Long Island

Life of Reilly: Division wins Nassau 'A' title

by Dylan Butler on
Thu, May 29, 2014 11:29 PM — @Dylan_Butler

Updated Thu, May 29, 2014 11:37 PM
Life of Reilly: Division wins Nassau 'A' title
Photo by Chris Bergmann

The Division baseball team needs a new hash tag.

Throughout the season, the Blue Dragons motto on Twitter was #OWC for “On our way to counties.”

“That what the goal from the beginning,” catcher Mark Martinez said. “We all played together growing up and we said one day we want to be on this field playing for the county championship and this year it came true.”

It came true Thursday afternoon when Division beat North Shore, 5-0, in Game 2 of the best-of-three Nassau Class A championship series at Farmingdale State College. The Blue Dragons swept the series to win their 13th county title and first since 2011.

“It’s the best feeling in the world,” Martinez said. “I never wanted something more in my life. Now that I have it, no better feeling.”

A big reason why Martinez feels that way is the play of fellow senior Chris Reilly. The pitcher needed just 92 pitches in a complete-game, six-hit shutout with six strikeouts and no walks.

“Chris Reilly is a polished pitcher. He’s efficient,” Division coach Tom Tuttle said. “He doesn’t waste any pitches. Today getting ahead was key.”

Working quickly, Reilly rolled early, retiring eight straight and striking out the side in the third. The 6-foot-2 righty threw all three pitches – a fastball, a knuckle-drop and a changeup – for strikes.

Only once did North Shore (19-7) get a runner to third.

“He had his stuff today. He pitched like a real senior today,” Martinez said. “His drop was on, his fastball was on. I told him just to hit his spots and he did it all day. Once we got that one run, I knew we were going to win.”

Division (24-2), ranked No. 16 in the Tri-State by MSG Varsity, solved North Shore starter Nick Daly in the fourth inning when Mike Ambrosio’s opposite field flare scored Tyler Epple.

The Blue Dragons scored two more runs in the fifth with the bases loaded. Reilly drove the ball through a drawn-in infield to plate James Varela and Epple followed with a walk to give Division a 3-0 lead.

Reilly doubled off the base of the wall in left in the seventh and Epple had an RBI-single to right to put the Blue Dragons in front, 5-0.

“The first two at-bats I got jammed and in the third and fourth at-bats I was looking inside fastball,” Reilly said. “He threw me inside and I just drilled it.”

Reilly went 3-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored, including the hardest hit ball of the game in the seventh on that double.

“That was a huge hit,” Tuttle said.

Ryan Perro gave the Vikings some life with a one-out infield single in the seventh, but Reilly struck out Tim Maxwell and induced Nick Luchese into a game-ending groundout before finding himself on the bottom of a dog pile.

“They’re really close,” Tuttle said. “I’m so proud and happy for them.”

Division advances to the Long Island Class A final against Bayport-Blue Point on June 7 at Dowling -- #OWLIC.


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