Big News for Little League

The 11-12 boys team coached by Kenny Dodge “mercied” two opponents
Carter Dickinson didn’t put the tag on this Sag Harbor-Bridgehampton runner at third in the second inning, but otherwise Monday’s news was good insofar as East Hampton’s 11-12 Little League team, which won 13-2, was concerned. Craig Macnaughton

There was big news on the East Hampton Little League front last week as the 11-12 boys team coached by Kenny Dodge “mercied” two opponents, Southampton and Sag Harbor-Bridgehampton, the 9-10s coached by Mike Hand defeated Hampton Bays 11-1 and mercied Southampton, and the 11-12 girls, on Friday, came very close to shocking North Shore, which went on over the weekend to defeat East Meadow in the Long Island championship game.

First the loss. Tim Garneau, in recounting it, said that North Shore’s pitcher struck out 9 of the first 10 East Hampton batters she faced. But East Hampton, he said, scored three runs in the fifth to take a 3-1 lead, a turn of events that stunned North Shore’s fans and delighted East Hampton’s.

“Gianna D’Agostino walked to open the frame. Then, after a steal and a groundout, Ella Eggert bunted her way on as Gianna came home.”

Garneau’s daughter, Lola, drew a walk and subsequently stole second. “With Ella on third and Lola on second, Katie Bruno hit a hard ground ball to short, which Lola hopped over at the last moment, distracting the shortstop enough for Bruno to reach first safely on a bang-bang play.”

Eggert scored and Garneau, who kept running after rounding third, did too for the 3-1 lead.

“The place was shocked,” the elder Garneau wrote. “There had been a lot of cheering, then silence along the first baseline. Our fans, by contrast, were in a frenzy.”

East Hampton’s joy, however, wasn’t to last. The home team, all of whose members reportedly play travel ball — none of East Hampton’s do — came back with three runs of its own in the bottom of the fifth. 

“After two quick outs, three walks, a hit batter, and a basehit did the Bonackers in.”

The 4-3 defeat ousted Jeff Miller’s team from the tournament, though everyone agreed it had showed that it could play with the best.

East Hampton’s 10-11-year-old softball team is to play its first game Saturday here with Westhampton, on East Hampton High School’s field at 10 a.m.

That team’s roster comprises Kerri O’Donnell, Sophia Rodriguez, Georgia Kenny, Harper Baris, Lila Ruddy, Dakota Quackenbush, Susie DiSunno, Sienna Salamy, Gabrielle Payne, Katie Kuneth, Julia Kuneth, Amina Guebli, Paige Herlihy, and Cloe Ceva.

Back to the boys, Dodge’s 11-12s defeated Sag Harbor-Bridgehampton 13-2 at the Bridgehampton Lions field Monday evening. Nico Horan-Puglia pitched four innings, with Zach Dodge getting the final three outs.

On Saturday morning, the Bonackers bageled Southampton 12-0 at Pantigo. Jack Dickinson, who has grown a lot since last seen, started, throwing fastballs that in Little League terms seemed Sidd Finch-like. Dodge spelled Dickinson after three innings.

The team sports aggressive hitters throughout the lineup, and, according to the elder Dodge, “we’ve got six or seven kids who can pitch,” a pleasing fact inasmuch as travel-league pitch counts must be conjoined with Little League playoff ones.

East Hampton has 12-and-under, 11-and-under, and 10-and-under baseball teams playing in the Brookhaven league, coached by Dodge, Henry Meyer, and Hand. As of Saturday, those teams’ records were 4-2, 5-4, and 3-6 respectively.

In Saturday’s 9-10-year-old game here, which East Hampton won 10-0, Andrew Brown and Kai Alversa, whose father, Vinny Alversa, is East Hampton’s varsity coach, shared the pitching chores. Hand said he had “seven or eight kids” who could pitch.

Both boys teams are steeling themselves for North Shore opponents. Meanwhile, on Tuesday, they were both to have played games at the Pantigo fields in East Hampton.