GREENVILLE, N.C. (NCBWA) – Ten standouts already
with 2021 all-conference and several All-America mentions make up
the finalists for the 16th NCBWA Stopper of the Year Award.
Many of the best earned run average relief men in NCAA Division
I statistics and six stalwarts, who led their teams to NCAA Super
Regional berths this weekend, highlight this "dream" bullpen
listing and are ready to join a superlative group of past NCBWA
Stoppers of the Year.
Righthander Kevin Kopps of No. 1 Arkansas has
amassed the most victories (12-0), appearances (31), earned run
average (0.68) and innings pitched (79 2/3) among the standouts
and pitched the Razorbacks into the NCAA Super Regionals against
NC State with seven innings of work against Nebraska in the NCAA
Blake Bales of Virginia, Taylor Broadway
of Ole Miss, Zach Grech of Stanford, Landon
Sims of Mississippi State, and Vince Vannelle
of Arizona played key roles in getting their teams to within two
victories of a place in the 2021 NCAA World Series June 18-29/30
in Omaha, Neb.
Georgia Southern’s Nick Jones tops the group
with 17 saves, while Broadway is one behind at 16. There are four
finalists with ERAs under 1.50, and the 10 national leaders have
combined for 112 saves and a 37-15 mark despite entering games with
the final outcome resting on their pitching performances.
They join a standout list of previous NCBWA Stoppers of the Year
with Texas’ J. Brent Cox, 2005; Kansas’ Don Czyz, 2006; Luke Prihoda
of Sam Houston State, 2007; Georgia’s Joshua Fields, 2008; San Diego
State’s Addison Reed, 2009; Texas’ Chance Ruffi, 2010; Texas’ Corey
Knebel, 2011; Southeastern Louisiana's Stefan Lopez, 2012; UCLA’s
David Berg, 2013 and 2015; Louisville’s Nick Burdi, 2014; Miami
(Fla.) hurler Bryan Garcia, 2016; Louisville’s Lincoln Henzman,
2017; Florida’s Michael Byrne, 2018; and UCLA’s Holden Powell in
2019. There was no winner in 2020 due to the COVID-19-shortened
The Stopper of the Year recipient will be announced via a nationwide
news release on Friday, June 18.
2021 NCBWA STOPPER OF THE YEAR FINALISTS (10)
for .pdf version of release with complete player statistics
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