UCLA sophomore pitcher James Kaprielian has been selected to compete for the 2014 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team this summer, as announced by USA Baseball.
"I am excited to be able to have the chance to play with the U.S. Collegiate National Team this summer," Kaprielian said. "It is an honor and a privilege to represent your country and I want to thank the people at USA Baseball for giving me the opportunity to play for them."
This is the eighth UCLA selection to the Collegiate National Team in the last six years and the ninth selection under head coach John Savage. Kaprielian also becomes the 14th UCLA player to compete for the USA Baseball National Team all-time. Additionally, he is the third UCLA pitcher to play for the team in the last three years, joining previous UCLA selections David Berg and Adam Plutko, and the fifth UCLA pitcher in the last six years, joining Berg, Plutko, Gerrit Cole (2009-10) and Trevor Bauer (2009). This is also the 18th time that UCLA Baseball has sent a player to play for the USA Baseball National Team.
"We are very excited that James has been selected to play for the U.S. Collegiate National Team this summer," Savage said. "Our program has had a great tradition of sending players to play for the National Team and we’re happy that James will be continuing that tradition this summer. He has grown from a reliever in his freshman year to our Friday starter in his sophomore year and we know that he will continue to succeed with USA Baseball.”
The Tustin, Calif. native has posted a 5-3 record so far this season, logging a 2.20 ERA and a team-high 61strikeouts. His 61 strikeouts are good for second-most in the conference and 28th-most in the nation. In addition, Kaprielian’s 2.20 ERA is the lowest amongst all UCLA starting pitchers and his 61.1 innings pitched leads all UCLA pitchers (fourth-most in the Pac-12). Kaprielian has also held opposing hitters to a .187 batting average against him, the fourth-lowest opposing average in the Pac-12, and has allowed two runs or less in seven of his nine starts this season.
As a freshman in 2013, Kaprielian posted a 1.55 ERA in 34 relief appearances while recording two saves. He served as an integral part of a bullpen that helped lead UCLA to the 2013 NCAA Championship, striking out 53 batters and allowing just a .141 batting average against him all year. For his efforts, Kaprielian was named a freshman All-American by Perfect Game USA and Collegiate Baseball.
The 2014 Collegiate National Team will be coached by Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn. The team's assistant coaches include Rob Childress (head coach at Texas A&M), Ray Birmingham (head coach at New Mexico) and Steve Rodriguez (head coach at Pepperdine). The U.S. Collegiate National Team will play games against Chinese Taipei and Japan on U.S. soil while also making trips to The Netherlands for the Honkbal - Haarlem Baseball Week and to Havana, Cuba for a Friendship Series against Cuba.