College World Series: Louisville's Lincoln Henzman named 2017 NCBWA Stopper of the Year
OMAHA — Louisville’s Lincoln Henzman was named the 2017 Stopper of the Year by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association on Saturday at TD Ameritrade Park, becoming the second Cardinal to capture the award since its inception in 2005.
Henzman earned All-American first team honors from the NCBWA to go along with All-Atlantic Coast Conference first-team honors following a stellar regular season. He helped the Cardinals clinch their fourth College World Series berth with a Super Regional win over in-state rival Kentucky last weekend.
On Wednesday, Henzman was selected in the fourth round of the Major League Baseball Draft by the Chicago White Sox. The right-hander enters play in Omaha with 16 saves, which ranked second nationally. He also owns a 3-0 record with a 1.77 ERA to go with 36 punch outs in 35.2 innings worked this season. Thirteen of the Lexington, Kentucky native's 16 saves came against ACC foes, while opposing hitters are batting just .164 against him this season.
His 16 saves are the third-most in a single-season by a Louisville pitcher and his 19 career saves are the third-highest total on the program’s all-time charts.
The remaining finalists for the Stopper of the Year award included Michael Byrne of Florida, Josh Hiatt of North Carolina, Colton Hock of Stanford and Kenyon Yovan of Oregon.
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. The Longhorns' Corey Knebel won in 2011, with Southeastern Louisiana's Stefan Lopez picking up the honor in 2012. UCLA's David Berg was crowned the winner in 2013, Louisville's Nick Burdi took home the 2014 honor and Berg became the award's first two-time winner in 2015. Miami’s Bryan Garcia was the 2016 recipient.
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, II and III Players of the Week and Division I, II and III Players of the Year.