Lincoln - On Monday afternoon the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) released its preseason Stopper of the Year Watch List and Nebraska sophomore Chad Luensmann was one of 59 pitchers listed. In its 13th year, the award is given to the top relief pitcher in NCAA Division I baseball.
Luensmann was one of two Big Ten relievers named to the list, as he was joined by Ohio State’s Seth Kinker.
A true freshman last season, Luensmann was one of the top closers not only in the Big Ten, but nationally. Tabbed as the Big Ten Freshman of the Year, Luensmann was named a freshman All-American by five organizations after posting 13 saves in 14 chances, a freshman record at Nebraska.
Luensmann tied Brett Jensen (2006) for third on NU’s single-season saves list and was three saves shy of Jensen’s single-season record of 16 saves set in 2005. During Big Ten play Luensmann led the league with nine saves and finished the year tied for 14th nationally in saves. Among freshmen, Luensmann tied Long Beach State’s Chris Rivera for the most saves in the country.
On the year, Luensmann posted a 1.18 ERA in 38.0 innings and allowed just three extra-base hits all season, while holding opposing hitters to a .171 batting average.
Luensmann and the Huskers open the 2017 season on Friday afternoon in Tempe, Ariz., when they face UC Riverside at 2 p.m. (CT).