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|Ex-Academy player on top relief list|
Northwestern State fresham relief pitcher Chad Shappard has
been named to the midseason watch list for the fifth annual National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Award, the association announced on recently.
Sheppard joins 44 other pitchers up for the award as the top relief pitcher in NCAA Division I college baseball.
"It's quite a honor,"said NSU head coach J.P. Davis."For what he has done so far this year, heís extremely deserving of the recognition."
The Enterprise native and product of Franklin Academy, Sheppard has posted a 4-0 record this season with a team-best six saves. He has compiled a 1.21 ERA and has 28 punchouts in 22-1/3 innings pitched.
Ryan Ellington, who coached Shappard in high school, said, "He's a hard worker and this really shows what hard work can do."
His six saves ranks him tied for second in the Southland Conference, two behind the leader and joins UTSA closer Zach Calhoon as the only two players from the league to be named to the watch list.
The watch list was compiled from nominations submitted by sports information contacts and conference media relations offices nationwide. 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 3, prior to start of NCAA Super Regional play.
The NCBWA's All-America Committee then will select the winner, with this year's recipient to be announced Saturday, June 13, before the opening of NCAA 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 and Georgiaís Joshua Fields topping the field in 2008.
The NCBWA, founded in 1962, presents the Dick Howser Trophy to the nation's top player. It also selects a Division I All-America Team, Division I Freshman All-Americans, Division I and III Players of the Week, Division I District Players of the Year and Division II and III Players of the Year.