Brandon Bonomo was in complete control. He worked at his pace, on his terms. Bonomo threw 19 first-pitch strikes and faced only 24 batters in a three-hit masterpiece as Half Hollow Hills East beat Bay Shore, 5-1, on Friday in a Suffolk League III baseball game in Dix Hills.
Bonomo used a fast rhythm and finished the complete-game performance in 1 hour, 32 minutes. He struck out five and walked none.
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"We walked 22 Bay Shore batters in this series and we talked about pounding the zone and not giving them scoring opportunities," Hills East coach Tim Belz said. "We changed our signs to pick up the pace for Brandon's start and he responded by throwing strikes and staying ahead of the hitters."
The win helped Hills East (10-5) clinch a playoff berth. Bonomo, who will play for Marist next season, retired the first nine batters before allowing an earned run in the fourth. He retired the final 10 batters and finished with 84 pitches.
"I felt like I had great command of all of my pitches and mixed it up very well," said Bonomo, who improved to 4-1 with a 0.78 ERA. "We made some nice defensive plays all around. This was an important win for us."
Hills East took a 1-0 lead in the first. Mike Palazzolo was hit by a pitch and moved to second on a wild pitch before Matt Hogan dumped a double down the leftfield line to drive in Palazzolo.
Bay Shore (7-8) tied it in the fourth when leadoff man Kevin Otto reached on an infield single, moved to second on a bunt by Estee Rivera and scored on a single to right by Chris LaRose, who homered twice in a 13-9 win earlier in the week.
"We were aggressive and hit some hard shots and they played some real good defense," Bay Shore coach Mike Herbst said. "Bonomo is confident and comes right at you with fastballs. We just didn't find the holes."
Hills East loaded the bases in the bottom of the fifth with none out against starter Brian Weissert, who had allowed only two hits through four innings.
After Hogan lined into a double play, Rich Villa was intentionally walked to reload the bases. But the move backfired when Tom Oliveri delivered a two-out, two-run single to left for a 3-1 lead.
"I was looking fastball and trying to drive it up the middle," Oliveri said. "It felt great."
Spencer Stein added an RBI single and Matt Forelli followed with an RBI double.
"I knew Brandon would shut them down once we got the lead," Oliveri said. "It's a given."