Tommy Nielsen recognized an opportunity and let it fly.
Nielsen thwarted a potential rally with the bases loaded as he threw out a runner at home plate from centerfield for the final out of the game as No. 5 Sayville defeated No. 8 Bayport-Blue Point at home, 5-2, and sealed a trip to the Suffolk Class A baseball semifinals.
Sayville (16-6-1) will visit Hauppauge Sunday at noon.
Sayville coach Joe Esposito said his main concern on the final play was preventing the runner on first from reaching scoring position following the catch. Nielsen had other plans.
“I really didn’t want him throwing it all the way home,” Esposito said. “But he got the big out and the double play.”
Brock Murtha allowed two runs in the first inning but buckled down to earn the win over 6 1/3 innings pitched. He also hit a home run in the bottom of the fourth, his Long Island-leading ninth of the season, to cut the Bayport (15-9) lead to 2-1.
“I can’t say enough about Brock,” Esposito said. “All year he’s been the best player on our team. He didn’t have his best stuff today but he still fought threw and shut them down.”
Eric Foster recorded the save.
Shortstop Jack Davis gave the Golden Flashes the spark they were looking for in the fifth as he launched a go-ahead three-run homer, giving Sayville a 4-2 advantage before tacking on an insurance run in the sixth.
“I was just trying to put the ball in play and it turned out to be a home run,” Davis said. “It was a great feeling going around the bases.”
Davis said Nielsen has become known for his capabilities in the outfield.
“He’s been a great centerfielder all year,” Davis said. “One of the best highlights, a great way to end the game.”