Bridgehampton starting pitcher Kai Alversa delivers to the plate during...

Bridgehampton starting pitcher Kai Alversa delivers to the plate during the Long Island/Southeast Regional Class D final against Chapel Field in Selden on Saturday, June 1, 2024. Credit: Peter Frutkoff

With a trip to the state baseball semifinals on the line, Bridgehampton/Ross trailed reigning state champion Chapel Field Christian by two in the bottom of the seventh inning.

With two outs, the Killer Bees put runners on first and second with a Shawn Gnyp walk and a Kai Alversa infield single. But Lions pitcher Mikey Bonagura silenced any thoughts of a rally, striking out Alexi Kardaras for his 10th strikeout and the final out of a nine-hit complete game, 7-5 win over Bridgehampton in the Class D Southeast Regional final Saturday at Middle Country Athletic Complex in Selden.

Bridgehampton (8-9), which played its first game since May 8 and wrapped up its third season since fielding a team in 2022 for the first time in 43 years, was eliminated by the Lions for the second straight year. The Killer Bees scored the first three runs in the first inning but trailed from the fourth inning on.

“We knew they were gonna be tough,” Bridgehampton coach Lou Liberatore said. “They’re the defending state champions. They didn’t go away. We’re fortunate to jump out early, but they do what great teams do and they worked their way back into it.”

Chapel Field (8-4) advances to face Section V’s Arkport Central/Canaseraga at 1 p.m. Friday at Mirabito Stadium in Binghamton.

Alversa, a sophomore and Bridgehampton’s starting pitcher, surrendered six runs and seven walks in four-plus innings. He had a strong day at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a run scored.

Bridgehampton started just one senior, three juniors, three sophomores, a freshman and a seventh grader. Alversa believes the future is bright.

“We’re gonna be even more hungry going into next year,” he said.

In the bottom of the first, Milo Tompkins scored on a passed ball, Shawn Gnyp scored after Alexi Kardaras hit a grounder to second base that resulted in an error and Ari Kardaras drove in Alversa on a fielder’s choice. Chapel Field answered immediately, though, with three runs in the top of the second.

The teams traded runs in the third, with Alexi Kardaras’ RBI single tying the game at 4, before the Lions took control.

Chapel Field grabbed a 5-4 fourth-inning lead on Will Wilson’s fourth-inning RBI single, and Easton Vellenga plated Micah McDuffie on a fifth-inning fielder’s choice to make it 6-4.

The Killer Bees got one back in the fifth on Alversa’s two-out RBI single, but that would be all. Wilson scored a sixth-inning run to give Chapel Field a 7-5 lead.

“These guys, they believe in themselves, they believe in each other,” Liberatore said. “... It’s been a pleasure all year to work with them.”

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