By Benito Vila
Late Wednesday afternoon the Sag Harbor-Bridgehampton entry into the regional 13-to-15-year old Little League-sanctioned “Senior League” took the field in Mashashimuet Park for a single-elimination playoff game. In taking the league’s second seed with a 6-3-1 mark, the team earned home field advantage to host third-place Southampton.
The winner, to be posted online today, will play the winner of the East Hampton-Hampton Bays match-up for the league title on Monday. The site of that game will be determined by yesterday’s outcomes, the higher remaining seed becoming the home team.
This week the Sag Harbor boys finished off their summer season with a pair of wins, prevailing 6-3 over Southampton last Wednesday and 12-11 over East Hampton Monday. The win last week clinched the second seed and the win Monday saw seven different pitchers take the mound.
With 20 on the roster, not everyone has seen playing time each game. That was not the case Monday, players rotating through various positions in the field and all but one player seeing at least two at-bats.
Playing third base and first base, outfielder Sean Hartnett made all his plays at his “new” positions. Coming on to pitch in the fifth with Sag Harbor leading East Hampton 8-6, Hartnett saw the first two batters get on with a hit and an error and advance to second and third. The go-ahead run at the plate, Hartnett struck out the side in order to preserve the lead.
Kyle Sturmann turned in the most efficient pitching performance of the afternoon setting down the Bonackers on eight pitches, all but one a strike. Also pitching complete innings were Michael Heller, Ian Barrett, Hunter Leyser, Emet Evjen and Paul Dorego.
Long hits from Gavin Kudlak, Sean Romeo and Jake Weingartner rallied Sag Harbor from a 3-0 deficit early on, but it was a Jeremy Pepper RBI ground out in the fourth that pushed the team ahead for good. Connor Vorhaus, who scored in both of his at-bats, turned in one of the more memorable plays of the game in the top of that inning, getting to a blooper behind second base to keep the score close.
With home field and the second seed on the line against Southampton last Wednesday, Forrest Loesch tossed five-innings of one-hit ball. He also drove in three runs in helping his team build a 6-2 lead in the home fourth.
With Heller providing two innings of one-hit, one-run relief, the springtime Pierson Whalers secured their playoff seeding. Sturmann turned a double play with Kudlak in the sixth and Heller struck out two in the seventh to keep the Mariners from coming back.