Feb. 7, 2013
For Immediate Release
Contact: Judy Willson
2011 winner Knebel returns to headline list
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (NCBWA) – Seventy-five players have been named to the initial watch list for the ninth annual National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Award, given to the top relief pitcher in NCAA Division I baseball, as announced by the association on Friday.

Oregon junior Jimmie Sherfy, a 2012 Stopper of the Year Award finalist, and Texas junior Corey Knebel, the 2011 winner of the Stopper of the Year Award, headline the list of preseason nominees for the 2013 award. Sherfy recorded 19 saves and went 5-3 with a 2.20 ERA and 93 strikeouts as the Ducks advanced to the 2012 Super Regionals. Last season as a sophomore, Knebel collected nine saves and went 4-5 with a 2.08 ERA and 68 strikeouts in 73.2 innings pitched for the Longhorns.

Joining Sherfy, a first team preseason All-American by the NCBWA, and Knebel on the watch list is NCBWA 2013 first teamer Jonathan Holder from Mississippi State and Michael Wagner of San Diego, a preseason first team selection. Holder had nine saves a year ago with a 2-1 record and 0.32 ERA in 24 appearances as a freshman, while Wagner had 19 saves.

Among the other most notable nominees are members of the NCBWA preseason All-American second team (Michael Lorenzen of Cal State Fullerton, Tyler Webb of South Carolina, David Berg of UCLA and Tyler Burgess of Missouri State), along with third team member Colby Suggs of Arkansas.

The Southeastern Conference and the Pacific-12 Conference led the way with seven players each on this year’s watch list, while the Big South had six pitchers on the list..

Pitcher School Cl.
Brady Anderson Florida Gulf Coast So.
Barrett Astin Arkansas Jr.
Kyle Bartsch South Alabama Sr.
David Berg UCLA So.
Josh Biggs Evansville Sr.
Tony Bryant Oregon State Sr.
Michael Burchett Sam Houston State Sr.
Nick Burdi Louisville So.
Tyler Burgess Missouri State So.
Aaron Burke Coastal Carolina Sr.
Chase Byerly Butler Sr.
Gunnar Carroll Army Jr.
Will Chesney East Tennessee State Jr.
Pat Christensen La Salle Sr.
Adam Cimber San Francisco Sr.
Ryan Connolly Coastal Carolina Sr.
Bret Dahlson Loyola Marymount Jr.
Ryan Deeter UCLA Jr.
Josh Dezse Ohio State Jr.
Matt Dunbar Arizona State Sr.
Todd Eaton Southern Illinois Jr.
Eric Eck Wofford Jr.
Alex Facundus Tulane Jr.
Scott Firth Clemson Sr.
Max Garner Baylor Sr.
John Garrett VMI Sr.
Michael Gomez FIU Sr.
Joe Goodman High Point So.
John Gorman Boston College So.
Trevor Gott Kentucky Jr.
Zack Hartman UNLV Jr.
Preston Hatcher Western Carolina Sr.
Taylor Haydel Western Kentucky Sr.
Nate Hill Troy Sr.
Dylan Hills Southeastern Louisiana Jr.
Jonathan Holder Mississippi State So.
Brett Huber Ole Miss Sr.
Chris Huffman James Madison So.
Kyle Kingsley North Dakota State Sr.
Corey Knebel Texas Jr.
Clark Labitan Virginia Tech Sr.
Steven Leasure South Florida Sr.
Brett Loeding Northern Kentucky Sr.
Michael Lorenzen Cal State Fullerton Jr.
Ryan Mattes Campbell Sr.
Justin McCalvin Kennesaw State So.
Hobie McClain New Mexico Sr.
Ronnie Muck Illinois Jr.
Jake Naumann Evansville Sr.
James Norwood Saint Louis So.
Kenny O'Brien George Washington Sr.
Thomas Olson Dartmouth So.
Race Parmenter UC Irvine Sr.
Drew Reynolds East Carolina Jr.
Joel Rinehart Navy Sr.
Bradley Roney Southern Miss So.
Reid Roper Illinois So.
Kyle Ruchim Northwestern Jr.
A.J. Salcines Miami Jr.
Logan Scott California Sr.
Jimmie Sherfy Oregon Jr.
Dan Slania Notre Dame Jr.
Michael Smith Dallas Baptist Sr.
Chad Sobotka USC Upstate So.
Colby Suggs Arkansas Jr.
Tim Swatek Fordham Jr.
David Teasley Mercer Sr.
Kellen Urbon Cornell So.
A.J. Vanegas Stanford Jr.
Dylan Vogt Nebraska Sr.
Michael Wagner San Diego Jr.
Tyler Webb South Carolina Sr.
Nate Williams Kansas State So.
Mark Winkelman Creighton Sr.
Nate Young Elon Sr.

Nominations for the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Award were made by baseball sports information/media relations contacts. The initial list will be updated with a mid-season release the week of April 16, including the national saves leaders. At the conclusion of the regular season, the Division I national saves leader and four other relief pitching standouts will be selected as finalists and released Wednesday, June 5, prior to start of NCAA Super Regional tournament competition.

From the list of finalists, the NCBWA's All-America Committee will select a winner. The ninth annual winner will be announced in Omaha on Saturday, June 15, the opening day of the College World Series.

Texas hurler J. Brent Cox won the inaugural Stopper of the Year Award in 2005, with Don Czyz of Kansas claiming the honor in 2006 and Luke Prihoda of Sam Houston State winning it in 2007. Georgia’s Joshua Fields topped the field in 2008, San Diego State’s Addison Reed grabbed the honor in 2009 and Texas’ Chance Ruffin earned the honor in 2010. Knebel won in 2011 with Southeastern Louisiana's Stefan Lopez picking up the honor in 2012.

The NCBWA, founded in 1962, presents the Dick Howser Trophy to the nation's top player. It also selects All-America Teams for all Divisions, a Division I Freshman All-American team, Division I and III Players of the Week, Division I District Players of the Year and Division III Players of the Year.

For more information on the NCBWA Stopper of the Year, contact Judy Willson at the Mountain West Conference at 719-488-4052.

2013 NCBWA Stopper of the Year key dates:
Thurs., Feb. 7: Preseason Watch List
Tues., April 23: Midseason Watch List
Wed., June 5: Stopper of the Year finalists announced
Sat., June 15: NCBWA Stopper of the Year announced (Omaha, Neb.)