Feb. 8, 2013
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -
Army junior right-handed pitcher Gunnar Carroll is among the 75 elite relief pitchers from across the country named to the initial watch list for the ninth annual National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Stopper of the Year Award, presented annually to the top reliever in NCAA Division I baseball.
Carroll becomes just the third Army pitcher to be represented on the award's initial watch list, joining former Black Knight closers Milan Dinga (2006-07) and Kevin McKague (2010-12). Army hurlers have been placed on the Stopper of the Year Award watch list six times in the brief nine-year history of the honor.
Carroll, who stepped into the closer's role last season after McKague was injured, performed brilliantly at the back end of the bullpen. The Louisa, Va., native finished the season with eight saves, the third-highest single-season total in Army history. Carroll, who has led the Black Knights in appearances each of the past two seasons, authored a 2-1 record to go along with a 2.48 earned run average in 2012. He struck out 40 batters and issued just 12 walks in 54.1 innings of work. His miniscule 2.48 ERA rates 23rd on the Black Knights' single-season ledger.
With 10 career saves, Carroll ranks tied for fourth on Army's career list. His 3.39 career ERA stands as the 16th-best in Black Knights history heading into the 2013 campaign.
Carroll was one of two Patriot League pitchers to be named to the preseason watch list, joining Navy senior Joel Rinehart.
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 16, 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 5, prior to the 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 in Omaha, Neb., on Saturday, June 15, the opening day of 2013 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 and Luke Prihoda of Sam Houston State winning it in 2007. Georgia's Joshua Fields topped the field in 2008, San Diego State's Addison Reed grabbed the honor in 2009 and Texas' Chance Ruffin earned the honor in 2010. Corey Knebel of Texas won in 2011 with Southwestern Louisiana's Stefan Lopez picking up the honor in 2012.
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.
Army opens its 2013 campaign next weekend (Feb. 15-17) when the Black Knights travel to Greensboro, N.C., to face UNC Greensboro in a three-game series.