Abram Williams (Photo courtesy Radford athletics/Big South Sports Photos)
Radford University redshirt junior Abram Williams (Amsterdam '10-'11) is one of 46 NCAA Division I pitchers that have been named to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) 2011 Stopper of the Year midseason "Watch List." The Stopper of the Year Award is given to the top relief pitcher in Division-I baseball. The midseason "Watch List" was unveiled on Thursday, April 22.
The finalists for the award will be announced on June 1 prior to the start of the NCAA tournament. According to the NCBWA, the award will then be voted upon by the NCBWA All-America committee. The announcement of the winner will be made on June 18 at the College World Series in Omaha, Neb.
Williams, the lone Big South representative on the Watch List, entered this past weekend among the national leaders in saves with 10. He stood tied for seventh with six other pitchers. The Radford closer leads the Big South in saves and the next closest pitcher in that category has five fewer saves.
Last weekend, the redshirt junior set a single-season school record with his 10th save. Williams recorded a pair of saves as part of a doubleheader with Winthrop to break the previous mark of nine set in 2009 by teammate Jason Patten (Amsterdam '10). Through 13 appearances, Williams is 0-1 with a 2.08 earned run average. He has struck out 15 batters in 17.1 innings and yielded four earned runs. For his career, the Radford, Va., native has 12 saves. He is six saves shy of tying the school record for career saves.
Abram is in his first season as the closer for the Highlanders. Williams was a set-up man last season for Jason Patten and prior to that, he was a starter in 2009.
Abram Williams pitched last summer for the Amsterdam Mohawks. He was an integral part of Amsterdam's 2010 New York Collegiate Baseball League championship. Williams compiled 11 saves and a 0.39 earned run average over 18 appearances during the regular season. He struck out 30 and walked just two in 23.1 innings. The Radford product yielded 10 hits and held the opposition to a .127 batting average. The Tribe closer was just as strong in the postseason with three saves in four appearances during Amsterdam's run to the title. Williams was the Defensive Most Valuable Player of the NYCBL Championship Series against Elmira. Following the season, he was tabbed All-NYCBL first team as a relief pitcher and he was voted among the top 15 professional prospects in the league by a committee of coaches and general managers.
The Radford reliever has signed a 2011 PGCBL contract to return to Amsterdam this summer.
To read more about the NCBWA Stopper of the Year "Watch List," click here.