Marc Maturo’s official sports column
RCC, STAC front and center on national stage
They came to Rockland Community College via Northern California and commuted each day to Suffern from Princeton, N.J., after a stay in Rockland County, but standout golfers Ben and Dan Tagle are next bound for Chautauqua Golf Club in Chautauqua.
The Tagle brothers, who each sport a 4.0 grade-point average, will represent the Hawks at the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) tournament June 3-7 after RCC placed fourth at the rain-abbreviated Region XV Golf Championship, held at Phillip J. Rotella Memorial Golf Course in Haverstraw.
The tournament’s final round was shortened to nine holes due to rainy playing conditions and the threat of thunderstorms. Nassau CC, which boasts an enrollment of some 35,000 students, took home its third straight team championship, followed by Suffolk, Ulster and host RCC.
Veteran RCC coach Tom “T-bone” Craffey is happy that Dan Tagle “will be with us one more year,” and noted that older brother Ben has already been accepted at Cornell University.
“They’re both good students, and smart golfers,” said Craffey.
As for the NJCAA tournament and the Tagle brothers chances, Craffey, always offering an unbiased opinion, said “They have a chance to finish in the top 10. Win, no -- but top 10, yes.”
Nassau, which won the region, declined an automatic berth to the NJCAA Tournament. Suffolk CC will now represent Region XV in the four-round event.
RCC, said Craffey without a pause, would never opt out.
“No way,” Craffey emphasized. “That defeats the whole purpose (of competing). Why coach, but who knows what they were thinking.”
Craffey is hopeful that the Tagles, who made the all-Region team, perform well, but quickly shifted his accolades to nearby St. Thomas Aquinas College and the Spartans’ splendid team.
“How about STAC, did you see what they did,” Craffey stated. “They were second in the region and are going to the (Division II NCAA) championship.”
The Spartans also have a good story concerning their 1-2 punch of Niklas Koerner and Kai Rastetter, who came to the STAC campus in Sparkill from Germany. Koerner, a junior, hails from Worms while Rastetter hails from Stutensee.
Other Spartans who earned the right to compete at The Meadows Golf Course in Allendale, Mich., are freshman Kevin Gately of Pembroke, Mass., freshman Brendan Hunter of Groton, Mass., and Thomas Linehan, a senior from Dansville.
Linehan is making his third NCAA Championship appearance while the Spartans are making their fifth trip.
Tournament play is scheduled to conclude May 23.
RED DRAGONS ROAR: The nationally top-ranked Cortland women’s lacrosse team, including stellar sophomore Tara Monaghan of Stony Point, defeated 11th-ranked Colby, 16-7, in the NCAA Division III Quarterfinals at Tompkins Cortland Community College’s turf field in Dryden. The Red Dragons improved to 22-0, and advanced to their fourth consecutive NCAA “final four,” to be held at Gettysburg College this weekend. Monaghan, a North Rockland HS alumna, led the Red Dragons with four goals and added an assist. Cortland will face the winner of the Trinity at Gettysburg game in the national semifinals at 1 p.m. on May 24.
Not to be undone, the Cortland baseball team also continued to roll, winning the NCAA Division III New York Regional in decisive 10-1 fashion against Kean College.
Junior Brandon McClain of Coram threw a two-hitter as the Red Dragons (35-8) advanced to the NCAA Division III World Series for the 12th time in program history and the sixth time since 2005.
Junior shortstop Anthony Simon of Suffern took the collar in four at-bats, but had two putouts and two assists in the winning effort.
Simon, an alum of Don Bosco Prep in Ramsey, N.J., is batting a healthy .391, third-best on the team, and has a nifty .944 fielding percentage with only three errors in 19 games, all starts.
Cortland, ranked fifth nationally, will face Salisbury (Md.) University, winner of the Marietta (Ohio) Regional, on May 23 in the opening round of the eight-team World Series in Grand Chute, Wis.
The Sea Gulls (37-7), who will be marking their fourth championship appearance in program history, advanced with a 3-2 victory over Case Western Reserve University, which made five errors to seal its fate.
SPARTANS MOVE ON: Following a compelling march to a second straight East Coast Conference (ECC) baseball championship, and then capturing the NCAA Division II crown, St. Thomas Aquinas College is bound for Cary, N.C., to compete in the national finals. The Spartans, under the leadership of Scott Muscat of West Haverstraw, compete May 24-31, opening against South Central Region champion Colorado Mesa University. Only eight teams in the country remain in the quest for the national championship.
BOULDERS SET TO OPEN: Fresh off an18-3 exhibition-game victory over a game but outmanned New York Police Department team – before a robust crowd of 4,975 fans at Provident Bank Park in Pomona — the Rockland Boulders open the regular season on May 23 at 7 p.m. against defending Can Am League champion Quebec at PBP. With the opener at hand, it should be noted that the Can-Am League has adopted extra-innings tiebreaker rules that have been in effect for most international competitions, including the World Baseball Classic and the IBAF World Championships. Beginning in the 11th inning, the player in the batting order immediately preceding that inning’s leadoff hitter will be placed on second base. The inning will otherwise proceed as usual, with each team getting a turn at bat. Should the player starting the inning on second base score, it will count in statistics as a run for the player and an RBI for the batter who drove him in (if applicable), but it will not count towards the pitcher’s earned-run average.
QUICK HITTERS: Rockland County teams are eligible to compete at the Continental Amateur Baseball Association (CABA) 18u Metal Bat World Series July 7-12 in Struthers, Ohio. To register, contact Ken Quinn at 330-719-0581, or visit the CABA website. … Sophomore Erica Tenteromano, a Clarkstown South graduate, and freshman Rebecca McGinn, an alumna of Clarkstown North HS, have completed their season on the rowing team at the University of Buffalo, which placed second at the Colonial Athletic Association Championships on Mercer County Lake in Windsor, N.J. … St. Thomas Aquinas track standout George Erazo of North Babylon, ranked 19th in the nation, will compete in the 400-meter race at the NCAA Division II National Championships in Allendale, Mich. … Dominican College senior catcher Tyler Clark of Cheshire, Conn., has been named to the East Region Rawlings Gold Glove first team. Clark, a senior, led the conference in runners caught stealing. He posted a .992 fielding percentage with just three errors and 324 putouts.
THIS & THAT: Beyond Sport United will be held at Yankee Stadium on June 11. In its fourth year, this one-day event will focus on how digital and social media can be maximized by teams, leagues and brands to bring shared-value outcomes of youth engagement and social responsibility, as well as reaching new markets and fan bases. Growing details are at http://www.beyondsport.org/united/ … The Staten Island Yankees of the New York Penn League have an immediate opening for a Director of Game Entertainment & Event Presentation. Send resume and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.