Westchester Sports Recap0

BASEBALL (RECORD 20-9 REGION 7-5 CONFERENCE 7-5)

TUESDAY APRIL 16 – STEVE GUZMAN NAMED MID-HUDSON CONFERENCE ATHLETE OF THE WEEK

(Valhalla, NY) – Westchester Community College Baseball sophomore Steve Guzman (Bronx, NY/John F. Kennedy HS) named the Mid-Hudson Conference Athlete of the Week after one of the finest weeks of what has been an incredible baseball career for Guzman. The sophomore shortstop was an integral component of Westchester’s 3-1 stretch that saw the Vikings break a six-game losing streak, and earn their first three conference victories of the season.

For the week, Guzman hit an incredible .692 (9 for 13) with six runs scored, five walks, and four RBI’s, all as Westchester’s leadoff batter. He also made only one error at shortstop over the four games.

Guzman’s best game was during the opener of Sunday’s doubleheader at Orange Community College when he went 3 for 4 with a walk, three RBI’s and two runs scored as Westchester earned a 14-9 win

WEDNESDAY APRIL 17 (Valhalla, NY) – For Westchester Community College sophomore Luis Gomez (Bronx, NY/St. Raymond’s) it was the most improbable of wins, against the most impossible of odds, on a day when a victory was sorely needed but seemed so very far away. But, for a pitcher who has made a career out of seizing the most triumphant of victories from the death-grip of defeat, the final victory to become the all-time career wins leader in Westchester Community College history could not have happened in any other way. In fact … it was perfect.

Down 7-0 in the fifth inning. Facing their final out in the ninth inning. Seeing a routine fly ball that should have ended the contest become a bases-clearing exultation to tie the game at nine. Sophomore Chris Cipriano (Irvington, NY/Dobbs Ferry HS) deposited a bloop single to right field to score the game winning run in Westchester’s 10-9 win over Ulster Community College in Wednesday’s opener at Vikings Field, the celebration went to Gomez, who became the first Vikings hurler to ever record 15 career wins. In typical Gomez fashion, the win was in every way unorthodox.

Two seasons ago, Gomez earned 11 wins, many of which came in a fashion that can only be considered “unique.” A blown save opportunity for which a Viking rally allowed Gomez to earn a win. There were games Gomez departed facing a huge deficit only to see Westchester rally to take the lead before another Viking pitcher could enter the game. There was even a game when Gomez was busy taking a final exam, but somehow became the pitcher of record in a victorious fashion. Of course, like in 2019, there were multitudes of quality appearances that led to wins, but when Gomez earned the nickname, “The Vulture,” there were few questions asked.

So naturally, on Wednesday, Gomez’s record-breaking win was a walk-off victory for the Vikings, so Gomez was not even on the field when the record was broken.

That is not to say he did not pitch well. In fact, he entered the game with Ulster leading 7-6 prior to the eighth inning, and held the Senators at bay, allowing Westchester to tie the score 7-7 in the bottom of the eighth inning when a Hailyn Gonzalez (Bronx, NY/Bronx Envision Academy) single scored Steve Messerschmitt (Carmel, NY/Carmel HS) to even things for the first time. However, a possible win appeared to slip away during the top of the ninth inning. Gomez quickly recorded the first two outs, and appeared to induce the Senators into an inning-ending ground out, but an error allowed the inning to continue. Two hits later, Ulster plated two unearned runs to take a 9-7 lead into the bottom of the ninth inning.

During a wild home ninth inning, Westchester had two runners on base and two outs, and the game appeared to be over when Messerschmitt lifted a routine fly ball to right field. However, the Ulster right fielder and second baseman collided, the ball landed harmlessly on the ground, Steve Guzman (Bronx, NY/JFK HS) and Michael Cox (Cortlandt Manor, NY/Walter Panas) scored, and the game was tied at 9. Up came Cipriano, and after a wild pitch sent Messerschmitt to third base, Cipriano poked a single to right field to score Messerchmitt and end the game.

The win capped a wild and furious rally that began with Ulster scoring the first seven runs of the game, however, the Vikings gradually chipped away at the deficit, scoring a run in the fifth inning, two in the sixth inning, three more during the seventh inning, and leading to their offensive heroics during the final two innings.

For Westchester, Messerschmitt went 2 for 4 with two walks and three runs scored, while Tyler Parshley (Carmel, NY/Carmel HS) and Aaron Roman (Pelham, NY/Pelham HS) had three hits apiece.

The Vikings received a huge boost from their bullpen as the trio of Optaciano Polo (Yonkers, NY/Cardinal Hayes), Jake Jempty (Cortlandt Manor, NY/Walter Panas HS) and Gomez combined to pitch five innings in relief, allowing only one earned run.

For the 2019 season, Guzman is batting a team-leading .411 with 18 RBI’s. He leads the Vikings in batting average; OPS (1.183), runs scored (34), slugging percentage (.616), walks (27), and on-base percentage (.567).

Guzman becomes the third Viking to earn Mid-Hudson Conference Athlete of the Week honors during Baseball season, joining Jhojandy Hernandez (Bronx, NY/Salesian) and Michael Cox (Cortlandt Manor, NY/Walter Panas HS).

The nightcap was a completely different story as Cox pitched his first career shutout, allowing only two hits, while striking out nine and walking only two batters as the Vikings earned a 9-0 win. Westchester’s nine runs came on only four hits, but the Vikings were the beneficiaries of eight walks, two hit batsmen, five wild pitches, and three Ulster errors. Westchester led 8-0 after two innings, and never looked back as Cox was never threatened.

Freshman CJ Spence (Mount Vernon, NY/Mount Vernon HS) went 2 for 2 with three RBI’s and a run scored, while Messerschmitt reached base twice and scored two runs.

GOLF

MONDAY APRIL 15 (Yonkers, NY) – During a successful 2018 season, that included the program’s third consecutive Mid-Hudson Conference Championship and an individual qualifier for the NJCAA National Championships, the Westchester Community College Golf team consistently featured two of the best golfers in the conference, who routinely shot in the low-80’s. This lead the Vikings to a season marked by tremendous success. Therefore, when a Viking who golfed an incredible 74 marked the first Mid-Hudson Conference tournament of the 2019 season, it was hard to deny that the 2019 Golf campaign at Westchester CC could become a special one.

Freshman Justin Ming (Pelham, NY/Pelham HS) made his season debut by shooting a 74. Freshman John DeMase (Somers, NY/Somers HS) followed up an 83 to open the season on April 8 with an 81 as Westchester CC finished second at the Westchester Community College Invitational on Monday, April 15 at Dunwoodie Golf Course in Yonkers, New York. While the Vikings finished 13 strokes behind an outstanding Nassau Community College team, Westchester stormed past all of the Mid-Hudson Conference competition, defeating their nearest competitor – Ulster Community College – by 33 strokes. The Vikings shot 342 as a team, while Ulster CC shot a 375. Rockland Community College finished third among Mid-Hudson Conference programs with a 410.

Also for Westchester, sophomores Cian Guilfoyle (Yonkers, NY/Yonkers Montessori Academy) and Matthew Rice (LaGrangeville, NY/Arlington HS) both shot well with Guilfoyle shooting a 93 and Rice a 94.

TRACK AND FIELD

SATURDAY APRIL 20 (Albany, NY) – Facing a field that included exclusively NCAA programs – from all three divisions – the Westchester Community College Track & Field team competed so strongly at the Bobbi Palma University of Albany Spring Classic on Saturday, April 20 that if a record book had existed for the first-year program, it would now be obsolete. Four different program records – along with a slew of personal best results – established as the Vikings enjoyed a successful day against the best competition they have faced during their inaugural varsity season this spring.

How good were the Vikings? Not a single community college program other than Westchester CC competed at SUNY Albany, and the Vikings were in the mix in just about every event they entered. While the Albany event did not employ team scoring, had there been a team result, WCC would have proven to be quite competitive across the board.

Not only did four program records fall on Saturday, but eight different Vikings notched personal best results:

In the 100-meter dash, freshman Malik Sainnoval (Brentwood, NY/Brentwood HS) finished his heat in 12.16 seconds, a little more than one second behind the fastest run of the day, to break the program record for WCC in this event. In addition, freshman Nestor Ortiz (Irvington, NY/Irvington HS) finished his heat with a personal best time of 12.39 seconds.
In the 200-meter dash, freshman Michael DeMatteo (Mamaroneck, NY/Mamaroneck HS) and freshman Muhammad Ahmed (Jefferson Valley, NY/Lakeland HS) earned personal record finishes of 24.52 and 24.73 seconds, respectively, less than one second away from top-10 finishes.
In the 800-meter event, freshman Travis Patterson (Yonkers, NY/Roosevelt HS) set the program record with a finish of 2:19.19.
In the 1500-meter event, freshman Randy Culcay (Ossining, NY/Ossining HS) finished in a program record time of 4:38.18 to finish in 15th place in an event that included 13 competitors from NCAA Division I programs.
In the men’s shot put, freshman Donovan Vincent, Jr. (Bronx, NY/Mount Saint Michael) set a program record with a throw of 10.23 meters, to earn a seventh place finish. In addition, freshman Nicholas Rotunno (Somers, NY/Somers HS) earned a personal best result, throwing for 9.49 meters.
On the women’s side, sophomore Alysha Owens (Mount Vernon, NY/Mount Vernon HS) enjoyed a terrific overall day, including an eighth place finish in the shot put with a throw of 31.22 meters.

Westchester Community College returns to action at the College of New Jersey Lions Invitational from April 26-27 in Ewing, New Jersey.

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