Louisville’s Nick Burdi was introduced as the 2014 recipient of the National Collegiate Baseball Writers’ Association’s Stopper of the Year during a national media conference on Saturday morning at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha.
Burdi has put together a tremendous junior season, in which he posted a 3-1 record with 18 saves and an 0.51 ERA. He became Louisville’s single-season saves leader after recording the final three outs in a win over Kennesaw State that sent the Cardinals to the NCAA College World Series for the second year in a row. Burdi picked up saves in four of Louisville’s five wins during Regional & Super Regional action and enters the CWS ranked No. 6 nationally in saves.
The Downers Grove, Ill., native was named an NCBWA All-American first-team selection and also earned a spot on the Louisville Slugger first team in 2014. He also garnered first team all-conference honors from the American Athletic Conference and was on the 30-man watch list for the 2014 Golden Spikes Award. Burdi recently was selected with the No. 46 overall pick in the second round by the Minnesota Twins in the 2014 MLB First-Year Player Draft.
In 30 appearances this year, Burdi has registered 35.1 innings of work, allowing just four runs, two earned, while opponents are hitting just .133 against the Cardinals’ hard-throwing righty. Burdi has posted 62 strikeouts to just 10 walks and has allowed just one extra base hit all season. He enters the College World Series, having not allowed a run in 10 straight relief appearances – a span of 11.1 consecutive scoreless innings.
Burdi and the Cardinals will face Vanderbilt in the first round of the NCAA College World Series on Saturday at 8 p.m. ET. Louisville heads to Omaha with a 50-15 record after claiming the American Athletic Conference regular-season title with a mark of 19-5.
Finalists for the 2014 Stopper of the Year award included Michael Cederoth of San Diego State, Jacob Lindgren of Mississippi State, Brendan McCurry of Oklahoma State and Sam Moore of UC Irvine. The five finalists were selected from the NCBWA’s 50-player midseason watch list which was released back in April.
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 took the honor in 2010. Corey Knebel of Texas won in 2011, with Southeastern Louisiana’s Stefan Lopez picking up the honor in 2012. UCLA’s David Berg was the recipient of the award 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, II and III Players of the Week, Division I, II and III Players of the Year and Division I National Coach of the Year.