Eastern Kentucky University’s A.J. Lewis was recently named to the initial watch list for the Buster Posey National Collegiate Catcher of the Year Award, which honors the nation’s top NCAA Division I catcher.
The award was previously known as the Johnny Bench Award. The Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission announced the new name for the 20th anniversary of the award this spring.
Lewis is hitting .273 with six home runs, 29 RBIs, 23 runs scored and 12 stolen bases. He leads the team in RBIs, is second in stolen bases and fourth in runs scored. Lewis is third in the Ohio Valley Conference in RBIs and is tied for fourth in stolen bases.
The junior from Chicago, Illinois has a .992 fielding percentage, having made just two errors in 251 chances. He has thrown out eight would be base stealers this season.
The initial watch list includes 79 catchers from across the nation. The list will be narrowed to the semifinalist on May 17. 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 3. A final vote among the national committee will occur during the College World Series. All finalists will be invited to Wichita and the winner will be announced at the 22nd Annual Greater Wichita Sports Banquet on June 27.
EKU has had a catcher on the award watch list each of the past four years and six times in the last seven seasons. Alex Holderbach was one of the three finalist for the award in 2018. Logan Starnes was on the watch list in 2016 and 2017. Sean Hagen was on the watch list in 2013 and was a semifinalist in 2014.
The Colonels will return to action on Wednesday when they play at Northern Kentucky. The game is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m.
Assistant Athletics Director for Communications & Branding