SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara junior catcher Eric Yang was one of 14 semifinalists named for the Buster Posey National Collegiate Catcher of the Year Award, it was announced on Friday morning by the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission.
All catchers on the watch list were nominated by their schools and must be the starting catcher for their team in at least 70% of games. The national voting panel will announce the finalists on June 3, with the winner to be decided on June 27 at the 22nd Annual Greater Wichita Sports Banquet.
- Patrick Bailey SO North Carolina State
- Philip Clarke SO Vanderbilt
- Logan Driscoll JR George Mason
- Nick Kahle JR Washington
- Justin Kunz SR Gardner-Webb
- Shea Langeliers JR Baylor
- Korey Lee JR California
- Kyle McCann JR Georgia Tech
- Pedro Pages JR Florida Atlantic
- Adley Rutschman JR Oregon State
- Dustin Skelton JR Mississippi State
- Taylor Smith FR Incarnate Word
- Eric Yang JR UC Santa Barbara
- Harris Yett SR UNC Charlotte
Yang has enjoyed a breakout season for the No. 6 Gauchos, currently sporting the best record in the country at 41-7. The West Hills, Calif. native leads the team with a .380 batting average to go along with seven home runs and 42 RBIs. Yang has been excellent behind the dish as well, throwing out 38.5 percent (10-of-26) of would-be-base stealers while boasting a .995 fielding percentage. He earned his first career Big West Player of the Week honors earlier this season after leading UCSB to a series win at Cal State Fullerton after hitting .500 (7-for-14) with a home run, six RBIs and four runs in the series.
Yang has also shown the ability to reach base at a high rate, ranking second in the Big West and 28th in the nation with a .491 on-base percentage. He has been hit by a pitch 15 times to lead the conference and leads UCSB with 23 multi-hit games.
UCSB takes on Hawai'i this weekend in a three-game series at Les Murakami Stadium, beginning tonight, May 17, at 9:35 p.m. PT.