Tag Archive | "USA Baseball"

Japan Replaces USA in 2015 World Port Tournament


Team USA has pulled out of the biannual World Port Tournament for 2015. Due to a full schedule Team USA has decided it will not participate. Japan will replace them in Rotterdam for the biannual event.

The four other teams participating will be the host Netherlands, Curacao, Cuba, and Chinese Taipei. The 2015 tournament will take place in Rotterdam from June 18-26.

This will be only Japan’s third time in the tournament that has been dominated by Cuba over the years. However, the hosts have won two of the last three events including 2013.

Posted in News, TournamentsComments (0)

USA Baseball Forms Golden Spikes Award Committee


Press Release USA Baseball

13-man selection committee will be responsible for identifying candidates for the nation’s premier amateur baseball award

DURHAM, N.C. — USA Baseball announced today the formation of the Golden Spikes Award committee that will select the watch lists and semifinalists for the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award, given annually to the top amateur baseball player in the U.S.

“As the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award continues to grow, it is important to have the top voices in the game assist in the process of honoring amateur athletes,” said Cody Wilcoxson, USA Baseball’s director of communications, who oversees the Golden Spikes Award for the organization. “The committee members are all dedicated to their coverage and support of the amateur game, and their presence on the committee continues to make the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award the preeminent amateur honor.”

In aggregate, the committee members have more than 250 years of playing, coaching, scouting and reporting experience in amateur baseball. The group includes six former NCAA college baseball players, three of which played in the College World Series, and two committee members that coached teams to the College World Series.

The committee is responsible for selecting the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award preseason watch list, the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award midseason watch list, the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award preliminary list and the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award semifinalists.

Once the committee selects the semifinalists for the award, USA Baseball will have its Golden Spikes Award voting committee, comprised of past USA Baseball national team coaches and media, USA Baseball’s board of directors, members of the media that closely follow the amateur game, select professional baseball personnel, and past winners of the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award, representing a group of more than 200 voters in total, vote for the finalists and, eventually, the winner of the prestigious award.

Fan voting will once again be a part of the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award in 2015. Beginning with the semifinalists on May 22, amateur baseball fans all across the country are encouraged to vote for their favorite candidate on GoldenSpikesAward.com. As part of this selection process all voters will be asked to choose three players from the list of names. On Tuesday, June 2, USA Baseball will announce the finalists, and voting will once again commence that same day.

Since 2013, the presentation of the award is held each summer in Los Angeles is partnership with the Rod Dedeaux Foundation. The finalists for the award and their families are honored at the Rod Dedeaux Foundation Dinner following the presentation of the trophy.

The members of the Golden Spikes Award committee are:

  • Jim Callis, senior writer for MLB.com, draft and prospect expert who has been covering the amateur baseball landscape since 1988
  • Eric Campbell, USA Baseball’s general manager of national teams, former head coach at the U.S. Air Force Academy has selected national team athletes for USA Baseball since 2000
  • Shaun Cole, USA Baseball’s director of the 18U National Team, responsible for the selection of the USA Baseball 18U National Team after five seasons as pitching coach at the University of Arizona, a 2012 NCAA national champion
  • Justin Dedeaux, Rod Dedeaux Foundation board of directors, former coach and player at the University of Southern California, a 1963 NCAA national champion
  • Aaron Fitt, editor and national writer for D1Baseball.com, has covered the college baseball beat since 2004
  • Nick Herfordt, Division II, Division III and NAIA correspondent for Perfect Game USA, founder of College Baseball Lineup and the Tino Martinez Division II Player of the Year Award
  • Tim Kay, USA Baseball’s director of video scouting, provides scouting analysis for national team selection after previously working in advanced scouting for the Washington Nationals
  • John Manuel, editor-in-chief for Baseball America, has covered all levels of baseball for the publication since 1996
  • Jonathan Mayo, senior writer for MLB.com, has served as a draft and prospect expert for MLB.com since 1999
  • Ben McDonald, winner of the 1989 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award, college baseball hall of fame class of 2008, currently serves as color analyst for ESPN college baseball broadcasts
  • Kyle Peterson, baseball analyst for ESPN, has covered college based since 2003, recognized as the 1995 and 1997 Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year, played in two College World Series at Stanford
  • Nathan Rode, national supervisor for Prep Baseball Report, has covered high school baseball and the MLB First-Year Player Draft since 2007
  • Kendall Rogers, national writer and editor for D1Baseball.com, has covered college baseball since 2000

The anticipated timeline for the committee’s announcements is:

  • Tuesday, February 10: 2015 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award 50-man preseason watch list
  • Thursday, April 9: 2015 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award 60-man midseason watch list
  • Thursday, May 7: 2015 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award 30-man preliminary list
  • Friday, May 22: 2015 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award semifinalists, voting begins
  • Friday, May 29: 2015 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award semifinalists voting ends
  • Tuesday, June 3: 2015 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award finalists, voting begins
  • Friday, June 12: 2015 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award finalists voting ends
  • Tuesday, June 23: 2015 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award trophy presentation

Posted in College, N. America, NewsComments (0)

USA Baseball: 18U National Team Staff Named


Press Release USA Baseball

David Eckstein joins Greg Moore and Eric Kibler in assisting manager, Glenn Cecchini

DURHAM, N.C. — USA Baseball named its 2015 18U National Team coaching staff Thursday, led by Barbe (La.) High School head coach, Glenn Cecchini. Cecchini, a veteran of Team USA identification events, has worked the 18U National Team Trials each of the past two seasons.

“The 2015 18U National Team is in great hands heading into the World Cup,” said USA Baseball’s executive director/CEO, Paul Seiler. “Our 18U director, Shaun Cole, has assembled an impressive staff of coaches with experience with our organization and a pedigree of success with a World Series MVP, a successful division I head coach and two nationally recognized high school coaches.”

Cecchini led Lake Charles, La.’s Barbe High School to the 2014 Baseball America national championship after posting a 39-2 record and winning the Louisiana 5A state championship for the seventh time. Both of Cecchini’s sons, Garin and Gavin, won gold medals as players with the 18U National Team in 2009 and 2011, respectively.

Cecchini will be joined in the dugout by assistant coaches, David Eckstein and Eric Kibler, as well as pitching coach, Greg Moore, and certified athletic trainer, Josh Cohen.

David Eckstein, the 2006 World Series MVP with the St. Louis Cardinals, joins the 18U National Team staff after serving in various roles with USA Baseball over the last few years. A 10-year veteran and two-time MLB All-Star, Eckstein has worked with the USA Baseball Tournament of Stars and the USA Baseball 18U National Team Trials since 2012.

As a player, Eckstein won two World Series rings while posting a career batting average of .280 in 5,705 big league plate appearances. Playing most of his career at shortstop, Eckstein had a career .982 fielding percentage in more than 10,600 MLB innings.

Eric Kibler has the most USA Baseball experience of the group having been the manager of the 2010 USA Baseball 16U National Team that posted a perfect 9-0 record en route to winning the gold medal at the COPABE Pan American 16U Youth Championships in Lagos de Moreno, Mexico. Kibler also served as an assistant coach on the 2009 16U National Team and worked as the lead field coordinator for the USA Baseball National Team Development Program from 2012 to 2014 – winning the USA Baseball Coach of the Year Award in 2010 and the USA Baseball Developmental Coach of the Year in 2012.

Kibler is the head coach at national power, Horizon High School in Scottsdale, Ariz., where he has led the Huskies to six state championships and 18 regional titles. Under Kibler’s tutelage, Horizon has 28 players drafted by Major League clubs, including three first round selections.

Greg Moore, the head coach at Cal State Northridge, coaches on his first national team staff after assisting with the 2014 USA Baseball Tournament of Stars and the 2014 USA Baseball 18U National Team Trials in Houston.

Moore took the head coaching job at Cal State Northridge following three successful seasons as associate head coach at the University of San Francisco where he was named by Baseball America as one of the Top 10 Assistant Coaches in College Baseball. During his tenure with the Dons, Moore coached three first-round draft picks and eight top-10 round selections.

Moore played collegiately at the University of San Francisco and was named the West Coast Conference All-Academic Team in 2001. As a player, he won the team’s “Most Inspirational” award in back-to-back season and the award now bears his name.

Certified athletic trainer, Josh Cohen, rounds out the on-field staff. In his 10th season as athletic trainer for the Texas A&M Aggies baseball program, Cohen is known for his wealth of baseball-specific and sports medicine knowledge and experience.

The staff will look to defend the 18U National Team’s gold medal from the 2013 WBSC 18U/’AAA’ World Cup, when it competes in the 2015 WBSC 18U/’AAA’ World Cup in Nishinomiya, Japan. The 18U National Team has won gold medals in each of the last four years, including back-to-back World Cups in 2012 and 2013.

For more information on the 18U National Team program, please visit USABaseball.com and follow@USABaseball18U on Twitter.

Posted in N. America, NewsComments (0)

USA: Blankmeyer to Manage Collegiate National Team


Press Release USA Baseball

Five-time BIG EAST Coach of the Year will guide team in international play this summer

BlankmeyerQuote_ArticlePhoto_p3x8uj69_yd31gmg8

DURHAM, N.C. — USA Baseball officially named St. John’s University head coach, Ed Blankmeyer, as the manager for the 2015 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team on Tuesday. Blankmeyer previously served as an assistant coach on the 2010 Collegiate National Team that posted a 16-3 record and captured the silver medal at the FISU World University Baseball Championships in Tokyo, Japan.

“We are thrilled to have Ed lead the Collegiate National Team program in 2015,” said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball’s executive director/CEO. “He has Team USA experience in 2010, as well as an impressive resume in two decades at St. John’s, and, most importantly, a passion for coaching student-athletes to succeed.”

The winningest coach in St. John’s baseball history, Blankmeyer is in his 20th season at the helm of the Red Storm baseball program and has posted a 647-405-3 (.615) record. Blankmeyer has guided the Red Storm to three BIG EAST Tournament crowns as well as four BIG EAST regular season titles, and has led the squad to the NCAA Tournament eight times, including one NCAA Super Regional appearance.

“I am extremely honored and excited to be selected to manage the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team,” said Blankmeyer. “We have an outstanding schedule lined up and I am looking forward to both working with and learning from the amazing coaching staff that we have assembled. Above all else, I feel privileged to represent the United States of America.”

Also the winningest coach in the history of BIG EAST play with 287 conference victories, Blankmeyer has earned BIG EAST Coach of the Year honors a conference-record five times and has been named the American Baseball Coaches Association Northeast Region Coach of the Year four times. Blankmeyer, who has guided St. John’s to six 40-win seasons, has had 88 All-BIG EAST selections and has seen 65 of his players drafted and/or signed to professional contracts, including 2014 World Series champion Joe Panik.

In 2010, Blankmeyer assisted University of Utah coach, Bill Kinneberg, with a Collegiate National Team roster that included future Major League players Matt Barnes, Jackie Bradley, Jr., Gerrit Cole, Sonny Gray, Brad Miller and George Springer. The club posted a 16-3 record for the summer, including a five-game sweep of the Korean National Team in a series hosted in the U.S., before falling in a heart-breaking 4-3 extra-inning affair to Cuba in the championship game 2010 FISU World University Baseball Championships.

The complete 2015 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team coaching staff and schedule will be released in announcements later this spring on USABaseball.com.

Posted in College, N. America, NewsComments (0)

USA Baseball Reveals Field for 2015 National High School Invitational


Press Release USA Baseball

The field for the fourth annual USA Baseball National High School Invitational announced

DURHAM, N.C. — USA Baseball announced the 16 teams that will compete in the fourth annual USA Baseball National High School Invitational, held March 25 to 28, at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, N.C. The premier event on the high school baseball calendar again features some of the top teams and individual talents from across the nation. Baseball America, the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance and the Town of Cary are partnering with USA Baseball in hosting and presenting the event.

“The National High School Invitation continues to bring together some of the top programs and talents from around the U.S. for a one-of-a-kind high school baseball experience,” said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball’s executive director/CEO. “In just three years, the NHSI has quickly become the premier event on the high school baseball calendar and we are thrilled to partner with the Town of Cary, the Greater Raleigh Sports and our media partner, Baseball America, on the 2015 edition.”

Local powerhouse, Leesville Road High School in Raleigh, N.C., will serve as the host of the tournament for the first time. The Pride finished 2014 with a 17-6 overall record and advanced to the second round of the NCHSAA 4A state playoffs.

De Soto Central High School (Southaven, Miss.), Loyalsock Township High School (Williamsport, Pa.) and Puyallup High School (Puyallup, Wash.) represent, for the first time ever, the states of Mississippi, Pennsylvania and Washington at the National High School Invitational.

A. Crawford Mosley High School (Lynn Haven, Fla.), St. Thomas Aquinas High School (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) and Trinity Preparatory School (Winter Park, Fla.) will look to bring the trophy back to the Sunshine State after The First Academy (Orlando, Fla.) claimed the NHSI title in 2014.

The state of California will be well-represented again with four schools traveling to Cary: College Park High School (Pleasant Hill, Calif.), Huntington Beach High School (Huntington Beach, Calif.), JSerra Catholic School (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) and San Clemente High School (San Clemente, Calif.).

Rounding out the field are a pair of schools from Georgia in Lambert High School (Suwanee, Ga.) and Whitewater High School (Fayetteville, Ga.), as well as representatives from Arizona: Horizon High School (Scottsdale, Ariz.); Tennessee: Farragut High School (Knoxville, Tenn.); and Texas: College Station High School (College Station, Texas).

The NHSI will be a single-elimination championship tournament, with each participating team guaranteed to play four games. An event schedule will be announced as part of an eight-week video series, beginning on January 8, detailing the first round matchups with analysis from USA Baseball’s panel of baseball experts.

For more information on the 2015 National High School Invitational, coaches education and general USA Baseball information, please visit USABaseball.com.

Posted in N. America, News, TournamentsComments (0)

New Baseball World Rankings – USA Ends Cuba’s Four Year Reign


USA Baseball has ended Cuba’s 4-year reign at the top of the World Baseball Rankings after a productive year in 2013.

The International Baseball Federation has used the World Baseball Ranking system since 2009, and each year Cuba has been at the top.

Team USA had a disappointing second round exit at the World Baseball Classic, but then picked up gold medals at the 12U Baseball World Cup and the 18U Baseball World Cup. Also giving Team USA points this summer was its “Friendship” series with Cuba where the USA’s National Collegiate Team won all five games.

Also jumping up in the standings was Japan who went from the third ranked country to the second also surpassing Cuba in the process. In the big tournaments of the year, Japan placed third at the World Baseball Classic, second at the 18U World Baseball Cup, and third again at the 12U Baseball World Cup.

The Dominican Republic made one of the bigger jumps in the standings after its win at the World Baseball Classic going from 13th a year ago to 5th.

The Netherlands remain the top European country in the standings as they swapped places with Canada moving up to 6th place.

The Americas continue to be the strongest in the polls collecting eleven of the top twenty spots. Asia and Europe combined take up 40% of the top twenty with both continents placing four teams. The last top twenty team comes from Oceania with Australia coming in at 14th.

Africa’s top representative is South Africa in at number 31.

Men’s Baseball World Rankings Top 10:

1. USA
2. Japan
3. Cuba
4. Chinese Taipei
5. Dominican Republic
6. Netherlands
7. Canada
8. South Korea
9. Puerto Rico
10. Venezuela

Complete World Rankings

Posted in Asia, Europe, Latin, N. America, News, OceaniaComments (0)

USA Announces 2013 18U National Team


Players will compete in the IBAF ‘AAA’/18U World Cup in Taichung, Taiwan

By USA Baseball

FULLERTON, Calif. – USA Baseball announced the 20 players named to the 2013 18U National Team immediately following play at the 2013 USA Baseball 18U National Team Trials in Fullerton, Calif. Players competed over five days for the final spots.

For the second consecutive year, the 18U National Team hosted trials at California State University, Fullerton near Los Angeles. Trials also included games at Long Beach State’s Blair Field, Dodger Stadium and the University of San Diego’s Fowler Park. The 2012 18U National Team that won the IBAF 18U World Championships conducted their final trials at Cal State Fullerton, as well.

These 20 players will compete in the 2013 IBAF Junior ‘AAA’/18U World Cup in Taichung, which begins on Aug. 30 with medal round competition on Sept. 8.

The 18U National Team will be managed by newly named Penn State head coach, Rob Cooper. Cooper served as an assistant coach on two USA Baseball Collegiate National Teams. He will be joined in the dugout by pitching coach Mike Maack, and assistants Eric Munson and Kevin Wilson.

The team administration will be overseen by 18U National Team director, Brant Ust, with the assistance of 18U National Team coordinator, Mark Dvoroznak. Steve Domzalski, from Wayne State University, will serve as the athletic trainer, and USA Baseball’s Cody Wilcoxson will travel as the team’s press officer.

For more information on the 18U National Team, please visit USABaseball.com.

The 20-man 2013 USA Baseball 18U National Team roster is as follows:

Name, Position, Hometown
Brady Aiken, LHP, Cardiff by the Sea, Calif.
Bryson Brigman, IF/OF, San Jose, Calif.
Joe DeMers, RHP, Martinez, Calif.
Alex Destino, LHP/OF, Weaverville, N.C.
Jack Flaherty, IF/RHP, Burbank, Calif.
Marvin Gorgas, RHP/IF, East Hampton, Conn.
Adam Haseley, OF/LHP, Windermere, Fla.
Scott Hurst, OF, Glendora, Calif.
Kel Johnson, OF, Palmetto, Ga.
Trace Loehr, IF, Milwaukie, Ore.
Mac Marshall, LHP, Parkview, Ga.
Keaton McKinney, RHP/IF, Ankeny, Iowa
Jacob Nix, RHP, Los Alamitos, Calif.
Luis Ortiz, RHP, Sanger, Calif.
Jakson Reetz, C/OF/RHP, Hickman, Neb.
Michael Rivera, C, Venice, Fla.
JJ Schwarz, C, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
Justus Sheffield, LHP, Tullahoma, Tenn.
Lane Thomas, OF, Knoxville, Tenn.
Cole Tucker, IF, Phoenix, Ariz.

Posted in News, TournamentsComments (0)

USA 18U to Play Exhibition Games Against Chinese Taipei and Australia before 18U Baseball World Cup


The XXVI 18U Baseball World Cup starts at the end of August in Taichung, Chinese Taipei. The defending champion USA announced they will play three exhibition games before the tournament starts.

Team USA will play twice against Chinese Taipei on August 26 and 27. In their final warm up game, they will face Australia on August 28. The 18U Baseball World Cup starts on August 30 and runs through September 8.

The USA will face off with South Korea, Colombia, Italy, Cuba, and Australia during the pool play in Round 1 of the Baseball World Cup. The teams participating in the other pool will be Japan, Canada, Mexico, Czech Republic, Venezuela, and host Chinese Taipei.

Posted in News, TournamentsComments (0)

USA Wins IBAF 12U Baseball World Cup over Chinese Taipei


In its first ever time to field a 12U National Team, the USA wins the IBAF 12U Baseball World Cup with an 8-1 victory over host and defending champion Chinese Taipei.

Justin Campbell was brilliant on the hill for Team USA pitching 5.2 innings allowing just one run. He gave up six hits and struck out four to earn the win for Team USA. Campbell would go on to be named the starting pitcher for the tournament all-star team.

Team USA broke it open in the second inning when the struck for seven runs. Joseph Naranjo (2-for-3) started the inning off with a solo home run, his first. They would pick up seven hits in the inning, including another hit by Naranjo who went 2-for-2 in the inning alone.

Jakob Hines (2-for-3) doubled and hit a solo home run as he drove in a pair of runs in the game. It was his third home run of the game. He too was named to the tournament all-star team as an outfielder.

Team USA gave up just six runs in the entire tournament and three of those came in their only loss to Venezuela.

Earlier in the day Japan defeated Venezuela 8-2 to win the bronze medal.

Gold Medal Game
Chinese Taipei 1, USA 8

Bronze Medal Game
Venezuela 2, Japan 8

5th Place Game
South Korea 1, Panama 6

7th Place Game
Brazil 0, Mexico 4

Final Standings

1) USA
2) Chinese Taipei
3) Japan
4) Venezuela
5) Panama
6) Korea
7) Mexico
8) Brazil
9) Italy
9) Russia
11) Czech Republic
11) Hong Kong
13) Pakistan
13) Philippines

All Star Team

Starting Pitcher: Justin Campbell (USA)
Relief Pitcher: Kevin Martin (USA)
Catcher: Gabriel Briones (USA)
First Baseman: Po-Chun Chen (TPE)
Second Baseman: Anthony Volpe (USA)
Third Baseman: Kevin Garcia (MEX)
Shortstop: Chin-Chun Chen (TPE)
Outfielder: Jakob Hines (USA)
Outfielder: Jose Aguilar (VEN)
Outfielder: Chih-Heng Chiu (TPE)

Photo Courtesy USA Baseball

Posted in News, TournamentsComments (0)

IBAF 12U Baseball World Cup: USA Faces Defending Champion Chinese Taipei in Final


The championship game is set for the IBAF 12U Baseball World Cup. The defending champion, and host, Chinese Taipei will face off with the USA at 2:00 pm on Sunday. Both teams defeated previously unbeaten teams in the semifinals to advance.

In the bronze medal game, Japan and Venezuela will face off with one another after both lost big in the semifinal round. It was both teams first loss in the tournament.

Playing for fifth place will be Panama and Korea who both won on Saturday after losing in the quarterfinal round. The seventh place game will feature Mexico and Brazil.

South Korea 8, Mexico 4

South Korea used a five-run second inning to take a big lead early on. They wouldn’t give it up as they cruised to an 8-4 victory over Mexico giving them a spot in the fifth place game.

Dong-Wook Kwon drove in four runs for South Korea going 2-for-3 on the day including a two-run double in the second inning. Korea lead off hitter Ji-Min Shin set the table for the team scoring twice and driving in another run. He went 2-for-3 with a triple, a stolen base, and a walk.

Claudio Galvez was the only hitter for Mexico with more than one hit. He went 2-for-3 with a double.

Japan 1, USA 9

Team USA used a grand slam and great pitching to give Japan its first defeat in the tournament earning a victory to the championship game on Sunday.

The USA pitching staff gave up just three hits to the powerful Japan team that went undefeated in play against its Group A opponents.

Colton Olasin hit his second home run of the tournament. This one was a grand slam in the fourth inning giving Team USA a 9-1 win. Anthony Volpe led the team with three hits. He went 3-for-4 scoring twice and driving in another run.

Chinese Taipei 8, Venezuela 0

Chinese Taipei entered the tournament as the defending champions having defeated Cuba in the gold medal game in 2011. They entered the semifinal game having lost just once, but their opponent, Venezuela, had not lost yet. That all changed after Saturday.

Chinese Taipei starter Po-Chun Chen was dominating. He allowed just two hits in 5.2 innings striking out ten to earn the win and help his team reach the gold medal game for a second straight time.

Chih-Chun Chin went 2-for-4 hitting a solo home run, his third. Chun-Hao Ma led the team with three hits (3-for-4) with three runs scored.

Panama 3, Brazil 1

Panama used timely hitting and great pitching to limit Brazil to just one run on two hits. Ariel Vega pitched a complete game allowing just one unearned run to help Panama earn a spot in the fifth place game.

Combined the two teams only had six hits but five errors. Brazil committed four errors that led to two unearned runs.

The loss for Brazil puts them in the seventh place game against Mexico.

IBAF 12U Baseball World Cup Schedule:

7th Place Game
Mexico vs Brazil

5th Place Game
Panama vs South Korea

Bronze Medal Game
Japan vs Venezuela

Gold Medal Game
USA vs Chinese Taipei

Posted in TournamentsComments (0)

USA Collegiate National Team Completes Sweep of Cuba


The USA Collegiate National Team finished up its summer schedule with a 5-3 win over Cuba. The win gave the USA a historic sweep and helped it finish with a 20-3 record.

Carlos Rodon (North Carolina State) got the start and was virtually untouchable. He tossed 6.2 innings of scoreless ball giving up just two hits. He struck out eleven en route to his third win of the summer.

The middle relief struggled a bit for Team USA giving up three runs in the eighth inning, but Ryan Burr (Arizona State) was able to come in an shut down the Cuban bats in the ninth to pick up his sixth save.

The big blow for Cuba to get back in the game came off the bat of Lazaro Herrera who came on to hit a pinch-hit three-run home run off of Chris Diaz (Miami, Fla.).

Team USA got on the board in the bottom of the first inning. After working a walk and then stealing second, Kyle Schwarber (Indiana) scored on a Michael Conforto (Oregon State) double.

Trea Turner (North Carolina State) got the offense going again in the fifth inning. After working a walk and quickly stealing second, he moved to third base on a wild pitch. Alex Bregman (LSU) wasted no time in bringing him in by hitting a sacrifice fly to center field to give Team USA a 2-0 lead.

Errors would be Cuba’s downfall as the game progressed. They gave up three unearned runs over the sixth and seventh innings.

Team USA finished the summer going 13-0 in exhibition games and 7-3 in international play.

Posted in College, N. AmericaComments (0)

Team USA Looks for Sweep of Cuba to Finish Off Summer Schedule


The United States Collegiate National Team has been busy over the past few weeks. In early July the team took a trip to Japan to play its Collegiate National Team in a five game set after playing a warm up game with the Shikoku College Baseball League All-Stars.

Team USA took that game against the Shikoku All-Stars 11-0, but then proceeded to down Japan in Game 1 of the series 6-3. But their winning streak wouldn’t last long as they dropped Game 2 4-0.

The USA would wind up dropping the series 3-games-to-2 after losing the final game in Tokyo 7-4.

Some of the highlights for the USA were Carlos Rodon. The left-handed starter pitched five shutout innings in his start against Japan. He had a great sophomore season with the NC State Wolfpack last season going 10-3 with a 2.99 ERA.

Another pitcher that did well was Matt Imhof. The lefty from Cal Poly came on in relief of a struggling Tyler Beede to pitch 6.2 innings. He gave up only one run and struck out six in his only appearance against Japan.

At the plate most of the hitters struggled a bit. As a team the USA hit just .234 over the five games. Tyler Sparks was one that stood out in the Japan series. The UC Irvine shortstop garnered two starts and three appearances over the series picking up six hits in eleven at-bats. Over those three games he drove in five runs which led the team in the series.

Currently the team is finishing up their summer schedule with a five game series with Cuba. So far the two teams have played four games with the USA winning all four. The final game will come tonight in Durham as Team USA looks to sweep the series.

Game 1,  Cuba 1, USA 2 (11)

In the first game last Thursday, Cuba tied the game in the top of the ninth inning to force extra frames. Carlos Rodon started and went 3.1 innings of scoreless ball. Cuba got a RBI single from Jose Fernandez (1-for-4) in the ninth to send it to extra innings.

With the tiebreaker rules putting runners at first and second to start each half inning, the USA finally took advantage in the eleventh. After failing to move the runners over with a sacrifice bunt, Matt Chapman, Cal State Fulleton, singled home the winning run with two outs. David Berg, UCLA, picked up the win with an inning of relief.

Game 2, USA 3, Cuba 2 (10)

After the first game went extra innings, the two teams decided to play another extra frame in Game 2. This time it was Team USA tying the game up late with a run in the seventh inning.

The USA took the lead for good in the top of the tenth. Trea Turner, North Carolina State, led off the inning by working a walk to load up the bases. After a strikeout, Kyle Schwarber , Indiana, drove in the winning run with a sacrifice fly. Schwarber finished the game 2-for-3. He and Turner (2-for-4) were the only two hitters on either team with more than one hit.

David Berg picked up the win again in relief, but starter Luke Weaver, Florida State, pitched well going six innings giving up just two unearned runs.

Game 3, Cuba 0, USA 1

The third game in the series was another pitching duel. Brandon Finnegan, TCU, pitched seven shutout innings getting the start for Team USA. He gave up only three hits and struck out seven picking up the win.

For Cuba, Norge Ruiz pitched very well but in the end came out with the loss. He went 7.1 innings giving up just one run on three hits. He struck out eleven.

The only run of the game came in the bottom of the fourth for Team USA. Trea Turner (2-for-4) started the inning off with a single. Alex Bregman (1-for-3/LSU) followed him up with a single of his own to set up runners at first and second with no outs. After Schwarber hit into a fielder’s choice forcing Bregman out at second, Michael Conforto (0-for-1/Oregon State) came through with a sacrifice fly to left to score Turner.

Ryan Burr, Arizona State, picked up the save, his fifth of the summer, with a scoreless ninth inning.

Game 4, USA 3, Cuba 2

The fourth straight one run game went to Team USA once again. Both teams only scored in one inning as Cuba scored two in the third and the USA came back with three runs in the fifth inning.

Matt Imhof, Cal Poly, earned the win in relief of starter Erick Fedde, UNLV. Imhof pitched 1.1 scoreless innings giving up three hits.

The big hit for Team USA came off the bat of LSU shortstop Alex Bregman who had a two-run triple in the fifth. Those two runs tied the game. Bregman would score the winning run on a wild pitch by Cuba reliever Ismel Jimenez who took the loss.

Cuba stater Joel Suarez went four innings not allowing a single hit, but he gave up two runs after he walked two batters who came in to score on the Bregman triple off of Jimenez.

Team USA only picked up three hits in the game, but they worked seven walks.

Game 5, Cuba vs USA 7:05 EST from Durham Bulls Athletic Park

Posted in N. America, NewsComments (0)

USA Baseball: Collegiate National Team Finalizes 24-Man Roster


Five members will serve their second tour

Press Release USA Baseball

CARY, N.C. – The USA Baseball Collegiate National Team finalized its 24-man roster that will take part in international competition this summer. The group of 24 features 12 hitters and 12 pitchers. Five members will be serving their second tour with the squad.

Returning to the Collegiate National Team are David Berg (RHP, UCLA), Michael Conforto (OF, Oregon State), Austin Cousino (OF, Kentucky), Carlos Rodon (LHP, NC State) and Trea Turner (IF, NC State). For Cousino, it marks the third time in his career that he will represent USA Baseball after also playing with the 16U National Team.

Three members of the team are making their debut on the collegiate roster, but have represented USA Baseball at various times throughout their prep careers. Alex Bregman (IF, LSU) has played with the 16U and 18U National Teams, while C.J. Hinojosa (IF, Texas) participated with the 14U National Team and 16U Team. Ryan Burr (RP, Arizona State) played with the 16U Team.

Sixteen athletes will be representing USA Baseball for the first time in their amateur careers. TCU leads the way with three participants in LHP Brandon Finnegan, RHP Preston Morrison and RHP Riley Ferrell.

Along with TCU and NC State, Indiana also boasts multiple participants in catcher Kyle Schwarber and infielder Sam Travis.

Rounding out the roster are: Tyler Beede (RHP, Vanderbilt), Skye Bolt (OF, North Carolina), Nick Burdi (Louisville), Matt Chapman (IF, Cal State Fullerton), Grayson Greiner (C, South Carolina), Matt Imhof (LHP, Cal Poly), Daniel Mengden (RHP, Texas A&M), Taylor Sparks (IF, UC Irvine), Tommy Thorpe (LHP, Oregon), Luke Weaver (RHP, Florida State) and Brad Zimmer (OF, San Francisco).

Remaining with the team until their departure for Japan on July 3 are Chris Diaz (LHP, Miami, Fla.) and Trent Thornton (RHP, North Carolina).

The Collegiate National Team has three games remaining in its tour of the Coastal Plains League. International competition is slated to begin July 5 with an exhibition contest against the Matsuyama Industrial League. The 39th edition of the USA-Japan series gets underway July 6 in Matsuyama, Japan. Upon returning to the United States, the CNT will play a pair of exhibition games before opening up a five game series against Cuba on July 18 in Des Moines, Iowa.

Posted in College, N. America, NewsComments (0)

All-Japan University Baseball Federation Announces National Collegiate Roster


by All-Japan University Baseball Federation

All-Japan University Baseball Federation (JUBF) announced on June 23 the names of the 24 players selected to represent Japan for the 39th Japan/U.S. Collegiate Championship to be held in five cities in Japan from July 6 to 11.

Manager Tatsuya Yoshinami (Meiji University) said that all the eight pitchers selected have a variety of pitches to take on powerful batters of the U.S. and strong fielding and fast running of the host team should make the five duels most exciting.

The name, position, uniform number, university and throw/bat of the roster are as follows:

Coaching Staff:

Leader IWAI Yoshiki Kokusai Budo
Manager 30 YOSHINAMI Tatsuya Meiji
Coaches 50 YOKOI?Hitoki Tokai
40 SUZUKI Hideyuki Kansai Kokusai
55 TORIYAMA?Yasutaka Kokugakuin
Trainer TIKUJO Hifumi -
Captain 10 UMENO Ryutaro Fukuoka
Travel Manager HONDA Takashi Jobu

Roster:

P
(8)
11 ROKUNO?Masaji Tokai L/L
14 OSERA?Daichi Kyushu Kyoritsu R/R
18 SUGIURA Toshihiro Kokugakuin R/R
19 SEKIYA Ryota Meiji R/R
15 YAMASAKI Yasuaki Asia R/R
17 YAMASAKI Sachiya Meiji L/L
21 ISHIDA Kenta Hosei L/L
16 TANAKA Toyoki Nihon Bunri R/R
C
(4)
10 UMENO Ryutarou Fukuoka R/R
22 MINEI Hiroki Asia R/R
27 ISHIKAWA Ryohei Kokugakuin R/R
12 SAKAMOTO Seishiro Meiji R/R
IF
(8)
1 MIKI Ryo Jobu R/R
3 KAWAI Kanji Hosei R/L
6 NISHIURA Naomichi Hosei R/R
25 OKA Hiromi Meiji R/R
2 NAKAMURA Shogo Waseda R/R
7 MINESHITA Tomohiro Kinki R/L
4 OHSHIRO Koji Rikkio R/R
5 FUJIOKA Yudai Asia R/L
OF
(4)
9 OOKIDO Shohri Hosei R/L
24 EGOSHI Taiga Komazawa R/R
26 YOSHIDA Masataka Aoyama Gakuin R/L
8 MIZUMOTO Gen Asia R&L/L

Posted in Asia, College, N. America, NewsComments (0)

USA Baseball Announces Inaugural 12U Roster


Press Release USA Baseball

DURHAM, N.C. — USA Baseball announced on Thursday the names of the 18 players selected to represent the United States for the first time at the 12U level. The final roster includes athletes from eight different states.

The roster was selected following 11 identification events held from March through early June in 10 different states. In all, USA Baseball saw athletes from more than 20 states as part of the identification process. In addition to the 18 players named to the final roster, USA Baseball also named 10 alternates for the 12U National Team — representative of eight different states.

“This is a great first step for the 12U National Team program,” said USA Baseball CEO/executive director Paul Seiler. “We are confident in the team we will be putting on the field in Chinese Taipei, but this year was also a learning process with it being our first year fielding a 12U National Team.

“We believe that this year will be the foundation for building a successful 12U National Team program that will compete for gold medals at international competitions for years to come.”

The 12U National Team will assemble for the first time in Los Angeles on July 12. The team will spend three days training under the direction of manager Dave Webb and assistants Terrance Freeman, Jason Sekany and Tanner Vesley. Training will include an exhibition game against a team selected by the Major League Baseball’s Urban Youth Academy in Compton, Calif., that will compete this summer in the National Youth Baseball Championships.

“I am honored and humbled to represent USA Baseball’s 12U National Team as its manager this year,” Webb said. “We plan on getting the most out of these talented and dedicated young players, representing our nation with pride and bringing home the first 12U gold medal for USA Baseball.”

Webb has plenty of international experience having led the 2008 and 2009 14U National Teams to gold medals in Guatemala and Ecuador. Webb will also have the benefit of having Bill Krejci on the staff as business manager. Krejci has been the athletic director at Southwestern Community College in Creston, Iowa, since 2000, after 22 years as the school’s baseball coach. In addition to his duties at Southwestern, Krejci has been involved with USA Baseball for the last 18 years.

Following training, the team will depart for Taipei City, Chinese Taipei, to compete in the II IBAF 12U Baseball World Cup, July 18-28. The 12U program will open international competition for the first time against Panama on July 18.

In addition to the coaching staff and Krecji, the team will be led by national team coordinator Drew Chism and certified athletic trainer Nic Medina.

The 18-man USA Baseball 12U National Team roster is as follows:

Name, Position, Hometown

Matt Allan, RHP, Sanford, Fla.
Gabe Briones, C, Perris, Calif.
Justin Campbell, RHP/IF, Simi Valley, Calif.
Adam Crampton, IF/RHP, Oakland, Calif.
Evan Godwin, LHP, Cypress, Texas
Anthony Hall, LHP, San Diego, Calif.
Jakob Hines, C/IF, Tampa, Fla.
Kevin Martin, IF/RHP, Miami, Fla.
Garrett McMillan, IF/RHP, Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Yohandy Morales, IF/OF, Miami, Fla.
Joseph Naranjo, IF/LHP, Chino, Calif.
Colton Olasin, IF/OF, Spring Hill, Fla.
Andrew Pintar, IF/RHP, Spanish Fork, Utah
Elijah Ricks, OF/RHP, San Bruno, Calif.
Sam Ruta, IF/OF, Yardley, Pa.
Carson Tucker, IF/RHP, Phoenix, Ariz.
Anthony Volpe, IF, Watchung, N.J.
Kayler Yates, IF/RHP, St. George, Utah

Posted in NewsComments (0)

USA and Japan Collegiate Teams to Meet for 39th Time


For the 39th time the USA and Japan will have a series between the two countries collegiate national teams. It will be held July 6-12 at four different venues around Japan.

The series is officially sanctioned by the IBAF with the two teams ranked #2 (USA) and #3 (Japan) in the world.

Schedule:

  • Game 1: July 6th(Sat) 14:00 Matsuyama Bocchan Stadium/Ehime Pref.
  • Game 2: July 7th(Sun) 14:00 Matsuyama Bocchan Stadium/Ehime Pref.
  • Game 3: July 8th(Mon) 18:00 Mazda Zoom-Zoom Stadium/ Hiroshima Pref.
  • Game 4: July 10th(Wed) 18:00 Utsunomiya Kiyohara Stadium/Tochigi Pref.
  • Game 5: July 11th(Thu) 18:00 Meiji Jingu Stadium/Tokyo

The two teams played in 2011 with the USA winning the series 3-1 with one tie. Those games were held in the USA. The first time the two played was in 1972 and over the years the USA has won 22 of the meetings with Japan winning 16.

Team USA will come back to the States to play a five game series with Cuba.

Posted in Asia, College, N. America, NewsComments (0)

USA Baseball College National Team: 23 Players Report on Thursday


Press Release USA Baseball

CARY, N.C. – Twenty-three of college baseball’s top underclassmen will head to the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, N.C., Thursday as the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team gets ready to open training camp.

The CNT coaching staff will be charged with the task of putting together a 24-man roster for the summer tour that will feature a five-game series against Japan and another five-game set against Cuba.

Eight members of the reporting group have already guaranteed their spot on the team, while 15 others head to North Carolina with hopes of earning a spot on the roster.

Already guaranteed a spot on the roster are: RHP Tyler Beede (Vanderbilt), RHP Ryan Burr (Arizona State), OF Austin Cousino (Kentucky), LHP Brandon Finnegan (TCU), C Grayson Greiner (South Carolina), IF Taylor Sparks (UC Irvine), LHP Tommy Thorpe (Oregon) and RHP Luke Weaver (Florida State).

The 15 hopefuls hail from coast to coast and feature: IF Matt Chapman (Cal State Fullerton), LHP Chris Diaz (Miami, Fla.), RHP Riley Ferrell (TCU), IF C.J. Hinojosa (Texas), LHP Matt Imhof (Cal Poly), LHP Cole Irvin (Oregon), C Nate Irving (Virginia), IF Will Maddox (Tennessee), RHP/C Daniel Mengden (Texas A&M), RHP Preston Morrison (TCU), IF Mike Papi (Virginia), IF Jake Peter (Creighton), LHP/INF A.J. Reed (Kentucky), RHP Colin Wellman (Loyola Marymount) and OF Brad Zimmer (San Francisco).

An additional three athletes whose season just ended in Omaha will be joining the team over the course of the weekend: IF Alex Bregman (LSU), RHP Nick Burdi (Louisville) and C Kyle Schwarber (Indiana).

Six other players are still representing their collegiate team in Omaha at the College World Series: C Brett Austin (NC State), RHP David Berg (UCLA), OF Skye Bolt (North Carolina), OF Michael Conforto (Oregon State), Carlos Rodon (NC State) and IF Trea Turner (NC State).

Coaching the Collegiate National Team this summer will be TCU’s Jim Schlossnagle. The hitting coach/3rd base coach is Arizona State’s Tim Esmay. Ole Miss’ Mike Bianco will serve as the pitching coach, while Creighton’s Ed Servais will coach first base and the defense. Brett Basham will serve as the bullpen coach.

TCU’s Danny Wheat returns as the athletic trainer and Brandie Davidson will be the press officer. Rounding out the CNT staff is Brian Cain who will be the mental skills coach for the summer.

Posted in College, N. America, NewsComments (0)

USA Baseball Announces Friendship Series with Cuba


USA Baseball and the Cuban Baseball Federation announced an upcoming series between the two countries Collegiate National Teams. The two will compete in an international friendship series for the second year in a row. This year, Cuba will travel to the USA and play a five-game series.

The teams will compete across three states from July 18-23.

The two teams will first face off in Des Moines, Iowa for Game 1. They will then move onto Omaha for Games 2 and 3 before heading east to North Carolina to finish off the series.

Read more here with the complete press release by USA Baseball.

Posted in College, Latin, N. America, NewsComments (0)

USA Baseball Names 2013 National Team Coaching Staffs


Federation announces managers, coaches and administrators for 18U, 15U and 12U National Teams

Press Release USA Baseball

USA Baseball announced today the coaching staffs for its 2013 national teams. Highlighted by Wright State University head coach, Rob Cooper, who was announced as the field manager of the 18U National Team in January, the staffs for the 18U, 15U and 12U National Teams have been finalized. The inaugural 12U National Team will be led by Corona del Sol High School’s Dave Webb.

Cooper, a two-time Collegiate National Team staff member, will be joined on the coaching staff by pitching coach Mike Maack and assistant coaches Kevin Wilson and Eric Munson. Maack, the head coach at Prestonwood Christian Academy (Texas), has more than 27 years of NCAA Division I and high school coaching experience. Currently in his 12th season at Prestonwood, Maack previously was the head coach at Tennessee Tech University and before that served as the pitching coach for the University of Central Florida and University of Tennessee.

Wilson is a two-time Tournament of Stars and National Team Identification Series taskforce member and will be making his first appearance on a national team coaching staff. The former Cincinnati Bearcat enjoyed a six-year professional playing career before moving into coaching and now runs Kevin Wilson Baseball in Philadelphia. Munson, a USA Baseball Collegiate National Team alum (’97-’98) and Golden Spikes Award finalist, is currently an assistant coach at the University of Dubuque in Iowa after a year as an assistant coach at his alma mater, the University of Southern California, and a professional career that saw Munson spend parts of nine seasons in the major leagues. Munson joined 18U manager, Cooper, at last summer’s inaugural 17U National Team Development Program as one of the on-field coaches. Steve Domzalski, from Wayne State University, rounds out the staff as the athletic trainer.

“We continually look to raise the bar higher in regards to the coaching staffs and administrators who lead our athletes in competitions each year,” said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball Executive Director/CEO. “This year is no exception, and we are thrilled to see alumni of our programs return to help manage and coach for their respective clubs.”

The 18U National Team will return to Taichung, Chinese Taipei, for a second consecutive season to compete in the IBAF ‘AAA’/18U World Cup, August 30 – September 8. Last year’s 18U team played exhibition games in Taichung before winning gold at the IBAF 18U World Championships in Seoul, South Korea.

In addition to the 18U staff, USA Baseball also named its 15U National Team and inaugural 12U National Team managers, coaches and administrators today. Chatsworth High School (Calif.) head coach Tom Meusborn will return for a second season to manage the 15U team, and he will be joined by pitching coach Matt LaCour, the head coach at Harvard-Westlake High School (Calif.), and assistant coaches Chan Brown (Parkview HS – Ga.) and George Sanchez (Corona del Sol HS), all of whom have previously worked in some capacity for USA Baseball and its various youth-level teams.

Meusborn – who won his 600th game as head coach at Chatsworth High School this season – and LaCour were part of the inaugural 15U National Team coaching staff that went 4-0 during its friendship series in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, last August. This year’s 15U National Team will compete in the COPABE “AA”/15U Pan American Baseball Championships, in Barranquilla, Colombia, which will be held July 26 – August 4.

Also announced was the staff that will guide USA Baseball’s first 12U National Team at the IBAF 12U World Cup in Taipei City, Chinese Taipei. Dave Webb, head coach at Corona del Sol High School in Arizona, will serve as the manager, with the assistance of Terrence Freeman (Eagle’s View Academy – Fla.), Jason Sekany (private instructor – Calif.) and Tanner Vesley (Corona del Sol HS) in the dugout.

Webb has plenty of international experience having led the 2008 and 2009 14U National Teams to gold medals in Guatemala and Ecuador. Webb will also have the benefit of having Bill Krejci on the staff as the business manager. Krejci has been the athletic director at Southwestern Community College in Creston, Iowa, since 2000 after 22 years as the school’s baseball coach. In addition to his duties at Southwestern, Krejci has been involved with USA Baseball for the last 18 years.

USA Baseball previously announced the coaching staff for the 2013 Collegiate National Team, with TCU’s Jim Schlossnagle tabbed as the team’s manager. Schlossnagle’s staff includes Tim Esmay (head coach, Arizona State), Mike Bianco (head coach, Ole Miss), Ed Servais (head coach, Creighton) and bullpen coach Brett Basham. Brandi Davidson and Danny Wheat, both of TCU, will serve as the team’s press officer and certified athletic trainer.

USA Baseball is still in the process of finalizing several coaching and administrative positions for its various national team programs. A final announcement will be posted to www.USABaseball.com.

A current 2013 schedule for USA Baseball competitions and events can be found by clicking here.

Posted in News, TournamentsComments (0)

College: 60-man Golden Spikes Award Watch List Released


Press Release by USA Baseball

DURHAM, N.C. – USA Baseball released its 60-man midseason Golden Spikes Award watch list on Thursday, bringing the organization one step closer to naming the top amateur baseball player in the country.

The watch list will continue to be a “rolling” list until May 28 — when the 30 semifinalists for the award are announced — ensuring that athletes can play themselves into consideration for the award. The Golden Spikes Award trophy will be awarded live on MLB Network for the third year in a row, with a live presentation scheduled during The Rundown on Friday, July 19. Through USA Baseball’s partnership with MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM), the presentation will also be simulcast with a live stream available from GoldenSpikesAward.com and USABaseball.com.

Twenty-eight new players were added to the list since its initial release on February 14, joining 32 others from the original watch list. The Southeastern Conference led all conferences in watch-list players, placing 11 on the midseason update, while Georgia Tech and Louisiana State each placed three players on the list. Louisiana State infielder Alex Bregman and Cal State Fullerton right-handed pitcher Thomas Eshelman, the only two freshmen on the list, both played their way onto the midseason watch list with strong freshman campaigns. Among the 60 are six 2012 Golden Spikes Award semifinalists, including two of last year’s finalists, Mark Appel (RHP, senior, Stanford) and Carlos Rodon (LHP, sophomore, North Carolina State).

USA Baseball officials will announce the 30 semifinalists for the 2013 Golden Spikes Award on Tuesday, May 28. The list of 30 will then be sent to a voting body consisting of past USA Baseball National Team coaches and press officers, members of media that closely follow the amateur game, select professional baseball personnel, and current USA Baseball staff, representing a group of more than 200 voters in total.

Fan voting will once again be a part of the Golden Spikes Award in 2013. Tuesday, May 28, marks the day when amateur baseball fans from across the country will be able to vote for their favorite semifinalist on GoldenSpikesAward.com. As part of this selection process all voters will be asked to choose three players from the list of 30 names. On Tuesday, June 4, USA Baseball will announce the three finalists, and voting will once again commence that same day.

USA Baseball partnered with MLBAM to create GoldenSpikesAward.com in 2008. Later that year, Florida State’s Buster Posey was presented the award at MLB All-Star FanFest in New York City. Stephen Strasburg of San Diego States won the award in 2009 in St. Louis, and Bryce Harper of Southern Nevada took home the trophy from Anaheim, Calif., in 2010. UCLA’s Trevor Bauer was the 2011 winner and Florida’s Mike Zunino won the 2012 award. Bauer and Zunino accepted their trophies as part of live presentations from MLB Network’s Studio 42.

Other past winners of the Golden Spikes Award include Terry Francona (1980), Will Clark (1985), Robin Ventura (1988), Jason Varitek (1994), J.D. Drew (1997), Mark Prior (2001), Jered Weaver (2004), Tim Lincecum (2006) and David Price (2007).

Important 2013 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award dates include:

  • Thursday, Feb. 14: 50-man preseason watch list released, shaped by USA Baseball officials and advisors
  • Thursday, May 2: 60-man midseason watch list released, shaped by USA Baseball officials and advisors
  • Tuesday, May 28: 30 semifinalists announced, selected by USA Baseball officials; semifinalist voting begins; voters to select three
  • Friday, May 31: Deadline to vote for finalists, 5 p.m. ET
  • Tuesday, June 4: Three finalists announced; finalist voting begins; voters to select one
  • Friday, June 14: Deadline to vote for winner, 5 p.m. ET
  • Friday, July 19: Live Golden Spikes Award presentation airing on MLB Network’s The Rundown

The complete 2013 midseason Golden Spikes Award Watch List is as follows:

Name, Position, Class, School, Conference (in order of last name, new players bolded)

Chris Anderson, RHP, Junior, Jacksonville, Atlantic Sun
Mark Appel, RHP, Senior, Stanford, Pac-12
Barrett Astin, RHP, Junior, Arkansas, SEC
Michael Bass, IF, Senior, UNC-W, Colonial Athletic
Tyler Beede, RHP, Sophomore, Vanderbilt, SEC
Aaron Blair, RHP, Junior, Marshall, C-USA
Matt Boyd, LHP, Senior, Oregon State, Pac-12
Alex Bregman, IF, Freshman, Louisiana State, SEC
Kris Bryant, UTL, Junior, San Diego, West Coast
Danny Collins, OF, Junior, Troy, Sun Belt
Michael Conforto, OF, Sophomore, Oregon State, Pac-12
Kyle Crockett, LHP, Junior, Virginia, ACC
LB Dantzler, IF, Senior, South Carolina, SEC
Kent Emanuel, LHP, Junior, North Carolina, ACC
Phillip Ervin, OF, Junior, Samford, SoCon
Thomas Eshelman, RHP, Freshman, Cal State Fullerton, Big West
Zane Evans, C/RHP, Junior, Georgia Tech, ACC
Buck Farmer, RHP, Senior, Georgia Tech, ACC
Johnny Field, OF, Junior, Arizona, Pac-12
Mitchell Garver, C, Senior, New Mexico, Mountain West
Marco Gonzales, LHP, Junior, Gonzaga, West Coast
Jonathan Gray, RHP, Junior, Oklahoma, Big 12
Ryon Healy, IF, Junior, Oregon, Pac-12
Jeff Hoffman, RHP, Sophomore, ECU, USA
Jason Hursh, RHP, RS Sophomore, Oklahoma St, Big 12
Eric Jagielo, IF, Junior, Notre Dame, Big East
Aaron Judge, OF, Junior, Fresno State, Mountain West
Mason Katz, IF, Senior, Louisiana State, SEC
Jared King, OF, Junior, Kansas State, Big 12
Andrew Knapp, C, Junior, California, Pac-12
Corey Knebel, RHP, Junior, Texas, Big 12
Michael Lorenzen, OF/RHP, Junior, Cal State Fullerton, Big West
Sean Manaea, LHP, Junior, Indiana State, Missouri Valley
Trey Masek, RHP, Junior, Texas Tech, Big 12
Kyle McGowin, RHP, Junior, Savannah State, Mid-Eastern
Colin Moran, IF, Junior, North Carolina, ACC
Aaron Nola, RHP, Sophomore, Louisiana State, SEC
Matt Oberste, IF, Junior, Oklahoma, Big 12
Daniel Palka, UTL, Junior, Georgia Tech, ACC
D.J. Peterson, IF, Junior, New Mexico, Mountain West
Nick Petree, RHP, RS Junior, Missouri State, Missouri Valley
Andrew Pierce, RHP, Senior, Southern Mississippi, C-USA
Adam Plutko, RHP, Junior, UCLA, Pac-12
Bryan Radziewski, LHP, Junior, Miami, ACC
Hunter Renfroe, OF, Junior, Mississippi State, SEC
Carlos Rodon, LHP, Sophomore, NC State, ACC
Kyle Schwarber, C/OF, Sophomore, Indiana, Big Ten
Jimmie Sherfy, RHP , Junior, Oregon, Pac-12
Braden Shipley, RHP, Junior, Nevada, MWC
Dan Slania, RHP, Junior, Notre Dame, Big East
Ryne Stanek, RHP, Junior, Arkansas, SEC
Jeff Thompson, RHP, Junior, Louisville, Big East
Trea Turner, IF, Sophomore, NC State, ACC
Stuart Turner, C, Junior, Mississippi, SEC
Bobby Wahl, RHP, Junior, Mississippi, SEC
Trevor Williams, RHP, Junior, Arizona State, Pac-12
Tom Windle, LHP, Junior, Minnesota, Big 10
Derrick Workman, OF, Junior, Mercer, Atlantic Sun
Jimmy Yezzo, IF, Junior, Delaware, Colonial Athletic
Kevin Ziomek, LHP, Junior, Vanderbilt, SEC

Posted in College, N. America, NewsComments (0)

USA Baseball launches 12U National Team


Press Release USA Baseball

USA baseball will implement a rolling invitation process for naming players to the 2013 squad. A total of 18 athletes will be identified through officially sanctioned identification events in the spring for 12U National Team Training and eventual competition at the II IBAF 12U World Cup. Players eligible for the 2013 12U National Team must be born on or after Jan. 1, 2001.

The primary identification vehicle for the 2013 USA Baseball 12U National Team will be a series of regional identification tryouts and tournaments to be held from March through May 2013. These will be sanctioned identification events that are affiliated with the USA Baseball National Team Identification Series (NTIS). Details on the tryouts and tournaments will be released on USABaseball.com as they are available. Additonal secondary events and recommendations from professional scouts, college and high school coaches, and the amateur baseball community may also be used to identify players. As players are named to the team, USA Baseball will publicize the announcement(s) through a press release and/or by posting to USABaseball.com.

Once the 18 players have been invited, they will convene at a location and time yet to be determined to participate in the 2013 USA Baseball 12U National Team Training. At the 12U Training, players will participate in practices and exhibition games as they prepare to compete in the IBAF “A” World Championships to be held in Taipei City, Taiwan, from July 20-28.

Additionally, players may qualify for the 2014 12U National Team Trials by competing in the 2013 11U NTIS. The NTIS is held each September and provides USA Baseball with an advanced look at the upcoming class of top players at the 12U, 15U, 17U and 18U competition levels.

At the NTIS, USA Baseball Task Force members will identify a minium of 16 players for the following season’s 12U National Team Trials. Players may participate in the NTIS through a regional qualification process or via the USA Stars at-large program.

Additional identification events will be held in the summer of 2014 to identify players for the 2014 12U National Team Trials. These events may include, but are not limited to, 12U USA Baseball National Team Championships tournaments and events held at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, N.C.

Information contained in this selection process document is subject to change at the sole discretion of USA Baseball and without further notice. For more information on the USA Baseball NTIS, please click HERE.

Posted in News, TournamentsComments (0)

WBC: Are American Fans Boring?


I’ve followed this World Baseball Classic all over the web reading article after article and tweet after tweet. And there is one thing that seems to stand out, which Jeff Passan said best, “Major League Baseball promotes the WBC as an entity to spread the game internationally. Turns out we’re the ones with a thing or two to learn.”

Passan wrote an article calling American fans boring. I couldn’t agree more.

Let me preface this by saying I’ve spent the last three years living in baseball crazy South Korea. Here they dance, cheer, sing, and beat their thundersticks (which they came up with) no matter what the score is in the game.

Throughout the Classic there has been a lot of, as Passan puts it, “bellyaching and bitching about the horns and flag-waving and general enthusiasm that emanates from the fan bases of Latin American teams” And it’s not just the Latin American fans. You could include the Asian Fans in that as well. The US fans just haven’t seen them in person yet.

But why are we “bellyaching and bitching”? We should embrace it and take from it, not just that it’s okay to actually cheer, that it’s okay to have fun. So much of watching a game back home in the US is either yelling at your own guys because they did something wrong or yelling at the other team because, well, they aren’t your team.

Baseball is more than that. We usually sit and wait for the big play to stand up and cheer. Why? Why can’t we stand up and cheer at any point in the game? It not only breeds excitement in the stands, but it breeds excitement on the field and the players feed off of that.

Our society as a whole is too worried about ‘showing someone up’. When you stand at home plate and admire a long home run you are showing someone up. When you are cheering for your team and you show emotion you’re not.

Maybe it’s not considered ‘politically correct’. I’m here to tell you that being “PC” will be the downfall of the West.

Baseball is an emotional game. So let’s see some of that emotion. Don’t hold it in. Let it out.

And why are so many people not on board with the WBC? Time after time I’ve seen from a so-called “baseball fan” and even a lot of reporters that cover the came that they just can’t get into it. I don’t get it.

This has been some of the most exciting baseball played in a long time. There are so many interesting story lines, upsets, Cinderella stories if you will, yet so many people can’t get behind it at all.

They say it’s boring. That just means you haven’t watched any of it.

They say the games don’t matter, yet worry about their team in spring training. I can’t even begin to point out the irony there.

I think we would all like to see the best players in the tournament. But if we are all sitting here saying it doesn’t matter, why should they play? We need to express just how much it does matter to them. Then they will be more inclined to play. But we are never going to get there with all of the negative talk about why this thing doesn’t matter.

Just read the comments of Passan’s article. They complain about him, baseball, the tournament, and the players. Some of them are so misguided it’s not even funny. Since when does football have “unrelenting action”? You watch a football game for three hours and they actually play for what 15 minutes? Since when is that “unrelenting action”?

Of course most of the ones that make the really bad comments can’t even post under their own name. There are a lot of trolls on the internet. But there are a lot of fans that seem to be misguided and that is not good for the game.

If so many people are concerned about their team, why can’t they see the bigger picture? This tournament helps the game AROUND THE WORLD! In return that only helps the big leagues. Do you really think that this tournament doesn’t matter to places like Italy or the Netherlands? Baseball got some much needed exposure in those countries which only helps in the long run.

Perhaps that’s the problem with US fans. We are too concerned about what is happening right now to even see the long term effects of the tournament. We are a society that needs instant gratification, but if the fans could only see that this tournament helps their Dodgers or Yankees or Red Sox in the long run maybe they could support it a little more.

As a fan of the game, and a fan of growing the game worldwide, it’s frustrating to see so many fans, and at times writers, bash the tournament and say it is meaningless. They just don’t get it, but hopefully one day they will.

Keep up the good work Jeff Passan. Even if you write things that many American fans can’t stomach.

Edit: I wanted to clarify two points that I have seem to blend together here. Here is point #1

Posted in News, TournamentsComments (3)

WBC: Puerto Rico Eliminates USA; Advances to Championship Round


Figueroa Pitches Puerto Rico Past U.S., Into Semifinals

By Gabriel Fidler (@gabrielfidler)

Puerto Rico scored a run in the first inning and Nelson Figueroa made it stand it up with six scoreless frames, and the team withstood a late rally from the United States to qualify for the World Baseball Classic semifinals. The 4-3 decision eliminated the U.S. from the WBC almost exactly four years to the day after the Americans sent Puerto Rico home in the second Classic.

Angel Pagan showed why he is considered the sparkplug of the Puerto Rican offence with a game-opening single up-the-middle off U.S. starter Ryan Vogelsong. The San Fransisco Giants’ pitcher got two quick outs, but Puerto Rico staged a two-out rally.

With the infield playing toward the middle, Yadier Molina drove a pitch the other way and reached on a single through a big hole on the right side of the infield. Mike Aviles then stroked a ball between first and second to score Pagán from second. The single drove in his eighth run of the tournament, tied for third-best.

Vogelsong denied Alex Riíos a chance to drive home the runners on the corners with a popout, but Puerto Rico had a 1-0 lead.

Nelson Figueroa took the hill in the bottom of the first and worked around an error by Aviles, inducing a double play by Ryan Braun with one out to end the frame. Neither starter allowed a hit in the second.

Puerto Rico had another chance in the third. Pagán worked a free pass to start the inning, by Jesús Feliciano grounded into a double play. The 3-6-1 twin killing would save a run, as Carlos Beltrán ripped his only hit of the ballgame into the right field corner for a double. Yadier Molina popped the next pitch to third to keep the U.S.’ deficit at one.

The fourth and fifth innings were quiet as the two nations received good innings from their hurlers. Vogelsong would leave with two outs in the fifth inning after nearing his pitch limit, and Vinnie Pestano took over with Beltrán on first after a walk.

Pestano gave up a single to Aviles and then loaded the bases on a base on balls to Ríos, hitting only .156 in the Classic. With left-handed hitting Carlos Rivera due up, Greg Maddux, pitching coach for the Americans, visited the mound and left the righty Pestano in the game. Despite Jeremy Affeldt, a southpaw with World Series experience, warming in the pen, Pestano was allowed to pitch to Rivera.

The Mexican leaguer earned a walk on six pitches, scoring a second run for Puerto Rico. Pestano was allowed to remain in the game and, after working an 0-2 count on Andy González, left a slider in the zone. González crushed the pitch into the left field corner for a two-run double, and Puerto Rico’s lead grew to 4-0.

U.S. manager Joe Torre finally yanked his struggling reliever and sent in Affeldt. The lefty got a one-pitch groundball from Irving Falú and the nightmarish inning was finally over.

Figueroa remained on the hill for the sixth. He gave up the second hit of the game for the red, white, and blue, but then struck out Brandon Phillips, who reached in every other plate appearance in the game. Molina finished the inning by throwing a laser to second to erase Jimmy Rollins, who was trying to steal.

Affeldt stayed on for a scoreless seventh, though Pagán reached on a bouncer to the left side and created havoc at first base until Affeldt retired the side. The U.S. would finally score their first run in the bottom of the frame, the longest it had ever taken the team to plate a run in a WBC game.

Joe Mauer stroked a triple into the gap in right centre with one out, and Giancarlo Stanton sent him home with a single to left off reliever Giovanni Soto. He was forced out on a grounder, but Eric Hosmer rapped a single to centre to put two runners on. José de la Torre, who pitched Puerto Rico out of a jam against Italy two days earlier, got Adam Jones to strike out looking for the third out.

Heath Bell kept Puerto Rico off the board in the eighth, and the American offence kept clicking after another de la Torre strikeout of Shane Victorino. Rollins singled to right and Phillips beat out a slow roller to shortstop to put two runners on.

Braun ripped a two-bagger into the left field corner to plate Rollins, and the U.S. had narrowed the score to 4-2. Puerto Rican manager Edwin Rodriguez summoned Xavier Cedeno to face Mauer, but the star catcher worked a six-pitch walk.

Fernando Cabrera was next out of the bullpen for Rodríguez and got the second out from Stanton on an eight-pitch at bat. Cabrera then walked Zobrist on four pitches, forcing in a run and narrowing Puerto Rico’s lead to one.

Rodríguez continued to work the lefty-right matchups and brought in southpaw J.C. Romero to face Hosmer. With right-handers Jonathan Lucroy and J.P. Arencibia on the bench, Torre left in Hosmer, who was 1-for-31 against left-handed relievers in 2012. The pitching substitution worked magic for Puerto Rico as Romero generated an easy tapper to second, and the game moved to the ninth with the score 4-3 in Puerto Rico’s favour.

Craig Kimbrel, who took the loss after a brutal outing the night before, pitched the ninth. The red, white, and blue closer worked around a leadoff hit to hold Puerto Rico scoreless, giving the U.S. hitters one final chance to tie the game.

Romero stayed on to close and looked extremely good. The veteran pounded his sinker low in the zone, mixing in the occasional changeup and slider and got Jones to strike out on six pitches. He turned up the heat on Victorino, catching him looking for a three-pitch strikeout.

Rollins then flew out to Pagán, who waited just long enough for the ball to settle in his glove before jumping in celebration as the Puerto Rican bench mobbed Romero on the mound. The victory was the biggest upset in recent memory for Puerto Rico, ranked No. 12 in the world, in recent memory.

The 2013 World Baseball Classic is over for the second-rated U.S. team, continuing their streak of disappointment in the tournament. Puerto Rico joins a semifinals that does not include the top two teams in the world, though it does feature two-time defending WBC champions and third-ranked Japan, No. 7 Netherlands, the most recent world champion, and a loaded Dominican Republic team.

Rollins and Phillips both had two hits for the losers, who had eight hits and drew three walks. The Americans left seven runners on base. The bottom five in the order was 2-for-22, struck out four times, and left 11 men stranded.

Pagán raised his WBC average to .391 with a 2-for-3 day, scoring once and drawing a walk. Aviles joined him with a brace of hits and the team struck out only twice against U.S. pitching, drawing four walks and collecting nine hits.

Vogelsong was the hard-luck loser, giving up two runs on four hits and two walks, whiffing one in 5 2/3. Figueroa improved to 2-0 in the Classic, lowering his ERA to 1.80 with six scoreless innings. He surrendered only two hits and a base on balls, striking out two. Romero earned his first save of the tourney.

Puerto Rico will have only a few hours to prepare for their final game of the second round. It takes on an undefeated Dominican Republic side to determine the seeding for the semifinals. The contest starts at 6 p.m. GMT on Mar. 16.

Check back for news and analysis of that game and the championship round of the World Baseball Classic.

Posted in TournamentsComments (0)

WBC: Dominican Republic Downs USA; Secures Spot in Championship Round


Dominican Republic Upsets USA, Advances in WBC

By Gabriel Fidler (@gabrielfidler)

In a game that truly earned the title of World Baseball Classic, Erick Aybar delivered a pinch hit, go-ahead single in the ninth inning to lead the Dominican Republic in a 3-1 victory over the United States. The dramatic victory qualified the Dominicans for the semifinal round and pushed the U.S.A. within one loss of elimination.

Both teams featured dominant pitching throughout the game, with neither nation able to mount a consistent offence. Despite the absence of ‘Captain America’, David Wright, the U.S. struck in the first against Samuel Deduno, who otherwise had a stellar performance.

Deduno, coming off a strong showing against Spain in the first round, looked shaky to start the game. He gave up a one-out single to Brandon Phillips before getting Ryan Braun swinging. Joe Mauer stroked a one-base hit off Deduno before Giancarlo Stanton bounced a ball up the middle that was stopped by a diving Jose Reyes. Reyes could not get a strong enough toss to second for the forceout and the U.S. had the bases jammed.

Deduno briefly lost control of the strike zone against Eric Hosmer, who took a four-pitch free pass to push across the first run for the U.S. The Dominican hurler followed with a full count against Adam Jones, but dropped a curveball down the heart of the plate to catch Jones looking. It was the last time that the U.S. would have multiple runners on base.

R.A. Dickey started for the United States and had a better feel of his knuckleball than in his first WBC start, but after retiring the first four Dominican batters, left a knuckler in Hanley Ramirez’s wheelhouse. Ramírez crushed the ball to the walkway in left centre, striking the ‘427 foot’ sign with the ball.

Dickey almost ran in to trouble with two outs in the inning after a single by Carlos Santana, sending him to second on a wild pitch. The right-hander got out of the frame with a groundball to keep the score level.

J.P. Arencibia led off the bottom of the second with a single against Deduno. After the runner advanced to second on a sacrifice, Deduno bore down, striking out Jimmy Rollins looking and getting a grounder from Phillips.

The Dominicans got two hits in the third, but Dickey once more battled out of the jam, and the two starters traded zeroes through the fourth. Deduno hit his pitch count after four, but struck out seven while scattering seven baserunners. The U.S. had a runner on base in all four of his frames, but Deduno worked around it every time with a tight curveball to compliment his 92-mph/148-kmh tailing fastball.

Dickey lasted five frames before exiting at the pitch limit. After a booming double by Nelson Cruz with one out in the fourth, Dickey sent down the final five batters he faced. He struck out four, walked one, and surrendered five hits.

From the bottom of the fifth onward, it was a battle of the bullpens. Both teams were up to the task, with each registering only one hit between the fifth and eighth innings. Kelvin Herrera was particularly impressive in relief of Deduno, working through the heart of the US order in the fifth and sixth, allowing no hits or base on balls.

Luke Gregerson, Tim Collins, and Steve Cishek worked the sixth through eight innings for U.S. manager Joe Torre. Cishek hurled an impressive 1-2-3 inning in the eighth against Robinson Cano, Edwin Encarnacion, and Ramírez, catching the latter looking on strike three and leaping off the mound with a triumphant fist pump.

The U.S. got only their sixth hit of the game in the eighth, but Pedro Strop was not troubled by the Mauer safety, striking out Giancarlo Stanton looking and getting a fly ball from Eric Hosmer to send the game to the ninth.

Torre sent in his closer, Craig Kimbrel, with the game tied at one and the 6-7-8 hitters due up for the Dominican Republic. Cruz torched his second double of the game, this time sending it to the opposite alley from his first two-bagger.

Stanton, the rightfielder for the Americans, made a nice play to cut off the ball, diving to catch the ball off one bounce and throwing a laser into second, just behind Cruz. Kimbrel gave up only one double in all of 2012 while finishing games for the Atlanta Braves.

Santana bounced out slowly to second, and Cruz was off with the pitch, making it to third without drawing a throw. With Ricardo Nanita, the only member of the Dominican lineup without big league experience due up, Dominican skipper Tony Pena sent in pinch hitter Erick Aybar.

Aybar took a called strike two on a horrendous call by the home plate umpire, bounding out of the box in disbelief, but ripped the next ball to shallow right field. Cruz came racing home with the Dominicans’ first run since the second inning, and Aybar had a RBI-single as the well-represented Dominican fans erupted into pandemonium. The dugout for the visitors erupted as well, and Cruz was battered with praise as he made his way to the bench.

Peña’s men were not finished with Kimbrel, as Aybar took off for second on the next batter, stealing second base and putting another run in scoring position. Kimbrel got out number two on a strikeout, but Reyes struck a single to left field and Aybar sprinted home to make it 3-1. By this point, both the players and fans for the Dominican Republic were in an absolute frenzy as the U.S.’ fans looked on helplessly.

Torre had finally had enough from Kimbrel, who had a 1.01 ERA in 2012, inserting Mitchell Boggs. Boggs got a ground ball to put an end to the rally, but the Dominican Republic had firmly taken the momentum.

Fernando Rodney entered to close out the game and did just that. Peña’s stopper got a 1-2-3 inning, striking out one for his fourth save of the Classic, tied for most all-time. Strop improved to 3-0, setting WBC records for most wins in a tournament and eclipsing the previous mark for career victories by a reliever.

While Aybar may have been the player of the game, Cruz and Santana each notched two hits to lead the Dominican. U.S. pitchers struck out nine of their opponents and held the Dominicans hitless with runners in scoring position until Kimbrel’s implosion.

Kimbrel suffered his first loss for Team U.S.A., ruining a night that had seen the Americans hold the powerful Dominican bats to six hits until the ninth frame. Mauer was the sole hitting star for the U.S., collecting a pair of safeties to raise his average in the tournament to .444.

The red, white, and blue certainly missed the contributions of Wright, who came in hitting .438 with a Classic-leading 10 RBI. The team was only 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position and struck out nine times while leaving eight runners stranded.

Wright will be questionable with a sore back for the Americans’ next game against Puerto Rico. Torre will only have a day to regroup before facing intra-national rivals in Marlins Park. Game time is scheduled for 7 pm. EST on Mar. 15. The loser will return home, while the winner will join the Netherlands, Japan, and the Dominican Republic in San Francisco.

Before flying across the country, the Dominicans will have one more game to determine whether they will face the Dutch or the Japanese in AT&T Park. The 1 p.m. EST game on Mar. 16 will pit them against the winner of the U.S.-Puerto Rico contest.

Stay tuned for coverage of the final two games of the second round and the single-elimination finals of the 2013 World Baseball Classic.

Posted in TournamentsComments (0)

FanDuel

The Best Baseball Sim Game on the Market

OOTP Baseball '14 Buy OOTP Baseball 14 PC & Mac

Have a Baseball Story?

Whether its a press release, tips, information, or just a good story, feel free to Contact Us with any story baseball related.