UCLA right-handed pitchers David Berg and James Kaprielian have both been selected to the Louisville Slugger/Collegiate Baseball Preseason All-America team, as announced by Collegiate Baseball today. Berg received first-team honors from the publication while Kaprielian was named to the third team.
Berg, who was named a first-team preseason All-American by the NCBWA last week, enjoyed one of the finest seasons of any relief pitcher in Division I history last year, going 7-0 with a 0.92 ERA and an NCAA-record 24 saves in 2013, all while leading the Bruins to their first NCAA title in program history. 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 was awarded the 2013 NCBWA Stopper of the Year, given out to the nation's top relief pitcher, and captured first-team All-America honors from Baseball America, the NCBWA and Collegiate Baseball last season.
Kaprielian, a sophomore from Tustin, Calif., posted a 1.55 ERA in 34 relief appearances last year, which was the second-lowest ERA on the team. He recorded two saves while giving up just seven earned runs in 40.2 innings during his freshman season, serving as an integral part of a bullpen that helped lead UCLA to the 2013 NCAA Championship. Additionally, Kaprielian struck out 53 batters and allowed just a .141 batting average against him all year. In Pac-12 play, he appeared in 16 games while posting a 1.65 ERA and 19 strikeouts and appeared in six postseason games for the Bruins, giving up just one run in 5.2 innings pitched while striking out seven.
The Bruins came in at No. 15 in Collegiate Baseball's preseason top-40 poll on Friday and will open the 2014 season with a three-game series against Portland beginning on Friday, Feb. 14 at Jackie Robinson Stadium.