Junior one of three vying for honor of nation’s top catcher
Junior catcher Stuart Turner has been named one of three finalists for the 2013 Johnny Bench Award, the Greater Wichita Sports Commission announced on Tuesday afternoon.
The Bench Award, presented annually by BaseballSavings.com in conjunction with the Greater Wichita Sports Commission, honors the nation’s top collegiate catcher. Turner is a finalist along with Mitchell Garver of New Mexico and Zane Evans of Georgia Tech.
“This is just another great honor for Stuart and one that is well deserved,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “We’re proud of the year he put together. It’s one that will go down in history as one of the best, if not the best, that ever played at Ole Miss.”
An All-America and All-SEC selection this season, Turner led the Rebels at the plate with a .374 batting average to go along with 15 doubles, a triple, five home runs, 52 RBI and 44 runs scored. He was named a second-team All-America selection by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper in the first of the national All-America teams to be announced this season. Turner was also tabbed as an All-SEC First Team and Defensive Team selection by the league’s coaches.
Behind the plate, the catcher has turned in one of the best seasons in the nation. Turner threw out 21-of-41 base runners on steal attempts, leading the rugged Southeastern Conference by throwing out potential base-stealers at a 51 percent clip. He also allowed only five passed balls and helped turn four double plays this season.
Turner helped Ole Miss to a 38-24 record this season and a berth in the NCAA Tournament for the 11th time in the last 13 seasons and ninth time in the last decade – one of only three schools in the Southeastern Conference who can claim such a distinction.
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 16th Annual Greater Wichita Sports Banquet on June 27, 2013.– Ole Miss Sports Information