ECU's Corey Kemp Named To Johnny Bench Watch List

A week after being named to the official 50-man watch list for the 2008 Dick Howser Trophy senior catcher Corey Kemp has been added to the official watch list for the 2008 Coleman Company-Johnny Bench Award delivered by AT&T and Papa John’s Pizza which is given annually to the top division one collegiate catcher the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission announced Tuesday.

Kemp has played in all 45 games with 39 coming behind the plate and is batting .358. Currently he leads Conference USA and the team with 51 RBI, while also leading the club in home runs (12), total bases (103) and slugging percentage (.624).

The Franklin, Tenn. native is the second Pirate catcher to make the official watch list following Jake Smith who took home the 2006 Coleman-Johnny Bench Award.

“This is such a great honor for Corey,” said Head Coach Billy Godwin. “He has been a leader both on and off the field and is very deserving of this recognition. Corey has worked extremely hard at ECU, which is evident by the way he has been playing this season.”

The award is named after Hall of Famer Johnny Bench, who was twice selected the Most Valuable Player in the National League and a 14-time All-Star. He won 10 Gold Gloves in his major league career, caught 100 or more games for 13 consecutive seasons and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in January 1989 with the fourth highest percentage of total votes cast.

Catchers are nominated for the award by their coaches and the list will be updated to include other candidates until May 5, 2008.

The watch list will be narrowed down to ten semi-finalists, whom will be announced May 14, 2008. Statistics will be compiled on each of the semi-finalists and 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 3, 2008 prior to the NCAA Super Regionals and Major League Baseball Draft. 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 11th Annual Greater Wichita Sports Banquet on June 27, 2008.

2008 Coleman Company - Johnny Bench Award Watch List

Mitch Abeita - SR - University of Nebraska
Brendan Akashian – SR - College of the Holy Cross
Derrick Alfonso - SR - University of Louisville
Billy Alvino - JR - High Point University
Ryan Babineau - JR - UCLA
Matt Behren - JR - Northern Illinois University
Joe Blackburn - SR - Penn State University
Mark Carver - SR - UNC Wilmington
Jason Castro - JR Stanford University
Trevor Coleman - SO - University of Missouri
Jake Cox - JR - Charleston Southern University
Kurt Davidson - SR - University of Akron
Adam Deleo - SR - UNC Greensboro
Dock Doyle - R-JR - Coastal Carolina University
Kevin Dubler - JR - Illinois State University
Tim Federowicz - JR - University of North Carolina
Luis Flores - JR - Oklahoma State University
Logan Gelbrich - SR - University of San Diego
Josh Geric - SR - Cleveland State University
Yan Gomes – SO - University of Tennessee
Doug Hogan - SR - Clemson
Tommy Johnson - SR - Marshall University
Mark Kelly - JR - Southern Illinois
Corey Kemp - SR - East Carolina University
Jeff Lanning – JR - University of New Orleans
Ryan Lavarnway - JR - Yale University
Robert Lara - JR - University of Central Florida
Alex Maldonado - SR - Centenary College
Tommy Medica - SO - Santa Clara University
Chris McMurray - JR - UC Santa Barbara
Marc Mimeault - JR - Georgia State University
Blake Murphy - SR - Western Carolina
Sean Ochinko - SO - Louisiana State University
Joe Oliveira - JR - University of the Pacific
Petey Paramore - JR - Arizona State University
John Parham - JR - Cal State Northridge
Tim Park - SR - College of William & Mary
Josh Phegley - SO - Indiana University
Buster Posey - JR - Florida State University
Kevin Reimer - JR - Canisius College
Michael Roberts - JR - Virginia Military Institute
Shea Robin - SR - Vanderbilt University
Adrian Salinas - SR - Texas A&M Corpus Christi
Chris Taylor - SR - UNC Charlotte
Nate Toth - SR - Radford University
Tyler Weber - SR - Wichita State University
Zach Zaneski – SR - University of Rhode Island
Adam Zornes - JR - Rice University