Three HBCU Catchers Named To The Johnny Bench Award Watch List

Three Historically Black College and University (HBCU) catchers are among the 107 nationwide named to the 2017 Johnny Bench Award watch list presented by The Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission and The award is given annually to the top catcher in NCAA Division I baseball.

The HBCU selections included three junior catchers… Alabama State University’s Hunter Allen, Coppin State University’s Brett Helmbrecht and North Carolina A&T’s Adan Ordonez.

Hunter Allen is batting .222 in 26 games started with 8 doubles, a home run and 13 runs batted in. He has a .344 slugging percentage, a .350 on base percentage and a .989 fielding percentage in 2017.

Brett Helmbrecht is second on the Eagles in batting with a .342 average, .395 slugging percentage, .468 on base percentage, 4 doubles, while ranking fifth on the team with 11 runs batted in. Helmbrecht has started in 25 games this season with 7 multiple hit games and has put together multiple RBI games.

Adan Ordonez is batting .311 with 11 doubles, 5 home runs and a .525 slugging percentage. He ranks second in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) in home runs. Defensively, Ordonez, with more than 150 chances and no errors, has thrown out 10 would-be base stealers which ranks second in the conference. Ordonez is also a two-time Black College Nines HBCU All Elite Team member.

The watch list will be updated through the season with semifinalists named on May 17. Ballots will be sent to the national voting panel at the end of May for a vote to determine the three finalists. The finalists will be announced June 5, 2017. A final vote among the national committee will occur during the College World Series. All finalists will be brought to Wichita and the winner will be announced at the 20th Annual Greater Wichita Sports Banquet on June 29, 2017.

The watch list is named after one of major league baseball greatest catchers of all time. Bench’s career honors include: National League Rookie of the Year (1968); National League Most Valuable Player (1970, 1972); World Series Most Valuable Player (1976); 14-time All-Star and 10-time Gold Glove winner. In 1980, he set an endurance record by catching 100+ games for 13 consecutive seasons. Bench was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in January 1989 with the fourth highest percentage of total votes cast. Bench was known for being able to hold seven baseballs at one time in his throwing hand, a feat that no other catcher can claim.

The Johnny Bench Watch List:

Riley Adams   JR University of San Diego
Hunter Allen   JR Alabama State University
Bryndan Arredondo  SR Lamar University
Justin Bardwell  SO Fordham University
Jared Barnes   JR University of South Alabama
Chris Bec   JR University of Maine
Dominic Bifano  SR Indiana State University
Ellis Bitar   JR Cornell University
Brett Bond   JR University of Missouri
Ben Breazeale  SR Wake Forest University
Kyle Brennan  SR University of Buffalo
Matt Byars   SR Michigan State University
Micahel Cantu  JR University of Texas
Phil  Capra   SO Wagner College
Brandon Chapman  JR George Washington University
Brady Cox   SR University of Texas, Arlington
Chris Cullen   SO University of South Carolina
Michael Curry  SO University of Georgia
Nick Dalesandro  SO Purdue University
Jason Delay   SR Vanderbilt University
Brent Diaz   JR Lousiana Tech University
Ignacio Diaz   SR University of Californa, Davis
Dominic DiCaprio  SO Rice University
Troy Dixon   SR St. John’s University
Matt Duce   JR Dallas Baptist University
Alex Dunlap   SR Stanford University
Josh  Ellis   SR Harvard University
Michael  Emodi  SO Creighton University
Hunter Fain   SO Morehead State University
Nick Feight   JR UNC Wilmington
Justin Felix   JR Arkansas State University
Sam Ferri   FR Arizona State University
Ryan Fineman  SO Indiana University
Colby Fitch   JR University of Louisville
Joe Freiday, Jr.  JR Virginia Tech
Ivan  Gonzalez  SO West Virginia University
Tim  Graul   SR University of Pennsylvania
Dempsey  Grover  JR UC Santa Barbara
Austin  Hale   JR Stetson University
Brett Helmbrecht  R Coppin State University
Chris  Hudgins  JR Cal State Fullerton
Nick Hutchins   JR Southern Illinois University
Brandon Johnson  JR University of Richmond
Cooper Johnson  FR University of Mississippi
Clark Kahawaii  SR Stephen F. Austin University
Scott  Kapers   SO Valparaiso University
Cameron Knight  SR University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Grant Koch   SO University of Arkansas
Justin Kunz   SO Gardner-Webb University
Jake Kusz   SR UNC Greensboro
Shea Langeliers  FR Baylor University
Tyler Lawrence  SR Murray State University
Brian Lees   SR Southeast Missouri State
Spencer Levine  JR Florida Gulf Coast
Ryan Lidge   SR University of Notre Dame
Lee Lipinski   SR Rider University
Blake Logan   SR Auburn University
Charlie Madden  SR Mercer University
Peyton  Maddox  JR Virginia Military Institute
Phil  Madonna  JR Siena College
Zeth Malcom   FR Alabama A&M University
Adam McGinnis  SR Western Illinois University
Nick  Meyer   SO Cal Poly
Zach Minnick   SO Campbell University
Dominic  Miroglio  JR University of San Francisco
Joey  Morgan   JR University of Washington
James  Morisano  JR Saint Louis Uniiversity
Adan Ordonez  JR North Carolina A&T University
Erik Ostberg   JR University of Hartford
Hagen  Owenby  JR East Tennessee State University
Michael  Papierski  JR Lousiana State University
Clay  Payne   SR Belmont University
Manny Pazos   SR University of Pittsburg
Fabian  Pena   SO Manhattan College
Chris  Proctor   SO Duke University
Kevin  Radziewicz  JR Fairfield University
Cal Raleigh   SO Florida State University
Cody Roberts   SO University of North Carolina
Robie Rojas   SR Sam Houston State University
Josh Rolette   SO Kansas State University
Hayden Senger  SO Miami University
Jake Sidwell   SR Davidson College
Evan Skoug   JR Texas Christian University
Ryan Sloniger  SO Penn State
Chase Smartt   SO Troy University
Nate Soria   JR Xavier University
Deon Stafford Jr.  JR Saint Joseph’s University
Logan Starnes  SR Eastern Kentucky University
Zac Susi   SO University of Connecticut
Tim Susnara   JR University of Oregon
Babe Thomas  SR Winthrop University
Joey Thomas   JR University of Cincinnati
Nick Tierno   SR University of Delaware
Zach Tondi   JR James Madison University
Gunnar Troutwine  JR Wichita State University
Alex Tucker   SR Nicholls State University
Daulton Varsho  JR University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Carson Waln   SR Wofford College
Travis Watkins  SR East Carolina University
Brock Weimer  SO Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Harrison Wenson  SR University of Michigan
Matt Whatley   JR Oral Roberts University
Jesse Wilkening  SO University of Nebraska
Chris Williams  JR Clemson University
Connor Wong  JR University of Houston
Hunter Wood   SR Western Kentucky University


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