April 29, 2008
The Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission on Tuesday added nine catchers to the official watch list for the 2008 Coleman Company-Johnny Bench Award, delivered by AT&T and Papa John's Pizza. Tennessee sophomore Yan Gomes was among the additions. The Johnny Bench Award is given annually to the top catcher in NCAA Division I baseball.
Gomes is one of 48 total catchers--including three from the Southeastern Conference--on the Bench Award watch list.
A sophomore from Miami, Fla., Gomes is batting .344 this season with 53 hits, five home runs and 33 RBI. He leads the Vols during SEC play with a .389 batting average, 35 hits and 22 RBI.
Gomes has thrown out 10 potential base-stealers this season and is currently riding a 16-game hit streak that is the longest by a Vol since 2006.
The Bench Award watch list will be narrowed down to 10 semifinalists on May 14. Statistics will be compiled on each of the semifinalists and sent to the national voting panel at the end of May for a vote to determine three finalists. Those finalists will be announced June 3, prior to the NCAA Super Regionals and MLB draft.
A final vote among the national committee will take place during the NCAA College World Series, and the finalists will be brought to Wichita, Kan., where the winner will be announced at the 11th Annual Greater Wichita Sports Banquet on June 27.
Some of Johnny Bench?s MLB 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. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1989.
For more information about the Coleman Company-Johnny Bench Award delivered by AT&T and Papa John's Pizza, visit www.wichitasports.com.