Kansas State sophomore pitcher Nate Williams is one of 75 players nationally named to the initial watch list for the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Stopper of the Year Award, given annually to the top relief pitcher, the organization announced Friday.
Williams, who could begin the season as a starting pitcher, is the first Wildcat to earn a spot on the preseason watch list since James Allen prior to the 2011 season and is the fourth honoree since 2008.
In 23 appearances as a freshman in 2012, Williams went 1-3 with a 5.95 ERA, but registered a K-State freshman record six saves.
The Valley Center product topped the previous school record of five saves in 2009 by Allen, who went on to post both K-State’s career (31) and single-season (17; 2011) records.
Williams was honored for his work in 2012 by the league’s coaches as he was named to the Big 12 All-Freshman team following the regular season. His six saves a year ago ranked fifth in the conference and ninth in K-State history.