SWR's O'Reilly wins Yastrzemski Award

Shoreham-Wading River starting pitcher Mike O'Reilly delivers in Shoreham-Wading River starting pitcher Mike O'Reilly delivers in the first inning against Bayport-Blue Point. (May 29, 2012) Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Outside of a state championship, it couldn't get much better for Mike O'Reilly. The Shoreham-Wading River senior pitcher / shortstop had a postseason littered with big-time performances.

In the Long Island Class A championship game against Plainedge, O'Reilly pitched 10 scoreless innings before allowing three runs in the 11th inning. It snapped a streak of 22 consecutive scoreless innings pitched in the playoffs. He allowed six hits, walked three and struck out a program-record 19 in a 3-1 loss.

Two games earlier in an elimination game in the Suffolk Class A playoffs, O'Reilly threw a three-hit shutout, walked three, struck out 12 and hit a three-run double. In the previous game, also an elimination game, O'Reilly hit a walk-off two-run homer in the eighth inning for a 2-1 win over Sayville.

In the second round of the playoffs, O'Reilly hit a walk-off two-run homer in the eighth in a 9-7 win over Rocky Point. That's quite a season without even looking at O'Reilly's regular season.

O'Reilly won the 45th Yastrzemski Award, which goes to the outstanding high school baseball player in Suffolk presented by the Suffolk County Baseball Coaches Association. The award was presented to O'Reilly last night at the Suffolk County Awards Banquet at Villa Lombardi's in Holbrook.

O'Reilly is the second player from SWR to receive the award. Former major leaguer Keith Osik won it in 1987.

"It's an honor to win this award," said O'Reilly, who will play at Flagler University. "So many great players have won it. To be on a list with Keith Osik and former major-league players is phenomenal."

O'Reilly batted .467 with a school-record 17 doubles, 21 runs, four home runs, 23 RBIs, a .789 slugging percentage and struck out just six times in 90 at-bats. He had 42 hits, which is second in program history.

On the mound, he went 8-3 with a 1.24 ERA and 0.77 WHIP. He pitched 84 2/3 innings and allowed 46 hits, 19 walks and struck out 141.

"I've never had a kid who had the ability to focus with poise in a clutch spot like he did," SWR coach Sal Mignano said. "Those performances in the playoffs sum up what he did for this team in three years. He did everything he could do to get us to the state semifinals. He surpassed the expectations I had for him. The expectations for our team weren't high before the season because we lost a lot. He absolutely led the charge."

O'Reilly had a great junior season, too. The difference in his senior season was better command of the strike zone with his fastball, curveball and changeup. Offensively, he hit the ball with more authority. He hit .333 with two home runs and seven RBIs and struck out 39 in 24 innings with a 1.19 ERA in the playoffs. At one point in the LIC game, he struck out 10 of 12 against a team that came into the game averaging 8.3 runs in the postseason.

"I put in a lot of work over the years and received a lot of help from many people," O'Reilly said. "The goal was to repeat as county champions and do what I could to help the team. We had a great run with a great group of guys."

You also may be interested in: