Westchester Sports Recap0


MONDAY MAY 6 (Wappingers Falls, NY) – In Baseball, sometimes success is based on small-ball kind of hustle plays, and at other times a team is victorious because of one mighty swing of the bat. And, then there are times when you just have to be patient and persistent, the latter of which proved to be the case during Westchester Community College’s 7-3 win over Dutchess Community College on Monday night at Dutchess Stadium. While there were several highlights for the Vikings, few were as important as the base on balls. Not only did Westchester collect 11 of them on Monday night, leading to several important runs, but sophomore Steve Guzman (Bronx, NY/John F. Kennedy HS) drew four of them, and is now the all-time Westchester CC career walks leader with 84. Guzman reached base five times, and scored twice, as Westchester earned a 3-1 series win over a strong Dutchess team for the 2019 season, and remained in the hunt for a home playoff game later this week.

While drawing for 11 total walks, the Vikings also combined for seven hits, with sophomore Steve Messerschmitt (Carmel, NY/Carmel HS) going 2 for 5 with a walk, and RBI, and a run scored. Six other Vikings recorded a single hit, and sophomores Chris Cipriano (Irvington, NY/Dobbs Ferry HS) and Sean Vanegas (Bronx, NY/Mount Saint Michael) reached base three times apiece, and combined for three runs scored.

While Dutchess struggled to find a rhythm on the mound, Westchester was able to get into a pitching groove from the start. Freshman Hector Camacho (Harrison, NY/Harrison HS) turned in another fine performance allowing only five hits and three runs over four innings of work. From there, the Viking bullpen sizzled as sophomore Luis Gomez (Bronx, NY/St. Raymond’s) earned his fifth win of the 2019 season with more than four innings of near-perfect pitching. Freshman Michael Cox (Cortlandt Manor, NY/Walter Panas HS) earned his first career save, retiring the final two batters of the game.

WEDNESDAY MAY 8 (Valhalla, NY) – Freshman Tyler Parshley (Carmel, NY/Carmel HS) and sophomore Steve Messerschmitt (Carmel, NY/Carmel HS) had three hits apiece over two games. sophomore Steve Guzman (Bronx, NY/John F. Kennedy HS) reached base five times, but the Westchester Community College Baseball team ended the 2019 regular season by losing 19-9 and 9-1 to Sullivan Community College during a season-ending doubleheader at Westchester CC on Tuesday, May 7. With the losses, the Vikings conclude the regular season with a 23-14 overall record, and a 10-10 ledger in Region XV and Mid-Hudson Conference play.

The opener was a wild affair as the two teams combined for 28 runs, 32 hits, and 11 pitchers as the game lasted nearly four hours. The Vikings jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning after an Aaron Roman (Pelham, NY/Pelham HS) single brought home Guzman, and a Sullivan throwing error with the bases loaded allowed two more runs to score. However, from there, the Sullivan bats came to life as the Generals (21-21, 10-10) scored seven consecutive runs over the next two innings to take a 7-3 lead, and never looked back. Sullivan led 7-4 after three innings, 8-5 after four innings, and 9-6 after seven innings, but then scored 10 runs over the final two innings to secure the win.

Messerschmitt had a huge game, going 3 for 4 with two walks, an RBI, and three runs scored, while Roman, Parshley, and Chris Cipriano (Irvington, NY/Dobbs Ferry HS) had two hits apiece. Roman and freshman CJ Spence (Mount Vernon, NY/Mount Vernon HS) had two RBI’s apiece.

Eight different pitchers took to the mound for the Vikings, and while they combined for 12 strikeouts, they walked a team season-high 19 batters, which was a huge factor in the loss. The lone pitching highlight for the Vikings was the play of freshman Optaciano Polo (Yonkers, NY/Cardinal Hayes). Less than a week after allowing seven earned runs over the course of a single inning against Sullivan, Polo pitched 3.2 gutsy innings on Thursday, allowing only two earned runs, while striking out six to keep things close for a while.

The nightcap was all Sullivan as the Generals scored seven runs over the first three innings, and cruised to a win that clinched the #2 seed for the upcoming Region XV playoffs. Westchester’s run came during the third inning when freshman Michael Cox (Cortlandt Manor, NY/Walter Panas HS) doubled, advanced to third base on a ground out, and scored when Messerschmitt grounded out to drive him in.

The Vikings also received an outstanding effort from their bullpen as Messerschmitt and freshman Jake Jempty (Cortlandt Manor, NY/Walter Panas HS) combined to allow only six hits and two earned runs over four innings of work.

THURSDAY MAY 9 (Cortland, NY) – A change of scenery did very little to change the impact that Westchester Community College Baseball alumnus Scottie Giordano (Croton, NY/Croton HS) can have on the baseball field. One year after leading Westchester Community College to a fifth consecutive Region XV Championship, while earning region Player of the Year and All-America honors, Giordano joined the program at NCAA Division III powerhouse, and continued his diamond dominance. After leading the Red Dragons to a 31-11-1 overall record, and spot in the SUNY Athletic Conference Championship Game, Giordano named the SUNY AC Player of the Year after an outstanding campaign.

Giordano, who started all 43 games for Cortland, batted .333 this year leading the conference overall in extra base hits with 19 doubles, five triples and three home runs. He finished the year with 54 total hits, 50 runs, 39 RBIs and 21 walks to lead the Red Dragons to an undefeated conference regular season. While Cortland fell to SUNY Oswego in the final round of the SUNYAC Championship Tournament, Cortland remains in a strong position to capture an at-large bid to the upcoming NCAA Tournament.

Giordano’s athletic achievements ranks him among the finest student-athletes in Westchester Community College history. An outfielder/pitcher, Giordano led the Vikings in nearly every statistical category in 2018, and named Player of the Year by both the Mid-Hudson Conference and Region XV for the second consecutive season. Last season, he finished first on the team in batting average (.436), runs (58), hits (61), doubles (18), triples (8), home runs (7), slugging percentage (.829), and walks (37). His 46 RBI’s and 20 stolen bases were second on the team. He also had a .979 fielding percentage as a centerfielder with 11 assists. Giordano was also one of only 22 NJCAA student-athletes to be recognized as a SUNY Scholar Athletic Award recipient, and the only NJCAA Baseball player to earn the honor.

FRIDAY MAY 10 (Wappingers Falls, NY) – After Thursday’s exhilarating upset of second-seeded Sullivan CC that took place mere hours after the Generals swept the season series from WCC, Westchester gave top-seeded – and previously unbeaten in Region XV play – Rockland CC all it could handle, and then some, on Friday afternoon, ultimately losing 18-10. Hours later, an exhausted Viking squad fell 11-3 to fourth seeded, and eventual Region XV Champion, Ulster CC 11-3 to see their season end. With the losses, the final 2019 ledger for the Vikings was 24-16.

After a roller coaster ride of a regular season that followed up by an incredible 12-3 win over Sullivan on Thursday, Westchester took on Rockland CC on Friday with the top-seeded Hawks viewing a game against Westchester as a minor skirmish on their journey to what appeared to be an inevitable region crown of their own. The skirmish turned into a five-hour battle, and Westchester pushed a team that did not fall in region play all season long to the limit, exhausting the #1 seed to the point where the game proved to be Rockland’s final win of the 2019 season.

Westchester led 2-0 after two innings, and after Rockland scored seven consecutive runs during the third and fourth innings, Westchester went on a run of their own. The Vikings scored three times during the top of the fifth inning to make it a 7-5 game, and an inning later, the teams tied at nine. However, from there, Rockland scored nine of the last 10 runs to earn a hard-fought win.

Sophomore Chris Cipriano (Irvington, NY/Dobbs Ferry HS) had a huge game, going 2 for 4 with three RBI’s and two runs scored, while freshman CJ Spence (Mount Vernon, NY/Mount Vernon HS) went 2 for 5 with two RBI’s. Also for the Vikings, sophomore Steve Guzman (Bronx, NY/John F. Kennedy HS) reached base safely three times and scored four runs.

The loss left Westchester with little in the tank remaining as they had to turn around immediately to face Ulster, and the opportunistic Senators scored at least one run in each inning en route to an 11-3 win. The victory brought a new life to Ulster as the Senators defeated Westchester and then swept Rockland CC to earn the Region XV Championship in shocking fashion.

During the season-ending loss, Spence went 1 for 2 with two all’s, while sophomore Steve Messerschmitt (Carmel, NY/Carmel HS) and freshman Hailyn Gonzalez (Bronx, NY/Bronx Envision Academy) scored runs. Sophomore Luis Gomez (Bronx, NY/St. Raymonds) allowed only two earned runs over four innings during the final performance of a career that saw Gomez become the all-time career wins leader in Westchester Community College.

While the loss ended an incredible run for the Vikings, a single season without a Region XV Championship will not temper expectations as a solid core expected to return for the 2020 season. After all, the last time a Vikings team ended a season without a region championship; it would be six more years until another season ended without one


MONDAY MAY 6 (East Meadow, NY) – Freshman John DeMase (Somers, NY/Somers HS) shot a career-best 77, forcing a three-way tie for second place in the individual standings. Fellow freshman Justin Ming (Pelham, NY/Pelham HS) did the same as the Westchester Community College Golf team finished in second place at the Nassau Community College Tournament on Monday at the famous Eisenhower Park Red Golf Course in East Meadow. The event was the penultimate competition of the 2019 regular season for the Vikings as they continue one of the most successful seasons in program history.

As has been the case for much of the 2019 season, Westchester finished second only to Nassau Community College as the Vikings shot a combined 357 to Nassau’s 326. Impressively, Westchester finished 13 strokes ahead of Region XV powerhouse Suffolk CC, and 25 strokes ahead of Mid-Hudson Conference foe Ulster CC, as the two programs are neck-and-neck for the 2019 Conference Championship.

Demase, who has spent most of the season shooting in the low 80’s, was outstanding, beating his previous personal best by four strokes on the par-71 course. This was the first time all season that Demase was able to draw even with Ming, who maintains a healthy lead for Mid-Hudson Conference Golfer of the Year honors.

Also for Westchester, freshman Matthew Matera (South Salem, NY/John F. Kennedy Catholic) finished in 16th place by shooting a 99.

THURSDAY MAY 9 (Loch Sheldrake, NY) – Ladies and Gentlemen, we have ourselves a dynasty. Freshman Justin Ming (Pelham, NY/Pelham HS) completed an incredible rookie campaign with an 82, tying him for third place individually. Three other Vikings shot in the 90’s, as the Westchester Community College Golf team clinched its fourth consecutive Mid-Hudson Conference Golf Championship with a second place finish at the Sullivan Community College Tournament on Thursday, May 9 at the Lochmor Golf Course in Loch Sheldrake, NY. Westchester shot a combined 370, finishing 20 strokes behind Orange Community College, but with conference, runner-up Ulster CC not competing with a full team on Thursday, the Vikings easily secured a first place finish.

For the 2019 season, Westchester finished with 28 team points, Ulster with 21, and Orange 17. The Vikings never finished lower than second among Mid-Hudson Conference schools at an event, and earned four first place finishes during six events this season.

Sophomore Cian Guilfoyle (Yonkers, NY/Yonkers Montessori) finished in eighth place with a 95, and freshman Matthew Matera (South Salem, NY/JFK Catholic) finished right behind him with a 96. Also for the Vikings, sophomore Matthew Rice (Lagrangeville, NY/Arlington HS) earned a top-10 finish with a 98.


THURSDAY MAY 9 TO SATURDAY MAY 11 (Utica, NY) – When Track & Field was added as a varsity sport at Westchester Community College, the vision was to build the kind of program that will compete with the very best that the nation has to offer … one day. Little did the originators of the program know that their vision would become the reality before the first varsity season of competition was completed at the NJCAA National Track and Field Championships, held at Mohawk Valley Community College in Utica, New York. Not only did the Vikings go toe-to-toe with the very best the nation had to offer, but the results were incredible. The Westchester CC women earned a finish of #17 in the nation, while the men’s team placed #23 nationally. With two top-25 finishes to usher in Track & Field to Westchester Community College, to say the future is bright could be an understatement.

On the women’s side, sophomore Alysha Owens (Mount Vernon, NY/Mount Vernon HS) ended her Viking career with a spectacular performance, earning a top-10 finish in four different events. She was in the national championship picture in the Hammer Throw, finishing in fourth place with a personal record effort of 31.56 meters, scoring five team points. In the Shot Put, Owens finished in sixth place, scoring three team points with a 10.23-meter throw. She also finished in ninth and tenth place in the Javelin and Discuss Throw, respectively.

On the men’s side, sophomore Giovani Castillo (North White Plains, NY/Valhalla HS) enjoyed a terrific weekend, finishing in eighth place in the Hammer Throw to earn one team point. Also for the Vikings, freshman Randy Culcay (Ossining, NY/Ossining HS) earned a 12th place finish in the 1500 meter race, while freshman Kumani McLean earned a 26th place finish in the 200-meter dash.

Westchester Community College is now complete with their first varsity season Track & Field, and looks forward to even improve things now that the program is fully off of the ground.

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