FORT MYERS, Fla. – FGCU baseball senior reliever Jack Wagoner (Berlin, Conn./Northwest Catholic HS/St. Petersburg College) has been named to the initial watch list for the seventh annual National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Stopper of the Year Award, given to the top relief pitcher in NCAA Division I baseball, announced on Tuesday.
Wagoner is one of three Atlantic Sun players to make the 45-member list, joining Belmont’s Jon Ivie and Jacksonville’s Chris Kaminski. The Big 12, SEC and Conference USA led the way with four players each on this year’s watch list. The Big 10, Atlantic 10 and A-Sun were right behind with three.
During his first season at FGCU in 2010, Wagoner finished second in the A-Sun with nine saves over a team-high 25 appearances. Six of Wagoner’s nine saves, which were a single-season record, came in conference play where the Eagles’ 25-5 record earned them their third straight regular season crown. Wagoner struck out 28 batters over 34 innings.
Nominations for the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Award were made by baseball sports information/media relations contacts. The initial list will be updated with a mid-season release the week of April 18, 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 1, prior to start of NCAA regional tournament competition.
The NCBWA's All-America Committee then will select the winner, with this year's recipient to be announced in Omaha on the opening day of the College World Series on 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 award 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.
Just over two weeks from today FGCU will take the field at Swanson Stadium for its season opener against Central Michigan on Friday, Feb. 18 at 6:30 p.m.