Feb. 11, 2019
For Immediate Release
Contact: Malcolm Gray
.pdf version
SEC leads list of 75 with eight nominees
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (NCBWA) – Seventy-five players have been named to the initial Watch List for the 15th annual National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Award, given to the top relief pitcher in NCAA Division I Baseball, the association announced Monday.

Sophomores Jack Little (Stanford) and Chris Mauloni (Jacksonville) headline this year's list after being named finalists a year ago for an award that was captured by Florida's Michael Byrne. Little notched 16 saves while sporting a 0.60 ERA in 25 games in 2018, while Mauloni tied for the national lead last year (20 saves) and posting a 2.97 ERA in 29 contests – both were tabbed as first-team preseason All-Americans.

The Southeastern Conference had the most representation with 12 players finding their names on the watch list. That group is headlined by preseason All-America selection Parker Caracci (Ole Miss/second-team), who registered 10 saves with a 2.25 ERA in 27 appearances. Little and Jake Mulholland (Oregon State/first-team) led seven Pac-12 members on the list, while the Colonial Athletic Association had six hurlers including Layne Looney (Richmond/third-team) who logged eight saves in 23 games posting with a 0.60 ERA.

Fourteen players recorded double-digit saves a season ago with nine of those earning inclusion to the 2019 NCBWA Preseason All-America team. Other preseason All-America notables include Matt Cronin (Arkansas/third-team), Brandon Eisert (Oregon State/third-team), Casey Legumina (Gonzaga/second-team), Max Meyer (Minnesota/second-team), Zach Schneider (Florida Atlantic/thirdteam) and Dylan Thomas (Hawai'i/second-team).

In total, 26 conferences are represented on this list with at least two players coming from 17 different leagues.

Andrew Abbott, Virginia Sam Kessler, West Virginia Todd Peterson, LSU
Cody Allen, UIW Zach King, Vanderbilt Holden Powell, UCLA
Brett Ayer, James Madison Kent Klyman, NC State Spencer Price, Mississippi State
John Barr, New Orleans Joe LaSorsa, St. John's Austin Roberts, Sacramento State
Fineas Bonta-Smith, San Jose State Cody LeCompte, TAMU-CC Nick Robertson, James Madison
Kyle Brennan, Belmont Casey Legumina, Gonzaga Henry Ryan, UNCW
Saywer Bridges, South Carolina Zach Linginfelter, Tennessee Zach Schneider, Florida Atlantic
Jordan Buster, The Citadel Jack Little, Stanford Brian Schrimmer, Bradley
Parker Caracci, Ole Miss Layne Looney, Richmond Aaron Schunk, Georgia
Matt Cronin, Arkansas Connor Lunn, USC Connor Sechler, Missouri State
Matt Eardensohn, Coastal Carolina Grey Lyttle, High Point Chase Smith, Pitt
Christian Edwards, Jacksonville State Reeves Martin, New Orleans Shane Smith, Miami (Ohio)
Brandon Eisert, Oregon State John Matthews, Kent State Nick Spear, Mercer
Ryan Erickson, Lamar Chris Mauloni, Jacksonville Carson Spiers, Clemson
Braidyn Fink, Oklahoma Max Meyer, Minnesota Colton Springs, Presbyterian
Will Frank, Canisius Andrew Misiaszek, Northeastern Dean Stramara, Towson
James Giambalvo, ETSU Nikoh Mitchell, Fresno State Aaron Stretch, SE Missouri State
Jackson Gillis, Vanderbilt Jake Mulholland, Oregon State T.J. Stuart, Manhattan
Cole Gordon, Mississippi State Ryne Nelson, Oregon Dylan Thomas, Hawaii
Tyler Grauer, Indiana State Caden O’Brien, North Carolina Corey Treyes, Coppin State
Zach Greene, South Alabama Aaron Ochsenbein, Eastern Kentucky Trey Vickery, FGCU
Cody Greenhill, Auburn Nathan Ocker, College of Charleston Chase Wallace, Tennessee
Carter Henry, Houston Cam Opp, Army Jacob Wallace, UConn
Kyle Hill, Baylor Seth Owens, Charleston Southern Brock Whittlesey, New Mexico State
Gavin Hollowell, St. John's Jacob Palisch, Stanford Jack Zimmerman, Kent State

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. The Longhorns' Corey Knebel won in 2011, with Southeastern Louisiana's Stefan Lopez picking up the honor in 2012. UCLA's David Berg was crowned the winner in 2013, Louisville's Nick Burdi took home the 2014 honor and Berg became the award's first two-time winner in 2015. Miami (Fla.)'s Bryan Garcia was honored as the 2016 recipient followed the Cardinal's Lincoln Henzman in 2017 and Byrne last year.

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.

2019 NCBWA Stopper of the Year key dates:
• Mon., Feb. 11: Preseason Watch List
• Wed., April 24: Midseason Watch List
• Thu., June 6: Stopper of the Year finalists announced
• Sat., June 15: Stopper of the Year winner announced