When UCLA’s season ended earlier this month, John Savage wanted to make something clear: David Berg was finishing his career as the greatest reliever in college baseball history.
Berg certainly has a good argument. On Saturday, he became the only two-time winner of the NCBWA’s Stopper of the Year award, given each year to the top reliever in the country. The Bruins’ star closer had also won during his team’s title run in 2013, when he set an NCAA single-season record with 24 saves.
As a senior, he was just as good, also earning him his second Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year award. He only had 13 saves — playing in fewer close games — but was second in the country with a 0.68 ERA. He allowed just one run in conference play, notching a 0.22 ERA in 22 appearances. He paired with eventual first-round pick James Kaprielian for the first no-hitter in school history.
Earlier this week, Berg was taken in the fourth round of the MLB Draft by the Chicago Cubs, justifying his decision to turn down a 17th-round selection by the Texas Rangers last year and return for his senior year.