The former ace for the Olympia Titans is making quite a name for himself as a standout closer for the Florida Gators, most recently earning the save in a game that secured the Gators a berth in this weekend's Super Regional.
Olympia High baseball alum Michael Byrne is having a breakout season in his sophomore campaign with the Florida Gators — and people around the baseball world are taking notice.
On Wednesday, the former Titans ace was named one of five finalists for the 13th annual National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Award. The recognition came just two days after Byrne earned the save in a win-or-go-home finale to the Gainesville Regional, a game that saw the Gators (45-17) top Bethune-Cookman 6-1.
It was his 16th save of the season and it closed a regional weekend that saw Byrne earn one other save, earn a win and even lay down an important sacrifice bunt. In total, Byrne threw 10 innings during the Gainesville Regional without allowing a run.
Byrne's 16 saves so far this season are a program record for the Gators and his ERA over the course of the season is 1.55 (0.33 in his last 17 appearances).
Next up for the Gators is a Super Regional that they will host in Gainesville against Wake Forest (42-18). That best of series begins Saturday at 3 p.m. More info on the Gainesville Super Regional is available HERE.
Other finalists for the Stopper of the Year Award include Lincoln Henzman (Louisville), Colton Hock (Stanford), Josh Hiatt (North Carolina) and Kenyon Yovan (Oregon).
The NCBWA's All-America Committee will select the winner, with this year's recipient to be announced Saturday morning, June 17, at a news conference at 10 a.m. CT.
Contact Steven Ryzewski at [email protected].