McClain Named to Preseason Stopper of the Year Watch List
Feb. 8, 2013
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - University of New Mexico senior right-handed pitcher Hobie McClain was named to the watch list for the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Award, which is given annually to the top relief pitcher in NCAA Division I baseball.
"Hobie McClain from Roswell has a really good shot at being one of the top closers in the United States and maybe be called the fireman of the NCAA, that's how good he is," head coach Ray Birmingham said. "The key isn't velocity. The key is location and late movement, and he has both."
Last season McClain tied for the team lead with 22 appearances and posted a 2-1 record with three saves and a team-leading 1.80 ERA. He struck out 22 and allowed only 24 hits in 30 innings.
Perhaps his best performance came in one of the Lobos' biggest games of the season. He earned his third and final save of the season against San Diego in the NCAA regionals by working out of an inherited jam in the eighth to toss two scoreless innings and preserve the Lobos' 4-0 win.
He is one of 75 players named to the watch list and one of only two from the Mountain West.
Nominations for the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Award were made by baseball sports information/media relations contacts. The initial list will be updated with a mid-season release the week of April 16, including the national saves leaders. 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 5, prior to start of NCAA Super Regional tournament competition.
From the list of finalists, the NCBWA's All-America Committee will select a winner. The ninth annual winner will be announced in Omaha on Saturday, June 15, the opening day of the College World Series.