Florida’s all-time leader in saves was rewarded on Saturday with some hardware that many argue he was robbed of just a year ago.
On Saturday, the National College Baseball Writer’s Association announced Michael Byrne as the 2018 Stopper of the Year. The honor is presented annually to the top relief pitcher in college baseball.
Byrne eanred the honor by accumulating a 3-1 record, a 1.59 ERA, and 15 saves. Byrne tossed 56.2 innings of work, striking out 60 while allowing only 5 free passes.
The junior from Orlando was a finalist for the 2017 award after setting a single season program record of 19 saves. Many feel he was robbed of the honor last season.
Byrne has been essential to the success of the Gators the last two years. Oftentimes, Florida head coach Kevin O’Sullivan has called on Byrne to escape a jam in the eighth inning due to his penchant to their strikes.
Byrne pitched four innings of one-hit shutout ball in netting the win against Auburn in the Super Regional finale on Monday.
The Cincinnati Reds selected the first team All-American in the 14th round of the MLB Draft earlier this month.
Florida opens the College World Series in Omaha with a game against Texas Tech on Sunday at 7:00 PM.