Lowery Wins Johnny Bench Award

By: Damon Dillman Email
By: Damon Dillman Email

Former James Madison catcher Jake Lowery is still adding to his legacy at the school.

On Thursday, Lowery was named this year's winner of the Johnny Bench Award, given to the best catcher in college baseball each season.

Lowery received the award at a banquet Thursday night in Wichita, Kansas. He was one of three finalists, along with Chris O'Brien of Wichita St., and Florida's Mike Zunino.

As a junior this past spring, Lowery led the country with 91 RBI and 80 runs, and finished among the national leaders in several other statistics. He tied the CAA record with 24 home runs, and was named the conference's player of the year.

"It's cool that some people check out your numbers, and see the kind of numbers you're putting up," Lowery said by phone before Thursday's banquet. "Honestly, we just had a good team. And guys around me getting on base. That's how I got RBIs, and all that good stuff. But it's a great experience. It's been a neat experience, and I'm glad I got to come out here for it."

Earlier this month, Lowery was taken by the Cleveland Indians in Round 4 of the Major League draft. He took a leave from the Mahoning Valley Scrappers of the New York-Penn League to be in Wichita.

Bench, the Hall of Fame catcher, presented Lowery with the award. Prior to the banquet, Lowery talked about his first time meeting Bench.

"It was awesome, man. He's not a very big guy; just a normal, average Joe. And he has a knowledge, gave us a lot of advice," he said. "Just talked to us about the season. He's a real cool guy."

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