Courtesy: MAAC Sports

Radziewicz, Pena & Madonna Named to Johnny Bench Award Watch List

Courtesy:  MAAC Sports
Release:  March 10, 2017

Fairfield's Kevin Radziewicz, Manhattan's Fabian Pena and Siena's Phil Madonna are three of the 85 finalists that were named to the 2017 Johnny Bench Award Watch List. The award is presented annually to the top Division I catcher.

Radziewicz helped the Stags offensively and defensively last season in their way to a MAAC Championship. At the plate, Radziewicz was a constant source of clutch hits: batting .364 with two outs, .333 with runners on base, and .357 against lefties. He attained 67 hits during the 2016 season, the fifth most in single season program history. 47 of those hits came in Fairfield victories when he batted .423, the highest average on the squad. His hottest stretch came in a 20-day stretch in May when he hit an even .500 with a .619 slugging percentage, also earning a spot on the MAAC All-Tournament Team.

2017 Preseason Player of the Year, Fabian Pena, is hitting .278 with a team-best 10 hits and three doubles while throwing out 42.9 percent (6-of-14) of runners attempting to steal. Pena was named MAAC Preseason Player of the Year in various publications and was the 2015-16 MAAC Rookie of the Year.

A native of Gibsonia, Pennsylvania, Madonna is hitting .231 through his first 10 games (eight starts) of the 2017 season with a home run and three RBI. A 2016 MAAC All-Tournament Team selection, he is a career. 266 hitter in 84 games (66 starts) with 27 RBI. Behind the plate, Madonna has thrown out 25.8% (24 of 93) of would-be base stealers throughout his career while posting a .986 fielding percentage.

The 2017 Johnny Bench Award presented by BaseballSavings.com is administered by the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission, and will be awarded at the 20th Annual Greater Wichita Sports Banquet on June 29. The watch list will be updated to include additional candidates up through May 1, before being narrowed down to semifinalists on May 17. Ballots will be sent to the national voting panel at the end of May for a vote to determine the three finalists who will be announced on June 5. A final vote among the national committee will occur during the College World Series, and all finalists will be brought to Wichita for the announcement of the winner.

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