Categorized | College



WICHITA, Kan. (NCBWA) – Five of college baseball’s top relief specialists have been selected as finalists for the seventh annual National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Award, the NCBWA announced Tuesday.

This year’s finalists include NCAA saves leaders Kyle McMillen of Kent State and Bo Reeder of East Tennessee State, along with Branden Kline of Virginia, Corey Knebel of Texas and Matt Price of South Carolina.

McMillen, with an NCAA-tying 18 saves, has earned third team All-America honors this season. He is 1-2 this season with a 1.80 earned run average. In 30.0 innings pitched, McMillen has recorded 31 strikeouts and has allowed just 18 hits for a .175 opponent batting average.

Reeder, also owning an NCAA-tying 18 saves, earned first team All-America honors as a utility player this season. In 27.2 innings pitched, Reeder has allowed just six earned runs with 32 strikeouts. He allowed just 16 hits on the season for an opponent batting average of .165 and finished the season with a 1.95 ERA.

Kline, registering a 3-0 record, earned third team All-America honors and has led No. 1 national seed Virginia to Super Regionals. He has a 1.78 earned run average and 49 strikeouts over his 35.1 innings of work. He has allowed just seven earned runs, while holding opponents to a .202 batting average.

Knebel, a true freshman who has helped Texas to Super Regional play, owns a 3-2 record and 17 saves and has fanned 57 batters in just 50.1 innings. He has allowed just 25 hits this season for an opponent batting average of .150. He earned first team All-Big 12 honors this season as well as being named a first team All-American.

Price has helped the defending national champions back to the Super Regionals this season. In 48.0 innings of work, he owns a 2.25 ERA with 17 saves, 14 walks and 63 strikeouts. Opponents are hitting .202 off of the first team all-SEC selection this season.

More than 50 of the nation’s top collegiate relief pitchers were included in the selection process for this year’s NCBWA Stopper of the Year Award, beginning with initial preseason nominations by baseball contacts at NCAA Division I schools.

The NCBWA’s All-America Committee will select the winner, with this year’s recipient to be announced Tuesday, June 21, during the 2011 College World Series.

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, San Diego State’s Addison Reed winning it in 2009 and Texas’ Chance Ruffin grabbing the honor last season.

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 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 Tami Cutler at Wichita State at 316-978-5559 or Russ Anderson at Conference USA at 214-774-1300.

2011 NCBWA Stopper of the Year key dates:
• Tues., Feb. 1: Preseason Watch List
• Thurs., April 21: Midseason Watch List
• Tues., June 7: Stopper of the Year finalists announced
• Sat., June 18: NCBWA Stopper of the Year announced

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About Eric Bynum
Eric Bynum is Managing Editor here at BaseballdeWorld. He spent three years as an ESL teacher in South Korea, and is now working on his master's degree in history with a focus on baseball and WWII. He has played and/or written about baseball for the past 30 years and is an avid Atlanta Braves fan.

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