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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia sophomore right-handed pitcher Branden Kline (Frederick, Md.) has been tabbed as a finalist for the Stopper of the Year Award, presented by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. Kline is one of five relief pitchers whittled down from 45 members of the midseason watch list. The award is presented to the top relief pitcher in NCAA Division I baseball.

Joining Kline as a finalist are Kent State’s Kyle McMillen, East Tennessee State’s Bo Reeder, Texas’ Corey Knebel and South Carolina’s Matt Price.

Kline, registering a 3-0 record, earned third team All-America honors and has led No. 1 national seed Virginia to Super Regionals. He has a 1.78 earned run average and 49 strikeouts over his 35.1 innings of work. He has allowed just seven earned runs, while holding opponents to a .202 batting average.

Kline’s 17 saves rank No. 4 in the nation, one off the national lead. His 17 saves also rank No. 2 all-time at Virginia for a season, one away from tying Kevin Arico’s program-best 18 saves set last season.

More than 50 of the nation’s top collegiate relief pitchers were included in the selection process for this year’s NCBWA Stopper of the Year Award, beginning with initial preseason nominations by baseball contacts at NCAA Division I schools.

The NCBWA’s All-America Committee will select the winner, with this year’s recipient to be announced Tuesday, June 21, during the 2011 College World Series.

Virginia returns to action on Saturday when the Cavaliers host UC Irvine in the NCAA Super Regional round. Saturday and Sunday’s games are set for 1 p.m. and will be televised on ESPNU. If the best-of-three series requires a third game on Monday, that start time is TBA and will be televised on one of the ESPN family of networks.

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