Jordan Piché (Kansas), Jake Matthys (K-State), Brendan McCurry (Oklahoma State), and Riley Ferrell (TCU) are among 50 relief pitchers named to the initial watch list for the 10th annual National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Award.
The Big 12 is one of six conferences with four or more pitchers named to the list, which is determined through nominations by baseball sports information/media relations contacts. The Conference has claimed the award on four occasions (Corey Knebel, Texas, 2011; Chance Ruffin, Texas, 2010; Don Czyz, Kansas, 2006; and J. Brent Cox, Texas, 2005).
In 2013, Piché recorded a league-leading 12 saves en route to Big 12 Newcomer of the Year and first team all-conference honors. He amassed a 1.68 ERA, that ranked No. 19 in the nation, in 32 appearances spanning 64 and a third innings.
Matthys set K-State records for wins and saves by a freshman last season. A Freshman All-American in 2013, Matthys was named to Collegiate Baseball’s preseason All-America Third Team this past December after he went 9-2 with a 2.05 ERA and nine saves in a school-record 34 appearances during his first season of collegiate baseball. The native of Spring Lake Park, Minn. was also tabbed the Big 12’s Freshman of the Year and named to the All-Big 12 First Team and All-Big 12 Freshman Team.
A senior right-hander, McCurry was named All-Big 12 Conference Honorable Mention as a utility player a year ago after going 6-3 with eight saves and a 2.72 ERA. His 29 appearances and eight saves each tied for fifth on OSU’s single-season charts, and he also recorded 35 strikeouts in 46.1 innings.
Ferrell made 23 appearances for TCU in 2013 with three saves and a 2.20 ERA. Along with Matthys, he is one of 14 sophomores on the list.
The initial list will be updated with a mid-season release the week of April 21, 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 4, prior to start of NCAA Super Regional tournament competition.