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FAYETTEVILLE – Arkansas junior right-handed pitchers Barrett Astin and Colby Suggs were named to the initial watch list for the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Award, announced on Friday.

The initial watch list for the award, which goes to the top relief pitcher in NCAA Division I baseball, includes 75 players. The initial list will be updated with a mid-season release the week of April 16. At the conclusion of the regular season, the Division I national saves leader and four other relief pitching standouts will be selected as finalists and released, Wednesday, June 5, prior to start of NCAA Super Regional play. The winner of the award will be announced in Omaha, Neb., on Saturday, June 15, the opening day of the College World Series.

Suggs was one of the best relievers out of the Arkansas bullpen in 2012. The Sulphur Springs, Texas, native appeared in 30 games, all in relief, last season and finished the year with a 7-1 record with a 1.38 ERA. Suggs, who has been named a preseason All-American by Baseball America, the NCBWA, Perfect Game and Collegiate Baseball, set a new Arkansas single-season record for fewest runs allowed (minimum 30 innings pitched) by giving up just six runs during the season. Suggs held opposing hitters to a .203 batting average, while striking out 36 batters in 39 innings of work. Suggs ranked tied for 10th in the SEC in wins and was tied for 10th in appearances. Suggs did not allow a run in 24 of his 30 outings last season and had streaks of eight and 11 consecutive appearances without allowing a run.

Suggs has pitched in 42 games in his Razorback career and has a 9-2 record with a 1.22 ERA. He has struck out 58 batters in 59 innings of work and opposing batters are hitting just .171 against him.

Astin pitched in a team-high 32 games, 29 out of the bullpen, as a sophomore. A native of Forrest City, Ark., Astin finished the 2012 season with a 3-5 record, a team-high 11 saves and a 1.99 ERA. His 11 saves were the third-highest single-season total in school history, while his 32 appearances were the seventh-highest single-season total in school annals. Astin, who was named to the watch list for the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Award, ranked tied for third in the SEC in saves and was tied for seventh in the conference in appearances. Astin opened the 2012 season by throwing 22.2 consecutive scoreless innings and tossed eight shutout innings in four appearances in the NCAA Tournament.

Astin has pitched in 59 games in his first two seasons at Arkansas and has an 8-7 record with 14 saves and a 2.36 ERA. Astin’s 14 saves rank tied for third in school history, while his career ERA of 2.36 is the fifth-best in school history.

The Razorbacks open the 2013 season on Friday, Feb. 15, when they host Western Illinois. First pitch is scheduled for 3:05 p.m. Season tickets for Arkansas’ 34-game home schedule are now on sale. Season tickets are $190 for adults and $140 for University of Arkansas staff, youth and senior citizens. Tickets may be purchased by calling 1-800-982-HOGS (4647) or by visiting the online ticket center at ArkansasRazorbacks.com.

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