Oceanside earns sweep of Baldwin

Sailors in playoffs; Bruins' hopes in doubt


Two baseball teams heading in opposite directions continued their respective paths May 2 when Oceanside held on for a 3-1 victory at Baldwin to complete a three-game sweep in Conference AA-II.

Junior Jake Santamaria tossed a complete-game two-hitter with four walks and nine strikeouts for the Sailors, who gave up just six runs in the series and improved to 10-5 in conference play. Freshman Kyle Martin, who reached base in all four plate appearances in his first game batting in the No. 2 spot, scored two runs — in the first and fourth innings — on RBI groundouts by senior Jason Weiner. Junior Peter Bell singled home a run in the third. Junior pitcher Matt Lyle had a gritty outing for the Bruins (5-10), working around five hits and six walks to go the distance. 

“We didn’t help Jake a whole lot with all the runners we left on base, but we manufactured a couple of runs and he pitched a tremendous game,” Oceanside coach Mike Postilio said. “He’s become more comfortable and confident with every start. He’s made big strides and will be a big help for us as we head into the playoffs.”

The Sailors punched their playoff ticket prior to last week’s series, but Baldwin still has work to do. Mired in a five-game slide, the Bruins need to win at least one game in their final regular-season series against Hicksville and get some help from Oceanside, which faces East Meadow.

“I didn’t think we’d be in this position,” Baldwin coach Frank Esposito said. “The biggest thing is we’re not getting clutch hits. We’re getting guys on base, but we’re not hitting like we were earlier in the year.”

The Bruins left two runners on base in the first and fourth innings against Santamaria, who registered a big strikeout to end each threat. Down 2-0 in the bottom of the sixth, Baldwin got on the board with two outs when senior Matt Kelleher advanced to third on a couple of wild pitches and scored on senior Charlie Cannova’s infield single.

Santamaria retired the side in order in the seventh with a flyout to center and a pair of strikeouts. His run support came early. Martin singled with one out in the first and reached third on senior Brian Lau’s double. Weiner followed with a groundout to short to make it 1-0. The other two runs allowed by Lyle were unearned.

“Our pitching has been pretty good,” said Esposito, who got quality starts from Kelleher and sophomore Nikko Arellano in the first two games of the series.

Oceanside took the April 29 series opener, 5-2, behind Martin’s three hits and two RBIs and senior pitcher James Long. It was Long’s fifth win of the season. The following day at home, senior Francis Rapp drove home the tying and winning runs with a fifth-inning single as the Sailors took a 4-3 decision. Junior Chris Hood went six innings, and junior Pat Broder worked the seventh for the save. Baldwin senior Ryan Mahoney drove in three runs in the series.