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RCC Baseball Team Gears Up for Promising 2019 Season

RCC Baseball Team Gears Up for Promising 2019 Season

2019 Rockland Community College Baseball Team

A talented blend of proven veterans, skilled transfers and promising newcomers has created high hopes for the Rockland Community College baseball team as it enters the 2019 season. The Hawks will be battle-tested in challenging Region XV competition, in which any of the six schools have a chance to capture the regional crown and advance to district play, one step from the Nationals. RCC made it to the Region XV championship round last year before bowing to Westchester CC. Other schools vying for the regional title include Orange County CC, Ulster CC, Sullivan CC and Dutchess CC.

“It's a tough region,” said fourth-year coach John Greeley, who is assisted by Matt Matcovich, Bryan Borruso, Ryan Fasano and George Nicks. “The team that executes the best will win. If we stay healthy, execute and play well as a team, we have as good a chance as anybody. Everyone on the team will contribute. We have a deeper squad than last year.”

RCC's 24-man roster features returning All-Region centerfielder John Daly, a sophomore five-tool player out of Tappan Zee HS. Daly's athleticism was also manifested on the football field, where he played wide receiver for Hudson Valley CC prior to his enrollment at RCC. Another key returner is sophomore right-hander James Reilly, an Albertus Magnus graduate, who underwent successful Tommy John surgery in the fall of 2016 and tossed a one-hitter versus Dutchess CC in the playoffs last year. Big things are also expected from returners Kyle Eskildsen, a right-hander from Monroe-Woodbury HS (NY) coming off of elbow surgery; catcher Stephen Greeley, Coach Greeley's son, an Albertus Magnus alum; twins Chris and Alex Perich from Suffern HS, who play third base and utility positions, respectively; and North Rockland grad Ken Hoppe, a shortstop and spot starter for the Hawks.

RCC's team has also been augmented by the addition of excellent transfer student-athletes, including Ray Pacella (North Rockland HS), a left-handed pitcher, outfielder and first baseman who played at Rider University last year; a pair of transfers from SUNY Albany, right-hander Colton Stemkowski, a redshirt freshman, and corner outfielder Andrew Guerra, a medical redshirt last season and three-time All-New York State player at Monroe-Woodbury HS; and lefty-swinging first baseman Miles Kelly, formerly of Rutgers University.

Incoming freshmen who are expected to make an immediate impact include righty pitcher/first baseman Hunter Semmel from Westhill HS in Stamford, Conn.; pitcher/outfielders Michael Pavelchak, who was the league Player of the Year last season for Nyack HS, and Joe Ottaviano, an All-League player from Albertus Magnus; Frankie Margiotta, an All-Section middle infielder from Albertus; North Rockland HS graduates James Costin, catcher, Felix Urena, second and third base, and John Freeman, outfield/pitcher; Mario Zamora, an All-League pitcher out of Tappan Zee HS; and outfielders Nick Guastamacchia (Monroe-Woodbury HS), speedy Jordan Contreras (East Ramapo) and Patrick Ortiz (Riverside HS, Yonkers, N.Y.). Other players being counted on to contribute significantly are pitcher Stephen Kalayjian, who performed for IMG Academy in Florida last year, and catcher Umberto Piccinich (Warwick HS, N.Y.).

The Hawks open their season March 2 against nationally ranked non-conference foe Mercer County CC of New Jersey, then launch their Mid-Hudson Conference schedule in April, playing four-game sets each week – single games Thursday and Friday and a doubleheader Saturday – against the five conference opponents. Four teams will advance to the Region XV round-robin tournament, with the two highest-seeded teams earning the right to host one game apiece. The championship finals are the second weekend in May, hosted by Dutchess CC at Dutchess Stadium in East Fishkill, N.Y., home of the Tampa Bay Rays affiliate Hudson Valley Renegades.

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Susan Lyddon, VP of Institutional Advancement
845-574-4595 or 347-840-1247
slyddon@sunyrockland.edu