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Leonida Added to Bench Award Watch List

April 12, 2010

WICHITA, Kan. – Georgia Tech junior catcher Cole Leonida has been added to the watch list for the 2010 Coleman Company-Johnny Bench Award delivered by Papa John’s Pizza, it was announced Monday by the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission.

The Bench Award is given annually to the top catcher in NCAA Division I baseball, and 61 catchers are on the 2010 watch list. Ten catchers have won the award since its inception in 2000, and 11 former finalists are currently playing in Major League Baseball.

A native of Aurora, Colo., Leonida is batting .344 with nine doubles, one triple, seven home runs and 38 RBI in his first season as Tech’s No. 1 starter behind the plate. Leonida has been a work-horse for the fifth-ranked Yellow Jackets in 2010, starting all 32 of the team’s games while catching in 29 of them.

He currently has 14 multi-hit and seven multi-RBI games, and has thrown out 10 base runners this season. He is one of three captains for the 2010 season.

Later this season, the Bench Award Watch List will be narrowed down to 10 semifinalists, who will be announced in May. The three finalists for the award will be announced prior to NCAA Regionals and the Major League Baseball Draft, and the winner will be announced on July 1.

The Jackets will face Georgia on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Athens, Ga., before returning home to host No. 16 Clemson this weekend at Russ Chandler Stadium.

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