Stokes Lands on Stopper of the Year Watch List
Feb. 13, 2017

NCBWA Stopper of the Year Award Preseason Watch List

GRAND FORKS, N.D.
– Ole Miss closer Will Stokes was named to the preseason watch list for the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Stopper of the Year Award, members of the association announced Monday afternoon. Stokes became one of 60 pitchers on the watch list for the award given annually to the top relief pitcher in NCAA Division I Baseball.

Stokes is the second Rebel to earn a spot on the watch list in as many years. Last season, southpaw Wyatt Short made the preseason and midseason lists as the Rebels’ primary closer. With Short now in the professional ranks with the World Series champion Chicago Cubs organization, Stokes becomes the go-to reliever at the end of games. However, it is a role that he held at times throughout the 2016 campaign.

As a sophomore, Stokes tied a school record with 30 relief appearances throughout the season. That mark also ranked fifth among relievers in the Southeastern Conference. The Meridian, Mississippi, native went 2-1 with seven saves and a 2.93 ERA over 43.0 innings as a solid piece to the 2016 Ole Miss bullpen. The junior also recorded 40 strikeouts while walking just seven and holding opponents to a .228 batting average.

In his first two seasons as a Rebel, Stokes made 42 relief appearances and logged 85.1 innings. As a freshman, he spent some time in the bullpen but also served as the Sunday starter on several conference weekends. Stokes started six contests in 2015, while coming out of the bullpen on 12 occasions and collecting three saves. His first career win came against then-No. 1 Vanderbilt (April 11, 2015).


 

 

Stokes and the Rebels begin their season this week, hosting No. 6 East Carolina for a three-game series at Swayze Field, Feb. 17-19. As the Rebels gear up for the 2017 campaign, follow Ole Miss Baseball on Twitter at @OleMissBSB, on Facebook at Ole Miss Baseball and on Instagram at olemissbsb.

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