Juniors David Berg, Grant Watson and Kevin Kramer were all named to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Preseason All-America Team, as announced by the organization today. Berg received first-team honors while Watson and Kramer were named to the second team and third team respectively.
Berg enjoyed one of the finest seasons by any relief pitcher in Division I history last year, going 7-0 in his sophomore season. He logged a 0.92 ERA and an NCAA-record 24 saves in 2013 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 innings 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 last season.
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.
Watson served as UCLA’s Sunday starter in 2013, posting a 3.01 ERA in 17 starts while recording a 9-3 record. He struck out 55 batters and surrendered only 16 walks in 2013, sixth-fewest in the Pac-12, and went 2-0 in two postseason starts, not allowing a run in either game. As a freshman in 2012, Watson made 35 appearances (15 starts), tying the school record for single-season wins by a freshman (9) while earning freshman All-America honors from Collegiate Baseball.
Kramer, an infielder from Turlock, Calif., started all 66 games at third base for the Bruins last season. He earned honorable mention All-Pac-12 honors in 2013 after batting .278 with 41 runs, 11 doubles, two triples, three home runs and 42 RBI. Additionally, he led the team with 11 multi-RBI games and posted 17 multi-hit games. In the postseason, Kramer recorded at least one hit in six of the 10 games he played in, culminating in a 2-for-2 performance with a run and a RBI in the NCAA Championship clinching win over Mississippi State on June 25.
UCLA will kick off the 2014 season with a three-game series at home against Portland from Friday, Feb. 14 to Sunday, Feb. 16 at Jackie Robinson Stadium.