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GU's Martin Named to NCBWA Stopper of the Year watch list

April 21, 2011

WICHITA, Kan. - Gonzaga University senior pitcher Cody Martin has been named to the midseason watch list for the seventh 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.

Martin is one of 45 relief pitchers in NCAA Division I to be named on the watch list. He was previously included on the watch list as a sophomore and was selected NCBWA Freshman All-America second team.

The native of Dos Palos, Calif., owns a 0.76 earned-run average with a 2-0 record and seven saves in 15 appearances. He has posted 48 strikeouts in 35 1/3 innings.

Leading the elite field with a nation-best 13 saves is East Tennessee State's Bo Reeder. The junior right-hander owns a 1.77 ERA and had registered 24 strikeouts in 20.1 innings pitched.

Also included on this year's midseason watch list is sophomore right-hander Branden Kline, the closer for No. 1-ranked Virginia. Kline currently has 11 saves and is 3-0 with a 1.88 ERA and 34 strikeouts in 24.0 innings pitched. Defending national champion South Carolina also has its closer featured. Sophomore right-hander Matt Price has 11 saves and is 4-2 with a 2.36 ERA and 37 strikeouts in 26.2 innings pitched.

The SEC leads the way with six players named to the midseason watch list, while Conference USA has four. The Big West, Big 12, Big East, West Coast, and Mid-American have three pitchers each on this year's watch list. In all, 22 conferences are showcased in this year's midseason watch list.

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 June 1, prior to the start of the NCAA Baseball Championships. 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 NCAA College World Series June 18.

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 grabbing the honor in 2009, and Texas' Chance Ruffin earning 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.

The 24th-ranked Bulldogs open a three-game WCC series with Saint Mary's College Thursday at 6 p.m.

-from gozags.com