Feb. 15, 2016
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Georgia Tech junior pitcher Zac Ryan is one of 70 players named to the initial 2016 Stopper of the Year Award Watch List, released Monday by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. The award is given to the top relief pitcher in NCAA Division I baseball.
Ryan, a third-team Preseason All-America selection by Louisville Slugger, enjoyed a breakout season as a sophomore, finishing the 2015 campaign with a 9-1 record and seven saves in a team-best 28 relief appearances. The righty posted a 3.59 ERA in 47.2 innings with 40 strikeouts against just 15 walks. Ryan, who was among the top relievers in the ACC, was the only relief pitcher in the conference to finish with seven or more saves and eight or more wins.
His nine wins were tied for second among all pitchers and his seven saves were sixth in the ACC. Additionally, his nine wins were the most in a season by a Jacket since Buck Farmer’s nine in 2013.
Tech returns 20 letterwinners from 2015 and welcomes a talented class of freshmen that was ranked as high as No. 4 nationally. Georgia Tech, ranked No. 21 in the Collegiate Newspaper Preseason Top 25, opens its 2016 season on Friday against Purdue at Russ Chandler Stadium. First pitch is slated for 4 p.m. on WREK 91.1 FM.
The ACC led the way with 10 players on this year’s watch list, while the Big Ten and Pac-12 each had eight honorees.
Nominations for the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Award were made by baseball sports information/media relations contacts. The 2016 Stopper of the Year Watch List will be updated with a midseason release on Wednesday, April 27, 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 8, prior to start of NCAA Super Regional competition.
The NCBWA’s All-America Committee will select the winner, with this year’s recipient to be announced at the 2016 College World Series.