TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (NCBWA) – Five of college baseball's best relief specialists have been selected as finalists for the 10th annual
National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Award as announced by the NCBWA on Thursday, June 5.
This year's finalists include NCAA saves leader Sam Moore of UC Irvine along with
Nick Burdi of Louisville, Michael Cederoth of San Diego State,
Jacob Lindgren of Mississippi State and Brendan McCurry of Oklahoma State.
Moore, who leads the nation in saves with 23, garnered All-Big West first team honors this year. The junior right hander has appeared in 31 games recording 38 strikeouts to only 10 walks in 43.0 innings of work. Moore heads into Super Regional play this weekend in Stillwater, Okla., with the Anteaters posting an ERA of 1.88 while holding opponents to a .223 batting average.
Burdi earned first team Conference honors in the American this season while posting a 3-1 record with 16 saves. He has registered a 0.54 ERA and 58 strikeouts over his 33.1 innings of work in 28 appearances. The junior right hander has allowed just two earned runs, while holding opponents to a .125 batting average. The Cardinals will host Kennesaw State in the Super Regionals this weekend.
Cederoth was an All-Mountain West first team honoree in 2014 after leading the Aztecs to the NCAA Lafayette Regional. The junior right hander finished the season 6-2 with a 2.28 ERA in 32 appearances. Cederoth recorded 20 saves in 51.1 innings of work, while recording 55 strikeouts. He led the Aztecs in appearances and posted a team-best .205 opponents' batting average.
Lindgren led all relievers in the SEC with 100 strikeouts en route to earning All-SEC first team recognition. The junior left hander finished the season 6-1 with a 0.81 ERA and three saves as the Bulldogs advanced to the NCAA Lafayette Regional. Lindgren appeared in 26 games in 2014 allowing just five earned runs in 55.1 innings of work, while holding opponents to a .125 batting average.
McCurry garnered All-Big 12 first team accolades and helped the Cowboys advance to the NCAA Super Regionals this weekend. The senior right hander has 19 saves in 34 appearances in 2014 while boasting a record of 5-0 and a 0.39 ERA. McCurry has allowed just two earned runs and eight walks in 46.0 innings of work this year. He ranks second on the team with 53 strikeouts and has held opponents to a .182 batting average.
The five finalists were selected from the NCBWA's 50-player mid-season watch list which was released back in April.
The NCBWA's All-America Committee will select the winner, with this year's recipient to be announced Saturday morning, June 14, at a news conference at TD Ameritrade Park at 10 a.m. CT.
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 took the honor in 2010. Corey Knebel of Texas won in 2011, with Southeastern Louisiana's Stefan Lopez picking up the honor in 2012. UCLA's David Berg was the recipient of the award in 2013.
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, II and III Players of the Week and Division I, II and III Players of the Year.
2014 NCBWA Stopper of the Year key dates:
• Tues., Feb. 11: Preseason Watch List
• Wed., April 23: Midseason Watch List
• Thu., June 5: Stopper of the Year finalists announced
• Sat., June 14: Stopper of the Year winner announced