Kansas State sophomore pitcher Jake Matthys (Spring Lake Park graduate) who set K-State records for wins and saves by a freshman last season, has been named to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Stopper of the Year Award preseason watch list. The Stopper of the Year Award, established in 2005, is given to the top relief pitcher in NCAA Division I.
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.
This marks the second consecutive year a K-State pitcher has been selected to the initial watch list after Nate Williams was named to the list last season. Since 2008, five Wildcats have been named to the Stopper of the Year watch list.
Of the 50 student-athletes selected to the preseason list, the Big 12 had four pitchers on the list, including Matthys. The SEC led all conferences with six players on the list. Matthys is also one of 14 sophomores on the award’s initial watch list.
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 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.
The NCBWA’s All-America Committee will select the winner, with this year’s recipient to be announced during the 2014 College World Series.