June 8, 2006
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dave Fanucchi
Senior ace posted school-record 19 saves for Big 12 Tourney champs

DALLAS (NCBWA) University of Kansas relief pitcher Don Czyz has been named the 2006 winner of the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association's Stopper of the Year Award, the association announced Thursday. The award honors the top relief pitcher in college baseball.

Czyz helped guide the Jayhawks (43-25) to their first trip to the NCAA tournament since 1993, as well as their first ever Big 12 Conference Tournament Championship. The right-hander from Overland Park, Kansas, was selected in the 7th round by the Florida Marlins earlier this week in the Major League Baseball draft.

Czyz leads the NCAA with 19 saves and finished the 2006 season with a 6-0 record and a 1.56 ERA while striking out 60 batters in 63.1 innings. Czyz is the highest Jayhawk taken in the draft since Brandon O'Neal was selected by the Anaheim Angels in the sixth round of the 2000 draft.

"I'd like to say congratulations to Don Czyz on a phenomenal year," Kansas head coach Ritch Price said. "In my 28 years of coaching, that is the most dominant performance by a single player and nobody in America deserved to win this award more than him."

Czyz holds the Big 12 record for appearances (128) while his 19 saves this season set a new KU record and was one shy of tying the Big 12 single season mark.

Records held by Czyz include:
• Big 12 career appearances: 128
• Kansas career saves: 30
• Kansas single-season saves: 19 (2006)
• Kansas career appearances: 128
• Kansas single-season appearances: 37 (2006)

This is the second annual NCBWA Stopper of the Year Award. Texas' J. Brent Cox won the inaugural award last season.

The NCBWA, founded in 1962, presents the Dick Howser Trophy to the nation's top player. It also selects a Division I All-America 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 Dave Fanucchi at sports.tv or Russ Anderson at Conference USA at 214-774-1351.

2006 NCBWA Stopper of the Year key dates:
Thurs., Feb. 2: Watch List announced
Wed., April 19: Midseason Watch List announced
Thurs., June 1: Stopper of the Year finalists announced
Thurs., June 8: NCBWA Stopper of the Year announced