Shoreham-Wading River has a new look as it defends its Suffolk Class A championship with only four starters back. One of them is righthander Mike O'Reilly, who went 9-0 with 93 strikeouts in 57 innings last year.
The senior has picked up where his junior season left off. O'Reilly allowed one run and four hits in six innings, walked none and struck out seven for visiting Shoreham-Wading River in an 11-3 win over Mount Sinai on Monday in Suffolk League VII baseball.
"I had command of all three pitches and was working ahead of hitters,'' O'Reilly said. "It was all clicking right away.''
Said Shoreham-Wading River coach Sal Mignano: "He's one of the better kids around. He's in the upper 80s, but his curveball makes that pitch even better. He can throw that breaking pitch at any point whether it's the first pitch or a 3-and-1 count.''
The Wildcats' offense provided plenty of support with 14 hits. Nick Bottari went 3-for-4 with a walk, three runs and an RBI, O'Reilly was 3-for-3 with two walks, a homer and three RBIs, and Dan Luppens went 3-for-5 with two RBIs.
Tyler Osik, son of former major-leaguer Keith Osik, singled home a run to give SWR (5-1, 5-1) a 2-0 lead in the third. Mount Sinai (3-3, 3-3) cut it to 2-1 on a double by Mike Donadio and an RBI single by Mark Donadio in the fourth. O'Reilly fell behind the next batter 3-and-0 before getting a strikeout and a fly ball to end the inning.
"He's one of our captains and he leads our team,'' Luppens said of O'Reilly. "It's crucial to get a lead. Then we know Mike will shut it down. That was a big spot.''
The Wildcats broke open the game with a six-run fifth, helped by two-run singles by Luppens and Sean Logan.
"He's a confident, aggressive hitter that has no fear,'' Mignano said of Luppens, whose hit made it 4-1. "He's already had a lot of big hits.''
O'Reilly hit a two-run homer, his second of the season, to extend the lead to 10-1 in the sixth.
"O'Reilly can swing the bat, too,'' Mignano said. "People forget that part of him.''