It came down to three men, but in the end ECU
catcher Jake Smith is this year's recipient of the 9th annual Coleman Company-Johnny Bench Award as the nation's best catcher.
The other finalists were the University of Michigan's Jeff Kunkal and Miami catcher Eddie Rodriquez.
Smith is also the eighth Pirate to take home all ConferenceUSA honors and also won a CUSA Hitter of the Week award earlier this season.
"I am extremely happy for Jake and his family," said Head Coach Billy Godwin. "This is a great honor for a great Pirate and well deserved. Jake was not only a huge presence on the field but also in the Pirate community, which is something that we expect out of our student-athletes."
The Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission would like to congratulate all of the award finalists and especially Jake Smith, the Coleman Company - Johnny Bench National Collegiate Catcher of the Year," stated Bob Hanson, President & CEO.
"They represent their teams and universities in a remarkable manner. We are very appreciative of the time and energy Johnny Bench has demonstrated in making this award a huge success. He has set a high standard for these young men to strive toward.
Smith, who earned National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) and Louisville Slugger second-team All-America
led ECU in seven offensive catagories.
Jake finishes his collegiate career with 29 home runs and 135 RBIs, which ranks in the top 12 on ECU's all-time charts.