Bonac Boys Tennis in the Thick of It

While baseball must win three of six to make the playoffs
Monday was a long day for Jonny De Groot, who began it with A.P. tests from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. before playing two rounds in the tournament at Shoreham-Wading River, ending around 9 that night. Craig Macnaughton

East Hampton High’s top three singles players, Jonny De Groot, Ravi MacGurn, and Luke Louchheim, and Jaedon Glasstein and Alex Weseley, its top doubles team, are headed for this weekend’s county individual tournament at Half Hollow Hills West given their perfor­mances in the Division IV tourney at Shoreham-Wading River, which ended Tuesday.

The four divisions’ top eight singles players and the top four doubles teams advance to the county individual tournament. On Tuesday, Glasstein and Weseley were to have faced the Khan twins, Xavier and Jacob, of Southold-Greenport, in the D-IV doubles final, while De Groot and MacGurn were to have played for third place in singles and Louchheim was to have vied for fifth place.

Josh Kaplan, Westhampton Beach’s number-one player, proved again to be a thorn in De Groot’s side, outlasting him 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 in a semifinal Monday, which, because De Groot had had to take two A.P. tests earlier in the day, did not begin until after 7 p.m., and was played under the lights.

Asked the next day what had happened, Kevin McConville, East Hampton’s coach, said De Groot had had trouble with his serve. “Double faults did him in,” the coach said. “Those tests he took lasted from 8 a.m. to 3 — he was a little off.” 

It was the second time in three meetings this season that Kaplan, a tough baseliner, had prevailed over East Hampton’s number-one. 

In the other semi, MacGurn lost in straight sets to the number-one seed, Michael Koscinski of Center Moriches. Kaplan is the second seed. They were to have met Tuesday in the singles final. 

McConville said Kaplan “played great” in defeating the tenacious Louchheim — who had given him some trouble in this tournament last year — 6-1, 6-2 in the quarterfinal round.

Matthew McGovern and Miles Clark, East Hampton’s second doubles team, and Jackson LaRose and John Jimenez, its third duo, lost second-round matches — to the Kahns in McGovern and Clark’s case, and to Southold’s second team, Devin Quinones and Cole Brigham, in the latter’s case.

The second-round “match of the day,” according to McConville, was Max Astilean’s 7-6, 7-6 loss to Westhampton Beach’s number-three, Trevor Hayes. It had been “a great experience” for his eighth grader “that will help him down the line,” McConville said.

The county individual tournament is to be contested tomorrow, Saturday, and Monday at Half Hollow Hills West High School in Dix Hills. The county team tournament is to begin for East Hampton, the fifth seed, at home versus the Miller Place-Sayville winner on Wednesday at 4 p.m.

Assuming East Hampton and fourth-seeded Harborfields win their first matches, East Hampton will play at Harborfields next Thursday.

Commack’s coach, following a nonleaguer with that team here on May 1 (which East Hampton lost 5-2), had told McConville he expected Hills East to get the top seed, that his team would be number-two, East Hampton three, Harborfields four, and Bay Shore five.

As it turned out, the Bonackers have been seeded fifth among the 23 teams countywide, behind Hills East, Commack, Bay Shore, and Harborfields.

Two Series Losses

In other sports news this week, the baseball team dropped the Islip series two games to one (as had happened the previous week versus Harborfields), a result that dropped it to 5-4 in League VI play.

“We’ll have to win three of the next six to make the playoffs,” Vinny Alversa, Bonac’s coach, said during Monday’s practice session. Which will be hard inasmuch as series with Rocky Point, “the defending county champion,” and Sayville, the league’s runner-up as of Monday, were looming on East Hampton’s schedule.

Concerning the Islip series, Alversa said Colin Ruddy, a freshman, had pitched very well in winning the first game 6-3. “He went six and a third innings, gave up eight hits, singles mostly, three runs, one of them earned, walked one, and struck out eight. It was a good outing for him.”

Hitting-wise, Kurt Matthews had gone two-for-three with a run batted in, James Foster had gone two-for-four, and Jack Dickinson, an eighth grader, had gone one-for-three with two r.b.i.s. Austin Brown also had a hit and had stolen two bases.

The next two games, played at Islip, East Hampton lost by scores of 5-2 and 3-1. 

“They dinked and dunked Kurt for four runs in the first inning of the second game, and we never were able to get back into it,” said the coach. “Charlie [Condon, a sophomore] pitched the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth, and only gave up one run on two hits and struck out four. . . .  Elian started the third game and went four and two-thirds innings, giving up five hits and three runs. Kurt pitched after that, giving up no hits and no runs, but we couldn’t come back. We were hitting the ball, but at people.”

Timely hitting had been missing lately, the coach added. The fact that Zach Barzilay’s bat was no longer in the lineup (the versatile senior broke a collarbone in diving for a fly ball in the outfield during a recent practice) was painful. “He had seven r.b.i.s, all with two outs,” said Alversa.

Another key player, Jackson Baris, who sustained a hairline knuckle fracture when hit by a pitch earlier in the season, would be back this week, Alversa said. He is scheduled to pitch game three of the series here tomorrow.

“We’ve been in every game, though it’s a tough league,” the coach said.

Before tomorrow’s game here, Mike Ruddy, Greg Brown, and the Ruddy and Sons Masonry crew are to be formally thanked for having built two batting cages and two warm-up pitcher’s mounds behind the diamond. 

A plaque on the home team dugout says, in part, “Our athletes will benefit from all your hard work to help make their dreams come true.”

Charlie Condon pitched four innings in relief of Kurt Matthews in game two of the Islip series, giving up one run on two hits while striking out four. Craig Macnaughton