Cal's John Baker a Finalist For the Johnny Bench Award

May 15, 2002

WICHITA, KS - California junior catcher John Baker has been selected as one of 10 finalists for Johnny Bench Award, it was announced May 15 by The Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission.

Baker joins three other catchers from Bay Area schools who are among the 10 finalists - senior Steve Booth from San Francisco, junior Ryan Garko from Stanford and senior Adam Shorsher from San Jose State. The other six finalists include senior Jeremy Brown from Alabama, junior Alberto Concepcion from USC, junior Chris Hamblen from Cincinnati, junior Tyler Parker from Georgia Tech, junior Brian Rose from Florida and junior Chris Snyder from Houston.

Three finalists for the Johnny Bench Award will be announced in June at the College World Series. A final vote will occur at the end of the College World Series. All three finalists will be brought to Wichita, KS and the winner will be announced at the fifth annual Greater Wichita Sports Banquet.

Baker finished the 2002 season batting a team-leading .383 with 12 doubles, a triple, five home runs and 29 RBI, despite missing three weeks with a broken right hand when he was hit by a pitch March 12 versus San Francisco. He also has a Pac-10 leading .516 on-base percentage, had an impressive .456 batting average against Pac-10 competition and batted a team-best .444 (20-for-44) with runners in scoring position.

Baker was named the May 13 Pac-10 Player of the Week as well, going 7-for-12 with four runs, three walks, a double, a grand slam and seven RBI as the Bears swept Oregon State, May 10-12 at Evans Diamond. He was a Cape Cod League All-Star this past summer playing for the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox.

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