With East Hampton having stranded nine runners during the first four innings of Friday’s high school baseball game here with Comsewogue, it looked as if the visitors might steal a win, and thus the three-game series that the teams played last week, but, wonderful to tell, the Bonackers came back with a vengeance in the fifth, plating eight runs on the way to a satisfying 9-1 victory that kept them in playoff contention.
Comsewogue, whose record dropped to 7-8 as a result of Friday’s loss – East Hampton’s improved to 8-7 – won the first game of the series 3-2, and East Hampton won the second 10-6.
Jack Dickinson, the starting pitcher in Friday’s game, gave up one run, four hits (all singles), struck out 11, and walked four in the six and two-thirds innings he worked before giving way to his younger brother, Carter, who shut out the Warriors the rest of the way.
It had looked as if the Bonackers would be snake bit in the early going, stranding one runner in the first inning, two in the second, three in the third, and three again in the fourth.
Comsewogue scored what proved to be its sole run of the game in the top of the third. Dickinson walked the first batter to face him, the number nine hitter, on four straight pitches. A theft of second base and a subsequent single through the left side of the diamond treated the Warriors to a 1-0 lead, after which the hard-throwing senior right-hander retired the side on an infield groundout and two strikeouts.
The visitors had runners on second and third with two out in the top of the fourth, but Dickinson came through with a strikeout that took them out of the inning.
With two out in the bottom half, Dickinson, who bats ninth in the order, drew a walk and moved to second when Comsewogue’s second baseman dropped Hudson Meyer’s fly ball in shallow right-center. Tyler Hansen, with the count full, was hit by a pitch, loading the bases for the number-three hitter, Nico Horan-Puglia, who had homered in game two. Comsewogue’s pitcher led him off with two strikes, and then threw two balls before East Hampton’s catcher grounded out third-to-first.
Meyer, who was recently moved from second to short by East Hampton’s coach, Vinny Alversa, threw out Comsewogue’s first two batters, who had hit grounders his way in the top of the fifth, both of them nifty plays. Dickinson then gave up a walk, but caught the Warriors’ cleanup hitter looking at a third strike to end the inning.
East Hampton came to bat in its fifth still trailing 1-0. Carter Dickinson led it off with a long single. Justin Prince was sent in to run for him, and moved up to second when a pick-off attempt got away from the first baseman. Will Darrell, a big lefty, who had been the losing pitcher in game one, followed with an opposite-field double to the fence in left, scoring Prince with the tying run.
Egan Barzilay, who hits sixth in the lineup, bunted his way on, putting runners at the corners for Kieran Conlon, who, with Barzilay having stolen second, and with the count 2-2, doubled to left, driving in Darrell and Barzilay, and treating East Hampton to its first lead of the game.
Conlon’s big hit prompted the visitors’ coach to bring in a reliever, one who had a moving fastball, which, it turned out, he couldn’t control. Calum Anderson, the first batter to face him, was walked on four straight pitches. That put runners at first and second for Jack Dickinson, who laid down a perfect bunt that enabled Conlon to score from second as Anderson took third and Dickinson moved up on the play to second. Facing a full count, Meyer drew a walk, after which Hansen’s grounder to third was parlayed into a forceout at home, the first out of the inning.
With the bases loaded, Horan-Puglia was walked, bringing in Bonac’s fifth run of the inning. Carter Dickinson, with the bases still full, doubled in two more, upping East Hampton’s lead to 7-1 and resulting in another pitching change. Once play resumed, Darrell, with runners at second and third, drew a full-count walk, loading the bases yet again. A short-to-first groundout by Barzilay enabled East Hampton’s eighth run to score, after which Conlon, up for the second time in the frame, struck out on a 2-2 pitch. Eight runs on six hits. It was presumably East Hampton’s most productive inning of the season.
Carter Dickinson came on in relief of his older brother with two outs and runners at first and second in the top of the sixth. A subsequent flyout to Danny Lester in left field shut Comsewogue down.
The Bonackers scored another run in the bottom of the seventh thanks to a dropped popup with the bases loaded. Carter Dickinson set the visitors down in order in their seventh on a strikeout, a groundout to short, and a strikeout.
East Hampton is to play a regular-season-ending series with Eastport-South Manor that is to begin on Monday, May 8.