GREENVILLE, N.C. - East Carolina's Seth Simmons is one of 40 relief pitchers named to the initial watch list for the Sixth Annual National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Stopper-of-the-Year Award, given to the top relief pitcher in NCAA Division I baseball, as announced by the association Thursday.
The junior right-hander appeared in 33 games in 2009 as the Pirates closer posting a 3-1 record with nine saves, which is tied for fourth place on the school's all-time single-season charts. On the year, he fanned 50 batters, walked 20 and allowed 19 runs (16 earned), while posting a 3.69 ERA. Simmons ranked among the Conference USA leaders (all games) in games finished (1st/26), appearances (1st/33), games in relief (1st/33) and saves (t-3rd/9).
In two seasons as the Pirates closer, Simmons has made 60 relief appearances with 11 saves, boasting a 5-1 record and a 4.19 ERA. He has struck out 93 batters while walking just 37 in 73.0 innings of work. On ECU's all-time charts, the Lewisville, N.C. native is tied for fourth in saves (11) and ranks eighth in appearances.
Joining Simmons from Conference USA is Chase Dempsay (Houston), Collin Cargill (Southern Miss) and Nick Pepitone (Tulane).
With four preseason nominees, Conference USA tied for the second-most selections among the conferences with the ACC and SEC. The Big 12 Conference led the way with five players named to the watch list.
Nominations for the NCBWA Stopper-of-the-Year Award were made by each school's baseball sports information contact. At the end of the regular season, the Division I leader in saves and four other relief pitching standouts will be selected as the award's finalists. These finalists will be released on Wednesday, June 2, just prior to the beginning of NCAA regional play.
From the list of finalists, the NCBWA's All-America Committee will select a winner. The sixth annual winner will be announced in Omaha on June 19, the opening day of the College World Series.
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 and San Diego State's Addison Reed grabbing the honor 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.
2010 NCBWA STOPPER-OF-THE-YEAR WATCH LIST
PITCHER - SCHOOL - YR
Steve Arico - Virginia - Jr.
Chris Bassit - Akron - So.
Colin Bates - North Carolina - Jr.
Chad Bettis - Texas Tech - Sr.
Mike Bolsinger - Arkansas - Sr.
Collin Cargill - Southern Miss - Jr.
Andrew Chafin - Kent State - So.
Chase Dempsay - Houston - Jr.
Ryan Duke - Oklahoma - Jr.
Chris Enourato - West Virginia - Sr.
Nick Fleece - Texas A&M - Jr.
Chris Franklin - SE Louisiana - Sr.
Drew Gagnier - Oregon - Jr.
Tim Girdwood - Elon - Jr.
Cole Green - Texas - Jr.
Austin Hubbard - Auburn - Sr.
Mitchell Lambson - Arizona State - So.
Justin Malone - Georgia State - So.
Eric Marshall - TCU - Sr.
Cody Martin - Gonzaga - Jr.
Scott Matyas - Minnesota - Jr.
Randy McCurry - Oklahoma State - Jr.
Kevin McKague - Army - Jr.
Jarad Miller - Valparaiso - Jr.
Tyler Mizenko - Winthrop - So.
Kevin Moran - Boston College - Jr.
Jake Morgan - Mississippi - Jr.
Kevin Munson - James Madison - Jr.
Matty Ott - LSU - So.
Nick Pepitone - Tulane - Jr.
Eric Pettis - UC Irvine - Sr.
Mark Pope - Georgia Tech - So.
Nick Ramirez - Cal State Fullerton - So.
Addison Reed - San Diego State - So.
Kevin Rhoderick - Oregon State - Jr.
Michael Schum - Wright State - So.
Gabriel Shaw - Louisville - Jr.
Chad Sheppard - Northwestern State - So.
Seth Simmons - East Carolina - Jr.
Zach Varce - Portland - So.