May 26, 2009
ST. LOUIS - Saint Louis senior shortstop Ryan Bennett (Kansas City, Mo./Rockhurst) has been selected to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America baseball first team by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
Bennett, who was tabbed the Atlantic 10 Conference's baseball Student-Athlete of the Year earlier this month, joins Ryan Bird (1996) as the only other first-team Academic All-American in SLU baseball history. Jeff Ray (1996) and Pat Conreaux (1993) were named third-team Academic All-Americans.
Bennett, who is pursuing a master's degree in business administration after graduating last year with a bachelor's degree in business administration entrepreneurship, led the Billikens in batting average (.368), hits (77), doubles (16) and stolen bases (19). Named to the Watch List for the Brooks Wallace Award, which honors the nation's top shortstop, Bennett enjoyed a career-best 17-game hitting streak this season. His .345 career batting average ranks sixth on SLU's all-time list, and his 77 hits this year are tied for the fourth most in a single season at SLU.
Bennett is the fifth Billiken student-athlete to be named an Academic All-American this season. Pat Disbennett (men's soccer), Kevin Lisch (men's basketball), Theresa Lisch (women's basketball) and Lauren Olson (women's soccer) earned the distinction earlier this year. CoSIDA will release the softball and cross country/track and field Academic All-America lists at a later date.
The Billikens posted a 30-25 overall record and a 12-13 mark in A-10 play. SLU's 30 wins are tied for the second most in school history, matching the 1977 squad's win total and trailing only the 2006 club's 32 victories.