Junior right-handed pitcher David Berg has been named to the midseason watch list for the 2014 NCBWA Stopper of the Year Award, as announced by the organization today.
The Stopper of the Year Award is presented at the conclusion of each season to the top relief pitcher in NCAA Division I baseball.
Berg, the 2013 NCBWA Stopper of the Year award winner, has enjoyed as fine a career as any reliever in the history of college baseball. In three seasons, Berg has made a school record 126 appearances, breaking the previous mark of 119 set by Bill Wenrick from 1984-87, and has posted a 15-4 record with a 1.27 ERA. Berg also owns the NCAA single-season record for saves with 24 in 2013 and tied the NCAA record for most appearances in a season with 51 last year. Additionally, he became the first reliever in conference history to win Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year last season.
Berg was named to the All-Pac-12 Team for the second time in his career in 2013, making him just the 25th UCLA player all-time to receive all-conference acclaim at least twice. In addition, he finished second in the country in both WHIP (0.85) and ERA last year. Finally, Berg is the only pitcher in UCLA history to lead the conference in ERA in back-to-back seasons and is UCLA’s all-time record holder for most postseason appearances (17), postseason saves (6) and career saves (34).
This season, Berg has thrown 38.2 innings in 25 appearances (fourth-most in the nation and most in the Pac-12), all while logging a 3-1 record, nine saves and a 1.63 ERA (third-lowest in the Pac-12). In addition, he has allowed the second-fewest runs (9) and fifth-fewest hits (30) in the conference. Berg has also won 11 of his last 12 decisions dating back to 2012 and his nine saves are the third-most in the Pac-12 and 17th-most in the country.
The NCBWA's All-America Committee will select the winner, with this year's recipient to be announced during the 2014 College World Series.
Texas hurler J. Brent Cox won the inaugural Stopper of the Year Award in 2005, with Don Czyz of Kansas claiming the honor in 2006 and Luke Prihoda of Sam Houston State winning it in 2007. Georgia’s Joshua Fields topped the field in 2008, San Diego State’s Addison Reed grabbed the honor in 2009 and Texas’ Chance Ruffin earned the honor in 2010. Knebel won in 2011 with Southeastern Louisiana's Stefan Lopez picking up the honor in 2012. Berg became UCLA's first recipient of the award in 2013.