Prior to the start of the season, East Hampton baseball coach Ed Bahns figured that defense would be his team’s strength, but in the first series of the League VI schedule, poor fielding by the Bonackers was the main problem in a trio of losses to Harborfields.
East Hampton opened the series with an 8-1 loss in Greenlawn on March 31 before falling 17-15 at home on April 2. The Tornadoes completed the sweep with a 9-3 win on their home field on Thursday.
Neither team had a hard time scoring runs in a wild affair on Wednesday, but defensive lapses by the Bonackers helped the Tornadoes overcome an early 6-1 deficit.
“All series long, we didn’t make the plays we needed to make,” East Hampton assistant coach Will Collins said. “Our pitching is doing okay, and we’ve been hitting great, but our defense has come up short at times.”
After Harborfields overcame its early deficit to take an 8-6 lead, the Bonackers battled back to tie the score at 8-8 only to see the Tornadoes rattle off nine unanswered runs that proved to be too much to overcome. East Hampton closed the gap with five runs in the final inning but could not get over the hump.
There were a total of 10 home runs in the game, as hitters on both teams took advantage of both a favorable wind and the hitter friendly field at East Hampton. Brent Davis homered twice for the Bonackers, while Tyler Devries-Wallace and Nick Jarboe each had home runs. Mike Feldman and Kyle Rockefeller each had a pair of homers for Harborfields.
The Bonackers were cleaner in the field in the third game, but their hitting wasn’t prolific enough to avoid the sweep. East Hampton held an early lead in the game as well, going up 3-2 in the third inning, but couldn’t manage to score any more runs.
“We had good at-bats, and guys were patient at the plate, but we seemed to always hit the ball hard to an outfielder,” Collins said. “It just got away from us late.”
Tyler Davis led East Hampton with a pair of RBIs.
Senior Liam Lee made his first start of the year after missing early practices due to a long basketball season that ended in the state final as well as a vacation. Lee should be the team’s strongest pitcher this season, but he was rusty in his first outing.
“He didn’t quite have full control,” Collins said. “He walked a few guys and didn’t have his best stuff.”
Bahns said he was disappointed with his team’s inability to pick up even a single win and said he had hoped for a better overall performance in the first series of the year.
“Overall, we just haven’t played good baseball,” he said. “We haven’t made good baseball decisions and we haven’t executed well. Going in, I thought defense would be a staple for us, but we shot ourselves in the foot way too many times.”
Bahns added that while Harborfields is a solid team, he didn’t feel that it was overpowering in any way. He did add, however, that his young team, with inexperienced players and pitchers, doesn’t have too much margin for error.
“I think we could be in the thick of the playoff run, but we have to play near perfect baseball,” he said. “We don’t recover well from mistakes so we’re going to have to be careful of how we execute.
“Harborfields is definitely in the top part of the league, but they weren’t a team we should have been afraid of,” Bahns continued. “We had every opportunity to take one game from them, if not two.”
East Hampton began a series with Rocky Point at home on Monday night and will visit Rocky Point today, April 9, at 4:30 p.m. The series will conclude in East Hampton on Thursday, April 10, at 4:30 p.m.