Jan. 28, 2010
Irvine, Calif. (NCBWA) — Right-hander Mark Pope is one of forty players named to the initial 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.
Pope, a sophomore from Marietta, Ga., recorded eight saves in just his first season on the Flats in 2009. He posted 27 strikeouts in 27.0 innings of work, while adding five wins with just one loss.
He is one of four Atlantic Coast Conference players on the list.
The Big 12 Conference led the way with five players named to the preseason watch list. The ACC, Conference USA and the SEC had four pitchers each on this year’s watch list, while the Pacific-10 Conference is represented by three players.
Nominations for the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Award were made by baseball sports information/media relation contacts. The initial list will be updated with a mid-season release the week of April 19, including the national saves leaders. 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, 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.