Feb. 11, 2014
Cullowhee, N.C. - Western Carolina junior reliever Tyler Powell was listed on the initial watch list for the 10th annual National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) "Stopper of the Year Award" unveiled on Tuesday afternoon. The national honor is given to the top relief pitcher in NCAA Division I baseball.
All told, 50 players nationwide were named to the initial watch list. Powell was joined by Wofford's Eric Eck as the only two representatives from the Southern Conference.
Powell finished 2-2 with two saves last season on the mound. He paced the Catamount pitching by throwing in 34 games including a combined 33 relief appearances. He combined for 38.1 innings pitched and ranked third on the team with 55 strikeouts, tops among WCU relievers. He recorded a career-best four strikeouts three different times in 2013. The Charlotte, N.C., native allowed just 20 runs of which 12 were earned for a 2.82 ERA. Also, only eight of the 31 hits he surrendered on the year went for extra bases - all doubles.
Working as the set-up man for WCU's all-time saves leader - and two-time Stopper of the Year candidate, Preston Hatcher - Powell earned several career firsts last season. Tossing a perfect ninth inning with two strikeouts, he scored his first career save on Feb. 27 in a home win over Longwood. In mid-March, Powell picked up his first collegiate victory after working the eighth inning at the College of Charleston in a game Hatcher saved for him in the ninth.
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. 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.
The 2014 Opening Day is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 14 as the Catamounts host Ohio for a three-game, nonconference set at Childress Field / Hennon Stadium. Be sure to check CatamountSports.com for any potential weather-related schedule changes as opening day approaches.
Season tickets for the 2014 campaign are on sale now through WCU Athletics Ticket Office. Pricing begins at just $50 for an adult general admission and $25 for a youth for all 30 home dates. Reserved seating options in both field and upper level are available. Call the ticket office at (800)34-GOWCU or (828) 227-2401, or purchase online at CatamountSports.com.
Fans can keep track of the Catamount through the WCU Athletics' social media outlets on Facebook (fb.com/catamountsports), Twitter (@catamounts), YouTube (CatamountSports) and Instagram (wcu_catamounts).