BSB: Pentecost Wins Johnny Bench Award
Recognized as Top Collegiate Catcher
By Brandon Scardigli
OFFICIAL RELEASE WICHITA, Kan. – Kennesaw State catcher Max Pentecost took home top billing in the NCAA Division I catcher’s world on Thursday night, winning the Johnny Bench Award at the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission banquet.
The award, sponsored by BaseballSavings.com, recognizes the top catcher in the nation, making Pentecost the first KSU player to win the accolade as well as the first in the Atlantic Sun Conference and first from the state of Georgia.
Pentecost was one of three finalists in the running for the trophy, along with Indiana’s Kyle Schwarber and Ole Miss’ Will Allen.
The catcher joins rare company in the award-winning club, putting him beside past winners such as Florida State’s Buster Posey and Cal State Fullerton’s Kurt Suzuki through the 17-years the accolade has been distributed.
During the historic 2014 season, Pentecost led the nation in total hits with 113 and was second in batting average at .422, both of which set new A-Sun and KSU single-season records.
Of his 113 hits, 24 were doubles with nine home runs and a pair of triples to go with his 61 RBIs and 168 total bases. Pentecost also drew 30 walks while striking out a miniscule 26 times in 268 at-bats.
The backstop also caught 22 runners attempting to steal on the defensive end while leading KSU in the stolen base category offensively at 17. While leading KSU to its first ever A-Sun and NCAA Division I Regional Titles, Pentecost was named to five separate First Team All-American lists while also being named the A-Sun Player of the Year, the first ever for the Owls.
Pentecost then became the school’s highest MLB draft pick when he went at No. 11 overall to the Toronto Blue Jays.
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