Nick DiLorenzo is a senior. He plays second base for Oceanside, which reached the past two county finals. DiLorenzo did not play in either. He wasn’t on the team.
The 2016 season will go down as his only varsity baseball campaign, and he already has made up for lost time. DiLorenzo went 2-for-5 with an RBI triple Monday afternoon in his team’s Nassau AA-I opener, a 9-4 victory at Massapequa. He homered Friday in a win over Garden City.
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“I tried out last year and didn’t make it,” he said. “There aren’t a lot of spots. They had a good team last year. I came back, did better and I, so far, have been producing.”
Fresh off an appearance in the 2014 county championship, Sailors coach Mike Postilio entered last year’s tryouts seeking arms, arms and more arms to replace three starting pitchers who had graduated. DiLorenzo did not pitch.
“It was tough for him, but we had to keep extra arms,” Postilio said. “I can’t say enough about how he worked in the offseason and came back. He’s proven to us that he deserves to be here. We need him and he’s been great so far.”
In the third inning, DiLorenzo drilled Chris Keenan’s fastball deep into the left-center gap, driving in Nick Vlahakis and giving Oceanside a 2-0 lead. He singled leading off the fifth, which developed into a six-run response to Massapequa’s two-run fourth.
“I’m feeling good,” DiLorenzo said. “My swing’s feeling good. That’s really all I can say right now.”
Vlahakis went 2-for-4 with two runs and a three-run double that capped Oceanside’s scoring in the fifth. Chris Macca, who went 2-for-4, was the only other Sailor with multiple hits, though everyone who batted reached base.
Winning pitcher Mike Pagona allowed one earned run, on a long home run by Brandon Fanizza, and struck out two. Pagona allowed 10 hits but was aided early by his defense. In the first inning, shortstop Kyle Martin made a diving catch in the hole with two outs and a runner on second. Dylan Judd threw strikes to Martin to catch base stealers and end the second and third innings.
“He’s got a cannon,” DiLorenzo said.
And DiLorenzo finally has his chance.
“Nick is doing everything he should be doing,” Postilio said, “and we’re all happy for him. It’s a good story. It’s well deserved.”