April 28, 2021
For Immediate Release
Contact: Malcolm Gray
.pdf version
65 bullpen aces touted for 16th annual relief pitcher award
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (NCBWA) – As the calendar gets ready to turn to May for the 2021 collegiate baseball season, 65 of the sport's top relief pitchers have been named to the Midseason Watch List for the 16th annual National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Award, members of the association announced Wednesday.

With so many collegiate players returning, after the 2020 season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the association has never seen this many talented arms on a single list. Eleven of the 65 players were on the preseason watch list, released in February, including Luke Boyd|Baylor/8saves), Taylor Broadway|Ole Miss/8), Geoffrey Gilbert|Clemson/3), Haylen Green|TCU/8), Chase Lee|Alabama/4), C.J. Mayhue|East Carolina/6), Scott Meylan|N.C. Central/7), Carson Palmquist|Miami, Fla./9), Frankie Scalzo|Grand Canyon/7), Stephen Schoch|Virginia/7) and Joe Taylor|Nicholls/7).

Among the newcomers to the watch list are the nation’s top three save leaders in CJ Culpepper|California Baptist/WAC), Zach Grech|Stanford/Pac-12) and Nick Jones|Georgia Southern/Sun Belt) each with 11 saves heading into this week’s action. Culpepper has made 14 appearances, posting a 1-1 record in 19 1/3 innings, while Grech owns a 4-3 ledger with a 2.64 ERA in 19 outings. Jones, who sports the second-lowest ERA among the watch list members at 0.63 over 28 2/3 frames, is 1-0 in 19 appearances.

Oregon State’s Jake Mulholland, a three-time midseason selection, sports a 2-1 record with nine saves and an impressive 0.86 ERA in 18 appearances. Other pitchers with less than a 1.00 ERA on the list are Arkansas’ Kevin Kopps|0.97 ERA/5 saves), Mississippi State’s Landon Sims|0.67/5), Nicholls’ Taylor|0.81), North Florida’s Stephen Halstead|0.96/1), USC Upstate’s Kevin Davis|0.50/5) and Vanderbilt’s Nick Maldonado|0.77/3).

There are 25 conferences represented on the list with the Southeastern Conference leading the way with eight relief pitchers. The Atlantic Coast Conference stands second with seven followed by the Southland and Big 12 with five each, while the Ohio Valley and Pac-12 each have four. In all, 15 of the 25 conferences have multiple selections and 25 of the 65 on the watch list are upperclassmen.

The NCBWA will announce the finalists on Wednesday, June 9 with the winner being named on Saturday, June 19 at the 2021 College World Series.

Player School Class Conference
Eric Adler Wake Forest Fr. ACC
Aaron Barkley Little Rock Gr. Sun Belt
Carter Benbrook UC Santa Barbara Fr. Big West
AJ Blubaugh Milwaukee Fr. Horizon
Matthew Bollenbacher East Tennessee State So. SoCon
Luke Boyd Baylor Sr. Big 12
Will Brian Eastern Kentucky So. OVC
Taylor Broadway Ole Miss Sr. SEC
TJ Brock Ohio State Jr. Big Ten
Tyler Cleveland Central Arkansas Fr. Southland
Gary Clift Youngstown State Sr. Horizon
Brendan Coffey Sacred Heart Sr. NEC
Kaleb Corbett Louisville Fr. ACC
CJ Culpepper California Baptist So. WAC
Jack Dallas Lamar Jr. Southland
Kevin Davis USC Upstate Jr. Big South
Nolan DeVos Davidson So. Atlantic 10
Danny Garcia Stetson So. ASUN
Geoffrey Gilbert Clemson Fr. ACC
Zach Grech Stanford Sr. Pac-12
Haylen Green TCU Sr. Big 12
Lliam Grubbs James Madison So. CAA
Aaron Haase Wichita State Jr. AAC
Stephen Halstead North Florida Jr. ASUN
Devereaux Harrison Long Beach State Fr. Big West
Logan Heintzman Campbell Sr. Big South
Connor Holden Murray State Jr. OVC
Sean Hunley Tennessee Sr. SEC
David Hussey UT Martin Sr. OVC
Chase Isbell Samford So. SoCon
Nick Jones Georgia Southern Jr. Sun Belt
Chandler Jozwiak Texas A&M Sr. SEC
Tanner Kohlhepp Notre Dame So. ACC
Kevin Kopps Arkansas Sr. SEC
Chase Lee Alabama Jr. SEC
Lance Lusk Sam Houston Jr. Southland
C.J. Mayhue East Carolina Fr. AAC
Jordan McCrum Pittsburgh Sr. ACC
Trey McDaniel Southern Illinois Jr. MVC
Scott Meylan N.C. Central Jr. MEAC
Nick Maldonado Vanderbilt So. SEC
Eli Morse Portland Jr. WCC
Jake Mulholland Oregon State Sr. Pac-12
Luke Murphy Vanderbilt Jr. SEC
Wyatt Nelson North Dakota State Fr. Summit
Carson Palmquist Miami Fr. ACC
Garrett Ramsey Southern Miss So. C-USA
Jake Rappaport NJIT Sr. America East
Dalton Rhadans Wofford Jr. SoCon
Frankie Scalzo Grand Canyon Sr. WAC
Stephen Schoch Virginia Sr. ACC
Caleb Seroski New Orleans So. Southland
Kieran Shaw San Diego Sr. WCC
Landon Sims Mississippi State Fr. SEC
Paul Skenes Air Force Fr. Mountain West
Kolby Somers Oregon Jr. Pac-12
Ryan Sublette Texas Tech Jr. Big 12
Brandon Talley Louisiana Jr. Sun Belt
Joe Taylor Nicholls Jr. Southland
Jonah Ulane Kansas Jr. Big 12
Vince Vannelle Arizona Sr. Pac-12
Jacob Watters West Virginia So. Big 12
Danny Wilkinson Villanova So. Big East
AJ Wood Tarleton State Sr. WAC
Corley Woods Jacksonville State Sr. OVC
Click here for .pdf version of release with complete player statistics

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, Florida’s Michael Byrne in 2018 and UCLA’s Holden Powell in 2019.

The NCBWA, founded in 1962, presents the Dick Howser Trophy to the nation's top player and the Mike Martin National Coach of the Year to the nation’s top coach. 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.

2021 NCBWA Stopper of the Year key dates:
Fri., Feb. 19: Preseason Watch List
Wed., April 28: Midseason Watch List
Wed., June 9: Stopper of the Year finalists announced
• Sat., June 19: Stopper of the Year winner announced