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LOCAL COLLEGE NOTEBOOK / Rams' Kingsbury the Best in A-10

Sometimes, a lone wildflower blooms in a barren field, and

that is a fair metaphor for Bobby Kingsbury and the Fordham Rams baseball team.

Despite the Rams' horrendous 2002 campaign, Kingsbury was named the

Atlantic 10 Player of the Year for a second straight season. Maybe that

positive news can lessen some of the bruising that came from a 13-36-1 season,

in which the Rams finished last in the A-10 East Division.

Kingsbury, a 6-1, 180-pound junior outfielder from Lyndhurst, Ohio, led the

Rams in batting (.380), home runs (12), RBIs (43) and steals (18).

"It was a tough year," Kingsbury said. "We lost 11 games by one run, but it

was a good learning experience for all of us. Everybody's coming back next

season and we'll see what happens."

A main factor in the Rams' woes can be summed up in three words: Tommy John

surgery.

Four Rams had or will have the procedure. At the top of the list of injured

parties: No. 1 starter Jonnie Mazzeo, a junior righty who hurt his arm April 5

and was lost for the remainder of the season. He will have his surgery in the

summer.

Closer Gary Kaible also will have the surgery this summer. The sophomore

had only three appearances because of damage to his right arm. Junior righty

Anthony Santopolo had the surgery in November and missed the season, as did

sophomore INF/P Rob Semerano, who underwent the procedure in December.

Kingsbury, meanwhile, is eagerly awaiting the Major League Baseball amateur

draft on June 4. Eighteen teams have been in contact with him, and he's heard

that he could go anywhere from the second to the fifth round.

Leontis Advances in Tennis Tourney

Junior Demetrios Leontis, a native of Cyprus, advanced to the quarterfinals

of the NCAA Division III men's tennis championships and has been named an

All-American. This was the first year at NYU for Leontis, who transferred from

the University of Georgia. Leontis went 33-2 overall this season and drew raves

from NYU coach John Curtis. "This is a bold statement, but he's the best

Division III player I've seen," Curtis said. "His skill, combined with his

mental fortitude, is a combination worthy of winning an NCAA championship."

Notes & Quotes

LIU senior third baseman Charles Inserra was named second-team

All-Northeast Conference after batting a team-high .387 for the Blackbirds. The

native of Brooklyn led the team with 52 hits ... St. John's women's soccer

coach Ian Stone is looking forward to seeing Kaitlin Schmidt (St. Anthony's of

Centereach, Long Island) suit up for the Red Storm. "She's quick and creative

and at whatever level she's played, she's scored goals," he said. Schmidt is

one of nine signees who will be playing soccer at St. John's this fall.

New York Sports