Jan. 28, 2010
New Orleans - Tulane junior pitcher Nick Pepitone has been named to the initial watch list for the sixth annual National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Award which is presented to the top relief pitcher in NCAA Division I baseball, as announced by the association Thursday.
A right-hander from Katy, Texas, Pepitone recorded nine saves in 22 bullpen appearances as Tulane's closer in 2009 and posted a 3.26 ERA with 42 strikeouts in 38.2 innings pitched. He ranked third in Conference USA in saves and sixth in games finished with 17.
Pepitone starred for Team USA last summer and did not allow a run in eight appearances out of the bullpen, tossing 14.2 innings of scoreless baseball. He relinquished just two hits while striking out five and held opposing batters to a .045 average. Pepitone was named the 16th best pro prospect after his performance with the Team USA College National Team
"This is a well-deserved award for Nick," Tulane head baseball coach Rick Jones said. "Based on his performance for us last season and during his time with USA Baseball this past summer, he has established himself as one of the premier closers in college baseball."
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.