Ben Watson places on 2024 NCBWA All-America Third Team

2024 NCBWA Div. I All-America Teams

DALLAS – Raking in national acclaim for his high-achieving season on the diamond, Virginia Tech fifth-year outfielder Ben Watson has been named to the 2024 NCBWA Division I All-America Third Team, as announced by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association on Wednesday.
Joining an elite class of Virginia Tech greats, Watson becomes the program's 21st recognized All-American and the Hokies' seventh such honoree to have been awarded during John Szefc's tenure as head coach. Considering NCBWA All-Americans, the veteran bat is also Tech's seventh such selection since the organization began presenting All-America teams in 1996.
Among Virginia Tech's entire contingent of All-American outfielders, Watson now stands alongside the company of Trey McCoy (1987), Kevin Barker (1996), Matt Griswold (1997), Larry Bowles (1999), Tyler Horan (2013), Gavin Cross (2022) and Jack Hurley (2022).

Watson – who was honored as a 2023 NCAA Division III All-American last season – batted .419 during the 2024 campaign, setting the Virginia Tech single-season record for hits (93) while compiling 21 doubles, three triples, four home runs, 51 runs scored and 48 RBIs. In addition to his 2024 All-American status, he placed onto the 2024 All-ACC Second Team and was chosen to the 2024 ABCA/Rawlings NCAA Division I Atlantic All-Region Second Team.

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Ahead of the 2024 Men's College World Series, Watson ranks third among NCAA Division I players in batting average (.419), dramatically setting the Virginia Tech all-time, single-season hits record (93) during his final plate appearance at the 2024 ACC Baseball Championship. With the Hokies down to their last out of the tournament against No. 12 NC State, Tech's hit machine threaded a two-RBI double down the right field line at Truist Field in Charlotte, North Carolina, ascending the mountain as the program's single-season hit king.
Watson – who held the highest batting average among ACC players during the regular season (.418) – remains the league's clubhouse leader in the category as he seeks to become Virginia Tech's first overall ACC batting champion. Against players advancing to Omaha, he currently leads Florida State's Cam Smith (.402) and James Tibbs III (.374), NC State's Alec Makarewicz (.380) and Virginia's Henry Godbout (.370) and Bobby Whalen (.370).

A coveted transfer from the NCAA Division III ranks, Watson was a standout story within a Division I season filled of several high-performing callups from other collegiate levels.
Coming off his 2023 All-American First Team campaign at Elizabethtown College, Watson graded as D1Baseball's No. 107 Impact Transfer – a testament to his four-year line featuring a .420 batting average, a 1.233 OPS, 172 hits, 40 doubles, 19 triples and 17 home runs. During the 2023 season alone, he batted .486 with the Blue Jays (the nation's third best NCAA Division III batting average), charting 86 hits and 63 runs scored with an 11.8 at-bats-per-strikeout ratio.
After a quiet first week at Virginia Tech in 2024, Watson formally arrived during the Hokies' home opener against Rhode Island (Feb. 23), batting 4-for-6 with three runs, seven RBIs, two doubles, a triple and a home run. Heading into the seventh inning a single short of hitting for the cycle, he respectfully passed on shortening his fourth extra-base hit for a piece of Tech history, instead choosing to leg out the proper double in an act of well-received sportsmanship.
From there, Watson turned in an 18-game hitting streak – his first of two distinct hitting streaks lasting 15 games or more – finishing the year with 21 doubles, three triples, four home runs, 51 runs scored and 48 RBIs. By season's end, the 2024 All-ACC Second Team outfielder had hit safely during all but seven of his 54 starts (reaching base safely during all but six), registering 30 multi-hit games, including 13 games that featured three hits or more.
In addition to setting the program's all-time, single-season hits record, Watson's .419 batting average equates to Virginia Tech's ACC-era record, surpassing the .406 mark held by Steve Domecus (2009).