Oceanside baseball has long been considered one of the upper echelon programs in the county. Year after year, it serves as the final stepping stone for collegiate baseball careers, and a handful of players who made it all the way to the major leagues starred on the diamond at Oceanside during their high school days.
The Sailors haven’t captured a county title since 2004, but this year’s squad will undoubtedly be among the teams to beat when the Nassau Class AA playoffs come around in May.
After last week’s three-game series sweep of perennial-power and defending Long Island-champion Massapequa, Oceanside stands alone atop Conference AA-I with a 9-0 record in league play (10-0 overall.) Senior Matt Carey, who improved to 3-0, pitched 5 ⅔ innings, striking out 11 to lead the Sailors to an 8-3 victory in the series finale. Senior DH Chris Murphy went 3-for-4 with four RBI. Murphy is hitting .324 with 12 RBI.
“Things are really going great,” coach Mike Postilio said. “As a coaching staff, we’re just so fortunate to be around a lot of great kids who love the game. Things are pretty much all falling into place. The guys have terrific resolve. They’re very relaxed and focused, and don’t get fazed. We get behind by a few runs, and they don’t blink an eye. That’s a huge positive.”
The Sailors made their presence known immediately in the opening game of the series. Senior catcher Dylan Judd (6-for-9 in series) was a double short of hitting for the cycle, going 3-for-5 with four RBI in a 13-0 road rout. Senior Brendan McFall (3-0), who looked unhittable at times, went the distance and struck out six. Noah Eisel was 3-for-3 and knocked in three runs.
Oceanside showed its tenacity in the middle game. Junior Leo Alvarez went 2-for-4 and had five RBI as the Sailors erased a five-run deficit and held on for a 10-8 win. Alvarez is hitting .412 and leads the team with 14 RBI.
Junior Jake Lazzaro, who is batting .455 with nine stolen bases and 14 runs scored, was 3-for-3 and scored three times. Judd continued to punish Massapequa pitchers with another two hits and a pair of RBI. T.J. Thorne earned his second victory of the season. Ryan Powers picked up the save.
“We try to keep things simple,” Postilio said. “We want the guys to be aggressive at the plate, hit in favorable counts, and to focus on hitting the ball hard. The concepts are basic, and the guys are great listeners.”
Postilio is getting contributions from his entire lineup. Junior first baseman Chris Siklas is hitting .500 with seven RBI, and versatile junior Austin Vlahakis has been solid at the plate and in center field. Senior right fielder Bernie Diaz catches every ball hit his way, and always gives the team a good at-bat.
The Sailors will be back in action at home when Syosset comes to town on May 1 at 4:30 p.m.