RUTHERFORD, N.J. – 2018 Felician University graduate Matt Diesel (Massapequa Park, N.Y./Massapequa) has been named the 2017-18 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year, CACC Commissioner Dan Mara announced on Monday.
Diesel is the third Felician student-athlete to win the award, and the first member of the baseball program. Men's basketball player Devon Young earned the honor for 2010-11, and cross-country runner Rob Albano was so recognized following 2011-12.
For being named this year's CACC Male Scholar Athlete of the Year, Diesel is now eligible for the NCAA Division II Conference Commissioner's Association (D2CCA) Male Scholar Athlete of the Year Award. The winner of that honor will be announced by the national organization later this summer.
"This award caps off a special year for Matt, academically and athletically," said 15th year Felician head baseball coach Chris Langan. "When we recruited him we knew he was a good student, but to maintain this high a level of performance in both areas for four years is remarkable – and that's Matt Diesel."
Diesel enjoyed a highly decorated senior season in helping lead the Golden Falcons (30-25, 25-7) to the CACC South Division regular-season championship and the conference finals. While splitting time between left field, center field, and designated hitter, he was a consensus All-American, including receiving First Team honors from the American Baseball Coaches Association and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. He was voted the 2018 CACC Player of the Year and the consensus (NCBWA, D2CCA, ABCA) D-II East Region Player of the Year.
In 55 games this season, Diesel batted .435 with four home runs, 51 runs scored, 65 runs batted in and 11 stolen bases. He slugged .700 and posted a .500 on-base percentage. Diesel led the CACC in batting average, hits (87), doubles (25), RBI and total bases (140).
Diesel concluded his career as a three-time All-CACC honoree. He graduates from Felician as its all-time leader in triples (25), while ranking second in career hits (231), runs (161) and RBI (154).
Diesel completed his undergraduate degree requirements last December with a 3.71 cumulative grade-point average as an accounting major. He is pursuing an MBA from Felician. He was named a Google Cloud CoSIDA First Team Academic All-America® in 2018, and is a three-time honoree on the CACC All-Academic Team. In 2017, he was inducted into the Chi Alpha Sigma College Athlete Honor Society
He is a 2014 graduate of Massapequa (N.Y.) High.
"From a young age, my parents told me to put my education first among my priorities," Diesel said. "I have them to thank for instilling in me the importance of doing well in the classroom."
The 2017-18 CACC Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award was bestowed upon sophomore Kendall Fitzgerald (cross-country, ice hockey, track & field) of Post University.
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.