Jake Reyer never was worried.
The Oceanside pitcher had been dealing all day, but with one out in the top of the seventh inning, Farmingdale’s Matt DiSanti connected on a pinch hit single, the first hit Reyer gave up all game. Nursing a one-run lead, Reyer didn’t flinch, he simply went back to work by striking out the final two batters, both looking, to lead the Sailors to a 2-1 victory in the Nassau AA-I opener for both teams.
“It was one single, so I wasn’t thinking too much about it,” said Reyer, who struck out eight in the one-hitter. “I was only thinking about getting the right pitches for the next at-bat and getting out of the game.”
Sailors coach Mike Postilio admitted there was some concern over pitch count, but said he was impressed with the senior’s poise.
“He was still throwing great, he wasn’t laboring,” Postilio said. “Pitch count is important, but what you’re seeing from your pitcher is even more important.”
Oceanside went up in the third on Austin Vlahakis’ RBI double. Farmingdale tied it in the fifth when Michael Gardener worked a one-out walk, stole second, and scored on an Oceanside error.
It was a frustrating miscue for the Sailors, but much like their pitcher, the squad refused to worry and responded in the bottom of the frame. Kevin Murphy led off with a double and scored the go-ahead run on Noah Eisel’s double into deep center.
“We all wanted to back up Jake,” said Murphy, who went 2-for-2. “He was throwing a great game and we knew we had to get him some more runs. As soon as I saw [Eisel’s hit] I put my head down and ran.”
Postilio said he was proud of his team’s response at the plate, particularly against Farmingdale pitcher Justin Rosner. The junior threw a six-hitter with 11 strikeouts.
“He’s a hard guy to hit off,” Postilio said. “He has two quality pitches that look almost identical and that slider he throws makes you think you’re seeing fastball and then it just disappears.”
It was a tight win, but the Sailors never doubted and the team is hopeful the victory will help set the tone for the rest of the season.
“This is big,” Reyer said. “I think it could be a momentum shift for us and it helps us know we can beat anybody.”