The East Hampton Minors (9-and-10-year-olds) Little League All-Stars baseball team lost in heartbreaking fashion in the District 36 championship game on Monday night, falling 3-2 to Riverhead at Stotsky Park.
East Hampton was poised to take home the title, with a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the sixth. But with two runners on base and two outs and with two strikes on the batter, Riverhead’s hitter blasted a home run over the centerfield wall to give it the win.
Ryan Helier scored East Hampton’s first run on a fielder’s choice in the first inning, and East Hampton went up 2-0 in the third when Carter Dickinson drew a bases-loaded walk.
Riverhead had handed East Hampton its only other loss in the tournament, in a 6-0 game during pool play that was extended over two days because of a rain delay. East Hampton head coach Ken Dodge said that while it was disappointing to lose in the final inning, he was proud of what the team accomplished.
“Riverhead is a good team, and they’re going on,” he said. “I’m nothing but proud of our boys. It’s not what we had in our plans, but the kids worked really hard over the last month and they have something to be proud of.”
The team included: Zachary Dodge, Jack Dickinson, Carter Dickinson, Nico Horan-Puglia, Michael Locascio, Cassius Hokanson, Chase Lieder, Kieran Conlon, Patrick Farrell, Ryan Helier, Milo Tompkins, and coaches Ken Dodge, Nicole Dickinson, and Steve Puglia.