(Hawaii Athletics) - University of Hawai‘i baseball redshirt sophomore pitcher Dylan Thomas was named to the 2018 National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Stopper of the Year Award watch list on Monday, Feb. 13.

One of 60 preseason candidates in the award’s 13th year, Thomas (Castaic, Calif.) earned Freshman All-America honors, was named the Big West Freshman Pitcher of the Year and received All-BWC honorable mention for his rookie efforts as UH’s closer. Appearing in 17 games with 14 in the closer role, Thomas recorded an NCAA 59th-most nine saves, a 1-0 record and 2.01 ERA. In 22.1 innings on the mound, Thomas struck out 20 while walking only five batters, limiting the opposition to a .217 batting average.

In conference play, he registered a 1.42 ERA with only one run allowed against Big West competition.

It was announced over the weekend that Thomas has been selected to play next summer for the Hyannis Harbor Hawks of the prestigious Cape Cod Baseball League.

Each year, the NCBWA announces a preseason watch list and then updates the list in midseason. Before the NCAA regionals, the association picks up to five finalists for the award. The regular-season national saves leader is automatically chosen as a finalist.

The midseason watch list will be released on April 26, with the five finalists scheduled for announcement on Wednesday, June 7. The award winner for the 2018 season will be announced on Saturday, June 17.

The Rainbow Warriors will open their 2018 campaign on Friday, hosting Air Force in four-game series that runs from Feb. 16-18 at Les Murakami Stadium.

About the Stopper of the Year Award

Given to the top relief pitcher in NCAA Division I baseball, Texas hurler J. Brent Cox won the inaugural Stopper of the Year Award in 2005, with Don Czyz of Kansas claiming the honor in 2006 and Luke Prihoda of Sam Houston State winning it in 2007. Georgia’s Joshua Fields topped the field in 2008, San Diego State’s Addison Reed grabbed the honor in 2009 and Texas’ Chance Ruffin earned the honor in 2010. The Longhorns’ Corey Knebel won in 2011, with Southeastern Louisiana's Stefan Lopez picking up the honor in 2012. UCLA’s David Berg was crowned the winner in 2013, Louisville’s Nick Burdi took home the 2014 honor and Berg became the award's first two-time winner in 2015. Miami (Fla.)’s Bryan Garcia was honored as the 2016 recipient followed by the Cardinals’ Lincoln Henzman in 2017.

The NCBWA, founded in 1962, presents the Dick Howser Trophy to the nation's top player. It also selects all-America teams for all Divisions, a Division I freshman all-American team, Division I, II and III Players of the Week and Division I, II and III Players of the Year.