COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – With the USC Upstate baseball program set to open the 2013 season in seven days, Chad Sobotka continues to receive preseason accolades, this time as one of the top closers in the country.
Selected a preseason All-Conference pick in the Atlantic Sun on Jan. 31, Sobotka has now been named one of 75 players to the initial watch list for the ninth annual National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Award, an honor given to the top relief pitcher in NCAA Division I baseball.
Sobotka put together one of the most dominating freshman pitching performances in Upstate baseball history last year with 12 saves, the most in a single season in program history. As a freshman, he posted a 3-0 record in 25 relief appearances.
The Sarasota, Fla., native recorded a 1.72 earned run average in 31.1 innings of work and notched 34 strikeouts, while opponents hit just .196 against the right-hander. He was a unanimous Atlantic Sun All-Freshman team selection and earned Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American honors at the conclusion of his first collegiate season.
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 start of NCAA Super Regional tournament competition.
From the list of finalists, the NCBWA's All-America Committee will select a winner. The ninth annual winner will be announced in Omaha on Saturday, June 15, the opening day of the 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.
Upstate opens the 2013 slate with 13 of their first 16 games at home, including the its season-opening weekend Feb. 15-17, when they will play host to Niagra University, the University of Kentucky and Georgetown University.