Junior right-hander David Berg earned more national honors today, being named to the initial NCBWA Stopper of the Year Watch List. The Stopper of the Year is given to the top relief pitcher in NCAA Division I baseball at the end of the season.
Berg was the recipient of the Stopper of the Year Award in 2013 after leading the nation with 24 saves, while guiding the Bruins to their first College World Series title. He made 51 appearances during his sophomore campaign, finishing the season with a 7-0 record and a 0.92 ERA with 78 strikeouts in 78.0 innings of work. At one point last season, Berg had a scoreless-innings streak of 37 straight innings without allowing a run and finished second in the country in ERA and fourth in WHIP (0.84). He held opponents to a .190 batting average against him as well and became the first player in NCAA history to appear in 50 or more games in back-to-back seasons.
Serving as UCLA's closer for the majority of the year, Berg matched the NCAA single-season record for most appearances in a season with 51, increasing his own Pac-12 and school records in the process. He also became the first UCLA pitcher to lead the Pac-12 in ERA in back-to-back seasons and became the first reliever in conference history to be named Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year. In addition, the Covina, Calif. native captured first-team All-America honors from Baseball America, the NCBWA and Collegiate Baseball last season. This season, Berg has been named a preseason All-American by the NCBWA, Collegiate Baseball, Perfect Game USA and Baseball America.
UCLA will open the regular season on Friday, Feb. 14 against the Portland Pilots at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Game time of the season opener is 6 p.m. The Bruins and Pilots will continue their three-game series on Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.