Reilly shutout lifts Division to 'A' baseball crown
In Chris Reilly's "other" sport, he tossed two perfect games last winter. That would be bowling. Baseball? No perfect games, but yesterday was a perfect day.
Reilly pitched a shutout and drove in two runs as No. 1 Division defeated No. 2 North Shore, 5-0, last night at Farmingdale State College to clinch the Nassau Class A baseball championship by winning the first two games of the best-of-three championship series. The Dragons had defeated North Shore on Tuesday, 6-3.
"He's a pitcher's pitcher. He doesn't waste pitches and he had everything going today," Division coach Tom Tuttle said of his senior righthander. "Strike one was critical. He's very efficient. He averaged 89 pitches all season and he threw 92 today."
Most of them were strikes, as Reilly improved his record to 9-1 by allowing five hits, striking out six and walking just one. "I kept my fastball low and got the knuckle curve over," Reilly said, the latter a reference to the Division program's signature pitch. "Ground balls are my game."
The Dragons, who have won 13 county titles, the last in 2011, will face Suffolk champion Bayport-Blue Point for the Long Island Class A championship on June 7 at 1 p.m. at the Dowling sports complex in Shirley.
Nick Daly gave North Shore (19-7) some solid pitching early, trading zeroes with Reilly for three innings. In the top of the fourth, Tyler Epple (two hits, two RBIs) singled, stole second, advanced to third on a balk and scored on a two-out opposite-field single to right by Mike Ambrosio.
Reilly delivered an RBI single in a two-run fifth and helped put the game away with an RBI double off the leftfield wall in the seventh. "I got jammed in my first two at-bats," Reilly said. "I looked inside for a fastball and I turned on it."
After the game Reilly's father, Terry, having waited for the Dragons to take turns congratulating his son, finally got the chance for a heartfelt embrace. "He was always there for me to pitch to," Chris Reilly said. "This is a special moment."
It was perfect, after all.