TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Tennessee sophomore Andy Cox is one of 50 players to be named to the mid-season watch list for the 10th annual National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Award, given to the top relief pitcher in NCAA Division I baseball.
The Arlington, Tenn., native has been dominant out of the bullpen for the Vols this season, leading the team with 21 appearances, including 19 in relief. Cox leads the Southeastern Conference with just 27 hits allowed and of those 27 just four (all doubles) have gone for extra bases. His 1.62 ERA leads the team (min. 10 IP) and stands third in the league.
The lefty is currently holding opposing hitters to a .160 batting average – good for second in the SEC – and is allowing just 4.86 per nine innings, which stands ninth in the country and tops the conference ranks.
The SEC leads the way with seven players on the mid-season watch list.
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.
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 and Corey Knebel earned the honor in 2010 and 2011, respectively. Southeastern Louisiana's Stefan Lopez picked up the honor in 2012 and Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year David Berg of UCLA was crowned the winner in 2013.
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.
Cox and the Vols return to SEC action on Friday night in Baton Rouge, La., opening a three-game series against No. 6 LSU at Alex Box Stadium at 8 p.m. ET.
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