Former Knights trio excelling on field and classroom

The following are updates on local athletes at the collegiate level.

Garrett Salzman (St. Francis High, 2008) senior catcher, Macalester College baseball: Salzman proved he could handle the workload not only on the field, but in the classroom as well. The biology major registered a 3.88 grade-point average this academic year and earned a spot on the District 6 Academic All-District Baseball Team at the NCAA Division III level.

The accolade is awarded to the country's top student-athletes for their combined work with studies and athletics. All first-team honorees advance to the Capital One Academic All-American team ballot, which will be unveiled in late May.

Salzman came close to his grade-point average with his batting average on the diamond, as he hit .306 (34 for 111) with one home run and 19 runs batted in. He also collected five doubles in 39 contests for Macalester, which finished 19-20 and 9-11 in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

Nick Gentili (St. Francis High, 2009) junior infielder/outfielder, Pomona-Pitzer baseball: Gentili had the work he puts in on and off the field recognized, as he was selected to the All-Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference first team.

Gentili was one of five Pomona-Pitzer players to receive the recognition. Academically, the mathematical economics major, who sports a 3.62 grade-point average, was named to the District 8 Academic All-District Baseball Team at the NCAA Division III level.

While the Sagehens (25-12-1, 19-9 in conference for second place) missed out on the playoffs after finishing the season on a 13-2 run, Gentili once again proved to be a key player.

In 38 games, Gentili led Pomona-Pitzer with a .401 average (59 for 147) with seven home runs and 41 runs batted in. He led the team in runs scored (55) and doubles (16). Gentili finished the season second in the nation in runs scored, in addition to reaching base 36 times via walks or hit-by-pitches and only striking out nine times.

Gentili was also a boon defensively for Pomona-Pitzer, registering a tidy .987 fielding percentage.

Matt Quintero (St. Francis High, 2008) senior catcher, San Francisco State baseball: Quintero has proven to be a model student-athlete for the Gators. In the classroom, the kinesiology major, sports a 3.36 grade-point average.

For his academic achievements, Quintero earned a spot on the District 8 Academic All-District Baseball Team at the NCAA Division II level.

Quintero was no slouch on the field, either, as the catcher batted .306 (45 for 147) with three home runs, 13 doubles and 21 RBI in 43 games. The catcher also slugged .456 and posted a .363 on-base percentage.

The senior also ended his career on a bit of a high note, as he went two for three with a run scored in his game, a 7-5 loss to Santa Clara on May 8.

The Gators finished 17-33 and 14-26 in the California Collegiate Athletic Assn.

Ava Sadeghi (Glendale native) freshman Vassar College women's tennis: Program history was made at Vassar College by Sadeghi this season, as she became the first to win the Intercollegiate Tennis Assn. Northeast Region Singles Championship and qualify for the Assn.'s National Small College Championships.

Sadeghi was named the Liberty League's Rookie of the Year and was an unanimous all-league single selection after she went undefeated in Liberty League singles play, 7-0 and 27-8 overall.

Vassar (16-6, 5-2 in league) went on to win a Seven Sisters Championship and advance to the NCAA Division III Championship's round of 16.

There was no learning curve for Sadeghi, who went 27-8 in singles (17-2 in the No. 2 slot) with six losses coming against top-10 players, and 13-13 in doubles with partners Joy Backer (10-12), Lindsay Kantor (2-1) and Anisha Kurien (1-0).

The freshman, who graduated from Campbell Hall, earned International Tennis Assn. All-America honors and was twice named the league's rookie of the week and once performer of the week.

Nico Moreno (Glendale native) third base/shortstop junior Jamestown College baseball: Moreno's well-rounded game on the diamond earned him Dakota Athletic Conference first-team honors as an infielder for the Jimmies this season. The Glendale native also earned a gold glove at third base.

Moreno batted .329 (50 for 152) with a .559 slugging percentage after he hit a team-high 12 doubles, scored 36 runs, drove in 35 runs, belted seven home runs, stole eight bases and ran out a triple.

In the field, Moreno posted a .892 fielding percentage, as he committed 12 errors on 111 chances.

The Jimmies finished the year with a 32-16-1 record (8-2 in conference) and conference title. Their season ended May 4 in a 6-5 loss to Mayville State in the double-elimination Assn. Independent Institutions Tournament after they fell to Arizona Christian University, 8-1, May 2.

Moreno did his part in the season finale, as he went two for four with four RBI with a two-run double and RBI single.

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