Leban named to Midseason Stopper of the Year Watch List
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) named Kansas junior right-handed closer Zack Leban to the 2018 Midseason Stopper of the Year Watch List, as announced by the association Thursday.
In its 14th year, the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Award is given to the top relief pitcher in NCAA Division I baseball. A total of 41 names appear on the midseason watch list, with three hailing from the Big 12 Conference (TCU junior Durbin Feltman and Baylor senior Troy Montemayor).
“Leban is one of our power arms,” head coach Ritch Price said. “He goes at you with everything he has, every pitch, and throws it hard. He throws 95-plus (miles per hour), and that makes him tough to hit in the late innings.”
Leban leads the conference with 10 saves in 18 appearances on the year. He has struck out 28 hitters in 26 innings pitched, surrendering five walks. His 10 saves also rank him 13th in the NCAA. In those 10 save appearances, Leban struck out 11 in 13 innings without allowing a walk. He is the quickest to 10 saves in school history, doing it on his first 10 chances.
“We have a history of having some great closers here at the University of Kansas,” Price said. “Each one of them had one thing in common, you have to have swagger. That is a key trait as a competitor, but also as a closer, because it is a high-stress position.”
Leban and the rest of the Jayhawks take a break from conference play and open a three-game series on the road at Cincinnati on Friday, April 27 with a 5 p.m. (CT) first pitch.
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