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May 20, 2004

Columbia, S.C. – USC senior catcher Landon Powell is one of 15 catchers in the nation to be named as a semifinalist for the Johnny Bench Award. The Bench Award is given out by the Wichita Sports Commission to the best catcher in the nation. This is the second consecutive year that Powell has been named as a semifinalist.

Powell leads USC with a .354 batting average on the year including 15 home runs and 58 RBI. Powell has started and played all 53 games this year and owns a .998 fielding percentage with just one error behind the plate. The senior from New Hill, N.C. has also been named a semifinalist for the Howser Award (top collegiate baseball player as well as a member of the Golden Spikes Award Watch List (top amateur baseball player – USA Baseball).

A committee representing national sportswriters, sportscasters and scouts, narrowed the watch list of fifty-two catchers down to fifteen semi-finalists.

A comprehensive biography will be created on each of the semi-finalists and sent to the national voting panel at the end of May for a vote to determine the three finalists. The finalists will be announced June 3, 2004.

A final vote among the national selection committee will occur during the College World Series. All three finalists will be invited to Wichita for the 7th Annual Greater Wichita Sports Banquet on June 30, 2004 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Wichita. Johnny Bench will present the award to the recipient.

The Johnny Bench Award semi-finalists are (in alphabetical order):
Jeff Clement, Southern California
Brad Davis, Long Beach State
Tuffy Gosewisch, Arizona State
Aaron Hathaway, Washington
Chris Iannetta, North Carolina
Devin Ivany, South Florida
Jason Jaramillo, Oklahoma State
Matt Liuzza, Louisiana State
Donny Lucy, Stanford
Landon Powell, South Carolina
Erick San Pedro, Miami
Kurt Suzuki, Cal. State – Fullerton
Craig Tatum, Mississippi State
Taylor Teagarden, Texas
Kiel Thibault, Gonzaga