Colorado Springs, Colo. (NCBWA) — Five of college baseball’s top relief specialists have been selected as finalists for the ninth annual National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Award, the NCBWA announced Wednesday.
This year’s finalists include NCAA saves leader Tyler Rogers of Austin Peay along with David Berg of UCLA, Jonathan Holder of Mississippi State, Michael Lorenzen of Cal State Fullerton, and Jimmie Sherfy of Oregon.
Rogers, with an NCAA-leading and single-season record-tying 23 saves, was named the Ohio Valley Conference Pitcher of the Year this season. The Governors finished the season in the finals of the Bloomington Regional on June 2. Rogers, a senior from Littleton, Colo., finished 7-2 with a 1.63 earned run average. In 49.2 innings pitched and 41 appearances, he recorded 41 strikeouts and allowed just nine earned runs and a .169 opponent batting average.
Berg, a sophomore from Covina, Calif., has 20 saves with a 6-0 record and earned Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year honors this season, while helping the Bruins advance to the NCAA Super Regional at Cal State Fullerton later this week. In 67 innings pitched and 44 appearances, Berg has allowed just six earned runs and seven walks with 69 strikeouts. He has an 0.81 ERA and an opponent batting average of .190.
Holder earned first team All-SEC honors this season while posting a 2-0 record with 17 saves. He has a 1.17 earned run average and 81 strikeouts over his 46 innings of work in 29 appearances. The sophomore from Gulfport, Miss., has allowed just six earned runs, while holding opponents to a .149 batting average. The Bulldogs will face Virginia in this week’s NCAA Super Regionals.
Lorenzen, also one of the top utility players in the nation, earned first team All-Big West honors as an outfielder and closer for the second season in a row. The junior from Anaheim, Calif., owns a 3-0 record and 19 saves in 22 appearances. He has led the Titans to NCAA Super Regionals this season with a 1.99 earned run average and an opponent batting average of .205. He made allowed just five earned runs and has struck out 20 batters in 33.3 innings pitched.
Sherfy, a finalist for the second year in a row, helped Oregon to a school record 48 wins and NCAA Regionals. The junior from Camarillo, Calif., native earned first team All-Pac-12 honors. In 40.0 innings of work, he was 2-0 and owned a 2.25 ERA with 21 saves and 55 strikeouts. Opponents hit .229 off of Sherfy in 38 appearances.
More than 90 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.
The NCBWA’s All-America Committee will select the winner, with this year’s recipient to be announced Saturday morning, June 15, at a news conference at TD Ameritrade Park at 10 a.m. CT.
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 and Luke Prihoda of Sam Houston State winning it in 2007. Georgia’s Joshua Fields topped the field in 2008, San Diego State’s Addison Reed grabbed the honor in 2009 and Texas’ Chance Ruffin took the honor in 2010. Corey Knebel of Texas won in 2011, with Southeastern Louisiana’s Stefan Lopez picking up the honor in 2012.
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.