With a significant number of new players on the roster, East Hampton baseball coach Ed Bahns wasn’t sure what to expect in the first two non-league contests of the season, but in games against League VII teams Southampton and Babylon, the Bonackers performed well.
East Hampton beat Southampton 13-2 in a road game on March 25 before falling just short in a 6-5 loss at Babylon two days later.
In both games, Bahns said he was happy with the defensive effort of his squad, particularly in the pitching department where he is trying out several untested arms this season.
“I was pleasantly surprised and pleased that we played as well as we did,” Bahns said. “It’s always difficult trying to get a read on where you stand and what kids are going to do and how they’ll respond in games. But we pitched well and we kept the ball in the strike zone.”
Returning senior Tyler Devries-Wallace got the start against Southampton and struck out three batters while allowing just two walks.
“Everything else was put in play and that day, we made the plays,” Bahns said. “He pitched the way I’m hoping he’ll pitch all year.”
Devries-Wallace had solid fielding to back him up, particularly from junior outfielder Antwon Ward, who made eight outs in the game, including all three in the third inning.
“He did a great job in the outfield,” Bahns said. “It was nice to see him step up.”
East Hampton did a good job on offense as well, getting hits off Southampton starter Jamie Duryea while also taking advantage of a bunch of Mariner errors. The Bonackers scored five runs in the fourth inning to take a 7-0 lead that helped put the game out of reach.
Nick Matheson led the Bonackers at the plate, tallying four RBIs while Tyler Davis highlighted the game with a home run.
The Bonackers didn’t have as much success against Babylon, falling in extra innings when freshman pitcher Dylan Carroza—who had been performing well throughout the rest of the game—walked in the winning run in the eighth inning.
Babylon took an early 5-0 lead in the game with three runs in the first inning and two more in the third, but East Hampton tied it up with a five-run fourth inning. Matheson and Brent Davis led the charge with one RBI apiece in that frame. The Bonackers narrowly missed out a chance to take the lead in that inning when Matheson was thrown out at the plate to end the inning. Bahns argued the call, claiming that the Babylon catcher had interfered with the play by attempting to block the plate before he had possession of the ball, a rule that umpires have said they are looking to enforce more strictly this season. But the appeal was unsuccessful, and the score remained tied.
Bahns said his team’s slow start on offense was in part to blame for the loss.
“It took them a while to wake up,” he said. “I told them that they’re going to have to deal with this on a constant basis when we’re coming off the bus. If we wait around to wake up, in most cases it will be too late.”
East Hampton kicked off its League VI schedule with a three-game series that started at Harborfields on Monday. The Bonackers will host the Tornadoes today at 4:30 p.m. and will wrap up the series in Greenlawn tomorrow at the same time. They’ll begin a three-game series with Rocky Point at home on Monday, April 7, at 4 p.m., will play in Rocky Point on April 9 at 4:30 and will close the series at home the next day at 4 p.m.