Junior right-handed pitcher David Berg has been named to the Golden Spikes Award Preseason Watch List, as announced by USA Baseball today.
The Golden Spikes Award is presented annually at the end of the season to the top amateur baseball player. In 2011, right-handed pitcher Trevor Bauer became the first UCLA ballplayer to win the Golden Spikes Award.
Berg led the nation with 24 saves in 2013 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 also held opponents to a .190 batting average against him and became the first player in NCAA history to appear in 50 or more games in back-to-back seasons. Additionally, Berg was named an All-American by every major outlet in the country and was named the 2013 Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year and NCBWA Stopper of the Year (given out to the nation's top relief pitcher).
In two seasons at UCLA, Berg has appeared in 101 games, which is already good for third-most in school history. The Covina, Calif. native has posted a 12-3 overall record in those 101 appearances, logging a 1.18 ERA in the process. In addition, he is the only pitcher in UCLA history to lead the conference in ERA in back-to-back seasons. Finally, Berg is UCLA's all-time record holder for most postseason appearances (17), postseason saves (6) and career saves (25).
UCLA is ranked as high as No. 8 in the preseason polls and opens the season tonight against the Portland Pilots at 6 p.m. out at Jackie Robinson Stadium. The two schools will continue their three-game set on Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. and 1 p.m. respectively.