April 17, 2008
For Immediate Release
Contact: Joe Dier
45 closers from 19 conferences selected to list

LINCOLN, Neb. (NCBWA) Forty-five relief pitchers are included on the midseason watch list for the fourth annual National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Award, the association announced Thursday. The award is given to the top relief pitcher in Division I college baseball.

The midseason watch list includes four players with double-figure saves totals through April 15, paced by NCAA saves leader Tyler Conn of Southern Miss. The senior lefty has 12 saves, a win and 31 strikeouts in 16 relief appearances and is one of three hurlers on the watch list who have not yielded an earned run in 2008.

Not far behind Conn are 10-save relief specialists Joshua Fields (1-1, 0.00) of Georgia , Colin Lynch (0-1, 2.76) of St. Johns , and Virginia s Michael Schwimer (1-1, 1.26). Conn , Fields and Mississippi State s Aaron Weatherford have not allowed an earned run through the first half of the season.

The 2008 midseason watch list features teams representing 19 athletic conferences as well as one independent team. The Atlantic Coast Conference leads the way with six pitchers on the honor squad.

Pitcher School Cl. Hometown
Tyson Bagley Dallas Baptist Sr. Bakersfield, Calif.
Scott Bittle Mississippi Jr. Texarkana, Texas
Nick Cassavechia Baylor Sr. Dallas, Texas
Zach Calhoon Texas San Antonio So. Spring, Texas
Tyler Conn (L) Southern Miss Jr. Ocean Springs, Miss.
Chase Dempsay Houston Fr. Baytown, Texas
Daniel Edwards Kansas State Sr. Kingwood, Texas
Tim Erickson (L) Lamar Sr. Sour Lake, Texas
Joshua Fields Georgia Sr. Hull, Ga.
Nick Gaudi Pepperdine Sr. Lancaster, Calif.
Jim Gilheeney (L) N.C. State So. Johnston, R.I.
Thomas Girdwood Elon Fr. Charlotte, N.C.
Matt Gorgen California Jr. Clayton, Calif.
A.J. Griffin San Diego So. El Cajon, Calif.
Carlos Gutierrez Miami Jr. Miami, Fla.
Alex Hale Richmond Sr. Omaha, Neb.
James Hayes Rider So. Sunrise, Fla.
Kyle Heyne Ball State Sr. Coldwater, Ohio
Chris Hicks Georgia Tech Jr. Alpharetta, Ga.
Greg Johnson South Alabama Jr. Omaha, Neb.
Josh Lindblom Purdue Jr. West Lafayette, Ind.
Colin Lynch St. John's Jr. Manchester, N.H.
Jake McCarter Oklahoma Sr. Kerrville, Texas
J.D. Melton Navy So. Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Jeremy Nowak Stony Brook So. Cheektowaga, N.Y.
Drew O'Neil Penn State Jr. Roswell, Ga.
Eric Pettis UC Irvine So. West Hills, Calif.
Tommy Rafferty Arizona State Sr. Lorena, Texas
Matt Reifsnider The Citadel So. Ormand Beach, Fla.
Justin Robichaux Louisiana-Lafayette So. Crowley, La.
Kevin Rhoderick Oregon State Fr. Scottsdale, Ariz.
Shawn Sanford South Florida  So. Cinnaminson, N.J.
Michael Schwimer Virginia Sr. Alexandria, Va.
Brian Shaw Long Beach State Sr. Livermore, Calif.
Thain Simon Santa Clara Fr. El Dorado Hills, Calif.
Travis Starling Texas A&M So. Yoakum, Texas
Jason Stoffel Arizona So. Agoura, Calif.
Josh Storm Troy Jr. Cottondale, Fla.
Payton Tweddale (L) Charleston Southern Sr. Charlotte, N.C.
Matt Vaughn Clemson Jr Summerville, S.C.
Pat Venditte (L/R) Creighton Sr. Omaha, Neb.
Derek Ward Louisiana-Monroe Jr. Lewisville, Ark.
Aaron Weatherford Mississippi State Jr. Crystal Springs, Miss.
Bryan Woodall Auburn Jr. Phenix City, Ala.
Rob Wooten North Carolina Sr. Fremont, N.C.
(L) indicates left-handed pitcher

The watch list was compiled from nominations submitted by sports information contacts and conference media relations offices nationwide. At the conclusion of regular season competition, the NCAA Division I saves leader and four other relief pitching standouts will be selected as the finalists for the award and announced May 28 prior to the start of NCAA regional competition. The winner of the 2008 Stopper of the Year Award will be selected by the NCBWAs All-America Committee and announced Wednesday, June 4, two days before NCAA Super Regional play begins.

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 Shamus McKnight at the University of Nebraska at 402-472-7772 (Ext. 210).

2008 NCBWA Stopper of the Year key dates:
Thurs., Feb. 14: Watch List announced
Thurs., April 17: Midseason Watch List announced
Thurs., May 29: Stopper of the Year finalists announced
Wed., June 4: NCBWA Stopper of the Year announced