ECU's Simmons named to watch list|Pirates’ closer leads conference with seven saves

Published 11:04 am Friday, April 16, 2010

By Staff
ECU Sports Information
IRVINE, Calif. — East Carolina’s Seth Simmons is one of 45 relief pitchers to be named to the midseason watch list for the sixth annual National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Stopper of the Year Award, given to the top relief pitcher in NCAA Division I baseball, as announced by the association Thursday.
 The junior right-hander has appeared in 17 games as the Pirates closer posting a 1-1 record with seven saves, which leads Conference USA (all games). On the year, he has fanned 28 batters, walked 12 and allowed seven runs (all earned), while posting a team-best 3.06 ERA.
 In his three seasons as the Pirates closer, Simmons has made 77 relief appearances with 18 saves, boasting a 6-2 record and a 3.94 ERA. He has struck out 121 batters while walking just 41 in 93.2 innings of work.
On ECU’s all-time charts, the Lewisville, N.C. native ranks second in saves and third in appearances.
 Leading the elite field with a nation-best 11 saves is Virginia’s Kevin Arico. The junior right-hander owns a 2.37 ERA and had registered 27 strikeouts in 19.0 innings pitched.
 Also included on this year’s midseason watch list is 2009 finalist Matty Ott of LSU (0-0, 2.70), who ranks second in the nation with 10 saves. Last year, Ott, the 2009 SEC Freshman of the Year, set a new high for the most single-season saves in LSU history with 16 and carried his team to a national championship. Oklahoma’s Ryan Duke (0-1, 1.59) and Appalachian State’s Chris Patterson (2-1, 0.77) each hold 10 saves apiece, tying them for second in the country with Ott.
 The Big 12 Conference leads the way with six players named to the midseason watch list. The ACC, Pac-10, SEC and Southland Conference have four pitchers each on this year’s watch list, while the Big East Conference is represented by three players.  In all, 20 conferences are showcased in this year’s midseason watch list.
 At the conclusion of the regular season, the Division I national saves leader and four other relief pitching standouts will be selected as finalists and released Wednesday, June 2, prior to start of NCAA regional tournament competition.  The NCBWA’s All-America Committee then will select the winner, with this year’s recipient to be announced on the opening day of the College World Series on June 19.
 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, Luke Prihoda of Sam Houston State winning it in 2007, Georgia’s Joshua Fields topping the field in 2008 and San Diego State’s Addison Reed grabbing the honor last season.
 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 and III Players of the Week, Division I District Players of the Year and Division III Players of the Year.
 The East Carolina baseball team will host an Exceptional Community Baseball League game this Sunday at 3 p.m. at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium following the C-USA series finale against UAB.
 Formerly the Challenger League, the EBCL is for children with any special needs who are from the ages of 5-18 and plays each Saturday from the end of April through mid June.
 The 26th-ranked Pirates (21-12, 3-3 C-USA) will act in a buddy system for the participants helping them with all phases of the game such as hitting, fielding and throwing.
 More than the skills of baseball learned through the experience, the value of the Little League ECBL is found in the proven therapeutic and socialization benefits of participants’ self esteem, the opportunities to mainstream into other divisions of play, and the disciplines of teamwork, sportsmanship and fair play which are hallmarks of the Little League program.
 The philosophy of the ECBL is to provide the framework so that every Little League program may offer a structured, athletic activity for all youth in the community.
 Playing equipment, uniforms, official shoulder patches, and announcers will be available for the ECBL participants as well.
 A special group of children, who shun the description “special”, can now enjoy all the benefits Little League Baseball has been offering to youngsters worldwide since 1939. Playing with the same equipment on the same fields, ECBL participants learn not only the fundamentals of baseball, but also how it feels to be just like other children, pulling together as a team, being cheered, and earning awards for their achievements. Greenville Little Leagues’ ECBL is co-sponsored with the Greenville Recreation and Parks Department. For general information (registration info., game times and locations, etc.) regarding ECBL contact Brian Weingartz (252) 341-5680. For more specific information regarding ECBL call John Harer at (252) 353-5167.