March 11, 2013
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia catcher Nate Irving (So., Yonkers, N.Y.) is one of 48 catchers named to the initial watch list for the Johnny Bench Award, announced by the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission on Monday (March 11). The award is annually given to the nation’s top collegiate catcher.
Irving has started 14 of the Cavaliers’ 15 games this season, posting a .292 batting average. He has racked up 14 hits as well as 12 runs batted in this year. He also has a perfect fielding percentage thus far.
While guiding the young Cavaliers’ pitching staff from behind the plate, Irving has helped UVa to a 1.87 team ERA, which ranks second in the conference. UVa pitchers also have the fewest walks in the league with just 34.
The watch list will be narrowed down to the semifinalists on May 16. 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, 2013. A final vote among the national committee will occur during the College World Series. The winner will be announced at the 15th Annual Greater Wichita Sports Banquet on June 27, 2013.
Virginia (14-1) returns to action at 5 p.m. Wednesday when it plays host to Liberty.