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Texas’ Corey Knebel Named 2011 NCBWA Stopper of the Year

FROM NCBWA RELEASE
OMAHA, Neb. — Texas relief pitcher Corey Knebel is the 2011 recipient of the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association’s Stopper of the Year Award, the NCBWA announced Tuesday at the College World Series.

Knebel, the NCBWA Freshman Pitcher of the Year and a semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy, set the Texas freshmen record with 19 saves and was 3-2 with a 1.13 ERA and 61 strikeouts in 55.2 innings. He allowed just 28 hits and seven earned runs, while holding opponents to a .151 batting average. With two saves in Super Regional play, he has posted the most saves of any pitcher in the nation this season. In addition, he has made 38 appearances, the most in the Big 12 this year.

The right-hander from Georgetown, Texas, was an All-Big 12 First Team selection and a unanimous selection to the Big 12 All-Freshmen Team. He has received first team All-America and Freshman Pitcher of the Year honors from Collegiate Baseball. The reliever also has been named one of the 25 quarterfinalists for the College Baseball Foundation’s Pitcher of the Year Award.

Knebel helped Texas post a 49-19 record and reach the College World Series for the 34th time, with NCAA Austin Regional and Super Regional championships. The Longhorns also were the Big 12 regular season co-champions and were ranked No. 5 in the latest NCBWA weekly poll.

Knebel is the third Longhorn pitcher to take home the honor in the award’s seven-year history, joining J. Brent Cox in 2005 and Chance Ruffin in 2010. He is also the first freshman to win the award.

This year’s finalists also included Branden Kline of Virginia, Kyle McMillen of Kent State, Matt Price of South Carolina and Bo Reeder of East Tennessee State.

More than 50 of the nation’s top collegiate relief pitchers were included in the selection process for this year’s NCBWA Stopper of the Year Award, beginning with initial preseason nominations by baseball contacts at NCAA Division I schools.

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 winning the award in 2010.

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 Coach of the Year, Division I and III Players of the Week, Division I District Players of the Year and Division II and III Players of the Year.

The Stopper of the Year will also be recognized on the College Baseball Awards show, July 3 in Lubbock, Texas. This event will feature the presentation of the Dick Howser Trophy to the National Player of the Year. Other awards scheduled to be presented during the show include the Brooks Wallace Award, honoring the nation’s best shortstop, and the Pitcher of the Year Award. All of the NCBWA season awards will be recognized during the show.

For more information on the NCBWA Stopper of the Year, contact Tami Cutler at Wichita State at 316-978-5559 or Russ Anderson at Conference USA at 214-774-1351.