Courtesy EKU Athletics

Before the collegiate baseball season ended, Eastern Kentucky University’s A.J. Lewis was named to the watch list for the Buster Posey National Collegiate Catcher of the Year Award, which honors the nation’s top NCAA Division I catcher.

Lewis was the only player from the Ohio Valley Conference on the watch list.  The award was previously known as the Johnny Bench Award.

EKU has had a catcher on the award watch list each of the past five years and seven times in the last eight 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.  Lewis was also on the watch list in 2019.

Lewis finished the season with a .451 batting average, three home runs, 21 RBIs, 15 runs scored and three stolen bases.  He posted an .843 slugging percentage and a .541 on-base percentage.  Lewis was tied for first in the OVC in on-base percentage, second in batting average, second in slugging, tied for second in triples (2), tied for third in RBIs, tied for fourth in doubles (7) and tied for sixth in total bases (43).

Courtesy EKU Athletics

He ranked seventh in NCAA Division I baseball in slugging, 13th in batting average, 25th in RBIs, 25th in on-base percentage and 34th in total bases.

The senior from Chicago, Illinois had a .963 fielding percentage.  Only one of his three errors this season was made while catching.  He threw out three would be base stealers.

The initial watch list included 60 catchers from across the nation.  The list was scheduled to be narrowed to the semifinalist on May 19, finalists on June 3 and the winner announced at the 23rd Annual Greater Wichita Sports Banquet on June 25.  At this time, the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission has not announced if it will award a recipient this season since the college baseball season was cut short due to the COVID-19 public health threat.

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Kevin Britton

Assistant Athletics Director for Communications & Branding