FAYETTEVILLE – Senior catcher Ryan Cisterna has been named to the Coleman Company-Johnny Bench Award delivered by Papa John’s Watch List it was announced by the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission on Tuesday afternoon.
The Johnny Bench Award is given annually to the top NCAA Division I catcher and Cisterna is one of 44 players named to the 2009 watch list.
“Ryan is one of the best defensive catchers I’ve seen,” Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn said. “He blocks the ball exceptionally well and has great instincts around the plate. He is very deserving of this honor.”
This season Cisterna has thrown out five would-be base stealers and during his time at Arkansas he has erased 12 base runners. As good as Cisterna has been from a catch and throw standpoint, perhaps his best attribute is his ability to block pitches in the dirt and prevent wild pitches.
The watch list is scheduled to be cut to a list of 10 semifinalists on May 14 and three finalists are taken from that prestigious list on June 3. All three finalists for the Johnny Bench Award will be brought to Wichita, Kan., for a banquet on June 26 where the winner will be announced.
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