Gamecocks’ Bridges Named to Stopper of the Year Watch List

Gamecocks’ Bridges Named to Stopper of the Year Watch List
Gamecocks pitcher Sawyer Bridges was named to the Stopper of the Year Award Watch List (Source: South Carolina Athletics)

GREENVILLE, N.C. – Junior pitcher Sawyer Bridges has been named to the 2019 NCBWA Stopper of the Year Watch List, it was announced this afternoon (Monday, Feb. 11). Bridges is one of 75 relievers on the initial list, which is given to the top relief pitcher in NCAA Division I baseball.

The Summerville alum was one of a handful of pitchers from around the state to make the list.

Bridges made 21 appearances for the Gamecocks in 2018, going 2-1 with a 1.35 ERA and five saves. He had 25 strikeouts in 33.1 innings pitched and held opponents to a .223 batting average. Bridges saved his best for the postseason as a sophomore, striking out four in 3.1 innings of relief to earn the save in the Fayetteville Super Regional win over Arkansas. Bridges had a 1.45 ERA in conference games with three saves and 15 strikeouts while allowing just five earned runs all season.

The SEC had the most representation with 12 players finding their names on the watch list.

College of Charleston senior Nathan Ocker (Middletown, Pa.) is also one of 75 relief pitchers selected to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers’ Association’ Preseason Stopper of the Year Watch List.

Ocker is one of five relievers from the Colonial Athletic Association to make the list, including Brett Ayer and Nick Robertson of James Madison, Andrew Misiaszek of Northeastern, and Henry Ryan of UNCW. The Middletown, Pa. native is coming off a sensational junior campaign in which he compiled a 2-4 record with a 2.03 earned run average, 10 saves, and a single-season program-record walks plus hits per innings pitched of 0.72.

He also struck out 56 batters in 44 and one-third innings, and strung together a season- and career-best scoreless streak of 22 and two-thirds innings over a nearly six-week span. Ocker currently ranks among the program’s all-time leaders in both WHIP and saves.

The Citadel graduate student Jordan Buster was one of 75 players named to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Stopper of the Year preseason watch list, given to the top relief pitcher in NCAA Division I Baseball.

Buster enters his final season ranked 17th on the all-time list for appearances. He has posted six wins and seven saves in his 82 career appearances.

Last season, Buster went 4-4 with a 4.43 ERA and three saves in 23 relief appearances. He struck out five over two innings to complete the shutout over George Mason. He also threw two shutout innings in a combined shutout over VMI, while tossing 2.2 shutout innings to pick up the victory over South Carolina.

He would finish the year with 59 strikeouts over 40 .2 innings, including four games with at least five punchouts.

Charleston Southern Junior right-handed pitcher Seth Owens has been named to the 2019 Stopper of the Year watch list, as announced Monday by the NCBWA.

A native of North Augusta, S.C., Owens enters 2019 fresh off a team-best 2.18 ERA out of the bullpen making 23 appearances striking out 16 and posting a 1-1 record across 20.2 innings of work.

His ERA, innings pitched, strikeouts and appearances were all career-highs last season. Owens is one of three pitchers in the Big South to be named to the 75-man preseason watch list.

Coastal Carolina baseball senior pitcher Matt Eardensohn was one of 75 players named to the 2019 National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Stopper of the Year preseason watch list, given to the top relief pitcher in NCAA Division I Baseball, the association announced Monday.

Eardensohn was one of just two relief pitchers from the Sun Belt Conference named to the preseason watch list along with Zach Greene of South Alabama.

A senior right-handed hurler from Omaha, Neb., Eardensohn was named a third-team preseason All-American by Collegiate Baseball and earned a spot on the 2019 preseason All-Sun Belt team this preseason after receiving a spot on the All-Sun Belt second team last year.

Tabbed the Sun Belt Pitcher of the Week on April 17 last year, Eardensohn appeared in 20 games on the mound for CCU, making one start. He posted a 7-0 record with six saves and a 2.18 ERA, all of which were team bests on the year. Part of three shutouts on the season – versus No. 30 Texas State (March 23) and twice against Little Rock (May 11 and May 13) - Eardensohn struck out 51 batters compared to just 14 walks over 57.2 innings, a 3.6-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio on the season. The Nebraska native held opponents to a .188 batting average on the year and fanned a season-high five batters three times – versus Illinois (Feb. 23), at Troy (April 14) and versus South Alabama (May 24) in the Sun Belt Championship Tournament.