HARRISONBURG, May 19, 2011 - James Madison junior catcher Jake Lowery (Midlothian, Va./Cosby) was one of 13 players named as a national semifinalist on Thursday for the Coleman Company-Johnny Bench Award delivered by Papa John's Pizza and announced by the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission.
Through Thursday's win over Northeastern, Lowery is hitting .363 with 77 hits, 19 doubles, eight triples and 22 home runs. He has scored 72 runs and driven in 81 with 178 total bases and an .840 slugging percentage. He has also walked 36 times for a .456 on-base percentage.
Lauded for much of the season for his offensive prowess, Lowery also carries high accolades as a defensive catcher. He has a .993 fielding percentage. He has also thrown out 31 of 71 potential base stealers (43.7%).
Through games of Sunday, May 15, Lowery led the nation in runs, RBIs, total bases and slugging percentage. He also ranked 39th in hits, 33rd in doubles, third in triples and second in home runs. He was named to the 60-player watch list for the Golden Spikes Award for the national player of the year. He was also named to Baseball America's Midseason All-America squad.
Lowery had eight RBIs in JMU's three-game sweep of Towson to shatter the school record for season RBIs, currently with 81. He is second in season runs, ninth in season doubles, matched the school record for season triples, third in season home runs, set a record for season extra-base hits (49), second in total bases and second in slugging percentage.
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 6, 2011. A final vote among the national committee will occur during the College World Series. All finalists will be brought to Wichita and Johnny Bench will present the award at the 14th Annual Greater Wichita Sports Banquet on June 30, 2011.
The Coleman Company-Johnny Bench Award semifinalists are (in alphabetical order):
- Tony Caldwell, Auburn University
- Curt Casali, Vanderbilt University
- John Hicks, University of Virginia
- Tyler Jones, Long Island University
- Jake Lowery, James Madison University
- James McCann, University of Arkansas
- Chris O'Brien, Wichita State University
- Tyler Ogle, University of Oklahoma
- Kevin Plawecki, Purdue University
- Matt Rice, Western Kentucky University
- Nick Rickles, Stetson University
- Derek Trent, East Tennessee State University
- Mike Zunino, University of Florida