Feb. 2, 2007

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State right-handed relief pitcher Rory Meister is among the 35 players to appear on the preseason watch list for the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Award, given annually to the top closer in Division I college baseball.

Meister, a junior from Mansfield, Ohio (Mansfield Madison), made 29 appearances last year for the Buckeyes, all in relief. Meister, who also appeared on the preseason watch list in 2006, finished 0-1 with six saves and a 3.82 ERA in 33.0 innings. He struck out 43 batters and allowed 29 hits while holding opposing batters to a .244 average. Only nine of the 29 hits he allowed went for extra bases. Meister has appeared in 55 games in his two seasons as a Buckeye. Of Meister’s 10 career saves, eight have come in Big Ten play.

This season marks the third year for the award, which last year went to Don Czyz from Kansas. Texas’ J. Brent Cox won the inaugural award in 2005. Of the 35 pitchers who make up the initial 2007 watch list, 24 were among the nation’s Top 50 in saves at the end of the 2006 season, including eight of the Top 12 save totals in the final NCAA rankings. A total of 20 pitchers who appear on the 2007 watch list finished last season with at least 10 saves.

Nominations were made by each school’s baseball sports information contact. A mid-season release, including the national saves leaders, will be updated during the week of April 16. At the end the regular season, the Division I leader in saves and four other relief pitching standouts will be selected as the award’s finalists. These finalists will be released on Wednesday, May 30, just prior to the beginning of NCAA regional play.

From the list of finalists, the NCBWA’s All-America Committee will select a winner. The third annual winner will be announced on Wednesday, June 6, two days prior to the beginning of NCAA super regional action. The NCBWA, founded in 1962, presents the Dick Howser Trophy to the nation’s top player. It also selects a Division I All-America Team, Division I and III Players of the Week, Division I District Players of the Year and Division III Players of the Year.

For the complete 35-person watch list, please visit the NCBWA web site at:

Ohio State, which began practice last Monday, will opens the season in its own tournament, Feb. 23-25, at the New York Yankees minor league complex in Tampa, Fla. James Madison, Kansas State and Seton Hall will join the Buckeyes at the event.