ORU's Whatley, WIU's McGinnis Named Bench Award Semifinalists

Oral Roberts' Matt Whatley & Western Illinois' Adam McGinnis
Oral Roberts' Matt Whatley & Western Illinois' Adam McGinnis

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WICHITA, Kan. -- Oral Roberts' Matt Whatley and Western Illinois' Adam McGinnis were selected as Johnny Bench Award presented by BaseballSavings.com semifinalists it was announced by the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission.

Whatley, a Claremore, Okla., product has hit a career-high nine home runs and 46 RBI this season, while posting a .294 batting average. He has started 47 of 51 games played behind the plate and been perfect in the field by not committing an error in 450 total chances. The junior also has thrown out 46 percent of potential base stealers in 2017.

McGinnis leads The Summit League in: batting average (.364), on-base percentage (.476), toughest to strikeout (14.0 at-bat), tied for doubles (16) and second in slugging percentage (.584). Among the national leaders, McGinnis ranks 27th in toughest to strikeout, 28th in on-base percentage, 78th in batting average and 69th in doubles per game. In Summit League-only games, McGinnis' average jumps up to .389. He owns a league-leading .500 on-base and 12 doubles while ranking second with a .656 slugging

Catchers, nominated by their institutions, must be a starting catcher for their team in 70 percent of the games. McGinnis will now go on a national ballot to determine the three finalists. All finalists will be brought to Wichita and the winner will be announced at the 20th Annual Greater Wichita Sports Banquet on June 29.


ABOUT THE SUMMIT LEAGUE
Celebrating its 35th season of Division I athletics, The Summit League offers 19 championship sports and has a combined enrollment of over 120,000 at nine institutions, including four located in top 60 U.S. metro populations and two land-grant universities. Member institutions include: Denver (University of Denver), Fort Wayne (Indiana University-Purdue University-Fort Wayne), IUPUI (Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis), North Dakota State University, Omaha (University of Nebraska Omaha), Oral Roberts University, the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University and Western Illinois University. Previously known as the Mid-Continent Conference, The Summit League rebranded in 2007 and has since produced eight NCAA Champions along with over 80 Academic All-Americans, 75 All-America selections and numerous former student-athletes competing at the highest professional level. For more information about the league, visit www.thesummitleague.org website, follow The Summit League on Twitter @thesummitleague and watch the weekly "Inside The Summit League" show at www.thesummitleague.org/itsl.

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