University of Louisville junior righthanded pitcher Lincoln Henzman was named the 2017 Stopper of the Year by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association on Saturday morning at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha, becoming the second Cardinals player to capture the award since its inception in 2005.
Saturday’s announcement was made during the annual NCBWA awards news conference at the home of the College World Series. The news conference also included the announcement for NCBWA Coach of the Year, awarded to Oregon State’s Pat Casey, and the NCBWA Wilbur Snypp Award as well as the official introduction of Louisville’s Brendan McKay as the recipient of the 2017 Dick Howser Trophy.
Louisville becomes just the third school to win both the Dick Howser Trophy and the NCBWA Stopper of the Year in the same season, since the Stopper debuted in 2005. The Cardinals join Texas in 2011 (Taylor Jungmann, Howser, and Corey Knebel, Stopper) and San Diego State in 2009 (Stephen Strasburg, Howser, and Addison Reed, Stopper) in winning both awards at the same time.
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. Prior to Henzman, former Louisville closer Nick Burdi won the Stopper of the Year award in 2014.
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 strikeouts 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.
Henzman’s 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.
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.
The No. 7 national seed Cardinals (52-10) will continue their season at the 2017 College World Series against Texas A&M on Sunday at 2 p.m., ET at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha.
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