Jordan Piché (Kansas), Jacob Evans (Oklahoma) and Corey Knebel (Texas) have been named to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers’ Association (NCBWA) Stopper of the Year midseason watch list.
The list is comprised of 51 of the top relief pitchers in NCAA Division I baseball.
Piché, a 6-foot-1 junior from Greeley, Colo., has been one of the top relief pitchers in the country this season. The junior college transfer is 5-1 with an 0.47 ERA and eight saves in 18 appearances out of the Jayhawks’ bullpen. Piché has allowed just five walks compared to 29 strikeouts in 38 innings. He has held opponents to just two earned runs and one extra base hit in his appearances.
Evans, also a freshman, has a 5-1 record and 1.34 ERA in 19 appearances for the Sooners. He has fanned 32 over 33.2 innings and has allowed just five earned runs this season. The Broken Arrow, Okla.-native has seven saves.
Knebel, the 2011 NCBWA Stopper of the Year winner as a freshman, is third on the Big 12’s career saves chart with 35 all-time, six shy of the record 41 held by former Longhorn Huston Street. Knebel also has a career ERA of 1.82. He is 3-3 this season with a 2.38 ERA in a Big 12-leading 34 innings. The right-hander from Georgetown, Texas, has seven saves and 44 strikeouts.
At the conclusion of the regular season, the Division I national saves leader and four other relief pitching standouts will be selected as finalists on a list released June 5. The NCBWA’s All-America Committee will select the winner, with this year’s recipient to be announced during the College World Series.
A pitcher from the Big 12 has won the Stopper of the Year Award on four occasions - Knebel, Chance Ruffin (Texas, 2010), Don Czyz (Kansas, 2006) and J. Brent Cox (Texas, 2005).