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Holy Cross First Baseman Anthony Critelli Wins 2017 Senior CLASS Award for Baseball

June 16, 2017

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (June 16, 2017) – Three-time first-team All-Patriot League first baseman Anthony Critelli from Holy Cross has been selected as the 2017 Senior CLASS Award® winner in baseball. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition.

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.

“It’s an incredible honor to win the Senior CLASS Award,” said Critelli, who helped the Crusaders to their first Patriot League Championship in program history this season, securing their first bid to the NCAA Tournament since 1978. “My career at Holy Cross has prepared me for the next step in my life both on and off the field. The baseball program has helped me grow as a player and to improve my game exponentially, and the school has also helped me to grow as person, understanding the importance of education and community involvement as well.”

Despite missing the first four games of 2017 with a broken hamate, Critelli led the team in batting average (.310), slugging percentage (.540) and doubles (13) this season while tying for the team high in home runs (9) and adding 36 runs batted in and 32 runs scored. En route to his third consecutive first-team All-Patriot League honor, Critelli guided the team to its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1978 and a tournament win over No. 25 Nebraska—their first NCAA Tournament victory since 1978 and first win over a Big Ten opponent since the 1952 College World Series. With a pair of home runs, five hits and 5 RBIs in the post-season conference tournament, Critelli also earned Patriot League All-Tournament Team honors for the second time in his career, after previously earning recognition as a sophomore in 2015.

“Anthony Critelli has been one of the most dependable Crusaders, both on and off the field,” said Holy Cross Head Coach Greg DiCenzo. “His work ethic, coupled with his care and concern for others, has led him to become one of the most remarkable young men in college baseball.”

As committed to excellence as he was on the field throughout his time at Holy Cross, Critelli demonstrated that same drive in both the classroom and community. As an economics major, Critelli worked hard to maintain his academic standing, earning Patriot League Academic Honor Roll honors in 2016 after posting a GPA of 3.33. He also played a positive role in the Holy Cross and Worcester communities, participating in the team’s tradition of shaving their heads to help raise awareness for cancer research and raise money for the Vs. Cancer Foundation. Also participating in Team IMPACT and Big Brothers Big Sisters, Critelli helped lead the Crusaders’ efforts in hosting an ALS Awareness game in support of the Pete Frates Foundation and a military appreciation game in which the team sold customized hats with proceeds benefiting the Home Base Program.

“We’re that Anthony Critelli was voted as our baseball Senior CLASS Award this season,” said Erik Miner, executive director for the Senior CLASS Award. “His efforts on and off the field have made him stand out for reasons beyond statistics. And while his stats are impressive, we’re proud to honor him as a total student-athlete. Our congratulations to Anthony, his team and to Holy Cross.”

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Senior CLASS Award First-Team All-Americans
Adrian Chinnery, Navy
Anthony Critelli, Holy Cross
Todd Czinege, Villanova
Evan Kruczynski, East Carolina
Caleb Stayton, Ball State

Senior CLASS Award Second-Team All-Americans
Tyler Buffett, Oklahoma State
Jackson Cramer, West Virginia
Pat Krall, Clemson
Hunter Schryver, Villanova
Brett Smith, Bucknell