Ryan Garko Named Johnny Bench Award Semifinalist For Second Time

May 20, 2003

Wichita, Kan. - Stanford senior catcher Ryan Garko (Walnut, CA/Servite HS) has been named one of 10 national semifinalists for the Fourth Annual Johnny Bench Award announced The Greater Wichita Sports Commission on Tuesday. The three finalists will be named on June 3 and Johnny Bench will present the award to the nation's top collegiate catcher during the 2003 season on June 24 at the Greater Wichita Sports Banquet.

Garko, an All-American and Pac-10 Player of the Year candidate, has had a huge senior season for the Cardinal by leading the club in home runs (14, #6T Pac-10), RBI (74, #2 Pac-10, #7 NCAA), total bases (138, #4 Pac-10), slugging percentage (.687, #5 Pac-10), multiple-hit games (24), multiple-RBI games (22), sacrifice flies (6) and extra-base hits (32, co-leader). He also ranks second on the club behind Golden Spikes Award finalist Carlos Quentin in batting average (.388, #6 Pac-10), hit-by-pitches (9, #10T Pac-10) and on-base percentage (.453).

Garko was especially successful in 24 Pac-10 games (23 starts), hitting .433 with 10 homers and leading the conference in Pac-10 games only with 39 RBI, a .856 slugging percentage and 77 total bases.

Garko also has more home runs (14) than strikeouts (11) and has not struck out in his last 23 games (80 official at bats) from April 7 - May 18. He averages just one strikeout every 18.3 official at bats (11 SO/201 AB).

Among Garko's highlights this season was a series of Player of the Week honors (NCBWA National Co-Hitter, College Baseball Insider West Regional, Pac-10) earned by going 10-for-13 (.769) with three homers, 12 RBI and a stolen base to lead the Cardinal to a key three-game sweep at USC (May 3-4).

Garko was also one of 10 semifinalists for the 2002 Johnny Bench Award, when he hit .314 with14 homers and 55 RBI to also earn All-Pac-10 and All-NCAA Regional honors. He is Stanford's active career leader in home runs (35), RBI (173), doubles (54), total bases (394), slugging percentage (.577), walks (87), on-base percentage (.436), sacrifice flies (19), putouts (1090), games played (202) and games started (182), to go with a .341 career batting average and 233 hits.

The other semifinalists include Brandy Burrill (Sr., Michigan State), Josh Ford (So., Baylor), Chris Grossman (Jr., California), Devin Ivany (So., South Florida), Jason Jaramillo (So., Oklahoma State), Colt Morton (Jr., North Carolina State), Landon Powell (Jr., South Carolina), Tony Richie (Jr., Florida State) and Brian Rose (Sr., Florida).

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