Regardless of where Kyle Martin is on the diamond, his presence is known.
At shortstop, he’s a vacuum. At the plate, he’s a threat. On the bases, he’s a nuisance. And on the mound, he’s a finisher.
All these characteristics were displayed Thursday in host Oceanside’s 2-1 victory over Farmingdale in Game 3 of the Nassau AA baseball quarterfinals. Martin scored the game-winning run and tossed two scoreless relief innings for the win after throwing 85 pitches in Monday’s Game 1 win. No. 1 Oceanside begins its semifinal series with No. 4 Massapequa Saturday.
“When you’re at home and it’s on the line, there’s no other kid that we would want out there,” said coach Mike Postilio. “And he wants the ball so it was great for us to be able to use him.”
The 6-3 Martin stepped on the mound in the sixth inning and began his emotional routine of scribbling the initials DLR for his late grandmother, Dorothy Lee Rochler, before kissing his glove, pointing to the sky and clapping his hands together. He wanted to have the ball to decide the series winner.
“I was texting [Postilio] all night,” said Martin, a Fordham commit. “He was asking me how many pitches I had in me because I threw Monday and I told him I could go however far he needs.”
The Sailors (18-3-1) had a strong start from sophomore Brendan McFall, who allowed one run, four hits, one walk with four strikeouts in five innings.
“I did not expect to go out there and give up runs and lose,” McFall said. “I believed that I was going to go out there and get it done.”
Oceanside struck first on Brandy Diaz’s RBI single to drive in Chris Macca, who doubled, after Martin was intentionally walked in the first inning.
“He’s one of the best players on Long Island so I knew I’d get a chance,” Diaz said. “They’ve been doing it all year so I just got the motivation from my team, my coaches and came up big.”
Farmingdale (13-9) scored in the second inning when Matt Fierst drove in Steve Dentato on a groundout. Max Cohen kept Farmingdale close, allowing just five hits and one earned run in the complete game. The Sailors broke the 1-1 tie in the sixth when Nick DiLorenzo drove in Martin on a sacrifice fly.
“As soon as I hit it, I was like ‘Oh, yes,’” DiLorenzo said. “I knew it was deep enough, I knew I was able to get the run in.”