Junior Transfer Dominic Piazza Nominated for Johnny Bench Award Watch List

March 4, 2010


Even though the 2010 season is only a few weeks old, junior transfer Dominic Piazza has already made a deep impression as he has been nominated to the official watch list for the Coleman Company-Johnny Bench Award delivered by Papa John's Pizza.

Organized and announced by The Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission earlier this week, fifty-three catchers were nominated for the award given to the top Division-I collegiate catcher. Additional candidates can be added to the list until May 5, 2010 when the watch list will be narrowed down to ten semifinalists, whom will be announced May 19, 2010.

At that time, ballots will be sent to the national voting panel at the end of the regular season in May for a vote to determine three finalists; the trio will be announced on June 2, 2010 prior to the NCAA Regionals and Major League Baseball Draft. A final vote among the national committee will occur during the College World Series, all finalists will then travel to Wichita and attend the 13th Annual Greater Wichita Sports Banquet on July 1, 2010 where the winner will be announced.

Named after the former Cincinnati Reds catcher, he was the first ballplayer to use a protective helmet in the field, popularized catching one-handed and kept his throwing hand behind his back to protect it from foul tips.  

Bench's career 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. In 1980, he set an endurance record by catching 100+ games for 13 consecutive seasons. Bench was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in January 1989 with the fourth highest percentage of total votes cast. 

2010 Coleman Company - Johnny Bench Award delivered by Papa John's Pizza Watch List 

Dominic Piazza, JR, Cal State Northridge 

Jeff Arnold, SR, University of Louisville 

Jared Avchen, SR, East Carolina University 

Chris Berset, SR, University of Michigan 

Alex Black, JR, Coppin State University 

Ty Boyles, SR, Gardner-Webb University 

Ross Brayton, SR, Cal Poly 

Tyler Bullock, SR, Southern Illinois University Carbondale 

Dan Burkhart, JR, Ohio State University 

Tony Caldwell, JR, Auburn University 

Chad Comer,  JR, University of Texas at Arlington 

Josh Cryer, JR, Southeastern Louisiana University 

Kevin David,  JR, Oklahoma State University 

Aaron Dudley, SR, University of Toledo 

Justin Echeverria, SR, Stony Brook University 

Tyler Elkins, SR, Bowling Green State 

Kyle Enders, SR, University of South Carolina 

Erick Fernandez, JR, Georgetown University 

Kevin Flynn, JR, Hofstra University 

Blake Forsythe, JR, University of Tennessee 

Dean Forthum, SR, Columbia University 

Micah Gibbs, JR, Louisiana State University 

Victor Gomez, JR, Marshall University 

Travis Graves, SR, University of Southern Mississippi 

Ben Heath, JR, Pennsylvania State University 

Bryan Holaday, SR, Texas Christian University 

Jose Iglesias, SR, Coastal Carolina University 

Ed Jayjack, SR, University of North Carolina at Greensboro 

Aaron Johnson, SR, University of Illinois 

Jim Klocke, SR, Southeast Missouri State 

Kyle Knudson, SR, University of Minnesota 

Matt Koch, SO, Loyola Marymount University 

Francis Larson, SR, UC Irvine 

Rafael Lopez, JR, Florida State University 

Myckie Lugbauer, SR, University of Maine 

Kyle Mahoney, JR, High Point University 

Jeremy Mayo, JR, Texas Tech University 

James McCann, SO, University of Arkansas 

Cameron McConnell, JR, University of Notre Dame 

Mike Murray, SR, Wake Forest University 

Rafael Neda, JR, University of New Mexico 

John Nester, JR, Clemson University 

Marcus Nidiffer, SR, University of Kentucky 

Joe Oliveira, SR, University of the Pacific 

Tyler Ogle, SO, University of Oklahoma 

Nick Rickles, SO, Stetson University 

Cameron Rupp, JR, University of Texas 

Joey Stevens, SR, Eastern Kentucky University 

Beau Taylor, SO, University of Central Florida 

John Turk, SR, University of Akron 

Cody Stanley, JR, UNC Wilmington 

Chris Wallace, SR, University of Houston 

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