CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - LSU freshman right-hander Jesse Stallings is one of 39 players that have been named to the midseason watch list for the 11th annual National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Award, given to the top relief pitcher in NCAA Division I baseball.
Stallings, a product of Colfax, La., leads the SEC with 11 saves, and he has a 1-1 record with a 1.88 ERA in 24 innings of work. Stallings has recorded eight walks and 19 strikeouts, and opponents are batting just .205 against him.
George Washington sophomore Eddie Muhl is the nation's saves leader with 14, while Nevada junior Adam Whitt has 13 and five players have 12 saves with four weeks left in the regular season. Rider senior Eric Thomas and Louisville sophomore Zack Burdi have 0.00 ERAs, while Texas Tech senior Corey Taylor has a 0.36 ERA in 50 innings across 17 appearances, the best ERA in the nation among players with at least one inning pitched per team game.
Muhl has a 0.47 ERA in 19.1 innings over 18 appearances, striking out 17 and walking only four. Whitt holds a 0.99 ERA in 27.1 innings of work across 20 appearances, with 33 strikeouts and only four walks.
Illinois' Tyler Jay averages 2.0 innings pitched per appearance, notching eight saves and holding a 5-1 record with a 0.71 ERA, 43 strikeouts and three walks in 38 innings. UCLA's David Berg, the 2013 Stopper of the Year, is 4-0 with eight saves and a 0.98 ERA in 36.2 innings over 25 appearances, also striking out 43 and walking three.
The Atlantic Coast and Southern Conferences lead the way with four members of the midseason watch list apiece, while four conferences – the Big 12, Pac-12, SEC and West Coast Conferences – each have three nominees.
The NCBWA will announce five finalists for the 2015 Stopper of the Year – the Division I national saves leader and four other relief pitching standouts – on Wednesday, June 3, prior to the start of NCAA Super Regional competition. The NCBWA's All-America Committee will select the winner, with this year's recipient to be announced during the 2015 College World Series.