USA BASEBALL NEWS

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USA Baseball Announces Partnership With Big League Chew

Big League Chew to become Official Bubble Gum of USA Baseball
September 19, 2023
CARY, N.C. – USA Baseball and USA Baseball Sports Properties within LEARFIELD today announced a partnership with Big League Chew, baseball’s favorite bubble gum, to become an Official Partner of the organization as the Official Bubble Gum of USA Baseball. Rooted in baseball culture for over four decades, Big League

CARY, N.C. – USA Baseball and USA Baseball Sports Properties within LEARFIELD today announced a partnership with Big League Chew, baseball’s favorite bubble gum, to become an Official Partner of the organization as the Official Bubble Gum of USA Baseball.

Rooted in baseball culture for over four decades, Big League Chew has been a staple for generations of players and fans of America’s pastime. The partnership unites one of America’s most beloved and iconic bubble gum brands with the nation’s premier amateur baseball organization.

“USA Baseball looks forward to teaming up with Big League Chew on and off the diamond,” said USA Baseball COO David Perkins. “Big League Chew has become an iconic part of the game of baseball, and we are excited about this new relationship that will help to elevate the two brands in the amateur baseball realm.”

Big League Chew and USA Baseball are excited to team up in various capacities, such as featuring USA Baseball branding on every pack of Big League Chew, product placement in dugouts during USA Baseball events, and collaborative social media content showcasing how the country’s top young talent has fun with Big League Chew as they chase their big league dreams. Additionally, Big League Chew will provide products to participants at USA Baseball events and to USA Baseball national team athletes annually.

“Joining forces with a prestigious organization like USA Baseball to help promote amateur baseball across the country is something Big League Chew and I can get behind completely,” said Rob Nelson, founder of Big League Chew.

“The momentum for the Big League Chew brand is accelerating rapidly, and our new partnership with USA Baseball will only help us round the bases faster. We are excited to work with the amazing USA Baseball team in 2024 and beyond,” said CEO of Ford Gum Scott Lerner.

USA Baseball Sports Properties within LEARFIELD is dedicated to representing USA Baseball by developing and managing sponsor relationships with brands looking to align with USA Baseball and its events and programming.

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Mike Fuentes, Alex Gordon, and Steve Kemp Elected to National College Baseball Hall of Fame

Trio of former CNT stars join 47 other Team USA alums in HOF
December 8, 2023
Former Collegiate National Team standouts Mike Fuentes, Alex Gordon, and Steve Kemp were elected to the National College Baseball Hall of Fame, as announced by the College Baseball Foundation on Thursday. The trio joins 47 other Team USA alumni–including 43 who played for the Collegiate National Team–in the Hall of

Former Collegiate National Team standouts Mike Fuentes, Alex Gordon, and Steve Kemp were elected to the National College Baseball Hall of Fame, as announced by the College Baseball Foundation on Thursday.

The trio joins 47 other Team USA alumni–including 43 who played for the Collegiate National Team–in the Hall of Fame, which began inducting members in 2006.

Fuentes played for the U.S. in 1980, when it took on Japan in a six-game series in California and Nebraska. Fuentes and Team USA went 5-1 versus Japan, dropping the opener before rattling off five straight wins to secure the series. The outfielder was on a roster featuring two other future College Baseball Hall of Famers: three-time CNT alum Oddibe McDowell and three-time MLB All-Star Frank Viola. Following his stint with the stars and stripes, Fuentes returned to Florida State and had a sensational season en route to winning the Golden Spikes Award in 1981. He became a second-round pick by the Montreal Expos following that season and went on to play seven seasons of professional baseball.

A fellow Golden Spikes Award winner, Gordon played for Team USA in 2004. The U.S. played in 25 games that summer, going 18-7 and sweeping the II FISU World University Baseball Championships in Tainan, Taiwan, to take home a gold medal. Gordon–who was named the top offensive player of the FISU Championships–played in 24 games that summer and was a key cog in the U.S. offense, batting .388 with four home runs and 12 RBIs. Gordon was one of the best players in University of Nebraska history, as the 2005 GSA winner batted .355 with 44 career homers. The two-time Big 12 Player of the Year was chosen with the second overall pick by the Kansas City Royals in the 2005 MLB Draft, for whom he played 14 seasons in the big leagues and won eight gold gloves.

Kemp played two summers for Team USA, patrolling the outfield in both 1974 and 1975. Led by fellow Hall of Famer and longtime baseball coach Rod Dedeaux, Kemp was joined in 1974 by Keith Moreland and Rick Wortham, both who were also elected to the College Baseball Hall of Fame. The USC alum returned to the stars and stripes in 1975 and was again coached by a Hall of Famer, as John Scolinos was at the helm of the club. In his college days, Kemp helped lead the Trojans to several College World Series appearances, including their fifth consecutive in 1975. The outfielder was the first overall pick by the Detriot Tigers in 1976 and played 11 seasons in the bigs, making the All-Star Game in 1979 and getting MVP votes in both 1979 and 1981.

In total, 50 Team USA alumni are currently in the College Baseball Hall of Fame. Six members of the 1988 team that won gold at the Seoul 1998 Summer Olympic Games are in the Hall of Fame, in addition to four players from the 1984 Olympic squad. Three players from both the 18U and Professional Teams have also previously been inducted, in addition to 19 former coaches or administrative staff.

To be eligible for the College Baseball Hall of Fame ballot, players must be out of college for 15 years and have completed one year of competition at a two-year institution in the CCCAA, NJCAA or a four-year NCAA (Division I, II or III) or NAIA institution. Ballot-eligible coaches must be retired for two years or be active and no less than 75 years old. 

The class will be honored at the Night of Champions presented by Prairiefire on February 15, 2024, in Overland, Kansas.

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USA Baseball Reveals 2023 Award Winners

Trea Turner and Tyler Early earn Richard W. “Dick” Case Award honors
December 5, 2023
CARY, N.C. – USA Baseball today revealed its annual organizational award winners, recognizing the top athletes, coaches, performances, and staff from its 2023 national teams and development programs. For the first time in the organization’s history, two athletes–Trea Turner (WBC) and Tyler Early (12U)–were honored with the Richard W. “Dick”

CARY, N.C. – USA Baseball today revealed its annual organizational award winners, recognizing the top athletes, coaches, performances, and staff from its 2023 national teams and development programs. For the first time in the organization’s history, two athletes–Trea Turner (WBC) and Tyler Early (12U)–were honored with the Richard W. “Dick” Case Award, recognizing the athlete of the year.

Additionally, after leading Team USA to a silver medal at the 2023 World Baseball Classic, Mark DeRosa earned Rod Dedeaux Coach of the Year honors. Charlie Condon’s walk-off single for the Collegiate National Team secured the International Performance of the Year, while Alex Hugo was named the Sportswoman of the Year for the second time in her career.

Thanks to a gold-medal run at the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-12 Baseball World Cup, the 12U National Team was awarded Team of the Year honors for the second consecutive season. Veronica Alvarez received the “Doc” Counsilman Science Award, while Rick Eckstein earned Coach Educator of the Year honors.

Dylan Crews (Golden Spikes Award), Josie Harding (Service Provider of the Year), Mike Kinkade (Volunteer Coach of the Year), and Rob Shabansky (Developmental Coach of the Year) round out the 2023 award winners.

“It is a great privilege to reward our stellar athletes, coaches, and staff for their incredible achievements in 2023,” said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball’s Executive Director and CEO. “We had another strong year in 2023, adding two more gold medals and a World Baseball Classic medal to our ledger. Before we turn our focus to continuing our international success in 2024, it is important for us to look back and recognize all of the individuals who contributed to another great year for USA Baseball.”

The complete list of the 2023 USA Baseball organizational award winners is as follows:

  • Richard W. “Dick” Case Award: Trea Turner (World Baseball Classic Team) & Tyler Early (12U National Team)
  • Rod Dedeaux Coach of the Year: Mark DeRosa (World Baseball Classic Team)
  • Sportswoman of the Year: Alex Hugo (Women’s National Team)
  • International Performance of the Year: Charlie Condon (Collegiate National Team)
  • Team of the Year: 12U National Team (World Cup)
  • Developmental Coach of the Year: Rob Shabansky (15U National Team)
  • Volunteer Coach of the Year: Mike Kinkade
  • Coach Educator of the Year: Rick Eckstein
  • “Doc” Councilman Science Award: Veronica Alvarez (Women’s National Team)
  • Service Provider of the Year: Josie Harding
  • Golden Spikes Award: Dylan Crews (Louisiana State University)

For the first time in the organization’s history, two players earned the Richard W. “Dick” Case Player of the Year Award in 2023. Trea Turner led the U.S. offense at the World Baseball Classic all tournament long in March, batting .391 with a tournament-most five home runs to go along with 11 RBIs. Turner, who was named to the WBC All-Tournament Team, hit four home runs over the tournament’s final three games to help Team USA secure a silver medal. The first of Turner’s crucial blasts came in the quarterfinal round against Venezuela, when the U.S. shortstop crushed a go-ahead grand slam in the top of the eighth to lift the stars and stripes to the semifinals. Turner then hit two more home runs against Cuba to clinch the United States’ spot in the WBC Championship, becoming the first player in the tournament’s history to drive in four or more runs in consecutive games. He continued his tear in the title game, socking his fifth homer­ to tie for the most all-time in a single WBC. Overall, Turner’s five homers and 11 RBIs put him at the top of the Team USA World Baseball Classic record book in both categories.

Tyler Early played a key role in helping the 12U National Team win two gold medals in 2023 to earn Richard W. “Dick” Case Player of the Year Award honors. Playing in all 18 games for Team USA at the WBSC U-12 Baseball World Cup and World Cup Qualifier, the two-way star batted .442 with 10 home runs and 25 RBIs while going 4-0 and posting a 2.68 ERA with 26 strikeouts on the mound. Early etched his name in the record books on three separate occasions in 2023, setting the program record for walks in a game (4), walks in a tournament (17), and strikeouts in a game (9). The Louisiana native cranked six homers in a five-game span in the Qualifier, also earning wins in a 25-24 thriller against Venezuela and a 10-0 shutout over Mexico to be named to the All-Tournament Team. At the World Cup, Early blasted four home runs, pitched five strong innings against Korea in a key Opening Round matchup, and earned the win in the gold medal game victory over Chinese Taipei. He captured the World Cup’s Most Valuable Player Award and secured a spot on the All-World Team.

Mark DeRosa was named 2023 USA Baseball Rod Dedeaux Coach of the Year after he led Team USA to a silver medal at the World Baseball Classic in March. DeRosa’s team went 5-2 in the WBC, reaching the title game for the second consecutive tournament and securing its first silver medal in tournament history. The U.S. led all 20 competing nations in home runs (12), hits (72), and slugging percentage (.553) under DeRosa’s guidance, also ranking in the top three in doubles (13), runs (51), and walks (32). Following a tournament-opening win, the stars and stripes dropped their second contest before rattling off four straight victories to reach the title game against Japan. The U.S. outscored opponents 38-12 during its four-game winning streak, including outputs of 12 runs (vs. Canada) and 14 runs (vs. Cuba). With DeRosa at the helm, Mike Trout and Turner–the Richard W. “Dick” Case Player of the Year–earned spots on the WBC All-Tournament Team.

Appearing on the Women’s National Team for the fourth time in 2023, Alex Hugo had her best performance yet en route to being named the USA Baseball Sportswoman of the Year. Hugo compiled a .714 batting average (10-for-14) with a homer and nine RBIs in five games, reaching base at a .773 clip as Team USA went unbeaten in the WBSC Women’s Baseball World Cup Group Stage. The Olathe, Kansas, native was named the Most Outstanding Player of Group A after leading the tournament in numerous statistical categories, including hits (10), doubles (4), on-base percentage (.773), on-base plus slugging percentage (1.987), and runs (13). After opening the tournament with a hit and a run scored against Australia to help pick up a win, Hugo doubled twice in Team USA’s win over Korea, scored four runs in a victory against Canada, crushed a home run to help the U.S. defeat Hong Kong, and went 2-for-2 with two runs scored in a tournament finale win over Mexico. The four-time Team USA alum scored at least once in all five games, including two contests where she crossed home plate four times. This marks the second time Hugo has been named the USA Baseball Sportswoman of the Year after she previously earned the award in 2019.

With the U.S. trailing by a run and down to its final two outs against Chinese Taipei on the Fourth of July, Charlie Condon delivered to earn the International Performance of the Year. After a rain delay forced the final game of the series to be a seven-inning contest, Chinese Taipei rallied for three runs in the top of the sixth and took a one-run lead into the bottom of the seventh. Two straight singles and a passed ball put the tying and winning runs on base for Condon, who came to the plate and snuck a 2-2 pitch through the left side to bring home Seaver King with the winning run as Team USA secured a five-game sweep in the 20th USA vs. Chinese Taipei International Friendship Series.

After winning its second consecutive WBSC U-12 Baseball World Cup gold medal, the 12U National Team was named the USA Baseball Team of the Year. The club went to Taiwan in July and posted a 7-2 record en route to securing its fifth world title, the most of any nation in the world at the U-12 level. Needing a win in their Super Round finale to secure a spot in the gold medal game, the stars and stripes stormed past Chinese Taipei to force another meeting with the host nation in the title game, where the U.S. notched a 10-4 victory to win gold. Team USA outscored opponents 120-37 in nine games, leading the tournament in runs, home runs (18), and hits (99). On the mound, the U.S. pitching staff struck out a tournament-most 60 batters in 49 innings pitched. The 12U National Team became the first program to win USA Baseball Team of the Year in consecutive seasons since the 18U National Team won it three times from 2012-2014.

Rob Shabansky managed the 15U National Team and spearheaded its run of dominance at the 2023 International Friendly Series in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, to be named Developmental Coach of the Year. Shabansky began the effort in June, scouting players at the National Team Championships in both Arizona and North Carolina. Come September, the seasoned veteran and second-time U.S. manager held his team to a gold standard in its unbeaten run, as the stars and stripes scored 47 runs, maintained a .374 batting average, and posted a 1.16 team ERA over a span of five games. Shabansky brought an abundance of professional playing experience and prior USA Baseball coaching involvement to the table as the former University of Arizona standout and four-year pro ball veteran made his eighth appearance on a Team USA coaching staff in 2023.

Mike Kinkade served as hitting coordinator for the 13U/14U Athlete Development Program (ADP), was on staff at the 2023 MLB Draft Combine, and assisted at the Prospect Development Pipeline (PDP) Premier Women’s Winter Camp to earn Volunteer Coach of the Year. The 2000 Olympic gold medalist brought his plethora of baseball experience to the ADP, which prepares young players for future success and exposes them to high-level coaching. Bridging the gap between national teams, the ADP prepares athletes for the next steps of their career. Prior to his involvement with the ADP, Kinkade played an instrumental role at the 2023 MLB Draft Combine, as he worked with the nation’s top prospects to showcase their talent and prepare for the MLB Draft. Over the winter, Kinkade served as a coach at the PDP Premier Women’s Winter Camp, an offseason initiative designed to build connections and develop the skills of players across the country.

Coach Educator of the Year Rick Eckstein spent time coaching at the PDP League, the 16U/17U National Team Development Program (NTDP), and the 18U National Team Training Camp in 2023. Eckstein brought professional experience to serve as Team Navy’s manager in the PDP League, a joint program assembled between MLB and USA Baseball to provide high school players eligible for the next year’s draft with a robust amateur experience. Later in the summer at the NTDP, Eckstein managed Team White at the National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina. The veteran major-league hitting coach provided his expertise in what serves as an identification event for the 18U National Team and prepares players by giving them unique on- and off-field experiences, including educational seminars to help prepare for a career in baseball. Eckstein continued to play an integral role with USA Baseball in August, joining the USA Baseball Task Force to scout and assist with the selection of the final 20-man 18U National Team roster. The award marks Eckstein’s second USA Baseball honor; he also earned the “Doc” Counsilman Science Award for his work with the Olympic Team in 2008.

Five-time Team USA alum and three-time Women’s National Team Manager Veronica Alvarez is the 2023 “Doc” Counsilman Science Award recipient. Alvarez’s commitment to the use of scientific data and state-of-the-art technology paid great dividends for Team USA this past summer, as the U.S. went unbeaten over five games at the WBSC Women’s Baseball World Cup Group Stage while outscoring opponents 71-2.  Alvarez utilized data provided by PDP Performance Assessments and Rapsodo to assist in selecting the 20-woman Team USA roster, which batted .383 and owned a 0.62 ERA en route to clinching a spot in the World Cup Finals. Additionally, Alvarez helped organize and supported a pitching data seminar with players who attended the PDP Premier Women’s Winter Camp this past January. Alvarez now owns two awards from USA Baseball after she was named the 2019 Rod Dedeaux Coach of the Year following a dominant gold-medal run with the Women’s National Team.

Josie Harding, who was named the 2023 Service Provider of the Year, traveled with three national teams this past season, worked multiple USA Baseball events, and exemplified what it means to be a service provider and represent Team USA. In addition to continuing her work as a certified athletic trainer at the National Team Championships in Arizona, Harding worked in the same role at the PDP Premier Women’s Winter Camp in January. Harding then served as the certified athletic trainer at three different national team events, first playing a key role at the WBSC U-12 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier in Aguascalientes, Mexico, where she helped Team USA win gold and qualify for the 2023 WBSC U-12 Baseball World Cup. The accomplished athletic trainer then contributed to the Women’s National Team’s unbeaten run at the WBSC Women’s World Cup Group Stage in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Harding wrapped up her Team USA summer by traveling with the 18U National Team to Taipei, Taiwan, as the U.S. competed in the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup.

Golden Spikes Award winner Dylan Crews was college baseball’s biggest star in 2023, leading LSU to a College World Series title while sitting near the top of the national leaderboard in most offensive categories. The outfielder reached base in all 71 games this past season and led the country in runs scored with 100. Crews owned a .567 on-base percentage, good for second in the nation, while his 110 hits also ranked second and his .426 batting average was third-best in the country. Crews­–who drew a nation-most 71 walks–also had a 26-game hitting streak spanning from February 19 to April 25. Additionally, the junior led many offensive statistical categories in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) en route to earning the conference’s Player of the Year Award for the second consecutive season. He batted .405 with a .545 on-base percentage to rank first in the conference in both categories, also drawing a conference-leading 27 walks in SEC games and tying for the league lead in hits with 45. Crews, who was drafted second overall by the Washington Nationals in the 2023 MLB Draft, was also a finalist for the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) James E. Sullivan Award.

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MLB Awards Tracker: USA Baseball Alumni

Learn which Team USA alumni earned awards following the 2023 season
November 8, 2023
It's award season! With the 2023 Major League Baseball season in the books, it's time for players to earn recognition for their play throughout the six-month campaign. Follow along here as we recognize all of the USA Baseball alumni who earned MLB awards in 2023.

It's award season! With the 2023 Major League Baseball season in the books, it's time for players to earn recognition for their play throughout the six-month campaign. Follow along here as we recognize all of the USA Baseball alumni who earned MLB awards in 2023.

AMERICAN LEAGUE CY YOUNG

P Gerrit Cole (2009, 2010 Collegiate National Team): Despite finishing runner-up in American League Cy Young voting twice in his career, the Yankees’ ace kept his foot on the gas in 2023 and deservedly earned his first Cy Young award. Cole was unanimously voted as the league’s best pitcher as he led the AL in eight pitching categories, including innings pitched (209), WHIP (0.98) and ERA (2.63). Cole’s eleventh year in the majors was nothing short of first-class, as the right-hander led all pitchers in wins above replacement (WAR) and tossed two shutouts during the season. This run of dominance is not unusual for the USA Baseball alum, as he previously posted a 4-0 record with a 1.06 ERA and 46 strikeouts over six appearances for the gold-winning 2009 Collegiate National Team. The former UCLA standout later led the 2010 CNT in innings pitched (25) while notching a 0.72 ERA and 2-0 record alongside teammate and fellow AL Cy Young finalist, Sonny Gray.

NATIONAL LEAGUE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

OF Corbin Carroll (2018 18U): After leading the Arizona Diamondbacks to their first World Series appearance since 2001, Corbin Carroll has been unanimously-named the 2023 National League Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year. The 16th overall pick in the 2019 Major League Baseball draft made an emphatic entrance into the big leagues in 2023, as Carroll made history in his first-year campaign by recording the first 25 home run, 50 stolen base season by a rookie and was further bolstered by being selected as an MLB All-Star. Throughout the season Carroll continued to prove why he batted leadoff, as he maintained a .285 batting average and a .868 OPS while knocking in 76 runs for Arizona. Not only did Carroll rank fourth in stolen base percentage among NL players, but he consistently made spectacular defensive plays while yielding only one error as he patrolled the outfield. In his time with Team USA, Carroll also showed flashes of being a star, as he impressively hit .500 and led the 2018 18U National Team in stolen bases en route to capturing gold at the U-18 Pan Am Championships.

TREVOR HOFFMAN NATIONAL LEAGUE RELIEVER OF THE YEAR

P Devin Williams (2023 WBC): For the second time in his young career, Devin Williams has been awarded the Trevor Hoffman National League Reliever of the Year. The two-time All Star and former NL Rookie of the year has added another accolade to his resume after anchoring the Milwaukee Brewer bullpen in 2023. Williams held an 8-3 record and posted a 1.53 ERA in 61 appearances. As the Brew Crew’s go-to closer, Williams notched 36 saves, averaged 13.3 strikeouts per nine innings, and held opponents to a .129 batting average. In Williams’ time with Team USA, the right-hander dominated the bump, as he allowed only one hit in 3.1 innings while striking out six.

SILVER SLUGGER

C Adley Rutschman (2018 Collegiate National Team): Rutschman capped off a stellar sophomore season with his first Silver Slugger award after the catcher reached the 20 home run, 80 RBI mark as well as competing in the 2023 Home Run Derby. This is not Rutschman’s first time in the spotlight, as the catcher/designated hitter led the 2018 Collegiate National Team in batting average, slugging percentage, and doubles over a nine-game span.

SS Corey Seager (2010 16U): After earning World Series MVP and leading the Texas Rangers to its first World Series title in franchise history, Seager has now captured his third Silver Slugger award after hitting 33 home runs and maintaining a .327 batting average. He has not only seen success at the major league level, but also went undefeated and won gold with the 2010 16U National Team at the Pan Am Championships where he batted .514.

OF Kyle Tucker (2012 15U, 2023 WBC): Leading the league with 112 RBIs, the Houston Astros outfielder now adds a Silver Slugger to his resume. This marks back-to-back years Tucker has surpassed 100 RBIs and his third season in a row tallying at least 140 hits. Tucker started four games in left field for the 2023 Team USA World Baseball Classic team and also led the 2012 15U National Team in RBIs.

1B Matt Olson (2010 16U): Rounding off a career year at the plate, Olson’s first Silver Slugger award was well deserved. The Georgia native routinely batted cleanup and played a pivotal role in Atlanta’s lethal offense, slugging a career-high and league-leading 54 home runs while hitting the 100 RBI mark for the third time in his career. Paired with U.S. alum Corey Seager in the infield, Olson also led the 2010 16U National Team in home runs and RBIS.

SS Francisco Lindor (2009 16U, 2010 18U): Lindor’s dominance at the plate continued in 2023 and led to his third Silver Slugger accolade, as the Mets’ shortstop notched his fourth career 30+ home run season. On top of that, Lindor joined the 30-30 club after stealing 30 bases as well in addition to hitting 31 home runs. Lindor adds this achievement to the trophy case that also features gold medals won with both the 2009 16U and 2010 18U national teams.

OF Mookie Betts (2023 WBC): Betts executed one of his best season-performances to date, as the 10-year veteran and now six-time Silver Slugger winner slugged a career-best 39 home runs and recorded another 100 RBI season. Betts’ first and only appearance for the stars and stripes was one to be remembered, as he was one of two Team USA players in the 2023 World Baseball Classic to tally double-digits in the hit column with 10.

DH Bryce Harper (2008 16U, 2009 18U): Harper’s star-studded resume now includes three Silver Slugger awards. Although the designated hitter turned first baseman missed the first month of the season, Harper still recorded 21 home runs – marking the ninth time in his career he’s surpassed the 20 home run mark. Harper’s prolific career featured two stints with USA Baseball, as he played on the 18U National Team in 2009 and led the 16U National Team in home runs and RBIs in 2008.

GOLD GLOVE

3B Matt Chapman (2013 Collegiate National Team): Leading all American League third basemen with 12 defensive runs saved in 2023, Chapman took home his fourth career Gold Glove Award. A staple at the hot corner for the Blue Jays since arriving in Toronto before the 2022 season, Chapman leads all MLB third basemen with 92 defensive runs saved since debuting in 2017. Ten years ago, Chapman was the only player on the Collegiate National Team to play in all 23 games as the U.S. posted a 20-3 record that summer.

3B Ke'Bryan Hayes (2014 18U National Team): The first Pirates third baseman to ever win a Gold Glove, Hayes de-throned fellow Team USA alum Nolan Arenado in 2023. Hayes sat atop the leaderboard in nearly every statistical category for NL third basemen, including outs above average (17) and defensive runs saved (21). The success is nothing new for Hayes, who started all eight games of Team USA's undefeated, gold-medal run at the 2014 COPABE U-18 Pan American Championships.

2B Nico Hoerner (2011 14U, 2012 15U National Teams): Playing up the middle with USA Baseball alum Dansby Swanson, Hoerner took home his first career Gold Glove in 2023. The Cubs second baseman ranked 10th in all of baseball with 15 outs above average, also tying for the league lead with 12 defensive runs saved. Hoerner's trophy case now features a Gold Glove and a gold medal, as he led the way for the U.S. at the 2011 COPABE U-14 Pan American Championships before playing for the 15U squad in 2012.

SS Dansby Swanson (2014 Collegiate National Team): Paired with U.S. alum Nico Hoerner up the middle for the Chicago Cubs, Swanson captured his second Gold Glove in as many years. Swanson led all major league players in outs above average with 20, also leading all shorstops with 18 defensive runs saved and a fielding run value of 15. Before becoming a big league star, Swanson played an integral role on the 2014 Collegiate National Team, helping the U.S. win gold at Haarlem Baseball Week.

SS Anthony Volpe (2013 12U, 2016 15U, 2018 18U National Teams): Volpe capped off a strong rookie year by becoming the youngest shortstop to ever win a Gold Glove Award. The three-time Team USA alum started 157 games at shortstop for the New York Yankees in his first big-league season, racking up 15 defensive runs saved. Volpe is no stranger to gold, as he captured gold medals at the 2013 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-12 Baseball World Cup and the 2018 COPABE U-18 Pan American Championships.

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Nine Team USA Alumni Become World Series Champions

Corey Seager becomes first USA Baseball alum to win two World Series MVPs
November 2, 2023
Nine Team USA alumni became World Series Champions on Wednesday night, as the Texas Rangers defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks in five games to win the Fall Classic.

Nine Team USA alumni became World Series Champions on Wednesday night, as the Texas Rangers defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks in five games to win the Fall Classic.

Cody Bradford, Matt Bush, Robbie Grossman, Travis Jankowski, Josh Jung, Ian Kennedy, Brad Miller, Corey Seager, and Max Scherzer all earned World Series rings with the Rangers’ 5-0 victory over Arizona in Game 5 on Wednesday night at Chase Field.

Corey Seager (2010 16U) led the way for Texas en route to winning his second World Series Most Valuable Player Award, becoming the first USA Baseball alumni to earn the award twice (also: 2020). As he did all postseason long, Seager served as a force in the Rangers’ lineup, batting .286 with three homers and six RBIs over the five-game set. The former 16U player set the tone in the series with a clutch, game-tying blast in the ninth inning of Game 1 before homering in wins in Games 4 and 5. He wrapped up the series with a 2-for-4 performance, scoring the game’s first run on Wednesday night.

2015 Professional Team alum Travis Jankowski played a key role late in the series for Texas. After ALCS MVP Adolis Garcia was removed from the roster following an injury in Game 3, Jankowski stepped up and started the final two games in right field. He was a huge lift in the Texas lineup in Game 4, going 2-for-4 with two runs scored, a pair of RBIs, and a sliding catch in right to make his presence known. He drew a walk in Game 5 and continued his strong outfield play, helping the Rangers finish off the series victory.

Josh Jung (2018 CNT) led the Rangers in hits in the Fall Classic, going 7-for-20 to bat .350 with a double. Jung collected a pair of knocks in the series opener before posting a 1-for-3 day in Game 2. The Texas Tech product then broke out with a three-hit, two-run performance in a pivotal Game 4 win in which he led off the second inning with a double and came home on a wild pitch to open the scoring outburst. Jung capped off his strong postseason with a hit and a run scored in the series-clinching win.

Jung’s 2018 CNT teammate, Cody Bradford, continued his stellar postseason with two scoreless innings across a pair of appearances in the World Series. Bradford first appeared in Game 1, retiring all three batters he faced over the sixth and seventh innings to keep Texas within striking distance. He returned to action in Game 4, setting down the side in order as the Rangers maintained a big lead. Overall in postseason play, Bradford allowed just one run in five appearances, tossing 7.2 innings for the World Series winners.

2005 CNT alum Max Scherzer started Game 3 and was in the midst of a vintage performance before an injury caused him to leave the game and be removed from the roster. Scherzer pitched three shutout innings before departing the mound, working around a bit of trouble but keeping Arizona off the board in a game the Rangers would go on to win, 3-1.

Four other Team USA alumni on the Rangers earned World Series rings. Robbie Grossman (2007 18U) got a pinch-hit at-bat in Game 2 and appeared in seven postseason games. Two-time alum Matt Bush was on the Wild Card and Division Series rosters for the Rangers, while three-time U.S. player Ian Kennedy along with Brad Miller (2009, 2010 CNT) both played for Texas this season before suffering season-ending injuries.

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Roundup: Carroll, Seager Help Squads Punch Tickets to World Series

Carroll's three hits, Seager's solo shot propel Diamondbacks and Rangers into Fall Classic
October 25, 2023
Both the American League and National League Championship Series went a full seven games, giving USA Baseball alumni plenty of time to shine on baseball’s biggest stage. Check out how Team USA alums performed in the latest round of the MLB Postseason! DIAMONDBACKS VS. PHILLIES The Arizona Diamondbacks came back

Both the American League and National League Championship Series went a full seven games, giving USA Baseball alumni plenty of time to shine on baseball’s biggest stage. Check out how Team USA alums performed in the latest round of the MLB Postseason!

DIAMONDBACKS VS. PHILLIES

The Arizona Diamondbacks came back from down 3-2 to beat the Philadelphia Phillies in a seven-game clash and win the NL pennant for the first time since 2001. The series featured an extensive list of USA Baseball alumni, as Corbin Carroll (2018 18U) helped lead the charge in knocking off the defending National League champs. The rookie sensation started every game in the outfield for the Diamondbacks and recorded six hits, two RBIs, and three runs scored. Alek Thomas played a pivotal role in Arizona’s Game 4 victory, as the 2017 18U alum homered in the eighth inning to tie the game at 5-5. Thomas recorded three hits and four RBIs and runs scored apiece en route to advancing to the World Series. Two-time USA Baseball alum Evan Longoria played primarily at third base and tacked on an RBI on a pair of hits. Paul Sewald (2015 Pro) continued to execute in big moments, as the closer finished with a 1-0 record, two saves, and struck out six batters in 4.0 innings pitched while conceding only one base hit. 2023 WBC participant Merrill Kelly surrendered six runs and struck out 14 Phillies batters in 10.2 innings, as he concluded the NLCS 1-1 in two starts.

On the flip side, USA Baseball alumni accounted for 39 of Philadelphia’s 51 hits and scored 29 of its 30 runs. Two-time alum Kyle Schwarber spearheaded Philadelphia's offense, as the everyday DH racked up five RBIs on eight hits with five of those hits by way of the long ball. Schwarber also reached base eight times via walk and scored eight runs. Pro Team alumni Alec Bohm and J.T. Realmuto each notched seven hits and started every game at third base and catcher, respectively. Bohm knocked in four runs while Realmuto scored four Phillies’ runs and collected six RBIs. 2008 16U and 2009 18U alum Bryce Harper scored seven runs and homered twice as part of his five hits while three-time alum Trea Turner also gathered five hits. Former CNT player Bryson Stott stayed active on the basepaths and stole four bases while tallying six base hits. 2009 18U alum Nick Castellanos contributed to the effort with a base knock and two runs batted in. On the mound, Craig Kimbrel (2013 WBC) allowed four runs over 3.0 innings while Michael Lorenzen (2008 16U, 2010 18U) conceded only one hit in 1.2 innings.

RANGERS VS. ASTROS

USA Baseball alumni shined in the seven-game battle between AL West foes, as the Texas Rangers advanced to the World Series and beat Houston in a competitive ALCS matchup. Corey Seager started every game at shortstop and provided Texas with a surge of offense, as the 2010 16U alum gathered a base knock in five of his seven games played. Seager’s stat line included eight hits, six runs scored, and three RBIs scattered across the seven-game stretch. Josh Jung was the Rangers’ everyday third baseman and played his part at the plate, as the 2018 CNT alum knocked in five runs on five hits and scored four runs. Robbie Grossman (2007 18U) played three games for Texas and scored a run while Travis Jankowski (2015 Pro) pinch ran three times and secured a base hit in a pinch-hit appearance. 2018 CNT alum Cody Bradford didn’t allow a hit in a 1.1 inning outing in Game 3 and tossed 0.2 innings in Game 4 in which he conceded one run.

The Astros go-to third baseman and five-time national team alum Alex Bregman played an integral role in Houston’s offense, as he notched six runs scored, five RBIs, six walks, and six hits including three home runs over seven games. Former 2012 15U and 2023 WBC player Kyle Tucker walked five times, scored two runs, and recorded two doubles as part of his four-hit series. The Houston bullpen featured a duo of former Team USA arms, as Ryan Pressly (2023 WBC) and two-time CNT alum Ryne Stanek each concluded the ALCS with a 1-0 record. Pressly posted a spotless 0.00 ERA with only two hits surrendered in 4.0 innings and collected a save in Game 3 while Stanek tossed 2.2 frames and yielded two runs on two hits. 2003 CNT alum Justin Verlander pitched 12.1 innings in two starts for the ‘Stros while striking out eight batters and giving up six runs.

The MLB Postseason has reached the World Series, with Game 1 of the Fall Classic set to take place on Friday night. Continue to follow @USABaseball on social media to keep up with Team USA alumni in the postseason!

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Baseball and Softball To Be on Olympic Programme for Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games

Announcement made by International Olympic Committee Session on Monday
October 16, 2023
MUMBAI, India – The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session announced today that baseball and softball will be on the Olympic Programme for the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games. This marks the first time since the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games that baseball and softball will be included in the prestigious event.

MUMBAI, India – The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session announced today that baseball and softball will be on the Olympic Programme for the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games. This marks the first time since the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games that baseball and softball will be included in the prestigious event.

“We are thrilled that America’s pastime will be a part of the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games,” said USA Baseball CEO Paul Seiler. “The inclusion of baseball and softball will undoubtedly enhance the experience of the Games, as both sports have enjoyed global success in recent years and deserve to be celebrated on the international stage. It is exciting to be able to return to the place that kickstarted baseball being on the Olympic Programme, as well as a location that boasts numerous professional teams and some of the most iconic players in today’s game. USA Baseball takes great pride in showcasing the nation’s best players in international competition, and we can’t wait for the opportunity to do so on home soil.”

The game of baseball has numerous ties to the Los Angeles area. It was first featured as a demonstration sport in the Los Angeles Games in 1984 before being a part of the Olympic Games from 1992-2008. Additionally, it is home to two MLB Clubs–the Los Angeles Angels and Los Angeles Dodgers–which include some of the world’s biggest stars.

Since its last inclusion in 2020, the game has enjoyed much success on a global stage, including record-breaking television and attendance numbers at the 2023 World Baseball Classic. Additionally, it has grown exponentially at the amateur level with increased participation at youth world championships and other numerous international events.

USA Baseball has enjoyed tremendous success at the Olympic Games, accumulating six total medals in seven appearances, including two editions as a demonstration sport. Team USA won gold in both 1988 (Seoul) and 2000 (Sydney), earned silver at the Tokyo 2020 Games, and captured bronze in 1984 (Los Angeles), 1996 (Atlanta), and 2008 (Beijing).

Information regarding Team USA’s roster and the schedule of events for baseball at the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games will be announced at a later time. Follow @USABaseball on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter/X for the latest news on USA Baseball.

*Indicates baseball was a demonstration sport

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Roundup: Harper, Kelly Among Standout Team USA Alums in Divisional Series

Harper blasts three homers, Kelly twirls gem to highlight Division Series
October 13, 2023
Highlighted by incredible performances from Bryce Harper and Merrill Kelly (among many others), Team USA alums made a huge impact on the MLB Division Series. Check out the top performances!

Highlighted by incredible performances from Bryce Harper and Merrill Kelly (among many others), Team USA alums made a huge impact on the MLB Division Series. Check out the top performances!

RANGERS VS. ORIOLES

Familiar faces flooded the ALDS stat sheet in the Rangers’ sweep of Baltimore, as Josh Jung (2018 CNT) and Corey Seager (2010 16U) once again led Texas’ offense for the second straight series. In three games, Jung went 5-for-12 while homering once and scoring four times. Seager made MLB postseason history, as the shortstop’s nine walks were the most in any three-game span, while in Game 2 he became the first player to walk five times in a postseason contest. Seager did what he could with his bat, as he went 2-for-6 with a home run and four runs scored. Robbie Grossman (2007 18U) recorded a double in one game played while Baylor alum Cody Bradford (2018 CNT) came out of the bullpen in Game 2 and struck out four in 3.2 quiet innings to earn the win.

2013 18U alum Jack Flaherty gave up one run in Game 2 while Kyle Gibson (2008 CNT) surrendered only one hit and one run in three frames in Baltimore’s Game 3 loss. Adley Rutschman (2018 CNT) started all three games as the Orioles’ backstop and tallied a double. 2023 WBC alum Cedric Mullins started all three games in center field for Baltimore while Adam Frazier (2012 CNT) made a pair of appearances.

ASTROS VS. TWINS

Five-time alum Alex Bregman started all four games at third for the ‘Stros and played a crucial role in Game 3, hammering a home run to lead off the fifth in addition to an RBI base hit in the sixth. Former 2012 15U and 2023 WBC participant Kyle Tucker contributed with three walks and a pair of base knocks, one being an extra-base hit. On the flip side, three former Team USA players made an impact with their arms en route to Houston’s series win. Justin Verlander (2003 CNT) made a statement in Game 1, as he surrendered only four hits and struck out six in a six-inning shutout of Minnesota to earn the win. Two-time Collegiate National Team alum Ryne Stanek had an outing in Game 2 while Ryan Pressly (2023 WBC) made two ninth-inning appearances, earning saves on both occasions and punching out five of six batters faced.

For the second straight series, Royce Lewis showed off his pop, as the 2014 15U and 2016 18U alum collected three runs scored and a pair of home runs, the second handing the Twins an early 1-0 lead in a win-or-go-home Game 4. Kyle Farmer (2012 CNT) added on with a two-run home run of his own in Game 2, with that being his only appearance of the series. Matt Wallner (2018 Olympics) started two games in left field and notched a hit while walking twice. Representing more than a third of Minnesota’s pitching staff, Team USA saw a handful of its arms take the mound for the Twins. Two-time CNT alum Sonny Gray started Game 3 and lasted four innings before being saddled with the loss while Bailey Ober (2014 CNT) started Game 1 and had a similar outing, enduring 4.1 arduous frames before being pulled. Joe Ryan (2021 Olympics) was the starter in Game 4 and yielded one run over two innings while 2019 Premier12 participant Caleb Thielbar pitched 1.1 innings and gave up three runs.

DIAMONDBACKS VS. DODGERS

Corbin Carroll (2018 18U) maintained his offensive output and continued to represent the stars and stripes in stunning fashion, gathering three hits with a home run, three runs scored, four walks, and two stolen bases. Starting center fielder and 2017 18U gold medal winner Alek Thomas scored twice and blasted a home run while Evan Longoria picked up an extra-base hit and two RBIs for the Diamondbacks. Team USA showcased its arm talent for Arizona as well, as 2023 WBC alum Merrill Kelly tossed 6.1 shutout innings of three-hit ball to earn the win in a statement Game 1 victory. Paul Sewald (2015 Pan Am) made appearances in Game 2 and Game 3, allowing only one hit and earning the save both times to secure the sweep of Los Angeles.

Mookie Betts (2023 WBC) and 2005 16U and 2006 18U alum Freddie Freeman scored a run apiece and started all three games for the Dodgers while Kolten Wong (2009 CNT) made a pinch-hit appearance in all three games. Will Smith (2023 WBC) led the Los Angeles offense, as the catcher tallied five base knocks with two being extra-base hits as well as two RBIs over a three-game span. 2007 CNT alum Joe Kelly punched out three batters in 1.2 shutout innings while Clayton Kershaw (2005 18U) and two-time alum Lance Lynn combined for only three innings pitched and an 0-2 record.

PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES VS. ATLANTA BRAVES

The Phillies led all MLB Clubs with nine Team USA alumni on their postseason roster, and all nine played a key role in the Phillies’ second Divisional Series victory over the Braves in as many years. Two-time CNT alum and World Baseball Classic alum Trea Turner carried the Philadelphia offense, collecting a series-most eight hits with a pair of home runs and RBIs, along with five runs scored. 2009 18U alum Nick Castellanos finished the four-game set on a tear, cranking two home runs in both Game 3 and Game 4 to finish off the series win. His 2009 teammate Bryce Harper blasted three homers, including two in a Game 3 win. J.T. Realmuto (2023 WBC) notched a home run and five RBIs, while Kyle Schwarber (2013 CNT, 2023 WBC) and Alec Bohm (2019 Pro) each chipped in two hits. 2018 CNT alum Bryson Stott picked up three hits and an RBI to cap off Philadelphia’s explosive offensive performance. On the mound, Craig Kimbrel (2013 WBC) pitched twice and allowed no runs while earning a save, and two-time U.S. alum Michael Lorenzen turned in a scoreless relief inning.

For Atlanta, 2010 16U player Matt Olson was a mainstay in the heart of the Braves’ order and picked up four hits while scoring a run. Travis d’Arnaud (2011 Pro) delivered a huge home run in Atlanta’s Game 2 victory, while 2014 CNT pitcher A.J. Minter made three dominant relief appearances, tossing 2.1 innings and not allowing an earned run.

The MLB Postseason rolls on to the Championship Series, with action set to begin on Sunday. Continue to follow along with Team USA alums in the postseason by following @USABaseball on X!

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USA Baseball Mourns the Passing of Jim Poole

Poole was a member of the 1987 Collegiate National Team
October 8, 2023
CARY, N.C. – USA Baseball mourns the loss of alumnus Jim Poole, who passed away on Saturday at the age of 57 after a two-year battle with ALS. Poole was a member of the 1987 Collegiate National Team, which earned a silver medal at the Pan American Games with an

CARY, N.C. – USA Baseball mourns the loss of alumnus Jim Poole, who passed away on Saturday at the age of 57 after a two-year battle with ALS.

Poole was a member of the 1987 Collegiate National Team, which earned a silver medal at the Pan American Games with an 8-1 record. During his time with Team USA that year, he made 29 appearances out of the bullpen and compiled a 2.61 ERA, along with a pair of wins and 50 strikeouts, in 41.1 innings pitched.

Poole played collegiately at Georgia Tech from 1986-1988, and helped the Yellow Jackets win three of four consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Championships. He was selected in the ninth round of the 1988 MLB Draft to the Los Angeles Dodgers, and played 11 years in the major leagues in which a majority of his time was spent with the Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians, and San Francisco Giants. In 431 appearances, he finished with 22 victories and a 4.31 ERA, as well as 256 strikeouts and four saves. During his stint in Cleveland, he helped the Indians secure two American League Championship Series titles (1995 and 1988) and earn a trip to the World Series in 1995.

Following his retirement, Poole returned to Georgia Tech to serve as a fundraiser and supporter of the baseball program. He also served as the pitching coach at Johns Creek High School in suburban Atlanta.

After being diagnosed with ALS in 2021, Poole worked tirelessly to raise awareness for the disease. He served on numerous MLB ALS boards and worked with his alma mater to host an ALS Awareness Day in 2022.

“This is a sad day for the game of baseball and for those who knew Jim,” said USA Baseball CEO Paul Seiler. “Jim was a first-class player who gave it his all on and off the field. He was a tremendous pitcher who represented Team USA so well, and in such a short amount of time made a tremendous impact on the fight to find a cure for ALS. Our hearts and thoughts are with Jim’s family and friends whose lives they touched.”

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Sixty-Eight USA Baseball Alumni Named to MLB Postseason Rosters

Phillies tout nine alums to lead all Clubs
October 7, 2023
CARY, N.C. – Sixty-eight USA Baseball alumni have been named to Major League Baseball postseason rosters, USA Baseball announced on Saturday. All 12 Clubs that made the postseason have at least two former Team USA players on their roster, including the Philadelphia Phillies, who lead all teams with nine alumni.

CARY, N.C. – Sixty-eight USA Baseball alumni have been named to Major League Baseball postseason rosters, USA Baseball announced on Saturday.

All 12 Clubs that made the postseason have at least two former Team USA players on their roster, including the Philadelphia Phillies, who lead all teams with nine alumni. The Baltimore Orioles, the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Minnesota Twins, and the Miami Marlins–who were eliminated in the Wild Card Round–all placed seven USA Baseball alumni on their 26-man squads.

Eleven members of the 2023 World Baseball Classic Team, which earned a silver medal in March, were named to postseason rosters. In total, the list includes 28 players from the Collegiate National Team, 27 from the Professional National Team, 18 former members of the 18U National Team, seven players from the 16U National Team, and three alumni of the 15U National Team.

Following the conclusion of the Wild Card Round, the Division Series begins on Saturday with Game 1 of all four series set to take place.

The complete list of USA Baseball alumni in the 2023 postseason is as follows:

ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

  • Corbin Carroll; 2018 18U
  • Merrill Kelly; 2023 WBC
  • Evan Longoria; 2007 Pro, 2009 WBC
  • Paul Sewald; 2015 Pro
  • Alek Thomas; 2017 18U

ATLANTA BRAVES

  • Travis d'Arnaud; 2011 Pro
  • A.J. Minter; 2014 Collegiate
  • Matt Olson; 2010 16U

BALTIMORE ORIOLES

  • Jack Flaherty; 2013 18U
  • Adam Frazier; 2012 Collegiate, 2015 Pro
  • Kyle Gibson; 2008 Collegiate
  • Heston Kjerstad; 2019 Collegiate
  • James McCann; 2011 Pro
  • Cedric Mullins; 2023 WBC
  • Adley Rutschman; 2018 Collegiate

HOUSTON ASTROS

  • Alex Bregman; 2010 16U, 2011 18U, 2013 & 2014 Collegiate, 2017 WBC
  • Ryan Pressly; 2023 WBC
  • Ryne Stanek; 2011 & 2012 Collegiate
  • Kyle Tucker; 2012 15U, 2023 WBC
  • Justin Verlander; 2003 Collegiate

LOS ANGELES DODGERS

  • Mookie Betts; 2023 WBC
  • Freddie Freeman; 2005 16U, 2006 18U
  • Joe Kelly; 2007 Collegiate
  • Clayton Kershaw; 2005 18U
  • Lance Lynn; 2007 Collegiate, 2023 WBC
  • Will Smith; 2023 WBC
  • Kolten Wong; 2009 Collegiate

MINNESOTA TWINS

  • Kyle Farmer; 2012 Collegiate
  • Sonny Gray; 2009 & 2010 Collegiate
  • Royce Lewis; 2014 15U, 2016 18U
  • Bailey Ober; 2014 Collegiate
  • Joe Ryan; 2021 Olympic
  • Caleb Thielbar; 2019 Pro
  • Matt Wallner; 2018 Collegiate

MIAMI MARLINS*

  • Jake Burger; 2016 Collegiate
  • Xavier Edwards; 2019 Pro
  • Garrett Hampson; 2015 Collegiate
  • Braxton Garrett; 2015 18U
  • A.J. Puk; 2015 Collegiate
  • David Robertson; 2017 WBC, 2021 Olympic
  • Ryan Weathers; 2017 18U

MILWAUKEE BREWERS*

  • Hoby Milner; 2011 Collegiate
  • Brice Turang; 2014 15U, 2016 & 2017 18U
  • Devin Williams; 2023 WBC
  • Jesse Winker; 2011 18U
  • Christian Yelich; 2017 WBC

PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES

  • Alec Bohm; 2019 Pro
  • Nick Castellanos; 2009 18U
  • Bryce Harper; 2008 16U, 2009 18U
  • Craig Kimbrel; 2013 WBC
  • Michael Lorenzen; 2008 16U, 2010 18U
  • J.T. Realmuto; 2023 WBC
  • Kyle Schwarber; 2013 Collegiate, 2023 WBC
  • Bryson Stott; 2018 Collegiate
  • Trea Turner; 2012 & 2013 Collegiate, 2023 WBC

TAMPA BAY RAYS*

  • Zach Eflin; 2015 Pro
  • Taylor Walls; 2016 Collegiate

TEXAS RANGERS

  • Cody Bradford; 2018 Collegiate
  • Matt Bush; 2002 16U, 2003 18U
  • Robbie Grossman; 2007 18U
  • Travis Jankowski; 2015 Pro
  • Josh Jung; 2018 Collegiate
  • Corey Seager; 2010 16U

TORONTO BLUE JAYS*

  • Kevin Gausman; 2009 18U, 2011 Collegiate
  • Cavan Biggio; 2012 18U
  • Matt Chapman; 2013 Collegiate
  • George Springer; 2010 Collegiate
  • Daulton Varsho; 2019 Pro

*indicates Club was eliminated in Wild Card Round

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Roundup: Team USA Alumni Shine in Wild Card Round

Royce Lewis, Trea Turner among USA Baseball alumni with standout performances
October 6, 2023
The 2023 MLB Playoffs are underway, and Team USA alumni have already made their mark through the Wild Card round. Over 20 percent of the eight Wild Card rosters featured Team USA alums, and the 43 players representing USA Baseball had some standout performances through the first two days of

The 2023 MLB Playoffs are underway, and Team USA alumni have already made their mark through the Wild Card round. Over 20 percent of the eight Wild Card rosters featured Team USA alums, and the 43 players representing USA Baseball had some standout performances through the first two days of the postseason. Catch up with all of the action below!

MARLINS VS. PHILLIES

Team USA alums were all over the diamond in Philadelphia, as 89% of the Phillies’ hits came from players who have previously donned the stars and stripes. Seven months after his hot bat carried Team USA at the World Baseball Classic, Trea Turner shined yet again in the clutch by going 4-for-7 with a pair of doubles and an RBI in the two-game sweep. His WBC teammates, J.T. Realmuto (3-for-8, HR, 2B) and Kyle Schwarber (2-for-8, 2B, R), were also key contributors in the series. Collegiate National Team alum Bryson Stott delivered the knockout blow in Game 2, blasting a grand slam in the sixth to put Philadelphia comfortably in front. 2009 18U teammates Nick Castellanos (2-for-8, 2 2B, RBI) and Bryce Harper (1-for-6, 2 BB, 2 R) also chipped in offensively, 2019 Pro Team alum Alec Bohm went 2-for-8 with a pair of doubles and an RBI, and 2013 WBC alum Craig Kimbrel tossed a scoreless ninth in Game 1 to earn the save.

On the other side, six U.S. alums saw action for the Marlins. 2016 CNT member Jake Burger collected a pair of hits while Xavier Edwards of the 2019 Pro Team notched a base hit in his only at-bat. The 2015 CNT was well-represented in Game 1, as Garrett Hampson had a pinch-hit assignment and A.J. Puk tossed a scoreless inning of relief. Three-time alum David Robertson and 2015 18U alum Braxton Garrett combined to toss five innings on the mound.

DIAMONDBACKS VS. BREWERS

Corbin Carroll was all over the stat sheet in the Diamondbacks’ two-game sweep, going 4-for-7 with a home run, three runs scored, two RBIs, and two walks. The 18U National Team alum’s home run came at a crucial juncture in Game 1, kickstarting Arizona’s comeback victory. Alek Thomas (2017 18U) hit a similar longball in Game 2 after Arizona fell behind early, hitting a solo shot in the fifth before a four-run sixth put the Diamondbacks in front. 2007 and 2009 Pro Team star Evan Longoria delivered a hit and made a huge defensive play in Game 1, starting a double play to escape a jam in the fifth. On the mound, Paul Sewald (2015 Pro) earned saves in both games with two shutout innings and three strikeouts.

For Milwaukee, 2017 WBC alum Christian Yelich led the way with four hits in eight at-bats, also drawing two walks. Yelich doubled in the ninth inning of Game 2 to try to lift the Brewers to a comeback, accounting for one of the team’s two doubles in the series. Three-time alum Brice Turang started both games at second base for the Brew Crew, while Jesse Winker (2011 18U) made a pair of pinch-hit appearances. 2011 CNT alum Hoby Milner pitched in both games and allowed no runs over 2.1 innings of work, while 2023 WBC relief pitcher Devin Williams also made an appearance on the mound in Game 1.

RANGERS VS. RAYS

Team USA alums Josh Jung (2018 CNT) and Corey Seager (2010 16U) played crucial roles in the Rangers’ sweep of Tampa Bay. Jung picked up three hits, with all of them coming in a 3-for-4 performance in Game 2, where he hit a pair of doubles and drove in a run. Seager went 4-for-8, collecting two hits in each game, including three doubles overall. The shortstop had two RBIs, scored twice, and drew two bases-on-balls, reaching in six of his 10 plate appearances. Robbie Grossman (2007 18U) was the three-hole hitter in both games for Texas and picked up a hit in nine at-bats.

2016 CNT player Taylor Walls started at shortstop in each of the two games for the Rays and posted a 2-for-6 stat line. Zach Eflin (2015 Pro) earned the Game 2 start and suffered the loss, yielding four runs in five frames.

TWINS VS. BLUE JAYS

Two-time Team USA alum Royce Lewis got the Twins started early in their two-game sweep over Toronto. The former 15U and 18U standout hit a pair of home runs in Game 1, sending blasts over the Target Field wall in each of his first two at-bats of the series. Lewis finished the two games going 2-for-6 with three RBIs, three runs scored, and two walks. 2012 CNT alum Kyle Farmer got a pinch-hit at-bat in Game 1, while Matt Wallner (2018 CNT) drew a walk in four plate appearances. On the hill, two-time CNT alum Sonny Gray was lights-out in Game 2, tossing five shutout innings with six strikeouts to earn the win. 2019 Pro Team pitcher Caleb Thielbar threw in both games and did not allow a run in 1.2 innings of work.

With their stints on the Collegiate National Team separated by three years, Matt Chapman and George Springer combined for three hits and a walk for the Blue Jays offensively. Cavan Biggio (2012 18U) chipped in a hit in eight at-bats, while 2019 Pro Team member Daulton Varsho started both games in left field. Two-time Team USA alum Kevin Gausman got the ball to start Game 1 and suffered the loss after allowing three runs in four innings pitched.

The 2023 MLB Playoffs continue with Division Series action, beginning on Saturday. Be sure to follow @USABaseball on all social media to keep up with Team USA alums in the postseason!

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Q&A: Grady Emerson Reflects on Experience with 15U National Team

Emerson discusses his experience in the Dominican Republic, the lessons he has learned, and a pair of clutch plays made.
October 4, 2023
Recently, USA Baseball’s 2023 15U National Team went undefeated and won the 2023 International Friendly Series title in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Two-time alumnus Grady Emerson played a huge role for Team USA in capturing the championship, both with his glove and bat. Emerson is one of two returning players

Recently, USA Baseball’s 2023 15U National Team went undefeated and won the 2023 International Friendly Series title in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Two-time alumnus Grady Emerson played a huge role for Team USA in capturing the championship, both with his glove and bat. Emerson is one of two returning players from last year’s squad which won gold at the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-15 Baseball World Cup, and the power hitter quickly showed why he earned that starting shortstop position and second-year spot on the team.

The 6-foot-2-inch Texan was one of many Team USA players to leave a lasting impression in the Dominican dirt, as Emerson collected a hit in each game he started, racked up the most total bases with 11, and was one of two Americans to homer over the span of five games. On the flip side, Emerson maintained a perfect fielding percentage and led Team USA in assists with nine.

Emerson had the chance to sit down with USABaseball.com and talk about his experience playing for Team USA, the invaluable lessons he has been able to take away, and a pair of clutch plays that will live in his mind forever.

Q: How was your experience during Training Camp fighting to make that 20-man roster spot?

A: “It was like a dream come true. Luckily, I was able to make it last year, so it was a pretty cool experience getting to make it twice. Training Camp was just a grind. It was everybody going after those 20 spots, so it was just a really good way for me to learn to compete against the other top players in this country. It has impacted so many parts of my life, and it was just a blessing being able to be a part of all those competitors and all those great things.”

Q: Given that you are a returning player, can you talk about how you embraced a leadership role this year?

A: “It was definitely a way for me to see what the “USA way” is. Getting to be behind guys like Coy James and Ethan Holliday last year, I was able to see how they impacted the team, winning or losing, and learn from them. It was cool getting to hear the pep talks and see the things that they did outside of the game, and have been able to incorporate them into my life. Those guys were so good at it, they knew how to lead a team. They led us to a gold medal, and I knew that if I could do the things they did, that hopefully I could lead the team this year. Some of those guys might have been nervous or anxious to be there, but I was blessed to be able to help them through that and just show them I was in their position last year. You just have to do what you can do and know you’re there for a reason, and I think that was probably the biggest impact that those guys had on me last year. They helped show me the way.”

Q: How was your experience with this year’s 15U National Team?

A: “It’s definitely been a once in a lifetime experience; I can’t think of a better thing to do than wear U-S-A across my chest and play against all these other great countries. It's pretty cool going back to school and everybody being like, ‘Hey, you played for Team USA, that is pretty freaking cool.’ I mean I got to go to the Dominican Republic and play against the best kids in the country who hopefully, if things keep going well, I'll be able to see down the road in the future in the pros, minor leagues, or wherever the game takes me. It's been the best experience of my life, no doubt.”

Q: What was your favorite memory of the trip?

A: “Probably just playing that championship game, because even though it wasn't like last year where it was for a gold medal at the World Cup, I felt like it was still a grind, and everybody wanted the same thing. I think my favorite memory was us coming through that sixth inning putting up runs, and the energy we had isn’t something you can recreate anywhere else. That was my favorite part, and then obviously dog piling with everybody at the end. I think that's everybody's favorite part when you win a championship, you get to be in the dog pile and there's water being thrown everywhere. That's what you live for.”

Q: Speaking of that championship game, that was one of the more tightly contested games that you guys played in, and you played a huge part in that win when you hit that three-run home run in the sixth to put your team up by three. Can you take me through that sixth inning?

A: “It was definitely one of those at bats where before you get up there you're preparing yourself to be in a big spot, but knowing that there’s no reason to feel pressure because it’s just a game. You’re telling yourself to not do too much, be yourself, and do what you can do. So, it started off with a fast ball for a ball, and then change up for a strike followed by another strike. At that point, I just remember turning around, looking at Brady Harris like, ‘I got you. Don't worry, I'm not going to go down without a fight.’

"Then just getting that middle high, middle inside pitch, hammering that thing and seeing it go over the wall got me fired up. When I did the turn to everybody I knew it was over. That was just so much fun. I was just in the moment, just enjoying every piece of that moment, because it's going to be in my memories forever. It was definitely one of the coolest things I've ever done in my baseball career so far.” 

Q: In game three, you made an incredible play at shortstop to keep the then no-hitter intact. What is something Coach (Derek) Simmons has taught to maintain a high level of defensive play?

A: “We did a lot of drills on reading balls and knowing the runner. Right before that play, when he came out of the dugout and said we’ve got a yellow runner, I was playing back a little trying to give myself time. Then they guy hit that chopper and it fell in the sun, but Simmons always told me, ‘You've got a strong enough arm, so know your body and just sit back so you don't have to rush things.’

Brody (Jindra) tipped it off his glove and it came right to me, but since I took Coach Simmons’ advice and just sat back, I was in the right position to make the right play at the right time. That was pretty special because I was talking to Josiah (Morris) about the no-hitter, and I looked at him after I made that play knowing that it's still going. Without Coach Simmons’ advice I probably would have charged that ball and I could have bobbled it or missed it completely, so that was a pretty cool play for me to make.”

Q: Is there something a coach has said or taught that you’ll take away from the diamond and apply it to your life?

A: “Since I was on the team last year, I've built a really good connection with Coach (Rob) Shabansky. The way he's able to calm me down, and the way we're able to connect is huge. He always tells me to just be myself, that I’ve got the tools and everything I need, it's just my mind getting in the way. He reminds me that I have to overcome that mental challenge and just do what I can do. I think that's what's really helped me become a better player, because sometimes in those big moments or situations, I tend to get in my head. In those situations, rather than thinking about the negative things I could do, I try to think of the things that I am going to do positively. I think that's what really helped me take a big leap in my game so far.”

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15UGame5

Team USA Downs Puerto Rico, 12-3, to Win Championship

The 15U National Team defeated Puerto Rico, 12-3, to claim the 2023 International Friendly Series title
September 18, 2023
Box Score | Play by Play | Cumulative Stats

Box Score | Play by Play | Cumulative Stats

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic – In the most exhilarating contest of the week, the 15U National Team defeated Puerto Rico, 12-3, to claim the 2023 International Friendly Series title at the Yaguate Baseball Complex, on Monday afternoon. Team USA concludes the series with an undefeated record of 5-0 while outscoring its opponents; 47-5.

Team USA is no stranger to strong starts and this contest was no exception. The stars and stripes scored five runs on seven hits across the first three innings and forced three Puerto Rican defensive miscues en route to the victory.

After Puerto Rico scored twice to make it a 5-3 affair through five complete, the United States felt for the first time, a sense of unease. With a runner on third and one away in the sixth, pitcher Jack Smejkal (The Woodlands, Texas) shook off the clamor from the Puerto Rican dugout and delivered a sinking ball that would change the tone of the contest. Batter, Geraniel Nieves, sent a high fly ball into foul territory along the third base line, and after Brady Harris (Saint Augustine, Fla.) made the extra effort play to secure the baseball for out number two, he then proceeded to throw the tagging runner out at home for the inning-ending double play.

Shortly after, Team USA’s bats came alive once more and delivered the final blow in the home half of the sixth. The squad exploded for seven runs on five hits, highlighted by two home runs, to put itself in the comfortable spot it has been used to heading into the final frame of the contest.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • The United States came out of the gates hot, as an error that allowed James Tronstein (Los Angeles, Calif.) to score was followed up by an RBI base hit off the bat of Harris. One more run scored after Brody Jindra (Elkhorn, Neb.) tallied his first hit of the day with an RBI single to opposite field.
  • Harris continued to see the ball well, as the left fielder sent a 1-2 pitch through the left side to score Tronstein and put Team USA up 4-0 after two innings.
  • In a first for the U.S. this week, JC Pacheco (Wayne, N.J.) hammered a 2-2 offering over the left field wall for a leadoff homer in the third to make it 5-1.
  • After a brief shortage of offense, Team USA was able to get the bats going in the sixth inning. With two baserunners on, Grady Emerson (Argyle, Texas) crushed a ball far beyond the right field wall for a three-run home run. Later that inning, Jorvorskie Lane Jr. (Fort Worth, Texas) found his groove and drove a ball to the center field wall for an RBI triple.
  • Not done just yet, Pacheco homered for the second time, this one being another opposite field shot to make it 11-3. Jindra capped the scoring off by sliding home on a wild pitch after he reached via a triple to center field.

NOTABLES

  • This series marks the first time since 2018 that the 15U United States’ pitching staff finished below a 1.24 ERA, as the 2023 15U National Team secured a mind-boggling 1.16 ERA. 
  • The staff also broke the prior team record of least walks allowed, as the current staff only allowed 10 in the series compared to the previous low of 15 in 2013.
  • Emerson, Harris, and Tronstein all collected at least one hit in each game while Drew Davis (Sumrall, Miss.), Jindra, and Harris each collected six or more RBIs in the series.
  • Out of the 12 players who recorded at least four at-bats, eight compiled a batting average of .350 or higher.
  • Out of the 47 runs the team scored in the series, Tronstein was responsible for a team-high 10 of those.

SOCIAL MEDIA

To follow along with all the action regarding USA Baseball, be sure to follow @USABaseball on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter.

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15UGame4

Team USA Shuts Out the Dominican Republic for Fourth Straight Win

With the win, the United States advances to the International Friendly Series title game versus Puerto Rico
September 17, 2023
Box Score | Play by Play | Cumulative Stats

Box Score | Play by Play | Cumulative Stats

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic – The 15U National Team picked up its fourth straight win in an 8-0 route of Dominican Republic 1 at the Toronto Blue Jays Academy in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, on Sunday. Team USA has now beat Dominican Republic 1 twice and outscored them 21-1 in the International Friendly Series.

Despite this contest not having any implications in terms of securing a championship spot, the events that transpired in game four suggested otherwise. The stacked roster of the United States continued to awe the crowd and put up staggering numbers. The Team USA pitching staff once again rode a no-hitter late into the contest, as the arms of Jack Smejkal (The Woodlands, Texas), Will Adams (Hoover, Ala.), and Brody Jindra (Elkhorn, Neb.) were responsible for the Dominican Republic’s goose egg in the run column. These hard throwers combined for eight punchouts, two hits, and only one walk in the shutout of Dominican Republic 1.

On the flip side, the bats of the United States combined for eight runs on nine hits in addition to 10 walks. This time, it was Drew Davis (Sumrall, Miss.) who led the pack, as the two-way player went 3-for-4 while collecting five of the team’s six RBIs. JC Pacheco (Wayne, N.J.) took advantage of his opportunity hitting in the cleanup spot by posting a 2-for-3 performance and crossing home plate twice. Additionally, left fielder Brady Harris (Saint Augustine, Fla.) went 1-for-2 and scored three times, while right fielder Blake Bowen (Riverside, Calif.) drew three walks in his four at-bats.

Team USA had a slow start, but started to gain momentum in the third when the team plated three runs. The U.S. put up another three spot in the fifth frame while a two-run sixth handed the stars and stripes an 8-0 advantage.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • Team USA did not erase the zero in the run column until the home half of the third, when Grady Emerson (Argyle, Texas) drove an 0-2 offering up the middle to plate James Tronstein (Los Angeles, Calif.). The inning saw two more runs score after Davis sent a ball to deep right-center for a 2-RBI triple, putting the U.S. up 3-0.
  • The United States put up another three spot in the contest to widen its lead, as Davis struck again. The second baseman collected the hit in the fifth frame with a ball up the middle that scored Pacheco and Harris. Another run scored later that inning as the result of a Team USA player being caught in a rundown, allowing Davis to cross home plate for the United States’ sixth run.
  • Team USA tacked on two more runs in the sixth after a run-producing wild pitch was followed up yet again by Davis’ hot bat. The freshman drove a 2-2 pitch up the middle for an RBI single to make it 8-0 and put the contest far out of reach for the Dominican Republic.

NOTABLES

  • This shutout by the United States’ pitching staff drops its ERA to 0.75, and the squad has given up only nine hits in four days.
  • Davis ties the 15U program individual game record of most RBIs in a game with five. Josh Hartle did it in 2018 against China while Branden Boissiere did it in 2015 against Argentina.
  • Davis, Jindra, and Josiah Morris (Oakley, Calif.) have racked up six RBIs apiece, while Emerson, Harris, and Tronstein have extended their hitting streak to four games.
  • The 15U National Team stays undefeated and moves to 11-0 all-time against the Dominican Republic.

ON DECK

Team USA concludes the week with a final matchup against Puerto Rico in the 2023 International Friendly Series championship game on Monday. First pitch is set for 1:00 p.m. ET while live stats will be provided via SideArm and streamed on YouTube.

SOCIAL MEDIA

To follow along with all the action with the 15U National Team, be sure to follow @USABaseball15U on Twitter and @USABaseball on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter.

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15UGame3

15U National Team Concedes One Hit in Win Against the Dominican Republic

Starter Wilson Andersen tossed 5.0 high-caliber innings of no-hit ball to lead Team USA past Dominican Republic 2, 4-1
September 16, 2023
Box Score | Play by Play | Cumulative Stats

Box Score | Play by Play | Cumulative Stats

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic – The Team USA pitching staff combined for a one-hit, three-run win as the United States downed the Dominican Republic 2 team by a score of 4-1 at the Toronto Blue Jays Academy Saturday morning. This victory is the United States’ third straight as it improves to a 3-0 record in the International Friendly Series hosted by the Dominican Republic.

The arms of the United States were the story once again, this time led by the slender frame of Wilson Andersen (Tampa, Fla.), who chalked up an impressive 5.0 innings pitched while giving up no hits and punching out seven Dominican batters en route to earning the win. Drew Davis (Sumrall, Miss.) took command in the sixth and finished the job from there. The right-handed pitcher hailing from the small town of Sumrall, Mississippi, tossed 2.0 innings in which only 21 pitches were used to earn the save and cement the Team USA victory.

In contrast to the past pair of contests, the opposing starter did a sufficient job to keep the U.S. bats at bay. Over Gonzalez allowed only two earned runs to cross the plate while the United States tallied up five hits through 4.0 innings, two of those belonging to Grady Emerson (Argyle, Texas).

Despite that, Team USA still put it to the opposing team and outplayed its Dominican counterpart. Two Americans stood out in the blazing Dominican heat, one being Brady Harris (Saint Augustine, Fla.). The left fielder posted a 2-for-3 outing while driving in half of his team’s runs. The other player that left his mark was Emerson, who proved to the crowd why he is the starting shortstop and batting second in the order. The Texan not only ousted a 2-for-3 day at the plate, but was responsible for more than half of the team’s assists in addition to a spectacular 5-6-3 play in the seventh to keep the then no-hitter intact.

The red, white, and blue scored every other inning as the squad plated one in the first, two in the third, and one in the fifth. The Dominican Republic crawled within reaching distance in the top of the fifth, however, as a sacrifice fly scored the lone run for the away team. This effort did not suffice, as Team USA kept its hot streak alive and won its third game in as many days.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • Team USA once again drew first blood, this time being the fault of the Dominican infield, as an error not only allowed Jorvorskie Lane Jr. (Fort Worth, Texas) to reach, but also James Tronstein (Los Angeles, Calif.) to score.
  • The contest remained one of defense until the third, when the United States strung together three consecutive hits, the most lethal one being a hard-hit ball into left by Harris for a 2-RBI double.
  • Team USA managed one more run in the game after Brody Jindra (Elkhorn, Neb.) extended his hitting streak to three games with an RBI single, handing the U.S. a 4-1 lead and once again giving the United States a three-run separation.

NOTABLES

  • Team USA continues to flaunt its extensive talent of arms, as the staff owns an impressive 1.06 ERA while surrendering only seven hits and four walks over three days.
  • Out of the 11 players who have recorded an at-bat, 10 of them currently hold a batting average of .300 or higher.
  • Tronstein, Emerson, Jindra, Harris, and Josiah Morris (Oakley, Calif.) all ride three-game hitting streaks heading into the fourth day of competition, while Harris and Jindra have both recorded at least one RBI in each game.
  • The 15U National Team stays undefeated and moves to 10-0 all-time against the Dominican Republic.

ON DECK

Team USA will once more take on Dominican Republic 1 on Sunday with first pitch set for 1:00 p.m. ET. Live stats will be provided via SideArm, and the contest will be streamed on YouTube.

SOCIAL MEDIA

To follow along with all the action with the 15U National Team, be sure to follow @USABaseball15U on Twitter and @USABaseball on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter.

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15UGame2

Team USA Shuts Out Puerto Rico For Second Consecutive Run-Rule Victory

Dominant performances from Tucker Long, Brody Jindra lead to 10-0 win
September 15, 2023
Box Score | Play by Play | Cumulative Stats

Box Score | Play by Play | Cumulative Stats

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic – Team USA brought the heat and shut out Puerto Rico for a 10-0 run-rule victory at the Toronto Blue Jays Academy Friday morning. This marks the second time in as many days the 15U National Team has won by double digits in the International Friendly Series hosted by the Dominican Republic.

Tucker Long (Ottumwa, Iowa) started on the bump for the United States and did not disappoint. The 6-foot, hard-throwing, right-handed pitcher needed only 53 pitches to get through 4.0 exceptional innings to earn the win. Long surrendered a mere three hits on the day while tallying four strikeouts and allowing no runs to cross the plate.

His counterpart, on the other hand, had anything but a day of smooth sailing. The opposing starter, Jomar Rivera, lasted only 1.2 strenuous innings before being pulled. The hot bats of the United States were to blame, as the team picked up right where it left off of yesterday’s contest and punished the opposing squad from the get-go. Team USA once again dipped into double digits in the hit column as three batters had multi-hit performances, not to mention a 4-RBI day by the third baseman, Brody Jindra (Elkhorn, Neb.)

The stars and stripes managed to bat around the lineup over the first two frames, which resulted in six of its 10 runs to score. The matchup saw a two-inning hiatus in which no runs were scored and only two hits assigned to Team USA. A four-hit rally in the fifth sealed the victory, however, as the red, white, and blue notched four final runs before turning to Samir Mohammed (Trinity, Fla.), who was tasked with the fifth and final frame.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • Team USA began to apply pressure in the first, as James Tronstein (Los Angeles, Calif.) came out first-pitch swinging to lead off the contest with a base hit. From there, a ball put into play by Brady Harris (Saint Augustine, Fla.) followed by an RBI single by Jindra handed the stars and stripes an early 2-0 advantage.
  • It only ramped up from there, as Tronstein once again made his name heard and put a ground ball into the field for an RBI. Jindra took care of it once again, this time with a deep shot to left for a two-out, bases-clearing double to make it 6-0.
  • Action did not make another appearance until the fifth, as Drew Davis (Sumrall, Miss.) notched his first hit and RBI of the week to score Blake Bowen (Riverside, Calif.), who reached on a double. Josiah Morris (Oakley, Calif.) continued the rally and added another hit to his name with an RBI base knock to drive home Davis for the United States' eighth run.
  • Harris continued the onslaught by singling to left field and bringing home Tronstein and Morris to give Team USA a double-digit lead.

NOTABLES

  • The 15U National Team improves to 3-0 all-time against Puerto Rico, the last meeting being a 15-4 victory.
  • The United States pitching staff continues to show what it is capable of, holding opponents to a mere .171 batting average and allowing only one run to cross the plate in two days.
  • Harris and Jindra combined for six of the team’s nine RBIs while Tronstein, Davis, and Jorvorskie Lane Jr. (Fort Worth, Texas) all scored more than once in today’s contest.
  • Jindra, Harris, and Bowen all had multi-hit days, with the latter two recording 2-for-3 performances.

ON DECK

Team USA will next take on Dominican Republic 2 on Saturday with first pitch slated for 10:00 a.m. ET. Live stats will be provided via SideArm, and the contest will be streamed on YouTube.

SOCIAL MEDIA

To follow along with all the action with the 15U National Team, be sure to follow @USABaseball15U on Twitter and @USABaseball on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter.

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15UGame1

Team USA's Explosive Offense Leads to Statement Win Over the Dominican Republic

Quality pitching and a barrage of runs leads to 13-1 run-rule victory in series opener
September 14, 2023
Box Score | Play by Play

Box Score | Play by Play

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic – Team USA dazzled in its opening game of the 2023 International Friendly Series in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The squad overwhelmed Dominican Republic 1 with a potent offense and shutdown defense en route to a 13-1 run-rule victory on Thursday morning at the Toronto Blue Jays Academy.

Starter Cade Allen (Humboldt, Tenn.) set the tone from the get-go, turning in a quality start that consisted of 4.0 innings of three-hit ball before he was relieved of his duties. On the flip side, his battery mate – Josiah Morris (Oakley, Calif.) – posted an impressive 2-for-2 outing at the plate as did designated hitter Jorvorskie Lane Jr. (Fort Worth, Texas), who notched the only other multi-hit performance for the stars and stripes.

Despite a quiet first inning, Team USA’s bats came to life in the second frame in a substantial manner, as the team batted around the order and plated a staggering seven runs. The runs kept pouring on from there on out, as the red, white, and blue proceeded to score two in the third and four in the fourth frame.

Allen kept his composure throughout, as he did not allow a hit until the third inning. The Humboldt, Tennessee, native refused to surrender a run until the fourth, when Dominican centerfielder Alexander Frias led off with a double then proceeded to score two batters later. That inning highlighted the extent of the Dominican offense, however, the team racked up a mere three hits while striking out seven times overall, five of them by means of Allen’s right arm.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • Errant plays by the Dominican pitcher allowed Lane Jr., who led off the second with a walk, to advance to third and then score two batters later after Trey Ebel (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) put the ball in play and drove in Lane Jr. for the first run.
  • Blake Bowen (Riverside, Calif.) jumped on a 2-2 offering later that inning and lined one up the middle to plate Brody Jindra (Elkhorn, Neb.) and Ebel. Morris’ big day began right after, as he tripled down the right field line and scored Bowen for his first RBI on the day.
  • James Tronstein (Los Angeles, Calif.) found the right-centerfield gap immediately after, easily plating Morris from third and triggering a Dominican pitching change.
  • Back-to-back singles through the right side by Lane Jr. and Jindra handed the United States a sizable lead and rounded off the seven-run second inning.
  • A 1-2-3 inning by Allen in the second immediately put Team USA back on offense as a rocket to right field off the bat of Brady Harris (Saint Augustine, Fla.) tacked on two more runs for the U.S. in the third.
  • The stars and stripes got back to work in the fourth frame as a run-producing wild pitch was followed up by an RBI single off the bat of Ebel, making it 11-0. Morris’ second hit of the day was once again a three-bagger, scoring Ebel and Team USA’s 12th run. Tronstein notched an RBI right after, easily bringing home Morris from third for a 13-0 advantage.

NOTABLES

  • The 15U National Team stays undefeated and improves to an impressive 9-0 all-time record against the Dominican Republic.
  • Morris broke the individual game record of most triples in a game with two. The previous record being one with the latest at the hands of John Short who recorded a triple against Cuba in 2022.
  • The United States exhausted only two arms, Allen, who earned the win, and Alex Haro (Whittier, Calif.) who tossed a 1-2-3 fifth inning.
  • Allen tied an individual record in the second as he needed only three pitches to get through the inning.
  • Tronstein, Harris, Ebel, Bowen, and Morris each had 2-RBI performances. Morris also scored three times while Jindra, Ebel, and Lane Jr. each scored twice in the contest.

ON DECK

Team USA will next take on Puerto Rico on Friday, with first pitch set for 10:00 a.m. ET. Live stats will be provided via SideArm, and the contest will be streamed on YouTube.

SOCIAL MEDIA

To follow along with all the action with the 15U National Team, be sure to follow @USABaseball15U on Twitter and @USABaseball on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter.

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15UDay_3

15U National Team Dominates Exhibition Play With Back-To-Back Lopsided Victories

The 15U National Team won by a combined score of 24-6 in Monday's doubleheader exhibition matchup against Elite Squad
September 12, 2023
GAME ONE - TEAM USA PICKS UP AN EARLY LEAD AND NEVER LOOKS BACK IN AN 8-2 VICTORY OVER ELITE SQUAD MIAMI, Fla. – Multi-hit performances from Grady Emerson (Argyle, Texas) and Blake Bowen (Riverside, Calif.) got Team USA off to a running start and helped power the 15U National

GAME ONE - TEAM USA PICKS UP AN EARLY LEAD AND NEVER LOOKS BACK IN AN 8-2 VICTORY OVER ELITE SQUAD

MIAMI, Fla. – Multi-hit performances from Grady Emerson (Argyle, Texas) and Blake Bowen (Riverside, Calif.) got Team USA off to a running start and helped power the 15U National Team past Elite Squad, 8-2, in the first matchup Monday evening at Alex Rodriguez Park.

Despite giving up two early runs, the 15U National Team showed off its offensive capabilities and quickly responded in its home half of the first frame as three runs were plated thanks to Brady Harris (Saint Augustine, Fla.) and Jorvorskie Lane Jr. (Fort Worth, Texas), handing the stars and stripes a lead it would never relinquish.

An RBI base knock off the bat of Emerson in the second inning put the U.S. up by a pair while the bats exploded once more for a four-run fourth as a handful of hits tacked on extra insurance for the home team.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • Back-to-back walks issued to James Tronstein (Los Angeles, Calif.) and Emerson gave the 15U National Team two early baserunners who promptly scored after Harris ripped a double to left later in the first inning.
  • Lane Jr. tacked on a run himself as he won a hard-fought at-bat by driving a 3-2 offering up the middle for an RBI.
  • An Emerson single in the second plated one more and gave the team a two-run advantage.
  • A busy fourth frame was ignited by Taytum Reeves’ (Menifee, Calif.) base hit followed up by a double steal and a hard-hit shot to right off the bat of Tronstein for a double, making it 6-2. JC Pacheco (Wayne, N.J.) joined in on the action and tallied a pair of RBIs with a base hit to center, giving Team USA an 8-2 lead.

NOTABLE STATS

  • Emerson and Bowen each amassed a pair of base hits and runs scored, with Emerson knocking in a run as well.
  • Tronstein posted a 1-for-3 performance with an RBI and two runs scored while Reeves also garnered a hit while scoring once.
  • Cade Allen (Humboldt, Tenn.) refused to concede a hit as he pitched two shutout innings and punched out three batters.
  • Tucker Long (Ottumwa, Iowa), Jack Smejkal (The Woodlands, Texas), and Brody Jindra (Elkhorn, Neb.) each got in a clean inning of work while only giving up three combined hits.

GAME TWO - TEAM USA EXPLODES OFFENSIVELY AND SAILS PAST ELITE SQUAD, 16-4

The 15U National Team picked up right where it left off, as the team combined for 15 total hits, highlighted by homers from both Harris and Tronstein as they led their team to a 16-4 blowout victory in game two of the exhibition doubleheader.

This time, the stars and stripes struck first, as a trio of base hits in addition to an error allowed the 15U National Team to jump to an early 2-0 lead in the second. Elite Squad, however, saw an error in its favor soon after, as the misthrow handed the team a pair of runs with only one being earned.

One more run scored for Team USA in the third and things quickly got out of hand from there, as the red, white, and blue then outscored Elite Squad 10-2 over the next two innings. The scoring did not stop there, as the 15U National Team plated three more runs in the sixth before playing defense for two consecutive frames as the opposing team’s bullpen was depleted.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • Reeves and Tronstein teamed up in the second and gave their team an early 2-0 advantage after Reeves legged out an infield single and Tronstein doubled on a line drive to center.
  • Drew Davis (Sumrall, Miss.) took advantage of an error earlier in the third and slashed a two-out offering to right for an RBI single.
  • Reeves kicked off the key rally in the fourth with a leadoff base hit; Tronstein then proceeded to hammer a 1-0 pitch high and deep over the left field wall for the team’s first blast of the week. A double off the bat of Harris produced another run while an error allowed the seventh run to cross the plate.
  • Bowen’s bat stayed hot as he laced a two-out pitch up the middle to give the stars and stripes a seven run advantage and 9-2 lead after four frames.
  • Base knocks continued to litter the field in the fifth, while Harris manufactured one more run and a wild pitch tacked on two more. Jindra capped the scoring off with an RBI single to left, making it 13-2.
  • Elite Squad strung together three hits in the fifth with two coming around to score after a wild pitch scored one followed by an RBI base hit by Jordan Young.
  • Harris kept the offense going with a no doubt homer to dead center to once again give Team USA a double-digit lead. Josiah Morris (Oakley, Calif.) knocked in one more run to solidify a 16-4 final score.

NOTABLE STATS

  • Harris did his fair share of damage at the plate, as he went 3-for-5 with four RBIs and three runs scored. Tronstein was also dangerous with the bat, as he gathered a pair of hits and runs scored while driving in three runs.
  • Bowen recorded a 2-for-3 outing with a pair of RBIs and two stolen bags while Reeves also stole a base as he accumulated two hits and two runs scored as well.
  • Will Adams (Hoover, Ala.), Samir Mohammed (Trinity, Fla.), Andrew Jimenez (Wildomar, Calif.), and Reeves each tossed one scoreless frame.

ON DECK

Team USA travels to the Dominican Republic to play a five-game set of international friendly contests against the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, Sept. 14-18.

SOCIAL MEDIA

To follow along with all the action with the 15U National Team, be sure to follow @USABaseball15U on Twitter and @USABaseball on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter.

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PJ NEw Article

Korea Shuts Out Team USA in World Cup Bronze Medal Game

U.S. completes tournament with 5-4 record, fourth-place finish
September 10, 2023
Box Score & Plays | Cumulative Stats

Box Score & Plays | Cumulative Stats

TAIPEI, Taiwan – Team USA was shut out by Korea, 4-0, in the bronze medal game of the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-18 Baseball World Cup on Sunday afternoon at Tianmu Baseball Stadium.

The U.S. completes tournament play with a 5-4 record, while Korea wraps up the World Cup with a 6-3 mark and a bronze medal.

The stars and stripes could not get anything going against Korea starter Taekyon Kim on Sunday, as the right-hander tossed a complete game and struck out nine in the process. PJ Morlando (Summerville, S.C.) provided the only two hits for the U.S. in the defeat, singling in the second and hitting a double in the fourth. Bryce Rainer (Simi Valley, Calif.), who drew a walk in the second, was the only other Team USA baserunner in the loss.

Cooper Williams (Alvin, Texas) started on the mound for the United States and turned in a start similar to his first. As he did against Japan in pool play, Williams surrendered two runs in the first before settling down for the remainder of the outing. Williams­–who suffered the loss–pitched three innings before Matthew Champion (Laguna Niguel, Calif.) took over and tossed 2.2 innings of two-run ball. Trey Gregory-Alford (Colorado Springs, Colo.) finished the sixth and pitched a scoreless seventh.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • An RBI triple by Tongkeon Yeo and a run-scoring bunt single from Jihwan Park gave Korea an immediate 2-0 lead in the top of the first.
  • Korea threatened to extend its lead in the top of the second when Seungmin Lee hit a one-out double, but Williams locked in and retired the next two batters to maintain the two-run U.S. deficit.
  • The Korea advantage grew to three in the top of the fourth on an RBI single by Sangjun Lee before Rainer threw a runner out at the plate to keep the stars and stripes within striking distance.
  • Morlando tried to ignite the Team USA bats with a two-out double in the fourth, but Kim induced an inning-ending ground out to keep his shutout intact.
  • Champion was chased from the game in the sixth when Seungmin Lee hit his second extra-base hit of the game, an RBI triple to grow Korea’s lead to 4-0.
  • Kim sent the United States down in order in the bottom of the seventh to finish off his complete-game shutout.

NOTABLES

  • Morlando finishes the tournament as the team’s leading hitter, batting .409 (9-for-22) in World Cup play. The lefty collected a hit in eight of the nine U.S. games.
  • Including Sunday’s performance, Gregory-Alford went unscored upon in four tournament appearances out of the bullpen, allowing just two hits in six innings of work.
  • The U.S. pitching staff wraps up the World Cup with a 2.44 team ERA.
  • The loss was Team USA’s second all-time defeat to Korea in World Cup bronze medal games after it also dropped the third-place matchup in 2004.

SOCIAL MEDIA

To follow along with all the action with the 18U National Team, be sure to follow @USABaseball18U on Twitter and @USABaseball on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter.

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GAMEDAY: Team USA Meets Korea in World Cup Bronze Medal Game

First pitch scheduled for 2:00 p.m. local/2:00 a.m. ET (Friday) at Tianmu Baseball Stadium
September 10, 2023
WATCH LIVE ON GAMETIME ($) TAIPEI, Taiwan – The 18U National Team finishes play at the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-18 Baseball World Cup with the bronze medal game against Korea on Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. local/2:00 a.m. ET at Tianmu Baseball Stadium in Taipei,

WATCH LIVE ON GAMETIME ($)

TAIPEI, Taiwan – The 18U National Team finishes play at the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-18 Baseball World Cup with the bronze medal game against Korea on Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. local/2:00 a.m. ET at Tianmu Baseball Stadium in Taipei, Taiwan.

PITCHING MATCHUP

RHP Taekyon Kim (KOR) vs. LHP Cooper Williams (USA)

LAST TIME OUT

Team USA dropped its Super Round finale on Saturday, falling in a close 4-3 defeat to Puerto Rico. Despite carrying a lead into the late innings, the U.S. bullpen allowed a pair of runs in the sixth and seventh frames and the bats could not rally in the loss. Team USA scored first in Saturday’s game, plating a run in the first inning on a sacrifice fly by PJ Morlando. Puerto Rico answered with a run in the top of the third to tie it, but the U.S. responded in the bottom half with Konnor Griffin’s RBI triple and Derek Curiel’s sac fly to regain a 3-2 lead. However, a wild pitch in the sixth and a Puerto Rico sac fly in the seventh put the U.S. behind and it was unable to muster anything off of reliever Jarrette Bonet.

Levi Sterling started for the U.S. and was solid, tossing 4.1 innings and allowing two runs. Sterling finished the tournament with a 1.86 ERA in 8.1 frames and walked just one batter. Jack McKernan suffered the loss on Saturday by yielding two runs in two innings. Konnor Griffin got the final outs on the mound for the U.S.

BRONZE MEDAL GAME HISTORY

The United States has competed in five bronze medal games at the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup. Picking up its first bronze medal win in 1986, the team has gone 4-1 overall in the third-place contest. The U.S. and Korea have played one another on two separate occasions in the bronze medal game; Team USA won the first meeting in 1996, and Korea took home bronze in the most recent matchup in 2004.

HISTORY AGAINST KOREA

At the U-18 level, the United States and Korea have played one another 22 times. Team USA owns a slight series advantage over Korea, posting a 13-9 all-time record. The series began when the U.S. earned a 7-5 victory over Korea in the opening game of the 1988 World Junior Championships, while the most recent meeting was a 5-1 win for the U.S. in game two of the Super Round. The two nations have met in the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup bronze medal game twice, each winning one of those matchups.

SCOUTING THE OPPONENT

Korea enters the bronze medal matchup fresh off a 3-1 win over the Netherlands in its Super Round finale, which secured its spot in Sunday’s bronze game. Korea emerged from Group A as the number two seed for Super Round play after going 4-1, suffering an opening game loss to Chinese Taipei and then rattling off four wins in a row. The squad dropped its first two Super Round games (7-1 vs. Japan and 5-1 vs. Team USA) before Saturday’s 3-1 victory over the Netherlands.

The team is currently led at the plate by Hyunmin Cho, who is batting .350 (7-for-20) with a double, eight RBIs, and four runs scored. Yulyee Lee, who owns a .263 average (5-for-19), ranks second in the team with six RBIs and is tied for first with four runs scored. On the mound, Korea owns a 2.25 ERA with an astounding 77 strikeouts in 53 innings pitched. Sunday’s starter, Taekyon Kim, is 1-0 with a 1.56 ERA with 20 punch outs in nine innings of work.

INSIDE THE ROSTER

Nine players on the 2023 roster have previously played for Team USA. A trio of players from last year’s WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier squad return to the 18U National Team, as Matthew Champion, Noah Franco, and PJ Morlando all helped the U.S. win gold last November. In addition, three players from the 2021 15U National Team–Konnor Griffin, Ethan Schiefelbein, and Nolan Traeger–will reunite on this year’s roster, while two-time alum Jack McKernan and Coy James represent the 2022 15U squad. Bryce Rainer returns to Team USA and makes his second trip to Taiwan after playing for the 2017 12U team.

The 2023 Prospect Development Pipeline (PDP) League featured 17 members of this year’s team. The PDP League, which serves as the primary identification event for the 18U National Team, is an invitation-based development and assessment opportunity for high school players eligible for the following year’s MLB Draft. Additionally, 14 members of the squad have previously participated in USA Baseball’s development programs. Three athletes who participated in the 2023 16U/17U National Team Development Program (NTDP)–James, McKernan, and Joey Oakie–earned spots on the final 20-man squad. Eleven members of the 2022 16U/17U NTDP and four players from the 2021 16U/17U NTDP roster were also named to the team. In addition, James and McKernan both participated in the 2021 13U/14U Athlete Development Program (ADP).

ALUM AT THE HELM

Team USA manager Michael Cuddyer is only the second alumnus to play for and manage the 18U National Team, joining Jason Hisey, who played for the U.S. in 1987 and managed the squad in 2006. Cuddyer is a two-time 18U National Team alum, as he played for the program in both 1996 and 1997. In 1996, Cuddyer batted .367 with five RBIs on a roster that featured seven future big leaguers, including Rick Ankiel **and Josh Bard**. Cuddyer then posted a .397 average with an .853 slugging percentage while leading the U.S. in home runs (7) and RBIs (26) at the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup in New Brunswick, Canada, in 1997.

SOCIAL MEDIA

To follow along with all the action with the 18U National Team, be sure to follow @USABaseball18U on Twitter and @USABaseball on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter.

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