May 16, 2012
WICHITA, Kan. -
Baylor catcher Josh Ludy
has been named one of 12 semifinalists for the 2012 Johnny Bench Award, as announced by the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission on Wednesday. The Johnny Bench Award is presented annually to the nation's top collegiate catcher as voted on by Division I coaches.
A senior from Portland, Ind., Ludy is the only semifinalist representing the Big 12 Conference and the only catcher from a team in Texas. An All-America and Big 12 Player of the Year candidate, he has started 47 of Baylor's 51 games behind the plate this season.
Ludy leads the Big 12 with 52 RBI, ranks fifth with eight home runs, ninth with a .341 batting average and 10th with 12 doubles. He has started behind the plate in all 21 Big 12 Conference games and leads the league with seven home runs and 27 RBI and ranks fifth with a .357 batting average in conference play.
A second-team Academic All-Big 12 selection, Ludy graduated with a psychology degree last Saturday when the Bears were playing at Oklahoma. Baylor president Ken Starr will present Ludy with his diploma in a ceremony before Baylor's game against Texas on Thursday.
Ludy became the sixth Baylor player to win multiple Big 12 Player of the Week awards in the same season when he was honored in consecutive weeks on April 16 and April 23. He had nine consecutive multi-hit games during that stretch, including the seventh three-home run game in program history and the first seven-RBI game by a Baylor player since 2004.
Ludy also provided one of the season's most memorable moments when he fouled off 10 straight pitches before hitting a two-run home run on the 14th pitch of his first at-bat in the final game of a series sweep against Texas A&M on April 22.
Ludy is Baylor's fourth Johnny Bench Award semifinalist and first since current assistant coach Zach Dillon was selected in 2006. Former Baylor backstop Kelly Shoppach won the second annual Bench Award in 2001, and Josh Ford was a semifinalist in 2003.
Ballots will be sent to the national voting panel at the end of May for a vote to determine three finalists. The finalists will be announced on June 4, and a final vote will occur during the College World Series. The 2012 Johnny Bench Award winner will be announced at the 15th Annual Greater Wichita Sports Banquet on June 28.
2012 JOHNNY BENCH AWARD SEMIFINALISTS
Derrick Chung, Sacramento State
Zachary Fisher, New Mexico State
Tucker Frawley, Coastal Carolina
Mitchell Garver, New Mexico
Tyler Heineman, UCLA
Joe Hudson, Notre Dame
Jeremy Lucas, Indiana State
Josh Ludy, BAYLOR
Jeff Melillo, Rutgers
Kevin Plawecki, Purdue
Jeremy Schaeffer, Tulane
Mike Zunino, Florida
PREVIOUS JOHNNY BENCH AWARD WINNERS
2000 - Brad Cresse, Louisiana State
2001 - Kelly Shoppach, BAYLOR
2002 - Jeremy Brown, Alabama
2003 - Ryan Garko, Stanford
2004 - Kurt Suzuki, Cal State Fullerton
2005 - Jeff Clement, Southern Cal
2006 - Jake Smith, East Carolina
2007 - Edward Easley, Mississippi State
2008 - Buster Posey, Florida State
2009 - J.T. Wise, Oklahoma
2010 - Bryan Holaday, Texas Christian
2011 - Jake Lowery, James Madison