COLLEGE SPORTS NOTEBOOK 4/18/13

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 to marcmaturo@aol.com.

RCC golfers enjoying another solid season, but title up for grabs

Former big-leaguer C.J. Nitkowski appears in "42," a film about the life of Jackie Robinson
Former big-leaguer C.J. Nitkowski appears in “42,” a film about the life of Jackie Robinson

They’re leading the pack in the Mid-Hudson Conference, something to which the perennially precise Hawks of Rockland Community College have grown accustomed.

However, veteran eighth-year head coach Tom “T-bone” Craffey is his usual candid self when assessing the team’s chance of winning the Region XV Golf Championship when it is contested in mid-May at Phillip J. Rotella Memorial Golf Course in Thiells.

“We’re a little light this year, and anything can happen, but Suffolk and Nassau are strong, really strong; they’re the class in the region tournament,” said Craffey, who nevertheless expects to have a couple of linksters advance to the NJCAA national tournament the second week in June in western New York.

Craffey’s crew is led by Brian McGarvey of Pearl River, who only a year ago was the No. 1 player for the Pirates; returning team captain Mike Cavanaugh of Haverstraw, who works at Rotella; Francis Kelly of Stony Point, a North Rockland HS alum who was at James Madison University in Harrisonburg Va., a year ago; and Californian Ben Patel, who, says Craffey, is just getting used to everything.

Craffey lauds the steady, very steady presence of the easy-going McGarvey. “He’s got a good demeanor; nothing bothers him,” said the coach.

“We’re doing okay, as we usually do,” Craffey continued. “Why? A lot of kids decide to stick close to home, and RCC has a very good mentor program, so our kids get a real good start.”

The Hawks, who practice at Spook Rock Golf Course in Suffern along with Columbia and New York University, are also helped by the leadership of longtime assistant coach Howie Pierson of Nyack.

Fordham University won its third Metropolitan Outdoor Men’s Track and Field Championship in six years, edging Southern Connecticut State by a scant two points at Ramapo (N.J.) College. Contributing key points for the Rams was senior Michael Bongiorno of New City as the Clarkstown South alum placed eighth in the 800-meter run with a clocking of 1:58.10. Fordham is back in action April 19-20 at the Princeton University Invitational.

QUICK HITTERS

Meghan King swings big bat.jpg
Meghan King swings big bat.jpg

KING REIGNS IN QUEEN CITY: Sophomore Meghan King of New City has a team-leading 20 total bases for the College of New Rochelle softball team. King, an alumna of Clarkstown North, is third in batting with a healthy .349 average and is tied for third with five RBI. King has been named the Hudson Valley Women’s Athletic Conference (HVWAC) and Association of Division III Independents (AD3I) Softball Player of the Week. The Blue Angels host NYU-Poly on April 18 for a doubleheader at 4 p.m.,  and then travel to Newburgh on April 19 for two games against Mount Saint Mary College at 4 p.m. CNR returns home on April 23 for two games against St. Joseph’s College-Brooklyn, also at 4 p.m. … Junior midfielder Tom Dertinger of Nanuet had a season-high four-goal effort, and freshman goalie Matt Quinones, also of Nanuet, had eight saves in 45 minutes but the Dominican College men’s lacrosse team fell to 0-8 following a 21-5 loss to powerful New York Institute of Technology (9-2) at DaSilva Memorial Field on the campus of St. John’s University in Jamaica, Queens. Dertinger leads the Chargers with 16 goals and 18 points, one more than fres.hman attack Joe Ravenell of Copiague. Dominican hopes to nail down that elusive first victory on April 20 when it travels to Philadelphia, Pa., to take on Chestnut Hill College at 3 p.m. Senior Day is set for April 20 at 1 p.m. when Mercy College provides the opposition.  … Paul Moreau of Pearl River has four goals for the Manhattan College men’s lacrosse team, which travels to Lexington, Va., on April 20 to meet Virginia Military Institute (VMI). … Fordham University won its third Metropolitan Outdoor Men’s Track and Field Championship in six years, edging Southern Connecticut State by a scant two points at Ramapo (N.J.) College. Contributing key points for the Rams was senior Michael Bongiorno of New City as the Clarkstown South alum placed eighth in the 800-meter run with a clocking of 1:58.10. Fordham is back in action April 19-20 at the Princeton University Invitational. … The St. Thomas Aquinas College men’s track and field team finished fifth in a field of 14 teams at the Rider Invitational. The Spartans trailed Rider, Sacred Heart, Rutgers and Monmouth, and were powered by George Erazo’s first-place clocking of 48.52 in the 400.  Erazo, of North Babylon, also led off the fourth-place 4×400 team of Ed Oswald of New City, Matt Buell of Staten Island and Garvenchy Nicolas of Brooklyn. In the 800, Nicholas also ran a personal best in a time of 1:55.73 while Mike Galonski of Newton, N.J., won the arduous steeplechase in 9:50.57, followed by teammate Joe Chegwidden of Hamburg, N.J., in second. Frankie Colon of Suffern hit a personal best in the 200 with a time of 23.14 taking fifth. In the women’s competition, Keeley Bateman of Pearl River and Allison Borriello of Montgomery placed seventh and eighth, respectively, in the 800. … The Dominican College softball team improved to 18-16 overall following a 9-0, 6-0 sweep of visiting Post University. The Chargers, unblemished at 14-0 in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference, visit Caldwell (N.J.) College on April 18 for a doubleheader at 3 p.m., and then visit Philadelphia University on April 20 for a noon doubleheader. Dominican returns home to Orangeburg on April 21 for two games against University of the Sciences at 1 p.m. … SUNY Cortland senior Amber Stephens of Stony Point hit an ECAC qualifying mark of 16-feet, 9-inches in the long jump at the Moravian College Invitational in Bethlehem, Pa. … Freshman

Amanda Babcock swings away
Amanda Babcock swings away

goalie Brittany Kiernan of Clarkstown had eight saves as the Dominican College women’s lacrosse team extended its winning streak to five after defeating the visiting Wildcats of Wilmington University, 14-6, in a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) game on the DC Lacrosse Field. …  Amanda Babcock of Haverstraw continues her hot hitting for the Manhattan Colleges softball team.The North Rockland HS alumna is third on the team with a .337 batting average and 21 RBI, and is tied for second with four homers.

A (SMALL) STAR IS BORN

Suffern native C.J. Nitkowski, a southpaw who pitched in the big leagues for 10 seasons, including stints with the Mets and Yankees, can be seen on the big screen in the acclaimed movie “42,” which tells the tale of the Brooklyn Dodgers’ Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in Major League Baseball. Nitkowski, who starred at Don Bosco Prep in Ramsey, N.J., and then St. John’s University, plays Phillies pitcher Dutch Leonard in scenes that are a pivotal point in the film and Robinson’s story. Philadelphia manager Ben Chapman is relentlessly yelling racial slurs at Robinson during his at-bats. A teammate eventually sticks up for Robinson, who goes into the runway of the dugout and smashes a bat in anger and frustration because he is unable to fight back for himself on the field.

THIS & THAT

The Rockland Road Runners will once again hold their Summer Track Workout sessions at Pearl River High School every Wednesday from May 1 through Aug. 28. Runners should warmed up and ready to run at 7 p.m. A variety of challenging but fun training sessions are planned. For more information, call 845-521-0400 or e-mail president@rocklandroadrunners.org, or visit the club website at www.rocklandroadrunners.org.

Distance runner Nick Roosa, a Tappan Zee HS graduate who starred at the University of Rochester, coached the Bronxville HS boys track and field team to an 11th-place finish at the state indoor championships. Roosa, who completed his first season as a head coach, is also expected to be an assistant cross-country coach for the highly regarded Broncos. “It’s actually pretty cool,” Roosa said, when asked about being at the other end of the spectrum, so to speak. “I didn’t think I’d get as excited as when I am racing, but I get amped up, a little rush. It’s great to see the runners improve.” Roosa, who will not compete in the New York City Marathon this fall due to an injury, had a tremendous run in the 2011 marathon, clocking a personal-best 2:30 to place 40th overall in a field of nearly 40,000 thinclads.

As noted in a weekly independent baseball column produced by former Major League Baseball spokesman Bob Wirz, Mets reliever Greg Burke, a 30-year-old sidewinder, came out of Independent League ABaseball. Following Tommy John surgery, Burke pitched for the Atlantic City (N.J.) Surf, then competing in the Atlantic League. This should give hope to anyone playing Independent League baseball somewhere, including the Can-Am League’s Rockland  Boulders. Wirz writes about Independent Baseball on www.IndyBaseballChatter.com.  Fans may subscribe to his Independent Baseball Insider column at www.WirzandAssociates.com or comment to RWirz@aol.com.

Liam Frawley, athletic director at Tappan Zee HS in Orangeburg, will be honored on May 5 by The Rockland Center for Safety & Change (formerly The Rockland Family Shelter) at  The Clubhouse at Patriot Hills Golf Club in Stony Point. The event starts at 5:30 p.m. Tickets priced at $159 per person may be reserved at http://www.centerforsafetyandchange.org  or by mail. Checks should be  made payable to The Center for Safety & Change, 9 Johnsons Lane, New  City, N.Y. 10956. If you have questions, please call Kathy Bookman at  845-634-3391.

Tappantown Historical Society, which is dedicated to preserving and maintaining Tappan’s historic heritage, is holding its annual Plant Sale on May 4 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. on Old Tappan Road opposite the Tappan Post Office. The society, founded in 1965, is also coordinating “Path Through History” weekends, and walking tours through Tappan. For information call 845-507-2412 or email admn@tappantown.org.