DALLAS – A pair of Conference USA pitchers were named to the list of midseason nominees for the 2019 National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Stopper of the Year, given to college baseball’s top relief pitcher, the organization has announced. Florida Atlantic senior RHP Zach Schneider and Louisiana Tech senior RHP Braxton Smith represent C-USA on the list of bullpen standouts.
Smith has made 20 appearances for the Bulldogs, posting a 3.00 ERA with 39 strikeouts and 14 walks in 27.0 innings pitched. He has registered nine saves, notching seven of those saves in league play. Smith is the only C-USA pitcher with three saves in a weekend this season and is just three away from tying the Louisiana Tech single-season save record of 12. The Orange, Texas, native has allowed just three earned runs over his last 12 appearances, posting seven saves during that span.
Schneider leads Conference USA in saves this season with 10, giving him 25 over the past two seasons (second-most in Florida Atlantic history). He owns a 3-1 record with a 2.45 ERA, striking out 38 batters and walking eight in 36.2 innings pitched. Schneider has made 18 appearances for the Owls and owns either a win or a save in 13 of them. The Boca Raton, Florida, native has a victory and three saves in four appearances over the last week, making him 10-for-10 in his last 10 save opportunities.
Schneider’s Florida Atlantic squad is currently tied for first place in the Conference USA standings with Southern Miss, while Smith’s Bulldogs are just two games back in third place. The First 2019 C-USA Baseball Championship presented by Air Force Reserve will take place May 22-26 at MGM Park in Biloxi, Mississippi.