OMAHA - Louisville closer Nick Burdi was award the National Stopper of the Year Award by the National Collegiate Baseball Writer's Association Saturday morning. The Cardinals junior is the first Louisville player to ever win a national award from the NCBWA.
Nick Burdi (@NickyBurdi19) is the nation's Stopper of the Year! RT to congratulate Nick! #L1C4 #CWS pic.twitter.com/sIUYzMw3WV- Louisville Baseball (@UofLBaseball) June 14, 2014
Burdi, who has frequently been clocked at 100 miles per hour on his fastball, has been Louisville's closer for two seasons. The Cardinals are now in their second-straight College World Series appearance in Omaha with Burdi as the closer.
"I'm honored to receive this award, and I credit my teammates for putting me in so many situations where I can be successful," Burdi said.
Burdi credited pitching coach Roger Williams for making him into the closer he is now. Burdi was recently drafted in the beginning of the second round by the Minnesota Twins.
Louisville pitching coach Roger Williams said Burdi was very deserving of the award. Williams said Burdi is not only talented, but is also one of the hardest-working players on the team.
The Downers Grove, Ill., native was named a first-team NCBWA All-American and a Louisville Slugger first-team selection in 2014. In 30 appearances this season, Burdi notched 18 saves and finished the season with a 0.51 ERA. Burdi picked up 16 saves in 29 appearances as a sophomore, finishing the season with an incredible 0.76 ERA.
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.
The NCBWA, founded in 1962, presents the Dick Howser Trophy to the nation's top player. It also selects All-America Teams for all Divisions, a Division I Freshman All-American team, Division I, II and III Players of the Week and Division I, II and III Players of the Year.