Feb. 2, 2007
Malibu, Calif. - Sophomore right hander Brett Hunter was one of 35 players named to the watch list for the third annual National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Stopper of the Year Award, the association announced on Friday. The award is given to the top relief pitcher in Division I college baseball.
Of the 35 pitchers who make up the initial 2007 watch list, 24 were among the nation's Top 50 in saves at the end of the 2006 season, including eight of the Top 12 save totals in the final NCAA rankings.
Hunter played a pivotal role for Pepperdine during his rookie season a year ago as he went 5-3 with a 2.83 ERA and 11 saves while making 29 appearances as the Waves' closer. He tied for 22nd in the nation in saves and was tabbed a Freshman All-American, named first team All-WCC and selected to the conference's all-freshman team.
Entering 2007, Hunter also is on the Roger Clemens Award watch list. The award is given to the top pitcher in the nation.
"The organization started this award two years ago and it is quickly becoming one of the most prestigious awards in college baseball," Mike "Mex" Carey, the NCBWA president, said. "This year appears it could be the best yet with so many quality closers coming back."
Nominations were made by each school's baseball sports information contact. A mid-season release, including the national saves leaders, will be updated during the week of April 16. At the end the regular season, the Division I leader in saves and four other relief pitching standouts will be selected as the award's finalists. These finalists will be released on Wednesday, May 30, just prior to the beginning of NCAA regional play.
From the list of finalists, the NCBWA's All-America Committee will select a winner. The third annual winner will be announced on Wednesday, June 6, two days prior to the beginning of NCAA super regional action. Last year's winner was Don Czyz from Kansas. Texas' J. Brent Cox won the inaugural award in 2005.
The NCBWA, founded in 1962, presents the Dick Howser Trophy to the nation's top player. It also selects a Division I All-America Team, Division I and III Players of the Week, Division I District Players of the Year and Division III Players of the Year.