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A Pair of Ivies Earn Preseason NCBWA Honors

NCBWA Presason All-America Team | NCBWA Preseason Stopper of the Year Watch List

Photos and portions of this story courtesy of Cornell Athletic Communications and Dartmouth Athletics Communications

PRINCETON, N.J. -- The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) honored two Ivy League baseball players in its preseason awards, announced earlier this week.

A pair of sophomore relievers were listed on the NCBWA preseason Stopper of the Year watch list in Cornell's Kellen Urbon and Dartmouth's Thomas Olson. Urbon was also named to the NCBWA preseason All-America third team.

Nominations for the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Award were made by baseball sports information/media relations contacts. The initial list will be updated with a mid-season release the week of April 16, including the national saves leaders. At the conclusion of the regular season, the Division I national saves leader and four other relief pitching standouts will be selected as finalists and released Wednesday, June 5, prior to start of NCAA Super Regional tournament competition. The NCBWA’s All-America Committee will then select a winner from the list of finalists. The ninth annual winner will be announced in Omaha on Saturday, June 15, the opening day of the College World Series.

Last year, Olson was named a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American by Collegiate Baseball after posting a 1.69 ERA and six saves in 37.1 innings as a rookie. The native of Manhattan, Kan., was also a second-team All-Ivy selection while allowing opponents to hit just .194, striking out 22 batters and walking only four. In his 17 appearances, Olson did not allow the first batter he faced to get a hit all season, and he threw at least two innings 11 times.

Urbon is coming off a freshman season in which he set program records with nine saves and a 0.47 earned run average. He was unanimously selected as both the Ivy League Rookie of the Year and the lone relief pitcher on the All-Ivy first-team, then was later selected as a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American and placed on the NCBWA's Division I Freshman All-America First Team.
 
Urbon posted a 3-1 record through 21 appearances, including three extended outings of five innings or more. He surrendered just an unearned run in 6.1 innings of relief April 29 at Princeton in a must-win game that Cornell won in the 12th inning as well as five scoreless innings in Game 3 of the Ivy League Championship Series against Dartmouth, earning the victory after Chris Cruz's walk-off home run in the 11th inning sent Cornell to the NCAA Tournament.

Cornell and Dartmouth each kick off their seasons on Friday, March 1, at UMES and Minnesota, respectively. The Ivy League slate begins on Saturday, March 30.