Phegley Named Bench Award Semifinalist
May 14, 2008
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Sophomore catcher Josh Phegley has been named a Johnny Bench Award semifinalist, the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission announced today. Phegley is one of 12 semifinalists for the award, presented annually to the top catcher in all of college baseball. He is the only Big Ten representative on the list.
Phegley leads the team in nearly every offensive category, and is in the top five in the conference in nearly every category as well. In addition to leading the Big Ten in batting average (.425) and RBI (66), he is second in both slugging percentage and total bases and is third in on-base percentage, doubles, home runs, hits and sacrifice flies.
As of Monday, he was ranked among the leaders in the nation in batting average, clocking in 10th in the country. Among catchers, only Florida State phenom Buster Posey and William & Mary senior Tim Park have a higher average, and no other underclassman is as high as Phegley in average.
The sophomore backstop is looking to become the first Hoosier since Vasili Spanos in 2003 to lead the league in batting. Indiana has not had a Big Ten Player of the Year since 2002, when Kennard Jones took the honor.
With his impressive batting average and improved power has come a tremendous upswing in Phegley's RBI total. He has twice had 10-plus RBI in a four-game Big Ten series, including 11 against Purdue. With that, he leads all players with 40 RBI in conference contests, setting a new IU record and placing him just two behind the conference record of 42 set by Mike Klimek of Illinois in 1996. His 66 overall RBI place him seventh on the school's all-time list and are the most since Mike Smith had 92 when he won college baseball's only triple crown in 1992.
Earlier this year, Phegley posted a 5-for-5 performance in which he hit for the cycle against Valparaiso. That was the first of his three five-hit games this season, each one matching the school record. Only seven other conference players have had a five-hit game.
Indiana and MSU begin a four-game series on Thursday at 3:05 p.m. and then will play a doubleheader on Friday beginning at 1:05 p.m. before wrapping up the series on Saturday at 1:05 at Kobs Field. Live audio and GameTracker will be available on IUHoosiers.com.
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