The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association named SLU junior closer Stefan Lopez to their 2012 preseason Stopper of the Year Watch List. The preseason list for the award that goes to the top relief pitcher in NCAA Division I college baseball included forty-five players. Lopez and Texas State's Jeff McVaney are the only Southland Conference pitchers on the list.
The New Iberia, LA native finished the 2011 season with nine saves, which ranks 2nd best in school history. He earned honorable mention All-SLC as he struck out 44 and walked 10 batters in 36 innings pitched to go along with a 3.25 ERA. Lopez's 10 career saves ranks 3rd on the SLU All-Time Saves list behind Chris Province (13) and Chris Franklin (19).
The NCBWA's All-America Committee will select the winner, with this year's recipient to be announced during the 2012 College World Series.
Lopez and the Lions will open the season February 17 against Indiana State at The Pat. First pitch is scheduled for 1pm.