JOE MANTONI EARNS NE-10 SCHOLAR-ATHLETE SPORTS EXCELLENCE AWARD
NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – After closing the books on a dominant four-year career on campus, Merrimack baseball graduating senior Joe Mantoni (Northbridge, Mass.) has been named a recipient of the Northeast-10 Conference Spring Scholar-Athlete Sports Excellence Award, as announced by the league Tuesday.
The conference's Sport Excellence Awards recognize student-athletes that have excelled both on the field of play and in the classroom. To be eligible, a student-athlete must have completed at least two consecutive semesters of full-time enrollment at their current institution, two total years of athletic eligibility, and maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of a 3.30.
Mantoni, who was named the College's Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year at the 2013 LEAD Awards in April, served as a team captain during his final season with the Navy and Gold. He provided invaluable leadership and was a force in the classroom and on the playing field while helping lead the team to a remarkable postseason run while tying the program's single-season win record in the process.
The Northbridge, Mass., native saw his efforts pay off in June after being drafted in the 18th round of the MLB First-Year Player Draft by the Cincinnati Reds. Mantoni led the team with 36 RBI this spring while serving as the primary designated hitter.
But his talents were not tied to the batter's box, as the hard-throwing right-hander also served as the team's closer, ranking as one of the top late-game relievers in the conference. Mantoni finished the year with eight saves and 1.61 ERA on the mound for Merrimack, which advanced to the Northeast-10 Championship contest before missing out on at at-large bid to the NCAA East Regional.
A 2013 Northeast-10 Second Team pick, Mantoni carried a 3.87 GPA as an Economics major and was lauded as a Capital One Academic All-America Third Team selection.