LUBBOCK, Texas – The 2021 season has seen some of the most dominant pitching performances in the history of college baseball, and the fact it has come from more than just one or two pitchers has made this one of the most exciting seasons in recent history.
That dominance and excitement is reflected in the finalists chosen for the 2021 Pitcher of the Year Award, sponsored by Diamond, which will be presented later this summer by the College Baseball Foundation.
The six finalists for the 2021 Pitcher of the Year Award are senior Trevor Delaite from Liberty, redshirt-seniors Geremy Guerrero from Indiana State and Kevin Kopps from Arkansas, juniors Kumar Rocker from Vanderbilt and Doug Nikhazy from Mississippi and sophomore Jack Leiter from Vanderbilt.
“We think that this could be the most competitive and closely matched group of finalists in the history of the award,” said Chris Snead, Pitcher of the Year Award co-chair. “Any one of these six would be a worthy recipient of the title of National Pitcher of the Year.
Here’s a closer look at the six finalists:
- Trevor Delaite, Sr., Liberty: Delaite helped lead the Flames to an outstanding season, the ASUN Conference regular season championship and an appearance in the NCAA postseason. The ace of the Liberty staff compiled an 11-1 record, a 1.98 ERA and 0.95 WHIP, striking out 83 in 100 innings.
- Geremy Guerrero, RS-Sr., Indiana State: Guerrero has been a key reason for the resurgence of the Sycamores in 2021, who reached the Missouri Valley Conference championship game and a berth in the NCAA tournament. In 13 starts this season, Guerrero compiled a 10-1 record and 1.93 ERA, striking out 97 in 93.1 innings.
- Kevin Kopps, RS-Sr., Arkansas: Without a doubt the most dominant closer in the college game this season, Kopps is a huge reason the Razorbacks go into the NCAA tournament as the overall No. 1 seed. He factored into the decision in 20 of his 28 appearances, going 10-0 with 10 saves and 105 strikeouts in 66.1 innings of work.
- Jack Leiter, Soph., Vanderbilt: Leiter emerged this season to give the Commodores one of the nation’s best 1-2 starting pitching combinations. The Southeastern Conference Newcomer of the Year is an impressive 8-3 on the season with a 2.28 ERA. In 14 starts he has struck out 135 batters over 83 innings.
- Doug Nikhazy, Jr., Mississippi: The first-team all-Southeastern Conference selection and ace of the Ole Miss staff has the Rebels poised to make a deep run in the NCAA postseason after finishing third in the SEC West. On the season he is 9-2 with a 2.18 ERA in 13 starts. Over 78.1 innings he has struck out 114 batters.
- Kumar Rocker, Jr., Vanderbilt: The ace of the Vanderbilt staff and one of the top pitchers in the nation coming into the season, Rocker did nothing but build his resume with an outstanding campaign. The first-team all-Southeastern Conference selection enters the postseason 11-3 with a 2.86 ERA and 135 strikeouts in 91.1 innings pitched.
For more information on the Pitcher of the Year Award, visit the College Baseball Foundation website at www.collegebaseballhall.org.