ECU's Watkins named semifinalist for Bench Award

Published: May. 17, 2017 at 10:26 PM EDT
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WICHITA, Kansas – East Carolina red-shirt senior Travis Watkins has been named one of 15 semifinalists for the 2017 Johnny Bench Award presented by

Watkins, the lone representative from the American Athletic Conference, is a three-time semifinalist for the nation’s top collegiate catching award and joins former Pirates Jake Smith (2006 winner) and Corey Kemp (2007-08) semifinalist to make the list.

The Concord, N.C. native has caught all 53 games behind the plate throwing out 11 of 31 (35.5 percent) of would be base stealers, which ranks among the Top 20 nationally. At the plate, he is batting .329 with nine home runs, 42 RBI, 44 runs scores and has 23 multi-hit and 8 multi-RBI games.

He is a five-time Johnny Bench Award Watch List member and three-time semifinalist (2015-17) and is the fifth player in program history to be named to the initial watch list following Smith, Kemp, Jared Avchen (2010) and Zach Wright (2010-12). He is the lone Pirate catcher to appear on the watch list five times (2013-17) and the third with multiple selections.

The 2017 Johnny Bench Award presented by semifinalists are (in alphabetical order):

Riley Adams, University of San Diego JR

David Banuelos, Long Beach State University JR

Joey Bart, Georgia Tech SO

Ben Breazeale, Wake Forest University SR

Brent Diaz, Louisiana Tech University JR

Troy Dixon, St. John's University SR

Grant Koch, University of Arkansas SO

Renae Martinez, University of Oklahoma SR

Adam McGinnis, Western Illinois University SR

Dominic Miroglio, University of San Francisco JR

Joey Morgan, University of Washington JR

Daulton Varsho, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee JR

Travis Watkins, East Carolina University SR

Matt Whatley, Oral Roberts University JR

Hunter Wood, Western Kentucky University SR