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IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa junior Grant Leonard has been named to midseason list for the 2019 National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Stopper of the Year Award. The honor is given annually to the top reliever in NCAA Division I baseball.
The right-handed pitcher from Mokena, Illinois, has been a lockdown closer for the Hawkeyes in 2019, posting a 2-1 record with a 1.29 ERA over 18 appearances. Leonard is a perfect 9-for-9 in save opportunities to rank second in the Big Ten Conference and he has 25 strikeouts over 21 innings.
Leonard hasn’t allowed a run over his last 10 appearances, spanning 12 innings, where he has struck out 18 while allowing four walks. He is 1-0 with five saves during the stretch.
Forty-five relievers from across the country are included on the NCBWA Midseason List, including three pitchers from the Big Ten Conference in Leonard, Illinois’ Garrett Action, and Michigan’s Willie Weiss. Only five of the pitchers were on the preseason watch list that was released in February.
The Hawkeyes, who are a season-high nine games over .500 at 24-15, head to Columbus, Ohio, this weekend for a three-game series at Ohio State. Friday’s series opener is set for a 5:35 p.m. (CT) start from Bill Davis Stadium.