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RCC Baseball Team Captures Conference Title, Sets School Mark for Consecutive Wins

RCC Baseball Team Captures Conference Title, Sets School Mark for Consecutive Wins

2019 baseball and golf teams

Golfer Sean McGarvey qualifies for Nationals for second year in a row

DATE: June 4, 2019

RAMAPO, N.Y. – The Rockland Community College baseball team set a school record with a 26-game winning streak and captured the Mid Hudson Conference regular-season title to highlight the performances of RCC's 2019 spring sports teams. The golf team was led by sophomore Sean McGarvey, who tied for third place at the Region XV tournament to qualify for the NJCAA Div. III national championships for the second year in a row.

The Hawks' baseball squad made history with its record-breaking 26-game victory streak, which eclipsed the previous mark of 19 straight set by the 1984 team. RCC recorded a perfect 19-0 mark during the regular season, did not lose during the month of April (17-0), and attained a top 25 NJCAA Div. II national ranking during the season.  The Hawks finished No. 3 nationally in NJCAA Div. II with an impressive .362 team batting average.

At the Region XV tournament, held at Dutchess Stadium in East Fishkill, N.Y., RCC advanced to the championship final for the second year in a row before bowing to Ulster CC, 14-13 and 10-4, in the double-elimination format. Ulster scored five runs in the ninth inning of championship game 1 to pin a heartbreaking loss on the Hawks.

“We fell a little short, but it was still a phenomenal year,” said fourth-year RCC coach John Greeley, whose team won 32 of 41 games overall after a 6-7 start against tough non-league competition. “The team reached their potential and exceeded expectations. Our depth was the reason we pulled it off. We had 21 guys on the roster, and all contributed immensely. A lot of guys stepped up into a leadership role, and that turned it around for us [after the slow start].”

Four RCC players earned a berth on the All-Tournament team at Regionals: pitcher Kyle Eskildsen, a right-hander from Monroe-Woodbury (N.Y.) HS, who tossed a two-hit shutout in the Hawks' 10-0 blanking of Ulster CC in the first round; Drew Guerra, a rightfielder from Monroe-Woodbury who had four hits and seven RBI in RCC's 18-10 win over Westchester CC in the second round; pitcher James Reilly, a right-hander out of Albertus Magnus HS, who picked up the win against Westchester; and Miles Kelly, a designated hitter/first baseman from Shoreham Wading River HS in Shoreham, N.Y. Eskildsen and Guerra are set to attend St. Thomas Aquinas College in the fall, and Reilly is headed for Fairleigh Dickinson University's Div. I program.

The Hawks landed five players on the All-Region first team, led by the Region XV Player of the Year, John Daly, the centerfielder and leadoff hitter. Daly, a Tappan Zee HS product, batted a robust .409 for the season (and .500 in Region XV play) with 2 home runs, 5 triples and 35 RBI. Region XV Pitcher of the Year Raymond Pacella, a left-hander out of North Rockland HS, went 4-0 overall with 3 saves and a 2.60 ERA, and posted a minuscule 1.27 ERA in conference play. Chris Perish of Suffern, the Defensive Player of the Year, sparkled at third base while hitting .427 with 47 RBI, batting third in the order. Kelly, the cleanup hitter, slugged 7 home runs and 5 triples, drove in 44 runs and batted .370. Catcher Stephen Greeley, Coach Greeley's son, hit .370 with 3 home runs and 39 RBI. Daly is moving on to FDU, while Pacella heads to SUNY Oneonta and Perich to SUNY Brockport.

Capturing second-team All-Region laurels were Pacella, who as a first baseman batted .367 with 28 RBI; Nyack HS alumnus Michael Pavelchak, a leftfielder who hit .378 with a .458 on-base percentage; and pitcher John Freeman, out of North Rockland HS, who won all seven of his decisions with a 4.36 ERA. Shortstop Ken Hoppe, another North Rockland HS product, won a Gold Glove award, and Alex Perich, a versatile utility player who batted .366, received the Region's Sportsmanship Award. Alex Perich, who is Chris Perich's twin, is transferring to Dominican College in the fall, and Hoppe will attend SUNY Oneonta.

Coach Greeley was supported by a veteran coaching staff including pitching coach Matt Matcovich,  Ryan Fasano, Bryan Borruso and George Nicks.

In golf, McGarvey again spearheaded the Hawks, earning All-Region first-team honors and All-Mid Hudson Conference status as well. He posted a two-day score of 158 (80-78) – just two strokes out of first place – at the Region XV tournament, held May 16-17 at Rotella Golf Course in Haverstraw, N.Y. By virtue of his third-place shared finish, he qualified to compete in the NJCAA Div. III national championships, set for June 5-8 at Chautauqua Golf Club in Chautauqua, N.Y., 40 miles south of Buffalo. McGarvey, a Pearl River HS alumnus, hopes to improve upon his showing of tied for 46th last year out of 87 golfers at nationals.

No. 2 man Andrew Mottolese, a freshman out of North Rockland HS, capped a strong finish to the season by placing 14th at Regionals with a score of 179 (88-91). An All-Conference honoree, he is the younger brother of Anthony Mottolese, a solid scorer for the Hawks' golf team last year. Freshmen Tristan Brestolli, a North Rockland HS graduate, and Alex Graff, from Nyack HS, were RCC's two other scorers.

As a team, RCC finished fifth out of six teams, a dropoff from last year's third-place showing. “It was a tough year team-wise,” said 13th-year coach Tom Craffey, a former NCAA Div. III national team titlist as a player for Ramapo College of New Jersey. “It was definitely a rebuilding year. We are looking forward to greater success next year.” Craffey is assisted by Howie Pierson, who was RCC's longtime head golf coach and athletic director and a professional on the Seniors golf tour.

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CONTACT: Susan Lyddon, VP of Institutional Advancement
845-574-4595 or 347-840-1247