Brian Forbes and Colin Brodsky are like air conditioners. They are at their best in the heat of the moment.
Forbes, Rocky Point’s cleanup hitter, delivered a two-run double in a three-run fourth inning and Brodsky, the team’s late-inning reliever, got the biggest out of the game with two on in the sixth as the Eagles nipped visiting Sayville, 3-2, Tuesday in a critical Suffolk VI game.
Both teams are 14-3 and the Golden Flashes, which had won the opener of the series on Monday, could’ve clinched the league title with a victory. But Rocky Point’s rally makes Wednesday’s regular-season finale at Sayville a showdown for the top spot.
The Eagles had to recover from a rough third inning when they made three infield errors behind winning pitcher Joe Grillo, allowing Sayville to score two unearned runs. After losing pitcher Jacob Cheshire (complete game four-hitter with seven strikeouts) and impressive freshman Brock Murtha (3-for-4) scored, the Golden Flashes still had the bases loaded and one out. But Grillo escaped further damage, and in fact, was an escape artist all afternoon.
Sayville stranded 12 baserunners, including the bases loaded again in the fifth, when Jack Davis lined hard to centerfield to end the inning.
Rocky Point bunched its hits in the decisive fourth. Dillon Cassidy singled and James Weisman walked ahead of Forbes, who drilled a hard ground ball over third and down the leftfield line to score the runners. Scott Puric’s deft sacrifice bunt moved Forbes to third and he scored on Rob Milopsky’s sacrifice fly.
“I’m the cleanup hitter. I thrive on those pressure spots,” Forbes said. “It was 0-and-2 and I was looking for his curveball because that seemed to be his go-to pitch. He came inside and I pulled it.”
Brodsky stepped into his cauldron with two outs and runners on first and third. Murtha just missed tying the score off Grillo when his drive to deep left hit high on the mesh fence but stayed in play for a double. Brodsky retired Jake Russo on a grounder and struck out two of the three batters in the seventh for the save.
“That’s been his role all year,” Rocky Point coach Andrew Aschettino said. “Pressure situation after pressure situation, he’s come through. He’s a strike thrower.”
Brodsky acknowledged that his game plan is simple: “Just throw strikes and let them hit it,” the righthander said. “I’m more of a pitch-to-contact guy and let my infield do work. I trust the defense.”
Of his key out in the sixth, Brodsky said, “It was a knuckle-drop.”
Of his cool setting, he added, “I love those situations. I just stay calm.”