Henri Lartigue Added to Johnny Bench Award Watch List
Henri Lartigue leads all SEC catchers with a .348 batting average.
May 4, 2016

2016 Johnny Bench Award Watch List

– Putting together an impressive 2016 season at the plate, Ole Miss junior Henri Lartigue has been added to the watch list for the 2016 Johnny Bench Award presented by BaseballSavings.com, the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission announced Wednesday morning. The Johnny Bench Award, named after the 14-time All-Star and 10-time Gold Glove winner, is presented annually to the nation’s top collegiate catcher as voted on by Division I coaches.

After spending most of last season as the team’s designated hitter and backup catcher, Lartigue has taken the reigns behind the plate in 2016. The Southaven, Mississippi native is the team’s top hitter at the plate with a .348 batting average, which is the best among catchers in the Southeastern Conference. Moreover, Lartigue is raking during conference play, hitting at a .383 clip. He has tallied eight games with at least three hits, pacing the Rebel bats. In a walk-off, come-from-behind victory over Auburn (April 24), Lartigue went 4-for-5, tying a career high in hits which included the game-winning single in the bottom of the ninth.

The tradition of great catchers at Ole Miss is well known, especially over recent history. Stuart Turner won the Johnny Bench Award in 2013. One year later, Will Allen was an All-American catcher as a 2014 Johnny Bench Award finalist. With a coaching staff filled with guys who played the position, expectations of Rebel catchers are always lofty. Head coach Mike Bianco was a catcher at LSU, while assistant coaches Carl Lafferty and Mike Clement also started behind the plate during their playing days.  



The watch list will be narrowed down to a group of semifinalists, which will be announced May 18. From there, three finalists will be selected June 6; the winner will be presented with the award June 30 in Wichita, Kansas.

Lartigue and the Rebels return to the diamond tonight, hosting Arkansas-Pine Bluff in the final home midweek game of the season. First pitch from Swayze Field is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. CT on SECN+.

For the latest news and updates involving Ole Miss Baseball, follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissBSB, on Facebook at Ole Miss Baseball and on Instagram at olemissbsb. Fans can also follow head coach Mike Bianco on Twitter at @CoachMikeBianco.




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