RAMAPO – The Rockland Community College baseball team recently completed a prosperous spring season, advancing to the Region XV championship finals and placing six players on the All-Region XV team.
Coach John Greeley’s squad posted a Mid Hudson Conference record of 13-7 and overall mark of 24-19 en route to a trip to the Region XV finals. The Hawks lost their first game of the double-elimination tournament to Dutchess CC but rallied to beat Orange County CC and Dutchess CC before succumbing to top-seeded Westchester CC. RCC sprinted to a 13-1 record to start the season but injuries to key players slowed their momentum heading into the playoffs. Nonetheless, toughened by a non-league schedule featuring nationally ranked opponents Monroe CC and Lackawanna CC, the Hawks were fully prepared to show their mettle at Regionals.
“We had a very close team, and they molded very well,” says Greeley, who was assisted by pitching coach Matt Matcovich, Steve Rybak, Ryan Fasano, Bryan Borruso and George Nicks. “It was a joy to coach them. They had a hunger to play and a tremendous amount of enthusiasm. I’m proud of the hard work they did to get to the finals. It was a strong team and next year we expect to continue the success with the returning guys and the guys who are coming in.”
Individually, RCC put six players on the All-Region XV team. Named to the first team were sophomore left-hander Chris Dodrill, the Region XV Pitcher of the Year, who also batted cleanup; sophomore shortstop/pitcher John Greeley, Coach Greeley’s son, who batted .430 as the No. 3 hitter and rebounded from injury after crashing into an outfield fence while substituting for centerfielder John Daly; Daly, a “five-tool player” who excelled despite an injured ankle; and sophomore second baseman Bill Rotella, who clubbed seven home runs and collected 51 RBI. Dodrill and Greeley are headed to Iona College while Rotella will attend Dominican College. Daly is expected to be a team leader next year.
Nabbing second-team honors were sophomore left-handed pitcher Eric Sandusky, a Dominican College recruit, and sophomore leftfielder/utility player Patrick Bateman, a fleet leadoff batter who also will be taking his “hard-nosed, blue-collar” style of play to Dominican in the fall.
Greeley was just as effusive about his team’s academic record. All 12 of his sophomore players graduated in May and the squad’s collective GPA in the spring 2018 semester was a commendable 3.08, earning the Hawks a spot on the NJCAA Academic Team of the Year honorable mention list. RCC finished tied for 62nd in cumulative GPA among all baseball teams in the three divisions of the NJCAA.
Headlining the Hawks’ roster of student-athletes was freshman catcher Umberto Piccinich, who posted a perfect 4.0 GPA to reap NJCAA All-Academic first team honors. Also qualifying for the All-Region Academic team, with GPAs of 3.25 or higher, were: Stephen Greeley, 3.75; John Daly, 3.58; Joseph Frank, 3.45; Alex Perich, 3.40; Kenneth Hoppe, 3.38; and John Greeley, 3.35. Securing a berth on the All-Conference Academic team, at 3.0 or higher, were: Bryan Shiver, 3.22; Bill Rotella, 3.21; Christopher Perich, 3.17; and Nick DeCandia, 3.01.