Feb. 9, 2011
WICHITA, Kan. - Rhode Island senior pitcher Gardner Leaver 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.
A 2010 Atlantic 10 Second Team selection, Leaver turned in URI's second best single-season save total a year ago as he successfully closed out nine games - seven of which were in league play. He held opponents to a .273 batting average while also picking up a pair of wins (vs. Xavier and George Washington) in a team-leading 24 appearances.
Leaver joins 44 other NCAA Division I baseball players on the initial watch list, including two other Atlantic 10 student-athletes: Charlotte's Brian Hamilton and La Salle's Pat Christensen.
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.