June 3, 2009
NORMAN, Okla. -- Senior catcher J.T. Wise was named one of three finalists for the 2009 Coleman Company-Johnny Bench Award delivered by Papa John’s Pizza. The Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission announced on Wednesday.
This award is presented annually at the Greater Wichita Sports Banquet to the nation's top collegiate catcher. The finalists were voted on by Division I baseball coaches.
The other finalists were Chris Henderson (George Mason) and Tony Sanchez (Boston College).
A final vote among the national committee will occur during the College World Series. All finalists will be brought to Wichita and the winner will be announced at the 12th Annual Greater Wichita Sports Banquet on June 26, 2009.
Wise thrived at the catcher position and threw out a Big 12 best 30 potential base stealers this year (52 percent). In addition, he picked off six runners and committed just two errors, good for a .996 fielding percentage.
Offensively, the 2009 Big 12 Player of the Year finished the regular season as the conference's leader in batting average with a .375 clip.
The senior was named a second team All-American by Collegiate Baseball last week after helping OU receive a No. 7 national seed in last weekend's NCAA Tournament.
He was also named to the All-Big 12 first team and to the Big 12 Championship All-Tournament team this season. Wise was also a semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award, an honor given out to the nation's top player.
The Apopka, Fla., native played in all but two games for the Sooners this season with 55 starts and has a hit in 46 of those games. He hit safely in 16 of the final 20 contests.
In Big 12 play, Wise hit well over .300 (.363) with 10 home runs and 32 RBIs.
Wise started his collegiate career at Louisiana State and was named a freshman All-American at second base. Following his sophomore season at LSU, he transferred to OU and hit .278 with seven homers and 49 RBIs as a junior in 2008.