Rooke Named to NCBWA Stopper Watch List

MANHATTAN, Kan. For the second-straight year, a Kansas State pitcher has been named to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Stopper of the Year Award Preseason Watch List as Thomas Rooke was one of 40 players honored by the NCBWA on Tuesday.

Rooke was one of just four from the Big 12 Conference on the watch list, along with Kansas’ Paul Smyth and Texas A&M’s Travis Starling and Kyle Thebeau.

The distinction is the first preseason honor for Rooke in his career, while it is his second national honor in the last eight months. Following a stellar freshman campaign in 2008, Rooke was named a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American by Collegiate Baseball.

Rooke, who came to K-State with many accolades, did not disappoint in 2008 as he recorded a 5-1 record with a 3.59 ERA in 25 appearances. He also struck out 33 batters and issued just 14 walks in 42.2 innings. His five wins were the most by a K-State freshman pitcher since 1999, while his 25 appearances tied for the fifth most in school history.

Kansas State begins the 2009 season this Friday, February 20, with a three-game series at Houston.