The bus ride from East Hampton to Amityville can take more than an hour and a half — and that’s on a good day with little to no traffic.
The East Hampton baseball team began its long trip on Monday with one goal in mind — get its first win of the season.
Amityville, the host for the Suffolk League VII game, also was looking for its first win of the season. Both schools were hoping to put an end to long losing streaks that had lasted more than three years.
East Hampton’s ride home probably was a fun one after it ended its losing streak at 51 games. Junior Kurt Matthews relieved in the first inning, struck out 12 and allowed one earned run, three hits and no walks in 6 1⁄3 innings as East Hampton defeated Amityville, 6-2.
“It feels so good to get a ‘W,’ ” said Matthews, a three-year varsity player. “It’s a weight off all of our shoulders. But to our credit, we’ve never given up and always supported one another. Our coaches have been positive and continue to pick us up. This is great.”
East Hampton (1-15), which had scored 15 runs in its first 15 games, will host Amityville on Wednesday and travel back to Amityville on Thursday. Amityville, which fell to 0-16, had its losing streak extended to 60 games.
“That was our best game of the season and I’m proud of these guys because they have no quit in them,” Amityville coach Chris Diot said. “We’re learning and we’re young. That was a good ballgame.”
You’d never know East Hampton and Amityville had lost the last 110 baseball games the two schools had played. Both benches were enthusiastic and upbeat.
East Hampton leadoff man Tucker Genovesi drilled a double to open the game and scored on Matthews’ one-out double. James Foster’s RBI single gave the Bonackers a 2-0 lead.
East Hampton made it 4-0 in the third when sophomore Elian Abreu lined a two-run double to drive in Austin Brown and Matthews.
“We had excellent pitching and timely hitting,” Bonackers coach Vin Alversa said. “And this is a good win for sure.
“Teams have been better than us and we’re a very young program right now. But we started an offseason program, winter workouts, and we’ve inspired summer teams in our area at the lower age groups, and that will ultimately help us build the program.”
Amityville added a run in the fourth when junior Pat Abate (2-for-3) doubled and scored on an infield error to make it 4-1.
With his team trailing 6-1, Amityville’s Trevor Grahn singled, moved to second on a groundout and scored on Louie Fernandez’s single for the final margin.
“Hey, man. Nice win for East Hampton. Cool bus ride home,” Fernandez said. “But it’s always a win for me when I’m playing baseball. Just getting out there with my friends is a good thing.”