April 15, 2010
For Immediate Release
Contact: Julie St. Cyr
Big 12 boasts six closers among 45 chosen Bookmark and Share

IRVINE, Calif. (NCBWA) Forty-five players have been named to the midseason watch list for the sixth 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 Thursday.

Leading the elite field with a nation-best 11 saves is Virginia's Kevin Arico. The junior right-hander owns a 2.37 ERA and had registered 27 strikeouts in 19.0 innings pitched.

Also included on this year's midseason watch list is 2009 finalist Matty Ott of LSU (0-0, 2.70), who ranks second in the nation with 10 saves. Last year, Ott, the 2009 SEC Freshman of the Year, set a new high for the most single-season saves in LSU history with 16 and carried his team to a national championship. Oklahoma's Ryan Duke (0-1, 1.59) and Appalachian State's Chris Patterson (2-1, 0.77) each hold 10 saves apiece, tying them for second in the country with Ott.

The Big 12 Conference leads the way with six players named to the midseason watch list. The ACC, Pac-10, SEC and Southland Conference have four pitchers each on this year's watch list, while the Big East Conference is represented by three players. In all, 20 conferences are showcased in this year's midseason watch list.

Pitcher School Cl.
James Allen Kansas State So.
Kevin Arico Virginia Jr.
Billy Barber Richmond Jr.
DJ Baxendale Arkansas Fr.
Lance Baxter South Alabama Sr.
Brett Bochy Kansas Jr.
Russell Brewer Vanderbilt Jr.
Andrew Burkett Cincinnati Sr.
Garret Carruth Texas State Sr.
Kevin Chapman Florida Jr.
Adam Cimber Washington Fr.
Adam Conley Washington State So.
Rye Davis Western Kentucky So.
Ryan Duke Oklahoma Jr.
Austin Fleet Coastal Carolina Fr.
Chris Franklin Southeastern Louisiana Sr.
Tyler Gebler Rutgers Fr.
Dan Gentzler Maryland Jr.
David Gutierrez Miami Sr.
Matt Hauser San Diego Sr.
Tom Heithoff Evansville Sr.
Neil Holland Louisville Jr.
Jon Ivie Belmont Jr.
Josh Janway Southeastern Louisiana So.
Chris Kaminski Jacksonville Jr.
Dan Klein UCLA So.
Ben Rowen Virginia Tech Sr.
Patrick Lawson Charlotte Sr.
Drew Mahaffey The Citadel Jr.
Kevin McKague Army Jr.
David McKnight BYU Jr.
Kevin Munson James Madison Jr.
Kyle Necke UC Irvine Sr.
Matty Ott LSU So.
Chris Patterson Appalachian State Sr.
Brooks Pinckard Baylor So.
Nick Pepitone Tulane Jr.
Ryne Purcell Eastern Kentucky Jr.
Chance Ruffin Texas Jr.
Gera Sanchez New Mexico So.
Chad Sheppard Northwestern State So.
Seth Simmons East Carolina Jr.
John Soldinger Manhattan Fr.
John Stilson Texas A&M So.
Jordan Swagerty Arizona State So.

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 2, prior to start of NCAA regional tournament competition. The NCBWA's All-America Committee then will select the winner, with this year's recipient to be announced on the opening day of the College World Series on June 19.

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, Luke Prihoda of Sam Houston State winning it in 2007, Georgia's Joshua Fields topping the field in 2008 and San Diego State's Addison Reed grabbing the honor last season.

The NCBWA, founded in 1962, also presents the Dick Howser Trophy to the nation's top player in addition to naming a Division I All-America Team, Division I and Division 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 Julie St. Cyr at the Big West Conference at 949-261-2525 or Russ Anderson at Conference USA at 214-774-1300.

2010 NCBWA Stopper of the Year key dates:
Thurs., Jan. 28: Preseason Watch List
Thurs., April 15: Midseason Watch List
Wed., June 2: Stopper of the Year finalists announced
Sat., June 19: NCBWA Stopper of the Year announced