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NH College Notebook: Honors keep coming for several Granite State athletes

May 18. 2013 8:30PM

The honors keep coming for Gorham's Eric Jensen, shortstop for Wheaton College's nationally ranked baseball team. Jensen, who the previous week was named New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference Player of the Year, last week was one of five Wheaton players named to the all-New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association team.

A senior, Jensen earned his second career selection and first overall as a member of the first team squad. He entered the weekend with a .374 batting average and .937 OPS for Wheaton, ranked 15th overall in last week's national poll. He also led the NEWMAC in assists, with 168, 40-more than the conference's second-ranked shortstop.

In Thursday's 5-3 win over Salem State University in the NCAA Division III New England Regional, Jensen moved into third place all-time on Wheaton's career hits list with a 2-for-5 performance at the plate.

JUNIOR starting pitcher Junior Mendez and graduate student outfielder Andrew Pezzuto of the Southern New Hampshire University baseball team have each been named first-team all-region selections by both Daktronics and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers' Association last week.

Mendez, a semifinalist for the Tino Martinez Award and a Northeast-10 All-Conference first-team selection, has emerged as one of the most dominant pitchers in Division II this season. In 14 appearances prior to this weekend (13 starts), Mendez had compiled a 1.67 earned run average and 9-3 record while striking out 133 batters in 97 innings while walking just 17. He led the Northeast-10 and ranked second nationally in strikeouts, and had struck out at least 10 batters seven times, including a career-best 15 batters in a no-hitter against University of the Sciences on March 3.

Pezzuto, in his lone season in a Penmen uniform, has had a huge impact. Entering the weekend, he led the Penmen and ranked second in the Northeast-10 with his .381 batting average, had scored 45 runs and driven in 31 while batting in the No. 2 spot. Including his 34 walks, Pezzuto had posted a .486 on-base percentage. On the basepaths, he had established a program single-season stolen base record with 40, going 40-52, with his 40 steals leading the NE-10 and ranking fifth nationally.

A SENIOR captain on the Plymouth State University men's ice hockey team has been honored for his successful accomplishment in the classroom and in the community as well as on the ice.<br /><br />Kyle Greco was voted for the second straight year to the Capital One Academic All-District 1 Team, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America. Greco was named to the NCAA Division III Men's At-Large Team and is under consideration for selection to the Capital One Academic All-America team, which will be announced later this spring. Greco was a Capital One Academic All-District first-team and Capital One Academic All-America third-team selection in 2012.

A three-year veteran who transferred from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Greco is a two-time Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) first-team All-Star. He led the team this season with 14 goals and finished second with 28 points, helping the Panthers to their second consecutive MASCAC regular season championship. The two-year Panther assistant captain was also a two-time finalist for the Concannon Award from the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston, given to the top American-born Division II/III player in New England.

KEENE STATE College's Austin Harris has been named to the Capital One Academic All-District men's at-large team. It's the second year in a row Harris has received the honor.<br /><br />A senior swimmer from Essex Junction, Vt., Harris, an architecture major and a freestyle sprinter and relay specialists, got the job done in the classroom and the pool this year.

Boasting an impressive 3.92 cumulative GPA, Harris, who was also named KSC's scholar athlete of the year, also produced some notable numbers in the pool. A three-time NCAA championship qualifier who earned honorable All-America honors in six relay events the past two years, Harris finally earned his first out-right All-American honor as a member of KSC's 200-meter freestyle relay team that finished eighth at this year's championship meet. A 10-time All-New England relay champion, Harris is also a member of four record-setting relays at Keene State.

"It's awesome," said Harris about earning the honor. "I took a lot of hard work and time management. You have to be dedicated and committed to doing well in the classroom and in the pool.<br /><br />"There were some early mornings, but it was worth it," added the Owls' three-year captain. "I enjoyed my four years at Keene State and my accomplishments that came from it."

"Austin set a high standard for the team, both academically and athletically," said KSC coach Jack Fabian. "He never let his work in the classroom take a backseat to his work in the pool and excelled in both areas"

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WHEATON College junior Ashante Little of Seabrook earned three all-conference honors at the ECAC Championships Friday in Springfield, Mass. An All-American out of Winnacunnet High in Hampton, Little captured first place in the 100-meter dash, breaking her own school record with a time of 13.89 seconds, the fastest in the nation this year in Division III.

In the 200-meter dash, Little placed third overall in 24.64 seconds.<br /><br />She also ran for the 4x100-meter relay team that placed second overall, in 47.43-seconds. The quartet currently ranks second nationally in Division III, with a time of 46.24 seconds at the NEWMAC Outdoor Championships.

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The University of New Hampshire men's basketball team has added transfer student Joe Bramanti of Andover, Mass. Bramanti comes from Wright State.<br /><br />"We are really happy to have Joe join our program here at UNH," said UNH head coach Bill Herrion. "Even though he has to sit out next year, we are getting a player that is coming from two very successful programs, at Brewster Academy and Wright State. So he has been exposed to what it takes to win. With next year's recruiting class, we needed to bring in a guard that could play a couple of different positions on the perimeter. He will fill that need with next year's class and will bring toughness, competitiveness and a defensive mind set to our team."

The 6-foot-2 guard will transfer to UNH for his sophomore season. At Wright State, Bramanti played in 35 of 36 games and started 12 of them. In eight of his appearances, he registered at least 20 minutes on the floor, including a string of three-consecutive games in which he played 27. He recorded a career high seven points against Tulsa and grabbed five boards against Valparaiso, also a career high.

Per NCAA transfer regulations, Bramanti will have to sit out the 2013-14 season.<br /><br />
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