Marc Maturo’s official sports column
Sullivan, Malzahn team up to develop baseball prospects
Steve Malzahn, a powerful left-handed hitting first baseman who threw right-handed, played four years under veteran coach Scott Muscat on a highly rated baseball team at St. Thomas Aquinas College in Sparkill, a team that perennially contended for top honors in the East Coast Conference.
Malzahn, who now makes his home in nearby New Jersey, tried to continue his playing career with the Independent League Rockland Boulders, but instead found a new home as director of marketing and sales, among other various duties, at Hardball New York Training Center at 102 Fairview Park in Elmsford.
Hardball New York – owned by three-sport Clarkstown North HS alum Bill Sullivan of Valley Cottage — is heavily involved in showcase tournaments, individual lessons, clinics and camps in both hardball and softball. Sullivan, a 1991 graduate of La Salle University where he played baseball three years, coached for many years at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry and is currently an associate director of athletics under Matt Kilcullen, Jr.
Hardball New York has stayed connected to the Spartans in Sparkill, with two players having already committed to playing for Coach Muscat, and with trainers Nick Serino of Valley Cottage and former STAC player Elyssa Cataldo of Suffern key members of the training staff.
(Serino, a left-handed pitcher, had a stint with the Boulders and in the Washington Nationals organization.)
“I still keep in contact (with STAC), of course,” said Malzahn. “We always made the (ECC) playoffs and in 2008 we won the regular-season championship.”
The two players who will be seen representing STAC at home games at Provident Bank Park in Pomona are pitcher Chris Pennell out of Rye Neck HS – “He can play anywhere, literally,” said Malzahn, putting on his scouting cap – and right-handed first baseman Dave Erosa, out of Irvington HS.
Ryan Aquino, a right-handed pitcher out of Rye Neck HS, will be a teammate of sophomore outfielder John Kukura of New City on the Pace University team, based in Pleasantville.
Another Rye Neck product, Chris Caccione, a shortstop, has committed to UMass, infielder Mike Perrone has committed to Manhattanville College in Purchase, while Hendrick Hudson infielder/pitcher Nick Sampogna hopes to become a four-year starter for a brand-new program at Elmira College, which will compete in the Empire 8 conference. At Manhattanville, North Rockland HS graduate Joe Anselmi is expected to play an infield position as a freshman.
The affable Malzahn has another thing on his mind at this time, with his marriage to one-time Spartans basketball player Coleen Vogel set for August 15 at Sacred Heart Chapel in Sparkill, a short walk from the STAC campus.
Before taking over a lead role at Hardball New York two years ago, Malzahn was a part-time employee for three-plus seasons at the 16,000 square foot facility.
In addition to the training aspect, Malzahn said the organization sponsors eight travel teams, featuring prospects from the ages of 10 through 18.
One-time STAC player John Muller, who pitched in the Chicago Cubs organization right out of college and played one season with the Boulders, is Hardball New York’s director of player development.
For information access: http://www.hardballny.com.
ROW, ROW, ROW YOUR BOAT: Clarkstown North HS alumna Gaby Kraushaar of New City, a sophomore on the women’s crew team at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., made the Atlantic 10 Commissioner’s academic honor roll for 2013-2014 and also was named to the Dean’s List. The collegiate women’s fall rowing season generally begins at the Head of the Potomac Regatta, scheduled this year on September 30.
LEFTY ROLLS RIGHT ALONG: Rockland Boulders southpaw Sean Bierman was named the Pointstreak Pitcher of the Month in the Can-Am League for July, after twice being named Pitcher of the Week. Bierman (6-5) went 5-1 in July, appearing in six games while making five starts with a 1.67 ERA in 43 innings. Bierman represented the Boulders at the American Association-Canadian American League All-Star in Winnipeg on July 29, pitching a scoreless fourth inning. The Boulders, in a season-long battle with the New Jersey Jackals for first place, meet their rival on August 10 at 10:30 a.m. at Provident Bank Park in Pomona. Following two games at New Jersey on August 11-12, Rockland returns home on August 13 at 7 p.m. to open a three-game series against the Trois-Rivieres Aigles. The teams meet again at 6:30 p.m. on August 14 and at 2 p.m. on August 15.
QUICK HITTERS: The Pace University baseball team, including sophomore outfielder John Kukura of New City, will host a Summer Showcase on August 19 at Finnerty Field located on the Pleasantville campus. For more information, or to register for the clinic, please click here. … Clarkstown North HS graduate Meghan King of New City, a volleyball and softball standout at the College of New Rochelle, is continuing to rehab from December shoulder surgery. The volleyball season is less than 50 days away, and King has been cleared to begin full swinging with her shoulder as she prepares for her final collegiate campaign. King, who is taking aim on 1,000 career kills, reached the 500 mark last October 1 in a 3-0 victory over Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville. King is just the second Blue Angel to record 500 kills.
THIS & THAT: The Piermont Chapter of the Rockland County PAL recently completed its first month of instructional play at Broadacres Golf Course in Orangetown. The program runs on Sunday and Monday evenings at the course. … Runner’s World Media Group, the global leader in running, seeks an Integrated Marketing Director for Runner’s World and Running Times magazines, to be based out of the Manhattan office. For information access: https://rodaleinc-openhire.silkroad.com/epostings/index.cfm?fuseaction=app.jobinfo&jobid=546&source=ONLINE&JobOwner=992548&company_id=16663&jobboardid=1418. … The Tri-State Bulldogs, an adult minor-league football team based in Hillburn, are home for their next two games at the Joseph T. St. Lawrence Center (115 Torne Valley Road). The Bulldogs host the Queens Stallions at 11 a.m. on August 9, and then welcome the Brooklyn Mariners on August 16 at a time to be decided.