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25 Years Ago in Bonac Sports: 04.25.19

Wed, 05/08/2019 - 15:57

April 14, 1994

Even without the services of its all-county senior shortstop, Kevin Somers, who was sidelined with an injured hand, the East Hampton High School baseball team went through its first week of play undefeated.

Ross Gload — who, according to East Hampton’s coach, Jim Nicoletti, is “definitely a draftable player” and has caught the eyes of scouts — led the way, at the plate and on the mound. In the three nonleague games with Eastport (two) and Pierson, the senior left-handed first baseman and pitcher, who bats third in the lineup, went 6-for-10 with 10 runs batted in.

. . . Decision time is looming for Gload, who in the coming months may have to weigh a major-league signing bonus against college. His father, Ross Sr., who observed Monday’s game with Port Jefferson from underneath one of the pine trees behind the right field fence, predicted that his son, the Bayside Yankees’ most valuable player last season, would choose college.


Mike Burns, who coaches East Hampton High’s powerful boys track team, said Monday that for the first time he has five potential county-meet place-winners: Larry Keller, “the number-one discus thrower in the county,” John Hayes, in the shot-put, Terrell Hopson, in the triple jump, and the pole-vaulters Ron Gatlin and Rob Balnis.


April 21, 1994

Two years ago, Steve Patterson was “extremely anxious to have a 300 bowled” at the East Hampton Bowl, and put up a sign at the lanes offering $500 to the first person to do so.

Steve Graham did it Monday night, in the first game of a mixed league match between his team, the Pinbusters, and the BG’s. Graham’s perfecta, the first he’s ever spun, seems to have capped a season of extraordinary individual performances that has included a 299 game by Andy Levandoski, a 753 series by Jake Nessel, and a 730 series by Jerry Schweinsberger.

Graham, who “jumped four feet in the air” as his 12th ball jammed into the pocket and sent all the pins flying, reckoned the barrier-breaker was Levandoski’s 700 series “about three years ago. Since that happened, we’ve had about 20 or 25 of them.”

. . . Before launching the 12th ball, Graham, who had drawn a crowd of about 50, “took a deep breath, and told myself not to let it go too high, and to keep good speed on it so it wouldn’t drift on into the nose. Then I let it go. . . . It was exciting. I couldn’t sleep that night.”


April 28, 1994

Although he struck out 16 the other day, a statistic that sent East Hampton’s baseball coach, Jim Nicoletti, thumbing through the record book, Ross Gload does not think of himself as a pitcher.

As to where he came by the smooth, sweeping swing that coaches and spectators have admired for nearly a decade, Gload couldn’t say for sure. Will Clark, now of the Texas Rangers, has always been the pro player after whom he’s modeled himself.

. . . Asked where he came by his athletic ability, Gload, in a conversation with his parents, Ross Sr. and Jeanie, en route to a weekend practice, said, with a smile, “I didn’t get it from them.”

“My mother thinks he gets it from her,” said the elder Gload, who often can be seen watching his son’s games from the vantage point of a distant pine tree behind the right field fence. “She was second in the world in speed-skate barrel jumping in 1956. She’s still skating at 70.”

. . . “I know he’s ready to leave,” Jeanie Gload said of her son. “It’s a natural progression. I know I’ll miss him — he’s a good kid. We’ll all miss him,” she said, taking in with her glance Ross Sr. and Ross’s sister, Larissa. “Springs is a great family community — everybody knows everybody here. But it’s good for these kids to see the rest of the world.”

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