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Littrell Makes Latest NCAA Pitcher of the Year Watch List

HOOVER, Ala. -- Kentucky sophomore southpaw Corey Littrell has been named one of the top 25 pitchers in the nation tabbed to the College Baseball Hall of Fame NCAA Pitcher of the Year Watch List, it was announced.

A native of Louisville, Ky., Littrell was on the initial watch list, released midseason, and has now made the cut of the top 25 pitchers in collegiate baseball. Littrell is one of four Southeastern Conference hurlers on the list, including LSU’s Kevin Gausman, South Carolina’s Michael Roth and Mississippi State’s Chris Stratton.

Littrell has enjoyed one of the more prolific seasons in UK baseball history as the Sunday starter for UK during a historic 2012 season. The 6-foot-3 lefty has made 14 weekend starts, posting a 8-1 record and a 2.64 ERA, tossing 85.1 innings and striking out 74. In conference play, Littrell went 6-1 with a 2.93 ERA in 61.1 innings.

He has already won the fifth-most games in UK single-season history, winning 89-percent of his decisions, which ranks second-best in UK annals. With a 2.64 ERA, Littrell would finish with the seventh-best ERA in program history.

Littrell owns a 14-7 record in his two-year career, making 27 starts and striking out 125 in 154 innings.

A bevy of UK players are on national watch lists, with UK freshman centerfielder Austin Cousino tabbed to the 22-man USA Collegiate National Team. Luke Maile is a semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy and is on the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award Watch List, with both awards given to the top player in the nation. Trevor Gott joined Maile on the Golden Spikes Award Watch List and is also on the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Watch List, given to the top reliever in the country. Freshman A.J. Reed is on the John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Watch List and senior third baseman Thomas McCarthy is a finalist for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award.

The winner of the Pitcher of the Year Award, sponsored by Diamond Sports, will be announced on June 30 in Lubbock, Texas, as part of the annual College Baseball Night of Champions. The event features the presentation of numerous awards and the induction ceremony for this year’s Hall of Fame class.

“The pitchers on this list continue to demonstrate excellence on the mound,” said award co-chair Landon Holly. “As we’ve progressed through the season, we’ve been able to narrow down the list, but we’ve also added some players who’ve excelled in the second half of the regular season.”

“We try to evaluate the pitchers on the watch list every week to see how their statistics have changed and make decisions about how the list should change,” said co-chair Justin Knowles. “As the season has gone on, we feel like these 25 young men have proven themselves worthy of inclusion on this list, and we look forward to seeing how they finish out the season.”

Kentucky (41-15, 18-12 SEC) won the most games in the regular season in the 107-year history of the program, with its 18 league wins ranking second-best in school annals. The Wildcats will open SEC Tournament play on Tuesday as the No. 4 seed, taking on No. 9 seed Ole Miss, with a win securing a bye for the Wildcats on Wednesday.


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