COLLEGE SPORTS NOTEBOOK 4/4/13

The College Sports Notebook is compiled by veteran sports writer and columnist Marc Maturo, a lifetime member of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA). The notebook will be published every Thursday. Please send items of interest tomarcmaturo@aol.com.

Baerga has big day at plate as Spartans sparkle

Amanda Babcock, Manhattan College softball
Amanda Babcock, Manhattan College softball

It was not an April Fool’s Day joke as Rich Baerga of Pomona feasted on opposing pitchers and went 6-for-6 to lead the St. Thomas Aquinas College baseball team to a 14-4 East Coast Conference victory over the University of Bridgeport at Provident Bank Park.

The Spartans, who had seen their five-game winning streak snapped following a loss at Bridgeport, improved to 15-7 overall and 6-2 in the ECC.

Sparked by Baerga’s leadoff single, STAC opened the scoring in the first inning, and Baerga added his first of four RBI in the second inning as the Spartans took a 3-0 lead.

STAC widened the gap to 7-1 in the third inning on a two-run triple by Mike Russo of Boca Raton, Fla., and RBI singles by Baerga and Mike Apreda of Teaneck, N.J.

Baerga sparked another rally in the seventh, leading off with his fifth hit of the ballgame, and after Bridgeport rallied Nick May of Middletown came out of the bullpen and struck out three to seal the victory.

The Spartans open a weekend series against Molloy College on April 5 at 3 p.m. at Provident Bank Park, and play a twinbill on April 6 at noon at Stony Brook. The teams meet again on April 7 at 3 p.m. as STAC opens a three-game home stand, followed by games against Felician on April 9 and Mercy on April 12. HYPERLINK “http://www.diicommunity.org/

STAC golfers take on Atlantic region competitors, place third

Helped by senior Nick Delango of Stony Point, sophomore Niklas Koerner of Worms, Germany, and freshman Kai Rastetter of Stutensee, Germany, the St. Thomas Aquinas College golf team proved its mettle against top competition, finishing third at the St. James Plantation Spring Invitational in Southport, N.C.

The tournament, hosted by Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP), featured top-ranked teams from the Atlantic region including IUP, California University of Pennsylvania and Concord University of Athens, W. Va.

The Spartans were third after the opening round, with Delango and Koerner leading the way carding rounds of 75. Rastetter battled back from a difficult start and managed a round of 78 after playing his final five holes at 2-under par. Freshman Chris Gentle of Lowell, Mass., rounded out the team scoring with a 79.

Rastetter extended his hot finish in the first round, pouring in birdies on four of his first six holes in the second round to post a team-low round of 71.

Tara Monaghan, freshman standout
Tara Monaghan, freshman standout

Koerner had another solid tournament and finished tied for sixth after his second round 74 for 75-74 –149.

Delango grinded out another nice round, carding a 77 leaving him in a tie for 13th place (75-77). Gentle played stellar golf all day but had a tough finish to the round posting a score of 77 leaving him in 23rd place (79-77). Junior Tommy Linehan of Dansville finished in a tie for 40th place after rounds of 81-80.

IUP won the championship, with the Spartans narrowly missing second place by two shots to California U.

Coach Steve Ferrara’s Spartans are back in action on April 13 at the Manhattanville Spring Invitational at Lyman Orchards Golf Club in Middlefield, Conn.

Monaghan makes her mark
Tara Monaghan of Stony Point is already making an impact as a freshman midfielder on the nationally ranked women’s lacrosse team at Cortland.
Monaghan, an alumna of North Rockland HS, has nine goals for the third-ranked Red Dragons, including two in a well-earned 14-10 victory over 19th-ranked visiting Geneseo.
The Red Dragons, who improved to 7-1, host Oswego at 1 p.m. on April 6, and then visit Brockport (6-2) at 4 p.m. on April 9. Cortland stays on the road for a 1 p.m. game against Catholic University on April 11 at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pa.
Kulbaba recognized
Rockland Community College baseball standout Dominick Kulbaba of Suffern was named Mid-Hudson Conference athlete of the week.
Kulbaba, an alum of Suffern High School, went 12 for 16 with two doubles, a triple and seven RBI as the Hawks went 4-1 including taking 3 out of 4 from Conference rival Sullivan.
Kulbaba also pitched six innings and allowed one earned run in a no-decision against Sullivan.
QUICK HITTERS
Nicholas Delango, stalwart on the links at STAC
Nicholas Delango, stalwart on the links at STAC

Go-Go Pocholo: Junior Pocholo Chavez of Stony Point and senior Simon Lai of Garrison helped the Purchase College men’s tennis team sweep the doubles competition to cap an overwhelming 9-0 win over visiting Brooklyn College. The Panthers, with only a 5-4 loss to Baruch in seven matches, visit Yeshiva University in New York at 8 p.m. on April 4, and then host Farmingdale State University at 5 p.m. on April 10. Chavez, an alum of Ramapo HS, is 4-0 in singles and 4-0 in doubles. … Sophomore Paul Fields of Clarkstown and the SUNY Cortland wrestling team has been honored with a spot on the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) all-Academic list. … Nyack HS graduate Dan Stroud batted .269, playing in every game as the Purchase College baseball team went 9-6 in its first 15 games. Stroud, a senior, has one homer and nine RBI for the Panthers, who meet Bard College on April 6 in a 4 p.m. doubleheader at Dutchess Stadium in Fishkill. The Panthers then welcome St. Joseph’s College-L.I. on April 7 for a doubleheader at noon. … Junior attack Kelsey Rehain of Suffern is leading the Manhattan College women’s lacrosse team with 15 points on seven goals and eight assists. The Jaspers (3-6) entertain Canisius College in Riverdale at 5 p.m. on April 6, and then travel to Poughkeepsie on April 10 to meet Marist at 4 p.m. … Sophomore guard Tavon Sledge of Spring Valley concluded a very-fine season in the second round of the NCAA West Regional as the Gaels fell to high-flying Ohio State, 95-70. Sledge, who averaged six points and three rebounds a game, was second on the team with 108 assists and tied for second with 40 steals as the Gaels went 20-14. … Senior infielder Amanda Babcock of Haverstraw is leading the Manhattan College softball team in runs with 20. The North Rockland HS alumna is tied for second in homers with three, and is third in RBI with 14. The Jaspers meet St. Peter’s on April 6 in Riverdale for two games beginning at 11 a.m., and then travel across the river to Iona College in New Rochelle on April 7 for a twinbill at noon. Manhattan returns home to Riverdale on April 16 for a doubleheader against Albany at 3 p.m. … Senior right-hander Joe DePool of New City, a Clarkstown South alum, tops the staff with a 3-0, 3.62 ERA mark on the St. Thomas Aquinas College baseball team, which meets Molloy in a noon doubleheader on April 6 at Stony Brook. Senior infielder Frank Salerno of New City, another Clarkstown South alum, is tied for third on the team with a .333 batting average, and is tied for the team lead in RBI (18) with sophomore Stanley Susana, out of Cardinal Hayes in the Bronx. The swift Susana is 12 of 12 in stolen-base attempts, while Salerno has been caught just once in 11 stolen-base attempts. … The College of New Rochelle volleyball player Diana Desir of Spring Valley, a sophomore, was named to the Association of Division III Independents (AD3I) all-Academic team. … Senior attack Paul Moreauof Pearl River has four goals for the Manhattan College men’s lacrosse team. The Jaspers, struggling at 2-8, travel to Detroit on April 6, and then return to Riverdale on April 13 to host Canisius at 11 a.m. … Brittany Kiernan of Clarkstown is enduring a baptism of fire as a freshman goalkeeper on the Dominican College women’s lacrosse team. The Chargers, who have one win in six games, travel to Lafayette Hill, Pa., on April 6 to challenge Chestnut Hill College at 1 p.m. at Plymouth-Whitemarsh HS Victory Field No. 1. The Griffins are also struggling, with two victories in eight tries. The Chargers then play at Torne Valley Sports Complex in Hillburn on April 9 against Georgian Court University at 4 p.m., and Post University on April 11, also at 4 p.m. … Rick Giannetti, the Dominican College baseball coach, recorded his 700th career coaching victory in a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) doubleheader split with the Wildcats of Wilmington University at Provident Bank Park in Pomona. The Chargers visit Queens College on April 6 for a doubleheader at noon, and on April 7 play two games against Chestnut Hill College at Rockland Community College in Suffern. First game is at noon.

Make way for the Comets
The NY/NJ Comets will make their debut in the National Pro Fastpitch League at Provident Bank Park in Pomona on June 13.
The newest entry in the 10-year-old league, coached by Jay Nelson of Rutgers University, will take on Olympic ace and returning NPF Pitcher of the Year Monica Abbot of the Chicago Bandits.  The competition escalates as the Comets face high-profile Olympians Andrea Duran, Natasha Watley, Caitlin Lowe, Danielle Lawrie, and Cat Osterman during the season.
The Comets, based in Bridgewater, NJ, launch their first season with all-American and two-time women’s NCAA World Series champion Taryne Mowatt  (Arizona Wildcats).  Mowatt is a hard-throwing right-handed pitcher with 1,267 strikeouts in her college career.
Coach Nelson has led the Scarlett Knights to three consecutive Big East tournament berths since 2010.  Before Rutgers, he coached at Seton Hall University making three NCAA Softball tournament appearances. Nelson brings experience from playing competitively in the men’s fastpitch league for the New Jersey Windmillers, where he made appearances in five World Tournaments and six National Championships.

Rich Baerga, big day at the plate
Rich Baerga, big day at the plate
Besides playing at Provident Bank Park in their 16-game season, the Comets will make stops at Yogi Berra Stadium in Montclair, N.J., TD Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater, N.J., and Coca-Cola Park Stadium in Lehigh Valley, Pa. For further information visithttp://www.cometsprosoftball.com.
This & That
The 10th induction gala of the Rockland County Track & Field Hall of Fame will be held on May 18 at Minisceongo Golf Club, 110 Pomona Rd., Pomona, beginning at 6 p.m. with the reception and 7 p.m. for the ceremony and dinner. The Class of 2013: Chinela Davis, North Rockland, 2001; Maria Gordon Farrell, Tappan Zee, 1981; Muriel Piluso Nestoros, North Rockland, 1978; Chris Lolagne, Suffern, 2001; and Justin Romaniuk, Suffern, 2001. Tickets are $55 per person in advance, $65 at the door, and $20 for children 12-and-under. Call845-323-0976, or email WCD106@OPTONLINE.NET.
Proceeds from the 10th annual 5k Run/Walk and Family Fair at Flywheel Park in Piermont are earmarked the Homes for Heroes Project in the county. The event, sponsored by The Dennis P. McHugh Foundation in memory of the late firefighter, is scheduled April 27, rain or shine, beginning with the 5k Run/Walk at 9:30 a.m. A Peewee Run is set for 10:30 a.m., followed by the Family Fair from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Homes for Heroes project is intended to help create 52 homes at Camp Shanks for honorably discharged disabled and displaced veterans. Register online at www.active.com.
Welcome to the Union Arts Center: An open house is set for April 6 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., at 2 Union Ave., Sparkill. The center’s purpose is to support and engage county communities through the arts, along with promoting health and healing as part of its creative programming. For more information call 845-359-0258 or visit  http://www.unionartscenter.com.
Fans of the Pomona-based Rockland Boulders in particular and Independent League baseball in general might get some enjoyment by visiting www.IndyBaseballChatter.comFans may subscribe to Bob Wirz’s Independent Baseball Insider column, which will be published 40 times, at www.WirzandAssociates.com or comment to RWirz@aol.com.