By Ted Waddell
LOCH SHELDRAKE April 4, 2006 After a 23-year hiatus, Sullivan County Community College has resurrected its baseball program in an effort to add a sports program requested by students and help attract local kids to the junior college.
After playing six away games to begin the season, the SCCC Generals began regular season play at their home field of Baxter Stadium in Mountaindale last Tuesday with a Mid-Hudson Conference game against the Dutchess Community College Falcons. The Generals will play several more home games this season at Baxter Stadium, which is the former home of two minor league teams the Mountaindale Lions and Catskill Cougars.
On Wednesday, March 29, Casey Pazzalia, a senior first baseman and slugger from Liberty High School signed on the dotted line to join Coach Mike Marra and Sullivans baseball program.
Im excited about getting the chance to play in front of my family and friends, Pazzalia said. Getting the opportunity to build a championship program here at home was a big factor in choosing the college.
Pazzalia and his Liberty teammates were scheduled to begin their 2006 season yesterday in a non-league game at Cornwall. In his three seasons as a member of the Indians varsity squad under the leadership of Coach Jim OConnor, Pazzalia posted a .367 batting average. Last season, Pazzalia had 18 RBIs, seven doubles and a .448 slugging percentage.
Caseys parents Tom and Carol Pazzalia attended the signing ceremony, as did SCCC President Dr. Mamie Howard Golladay and SCCC Athletic Director Chris DePew.
Casey is a local kid who can help us be competitive in our conference, Marra commented. Hes strong, competitive and hits the ball well.
During the brief ceremony outside Golladays office, Marra announced he is actively recruiting several other local high school players. Among them are: Lance Brookins (Livingston Manor/Roscoe), Matt Burns (Ellenville), Mike Cook (Liberty), Chris Gates (Fallsburg), Jesse Horsham (Port Jervis), Troy Kirchner (Livingston Manor/Roscoe), Danny Knox (Tri-Valley), David Luczyski (Fallsburg), Mike Prunka (Eldred), Harris Seletsky (Fallsburg), Rob Silva (Liberty) and Danny Walter (Tri-Valley).
Quality thats what recruiting is all about, Marra explained. Quality students, quality athletes and quality people. I am absolutely thrilled that Casey has decided to become a member of our baseball program. He exemplifies exactly what we are looking for in terms of academic and athletic excellence.