By MATT KOVITZ
Oceanside Baseball: Unfinished Business
Spring is the season of growth, new life, and baseball. The Oceanside Sailors, fresh off of two consecutive Nassau County Championship appearances, are looking to make it back in 2016, and ultimately win the title this season. There are many returning seniors that could make a big impact, with some underclassmen prepared to help out as well.
The Sailors won the state championship sixteen years ago in 2000, and last won the county championship in 2004. In the past two seasons, the team has faced Massapequa and MacArthur, only to lose the series two games to none in back to back years. The team lost some excellent seniors but there are players ready to step up and fill their roles. Kyle Martin, who is both a pitcher and a shortstop, is one of the seniors looking to avenge the back-to-back losses.
“We’ve come so close to getting the championship that we’ve been looking for two years in a row. It’s time to get back and finally take the title.” Martin said. The same sentiment is shared by all of the seniors, like Nick Vlahakis, Mike Pagona, Jake Spielberg, Chris Macca, Matt Kovitz, Jake McKee, Justin Halper, Joe Cibellis, and Brandy Diaz.
There are several underclassmen who made positive contributions in 2015, and they are all expected to be back for the upcoming year. Junior pitcher Max Jennings will continue to take the mound for the Sailors, and sophomore Dylan Judd will be both pitching and catching. Other underclassmen who will be contributing are Matt Carey, Tyler Judd, and Brendan McFall as well as Chris Murphy.
The Sailors are coached by Mike Postilio and Jason Manning. Postilio has been the head coach since 2012, and Manning has been his assistant since last year. Prior to coaching at the varsity level, both previously coached the junior varsity team. As always, there are some very important games and series on the schedule this year. The three game set versus the Massapequa Chiefs begins on April 11th, and on April 14th both teams play in a night game at Burns Park. Last year, the Sailors won a fantastic game there, and they will look to take the series against again. On April 16th, the team will travel to St. Joseph’s High School in Trumbull, Connecticut, to play a doubleheader against Coach Manning’s high school team. On the 30th, the Sailors will play at MCU Park, the home of the Brooklyn Cyclones against the Deer Park Falcons. Senior Day is May 3rd against the Freeport Red Devils.
A County championship is always the ultimate goal whenever the Oceanside Sailors play baseball, and that is no exception this year. As the season goes on, they will definitely be fighting and yearning for the ultimate goal.