Sayville senior Brock Murtha turned 18 on Saturday. The coronavirus outbreak forced his party to be rescheduled for the summer, and, instead about 30 people got together on Skype to sing “Happy Birthday” to him.
Murtha said he doesn’t mind putting his birthday celebration on hold, but there are a few other goals he’s been hoping to celebrate this year — breaking Long Island’s all-time home run record and getting a chance to win the state championship.
“Baseball has to happen at some point this spring, it really does,” said Murtha, who has 28 career home runs. “I am so excited to try and get out there and break that record. It’s been my goal for years. It would be awful if we don’t play.”
Murtha is 13 home runs shy of the mark held by former East Hampton star Ross Gload, who played in the major leagues for 10 years. Gload’s record of 41 homers was set from 1991-94 and has stood for 26 years.
Gload also holds the Long Island single-season record of 20, set in his senior year when he led the Bonackers to the Suffolk Class A championship.
Murtha, 6-foot and 195 pounds, is a Newsday All-Long Island first team selection in football and baseball. He was the first freshman to earn first-team All-Long Island in baseball.
Murtha did get some good news this week. The day before his birthday, he received his letter of acceptance to Notre Dame.
“He had already accepted his baseball scholarship but was waiting on his letter to be accepted academically,” said his father, Chris. “We got the email at 6:42 p.m., March 20. It was a big day and a silver lining in the world that we live in right now. The best moment in my life.”
Murtha has been trying to stay in shape while at home with his parents and younger brother, Mack.
“I’m going crazy stuck in the house,” Murtha said. “I can’t go to the gym, so I have to lift in the basement. It’s really frustrating.”
Murtha hit two homers as an eighth-grader, 10 as a freshman, six as a sophomore and 10 more last year. The righthanded pitcher/shortstop threw a no-hitter in a 1-0 win over Clarke as Sayville captured the Long Island Class A title a year ago.
“That feels like a long time ago,” Murtha said. “I want another shot at the state title, but who knows what’s going to happen.”