Dunham on watchlist for award

Northern Star Staff

DeKALB — Baseball sophomore catcher Jake Dunham was acclaimed Wednesday to the Johnny Bench Watch List.

The award highlights and identifies the top catcher in Division I who resembles the grit, moxie and superb talent of longtime Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench, according to a Thursday NIU Athletics press release

“This award is definitely something that every college catcher strives to be a part of,” said baseball Head Coach Mike Kunigonis,” according to NIU Media Services. “It’s a great honor to be up for this award in the early stages. It will be fun to watch this list as the season progresses.”

Dunham is the first NIU catcher named to the watch list since Johnny Zubek received the prestigious nomination in the 2016 season.

Dunham, who is the third Huskies’ catcher to be named to the list in the last six seasons, leads the team with a .333 batting average, 13 hits, two doubles, seven RBIs and three runs scored. The sophomore also displays some power, as he tied current sophomore shortstop Tommy Szczasny in home runs in 2016 with three.

The watch list will be narrowed down to the semi-finalists, who will be announced May 16. The finalists will be announced June 4 and a final vote among the national committee will occur June 16 during the College World Series.