CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia reliever Blake Bales (Schoolcraft, Mich.) is one of 10 finalists for the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Stopper of the Year award, annually presented to the nation’s top relief pitcher. He is the first Cavaliers finalist for the award since Branden Kline in 2011 and only the third in program history.
Bales has been lights out all year for the Cavaliers and served as the team’s top arm out of the bullpen. The righthander did not allow a run over his first 29.1 innings pitched and all four of his earned runs have come in two of his team-high 25 appearances. Bales is 3-0 on the season and has pitched to a minuscule, 0.71 ERA over 38 innings pitched. His 25 appearances are also tied for the eighth most in the ACC.
The Cavaliers have relied on Bales in high-leverage situations and he’s delivered, allowing just six of his 23 inherited runners to cross. He leads the Cavaliers bullpen with six holds and has finished seven games for club.
The Stopper of the Year recipient will be announced via a nationwide news release on Friday, June 18.
UVA NCBWA Stopper of the Year Award Finalists
Blake Bales – 2021
Branden Kline – 2011*
Kevin Arico – 2010*
*UVA Baseball Hall of Famers