then followed with an 8-5 victory on April 10 and a 3-1 win on April 12) and an opening series 2-1 triumph against Comsewogue in a game that saw Gardner Leaver improve his undefeated pitching record to 4-0, the Bonackers appeared to be well on their way to playoff land.
But as all sports fans know, looks can often be deceiving as East Hampton lost the final two games of the Comsewogue series, falling 8-6 in game two and 10-3 in the series finale.
Home runs by Bonackers hitters Leaver and Billy Collins in game two of the Warriors series were for naught as Comsewogue's Gerry Allen hit a two-run double in the top of the sixth inning that snapped a 4-4 tie. Allen then scored on teammate Kris Torrance's two-run homer.
East Hampton was overmatched early in game three as Torrance hit his second and third home runs of the series and drove in five of the Warriors' 10 runs. Allen, Comsewogue's starting pitcher, struck out 10 East Hampton batters.
On April 25, the Bonackers opened their series with Rocky Point with a 5-1 loss at East Hampton High School as junior Danny Burrawa out-dueled East Hampton's Robbie Cuthel, allowing only two hits while striking out nine. Burrawa entered the game having already recorded a Suffolk County-high two no-hitters this season.
Leaver (4-1) suffered his first loss of the season last Thursday at Rocky Point as the Bonackers were held to only two hits for the second straight game in a lopsided 14-2 defeat.
In that game, Gary Troy pitched a two-hit complete game and the Eagles offense was paced by a career-game from Anthony Anzelone who went 4-for-4 with a home run, double, and seven RBI. Then in game three of the series, East Hampton, despite playing on its home field, could not contain Rocky Point's offense, losing 9-4 to complete the Eagles' sweep.
"We have three more series to go and we'll have to find a way to get five more wins, but we have to start playing better," said Bahns. We're not dead yet. It was just one of those weeks."
The Bonackers will look to snap their losing streak this week in their next League V series against Islip (2-7). East Hampton plays game two at home today before concluding the three-games at the Buccaneers on Thursday. Two wins are a required must for the Bonackers if they hope to keep their playoff hopes intact.