RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Felician University senior baseball outfielder Matt Diesel (Massapequa Park, N.Y./Massapequa) has been named to the NCAA Division II All-America First Team of two awarding organizations. Diesel was recognized by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers' Association (NCBWA) on May 23 and was honored by the American Baseball Coaches Association six days later.
Additionally, Felician senior third baseman Bruce Strickland (Hazlet, N.J./Raritan) was chosen as an Honorable Mention All-America by the NCBWA.
The selections are historical for Felician in a variety of ways. Diesel becomes the first First Team All-American in any sport in the 22-year history of Golden Falcon athletics. As a Second Team choice of the Conference Commissioners' Association (CCA), he is Felician's first NCAA 'consensus' All-American. Diesel and Strickland give the Golden Falcons multiple All-Americans in the same academic year for the first time since joining the NCAA in 2002-03.
Felician University All-Time All-Americans http://felicianathletics.com/information/All-Americans/index
2018 NCBWA D-II All-America Teams https://felician.prestosports.com/x/czf3z
2018 CCA D-II Baseball All-America Teams https://felician.prestosports.com/x/b4ktm
2018 ABCA/Rawlings D-II All-America Teams https://www.abca.org/ABCA/Awards/All-Americans/NCAA_Division_II/2018.aspx
The 6-foot, 195-pound Diesel ranks sixth nationally in Division II with a .435 batting average, and slugged .700 with a .500 on-base percentage. In 55 games, he set single season Felician records for hits (87), doubles (25), and runs batted in (65) to go along with eight triples, four home runs, and 51 runs scored.
Diesel was voted the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) Player of the Year, the third in Felician history, as well as the Regional Player of the Year from all three awarding bodies. He is a 2014 graduate of Massapequa (N.Y.) High School.
Strickland batted .373 as Felician's leadoff man, and matched Diesel's record total of 25 doubles. In 54 games, he added five triples and four home runs, scoring 58 runs while driving in 43. He became the Golden Falcons' career leader in hits (261) and runs scored (175). Strickland is a 2014 graduate of Raritan High.
Diesel, Strickland, and the Golden Falcons (30-25, 25-7) won the program's third consecutive league regular-season crown, capturing the CACC South Division in its first year of existence. Felician was the runner-up in the CACC Championship tournament.
The ABCA All-America teams are presented by Rawlings. The CCA squads are coordinated and voted upon by members of the College Sports Information Directors of America.
Felician University, the Franciscan University of New Jersey, is a liberal arts, coeducational Catholic university founded in 1942 and sponsored by the Felician Sisters. True to its mission, Felician University welcomes a diverse student population and embraces its educational needs. With campuses in Lodi and Rutherford, New Jersey, Felician University currently enrolls more than 2,400 students and offers more than 55 undergraduate and graduate programs, in the classroom and online, in the arts and sciences, business and management sciences, health sciences and teacher education. Felician University also sponsors 14 varsity intercollegiate sports that compete at the NCAA Division II level.