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WICHITA, Kan. – Penn State junior Ryan Sloniger (Punxsutawney, Pa.) was named to the 2018 Johnny Bench Award Watch List presented by BaseballSavings.com, the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission announced.
The Johnny Bench Award is given annually to the top catcher in NCAA Division I baseball. Sloniger is one of 97 catchers who was nominated for the award by their coach.
Not only has Sloniger started all nine of Penn State’s games behind the plate, but he’s the team’s leading hitter batting .303 with hits in each game, including two doubles, two home runs and 10 RBIs. His 1.11 RBIs per game rank eighth in the Big Ten.
Because the award is given annually to the top NCAA Division I collegiate catcher, the list will be updated to include other candidates until April 30, 2018.
The watch list will be narrowed down to the semifinalists, whom will be announced May 16, 2018. 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 4, 2018. 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 21st Annual Greater Wichita Sports Banquet on June 28, 2018.
Sloniger and Penn State open a series at Grand Canyon University Thursday at 8 p.m. ET.