Jay Named Finalist for Stopper of the Year Award

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (Illinois Athletics) - Fighting Illini closer Tyler Jay was named a finalist for the 2015 Stopper of the Year Award, announced National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Wednesday. Jay is one of five players up for the award given to the nation's top relief pitcher.

Jay was named a semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy and a Louisville Slugger first-team All-American, and earned Big Ten Pitcher of the Year honors after helping Illinois earn a Big Ten regular-season championship and No. 6 national seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Jay has a school-record 14 saves and a 5-1 record with a 0.60 ERA that ranks second in the nation in 60 1/3 innings over 29 appearances. He has allowed only 30 hits and seven walks while striking out 70, holding opponents to a .151 batting average.

The junior left-hander leads the nation in WHIP (0.61) and hits allowed per nine innings (4.48), ranks fourth in strikeout-to-walk ratio (10.00) and ninth in walks allowed per nine innings (1.04). He notched a four-inning save in the NCAA Champaign Regional final on Monday, propelling the Fighting Illini into a super regional matchup against defending National Champion Vanderbilt.

The NCBWA's All-America Committee will select the winner, with this year's recipient to be announced Saturday morning, June 13, at a news conference at TD Ameritrade Park at 10 a.m. CT.

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 and Louisville's Nick Burdi earned the honor in 2014.

2015 NCBWA Stopper of the Year Finalists
David Berg, UCLA
Tyler Jay, Illinois
Brandon Koch, Dallas Baptist
Ryan Meisinger, Radford
Bryan Young, Missouri State

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