Lartigue Named Semifinalist for Johnny Bench Award
May 18, 2016

WICHITA, Kan. -- Putting together an impressive 2016 season at the plate, Ole Miss junior Henri Lartigue has been named a semifinalist 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.

Lartigue is the only catcher from the Southeastern Conference to be named a semifinalist. Hitting at a team-leading .358 clip at the plate, the switch hitter boasts the best batting average among SEC catchers. Moreover, the Southaven, Mississippi native is raking during conference play, hitting .390 which ranks fifth. He has tallied 10 games with at least three hits, pacing the Rebel bats.

The Ole Miss catcher has also come through in the clutch with a pair of walk-off hits this season. Against Auburn (April 24), Lartigue smacked a base hit to knock in Rebels' fourth run of the ninth inning and cap a 6-5 comeback victory. Last weekend versus Kentucky (May 13), he walked to the dish with runners on the corners, one out and his team trailing by one. Battling against UK closer Sean Hjelle, Lartigue belted a deep fly ball to right field that cleared the fence for a three-run home run, giving the Rebels a 7-5 win and earning his second walk-off hit of the season.

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. 


 

 

From the group of semifinalists, 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 tomorrow night, facing No. 2 Texas A&M in the final series of the regular season. First pitch from Blue Bell Park is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT on SEC Network.

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.

2016 Johnny Bench Award Semifinalists
Riley Adams, San Diego, So.
Zack Collins, Miami (FL), Jr.
Brady Cox, University of Texas, Arlington, Jr. 
Brett Cumberland, Cal, So.
Logan Ice, Oregon State, Jr.
Henri Lartigue, Ole Miss, Jr.
Jeremy Martinez, USC, Jr.
Chris Okey, Clemson, Jr.
Joey Roach, Georgia State, Sr.
Keith Skinner, North Florida, Sr. 
Evan Skoug, TCU, So.
Deon Stafford Jr., Saint Joseph's, So.
Matt Thaiss, Virginia, Jr. 
Michael  Tinsley, Kansas, Jr. 
Harrison Wenson, Michigan, Jr.

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