Golden Spikes Spotlight: Darren McCaughan

May 9, 2017

LONG BEACH, Calif. -- "Honestly, I don't like Cal Poly one bit."

Darren McCaughan entered Friday night's start with a chip on his shoulder and some fire in his blood. The Long Beach State ace had been roughed up in his last start and he was pitching against a team that had previously overlooked him.

"In high school, they told me that I wasn't good enough to go there," McCaughan said. "They told me I should probably go to juco. Little did they know, I was coming here, so it just kind of fires me up to play them every time."

That motivation and a couple of small mechanical tweaks helped McCaughan produce one of the best starts of his career. He tossed a three-hit shutout and struck out 11 to lead the Dirtbags to a 3-0 win in the opener of an important conference series. He also became just the 10th Dirtbag to reach 20 career wins and the first since Cesar Ramos did so in 2005.

"McCaughan was great. He was fantastic," Long Beach State head coach Troy Buckley said after Friday's start. "Even more fantastic coming off what he did last weekend. That's what I'm proud of."

Against UC Davis a week ago, McCaughan was roughed up for a career-high eight runs in 4.1 innings. With the wind howling, Davis hit a double, a triple and three homers - all to left field. He was leaving the ball up and didn't have a feel for his changeup. The offense picked him up, leading the Dirtbags to a 14-9 win, but McCaughan knew he needed to make some adjustments.

As the conference season had progressed, the coaches had already noticed something different about McCaughan's delivery compared to last season. But McCaughan had been stellar in his first four conference starts this season, going 3-1, 1.35. He had worked into the eighth inning in all four, including back-to-back complete games prior to facing Davis.

With their ace pitching well, the coaches didn't want to make a change just to make a change. There was no need to mess with what was working. Like most pitchers, McCaughan is at his best when he is able to get into a rhythm and isn't contemplating his mechanics.

"When I'm not doing so well, I'm kind of thinking about too much maybe and trying to do too much with my pitches," he said last month.

By comparing film of McCaughan's start at Davis to when he was dominating last season, Buckley and first-year pitching coach Dan Ricabal noticed when McCaughan raised his left leg and began striding toward the plate, the bottom half of that front leg was bending at the knee and getting underneath his rear rather than dangling straight down. When he began to stride forward, the extra bend in his front leg was leading to a shorter stride and a compression of the front leg when landing. That led McCaughan to push the ball up instead of getting his hand on top of the baseball and getting extension forward as he released the ball.

It was a minor adjustment, but it allowed McCaughan to clear his hips and get out in front of the ball by working against a hard front side.

"I didn't even realize that I was doing it. It's not something you think about on the mound, but I think just hammering that in the week in all of my work that I was doing, it just translates over to the mound," McCaughan said.

He was able to command his 84-88 mph fastball with his normal fervor, moving it to both sides of the plate. McCaughan consistently got ahead and forced Cal Poly into defensive counts. He threw 111 pitches with 80 strikes, getting to two strikes on 21 batters, including 10 of the last 11.

"He just spots the ball, has a little bit of sink and mixes. And he competes. He's good," Mustangs head coach Larry Lee said.

After getting ahead, McCaughan worked in a changeup at 80-83 mph and his developing 77-80 slider. He felt both offspeed pitches were much better than his previous start. His sequencing followed a similar path to the game.

McCaughan had to quickly show his mettle against the Mustangs. It's hard to ever say that a game is decided in the first inning, but that's definitely when all the action was Friday night.

"First innings for me are big pitching coach situations," Buckley said. "We have six days to prepare for that first inning. How you're going to pitch it, how you're going to script it. You can do whatever you want to do. The challenge is to handle the adrenaline once the adrenaline injects into that pitcher."

The adrenaline immediately began flowing for McCaughan. One pitch into the game, Cal Poly had a runner in scoring position after the Dirtbags threw away a fairly routine chopper.

"I think it's hard to overcome bad first innings," Buckley said. "We always talk about make the first inning like the ninth inning. If you've got to throw the kitchen sink to put up a zero in the first inning, then you've got to do it."

McCaughan bore down. He got a popup to first base and a grounder to second that moved the runner over. Then McCaughan stranded him there with the first of his 11 strikeouts.

"You know that with McCaughan on the mound, it's going to be a low-scoring game," Lee said. "To put up a run in the first inning and play with a lead, that's a must."

Instead, it was the Long Beach offense able to do that. The Dirtbags scored two runs in the first, added one in the third and relied on their ace to carry them the rest of the way.

"Coming into this week, I knew it was going to be a big week for conference. Knew I had to get the team off on the right foot to start the weekend," McCaughan said. "I think that was kind of my job and I did that."

Buckley was more impressed with the way McCaughan took the coaches' advice, deployed a plan of attack to address the issues during a strong week of practice and then bounced back to perform in the opener of a series between two teams that sat atop the Big West standings entering the weekend.

"You got punched in the mouth and knocked to the mat," Buckley said. "It's a TKO-type of thing. Even though we won [last week], he had to get back to work because he did have to make a few little tweaks. Nothing crazy, but it showed up. That's really exciting when you can take those things and implement them and then see some results. That's like the best, best ever."

When McCaughan was invited to join USA Baseball's Collegiate National Team in the summer, he knew his opportunities were going to be limited with the number of quality power arms on the roster. Ultimately, his three innings over four appearances were the fewest by anyone that made the final travel roster. He didn't allow a run in his first three outings, earning a save over Chinese Taipei and getting out of a bases-loaded, no-out situation in the team's final exhibition game before traveling overseas. He blew a save giving up two runs in his final appearance, a 3-1 loss to Cuba.

But the experience was still worth it for the 6-foot-1, 200-pound righthander. He got to wear the red, white and blue. He got to travel to see different countries and cultures. And he got to learn from some of the best pitchers in college baseball.

McCaughan picked the brains of pitchers like North Carolina's J.B. Bukauskas, Florida's Alex Faedo and Vanderbilt's Kyle Wright, who combined to allow five earned runs in 54 innings last summer and should all hear their names in the first 15-20 picks in this summer's draft.

"You can learn a ton by how you watch a guy go about things," Buckley said. "Grips, what the process is, what the intentions are. A lot of different things."

For McCaughan, the focus was improving his breaking ball.

"I learned how everyone threw their sliders. Just kind of watching everyone throw and seeing how they would do it," McCaughan said. "It was mainly I wasn't getting out in front with it and that's kind of what I was seeing everyone do with it. The more they would get out in front with it, the better it would break down."

McCaughan's ERA (6-2, 2.97) hasn't been as good as last season (10-1, 2.03) as he's given up a couple more home runs already this year than he did in 2016, but his peripheral numbers are just as good, if not better. Opponents are hitting just .188 against him after batting .193 last year. His walk rate has slightly declined from 1.30 base on balls per nine innings to 1.02 and his strikeout rate is up from 6.8 to 8.2.

He leads the Big West allowing just 6.1 hits per game and is tied for the conference lead with four complete games. Two of those have been shutouts. Two of his other starts have been team shutouts. The Dirtbags lead the nation with nine shutouts. Nearly half have occurred when McCaughan starts.

That is partly due to his 8.00 strikeout-to-walk ratio, which is top 10 in the nation. His walk rate is No. 15 in the country and he has college baseball's third-best WHIP. He is allowing 0.80 walks and hits each inning.

McCaughan credits his improvement to the development of the slider.

"I think I really improved my slider this year, which has been allowing me to put more guys away and just not running up my pitch counts as much," McCaughan said. "With Rico [Ricabal] coming in, he's helped me out a lot with it. Now I've got my fastball going, I've got my slider going, so it's been pretty good."

In one seventh-inning sequence on Friday, McCaughan got Cal Poly middle of the lineup bat Nick Meyer waving at a slider that finished more than a foot off the plate. He buzzed Meyer up and in with an 0-2 pitch and then threw the slider, starting it in the strike zone and letting it break into the lefthanders batting box. Meyer had no chance.

"What makes it better is that you have to respect the fastball and the command of the fastball," Buckley said. "That's where I think when he goes well, that's what he does and especially against righthanded hitters, it frees up the breaking ball to not have to be as wipeout-ish."

His fastball isn't overpowering but constantly throbbing the mitt. He can also throw his changeup in any count. With the breaking ball improving into a putout pitch, honestly, hitters don't like facing Darren McCaughan one bit.


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MLB and USA Baseball Create "PDP League" to Bolster High School Baseball Pipeline Ahead of 2020 MLB Draft

Expansion of the Existing Prospect Development Pipeline/Will Serve As the Premier Development Experience for 80 Top High School Prospects
November 13, 2018

Durham, N.C. - Major League Baseball and USA Baseball today announced the new "Prospect Development Pipeline (PDP) League," a premier development and showcase experience for dozens of high school baseball prospects based in the United States. The PDP League, which will be held from mid-June through early-July at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., is an invitation-based development opportunity for approximately 80 of the top high school baseball players ahead of the 2020 MLB Draft. It will include competitive game play, practice & training sessions with MLB Club representatives serving as on-field coaches, and evaluation using modern technologies tailoring individualized development curriculums for each player. The PDP League will serve as a primary identification opportunity for the USA Baseball 18U National Team, slated to compete in the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-18 Baseball World Cup in Busan, South Korea. Additionally, the League will serve as a feeder for a new All-Star Week showcase game for the best high school baseball players, designed in a similar style to the existing SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game.

 "We are thrilled to join USA Baseball in announcing the PDP League, which is the newest initiative in our ongoing commitment to improving the amateur levels of our game and connecting the next generation of stars to Major League Baseball," said Morgan Sword, MLB's Senior Vice President, League Economics & Operations. "The PDP League will provide these players, the majority of whom will be in consideration for the following year's MLB Draft, with the most dynamic, development-focused experience available to high school baseball athletes. Uniquely, the PDP League will also offer players the opportunity to prepare for life beyond baseball by prioritizing leadership and character development as well as personal health and well-being."

"The creation of the PDP League signifies a new, groundbreaking opportunity to cultivate excellence amongst athletes both on and off the field," said Rick Riccobono, USA Baseball's Chief Development Officer. "The development of the next generation of collegiate and professional stars has long been a core mission of USA Baseball, and we are proud to reinforce this commitment with the creation of this innovative program with the support of Major League Baseball and its Clubs. The PDP League will have an immediate and positive impact on the amateur landscape while fostering the continued success of Team USA on the international stage."

The 80 participants of the 2019 PDP League, all of whom will be invited by Major League Baseball, MLB Clubs and USA Baseball, will be broken down into four teams of about 20 players. Most of the on-field activity, including competitive play and training, will take place at the IMG Academy. The teams also will have an opportunity to play at Tropicana Field, the home of the Tampa Bay Rays.

A percentage of the highest performing players from the PDP League will be considered for additional premier opportunities. These include events connected to MLB All-Star Week, such as the new high school showcase game as well as the High School Home Run Derby, an annual national home run hitting contest held at the All-Star host ballpark. Four of the eight participants in the 2017 All-Star High School Home Run Derby were selected in the first round of the 2018 MLB Draft.

USA Baseball also will utilize the PDP League as the primary identification event for the USA Baseball 18U National Team. Approximately 40 players will be invited from the PDP League to attend the 2019 18U National Team Trials, which will be conducted in late August in Los Angeles. From there, the final 20-man national team roster will be selected for team training in Asia, followed by the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup in Busan, South Korea in early September. The 2019 18U Team will be managed by long time Clemson University head coach Jack Leggett.

Providing all participating athletes with an environment that prioritizes their health and well-being is one of the founding principles on which the PDP League was created. The League will focus on monitoring overall workload, ensuring the necessary amount of down time and rest, prioritizing recovery management and support, establishing routines for development, and monitoring heat exposure and hydration.

Personal development will be a focus in classroom settings during the League through a variety of important educational seminars applicable to the participants' potential collegiate and professional baseball careers. Classroom lessons will be led by MLB Club, USA Baseball, and other pertinent guest speakers and will include leadership sessions, diversity & inclusion training, proper use and importance of social media, nutritional tips, and more. Content, curriculum and expertise will be borrowed from existing initiatives, including MLB's Rookie Development Program and USA Baseball's National Team Development Program.

Additionally, the participants will have the opportunity to undergo unique athletic assessments, consisting of performance vision screening, swing and ball flight analysis and precise physical testing. These voluntary assessments have already helped establish an official identification and player assessment pathway to Major League Baseball and all 30 MLB Clubs for elite high school age baseball players. In the last two MLB Drafts (2017 & 2018), 212 players who participated in 2017-2018 PDP events were selected.

IMG Academy is one of the world's largest and most advanced multi-sport training and educational institutions. IMG Academy helps countless youth, adult, collegiate and professional athletes reach their full potential in and out of sport by providing world-class teaching and coaching, tailored programs and professional facilities. Based in Bradenton, Florida, IMG Academy also serves as a training and competition venue for amateur and professional teams, a host site for a variety of events, and a hub for sports performance research and innovation. Its nearly 600-acre campus includes a state-of-the-art baseball stadium, five development fields, indoor & outdoor batting cages and 16 practice mounds. It also houses the Gatorade Sports Science Institute, three dormitories, two 10,000 square foot weight rooms and a fieldhouse with professional locker rooms.


MLB and USA Baseball partner on a variety of different initiatives, including the PLAY BALL initiative (, diversity-focused amateur development camps (Breakthrough Series, DREAM Series & Hank Aaron Invitational), Fun At Bat program (, girls baseball initiatives (Trailblazer Series, Girls Baseball Breakthrough Series), Pitch Smart (, Hit and Run Baseball (, and many more. 

In August, MLB and USA Baseball announced "States Play," a new, annual high school baseball tournament to showcase some of the best rising seniors from states that historically produce a high volume of collegiate and professional players. 

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2018 18U National Team Training Begins Wednesday, Nov. 14

November 12, 2018

USA Baseball invites the local and national media to the 2018 USA Baseball 18U National Team Training.

The 18U National Team will compete in six exhibition games from November 14-20 in Florida to prepare for the COPABE U-18 Pan-American Championships. The 18U National Team Training roster is made up of 27 of the nation's best ballplayers that are international age-eligible for 18U National Team consideration (born in 2000 or later). Following the conclusion of the event on Tuesday, November 20, the 20-man 18U National Team roster will be announced.

  • WHAT: USA Baseball 18U National Team Training
  • WHEN: November 14-20, 2018
  • WHERE: Miami, Fla., Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., Miami Gardens, Fla., West Palm Beach, Fla., Port Charlotte, Fla.

The 18U National Team program started in 1987 as the USA Baseball Junior National Team competing in the World Youth Baseball Championships. Since then the 18U Team has been a perennial power on the international baseball scene. The team competes in two major events in bi-yearly cycles - the COPABE U-18 Pan-American Championships and the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-18 Baseball World Cup. In 2017, Team USA went undefeated to claim its fourth WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup title in a row and give the program its seventh consecutive gold medal in international competition dating back to 2011. The program has also won five straight COPABE U-18 Pan-American Championships titles and will look to add a sixth in 2018.

Credential Application

Members of the media can apply for a credential by visiting the USA Baseball Media Services page on the official website here.

18U Participants in the MLB Draft

Following a season in which the 18U National Team earned its fourth consecutive WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup title, ten members of the 20-man roster were selected in the first round in 2018. Jarred Kelenic (No. 6, New York Mets) was the first selected, followed by Ryan Weathers (No. 7, St. Louis Cardinals), Matt Liberatore (No. 16, Tampa Bay Rays), Brice Turang (No. 21, Milwaukee Brewers), Anthony Seigler (No. 23, New York Yankees), Triston Casas (No. 26, Boston Red Sox), Mason Denaburg (No. 27, Washington Nationals), JT Ginn (No. 30, Los Angeles Dodgers) and Ethan Hankins (No. 35, Cleveland Indians).

From the 18U National Team to the Major Leagues

Forty-six players representing 27 different teams in the Major Leagues have suited up for the red, white and blue as members of the 18U National Team. Notables include Albert Almora Jr. (2010-11), Alex Bregman (2011), Bryce Harper (2009), Clayton Kershaw (2005), Francisco Lindor (2010), Manny Machado (2009), Joe Mauer (1999-2000), Andrew McCutchen (2004), Buster Posey (2004) and 2018 World Series Champion Blake Swihart (2010). For a full list of 18U alums in the majors click here.

USA Baseball Coverage

Live stats: StatCrew
Social Media: @USABaseball18U (Twitter) and @USABaseball (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat)
Streaming/TV: None

Participating Players and Schedule

Twenty-seven of the nation's best ballplayers that are international age-eligible for 18U National Team consideration (born in 2000 or later) are participating in the 2018 event. For the full schedule, please visit the 18U National Team page on For the full National Team Training roster, click here.

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Online Education Center Under Construction

November 2, 2018

We apologize for the inconvenience; however, our Online Education Center at is currently under construction.

Check back on Tuesday, November 6, to see our brand new Sport Development website, complete with our usual offering of great FREE content, and some new content and features.

Thanks for your continued investment in Our Pastime's Future.

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USA Baseball Develops Coaching Manual for High School Baseball Programs

The manual aims to assist coaches in providing a positive, development-based experience to its student-athletes
October 10, 2018

DURHAM, N.C. - USA Baseball announced on Wednesday the development of its High School Baseball Program Manual. It aims to support the thousands of dedicated high school baseball coaches around the country by providing a positive, development-based experience to its student-athletes.

The manual provides coaches a fundamental framework to build an athlete-focused culture within their programs and is suited for both high schools with longstanding traditions of on-field excellence, as well as for schools and coaches that are building a program from the ground up. Importantly, the manual also provides a clear direction for player growth off the baseball field with respect to personal development and support for its players' participation in multiple sports.

The High School Baseball Program Manual is available to the public at no charge at and on the USA Baseball Online Education Center,

"To the tens of thousands of coaches who support the half a million student-athletes competing at the high school level, thank you. We recognize your selfless commitment to your players, and through works like this manual we aim to support your efforts in enriching your players lives," said Rick Riccobono, USA Baseball's Chief Development Officer. "USA Baseball has never been more committed to the well-being of the high school baseball community. Through this unique resource, coaches old and new will gain insights into how to optimize their high school baseball program. With an athlete-first approach, this manual's teachings will continue to position baseball as an athletic option that supports a comprehensive student-athlete experience within a healthy and positive sporting environment."

This initiative continues USA Baseball's reach into the amateur baseball landscape and specifically reinforces its commitment to the proliferation of prep baseball in the United States. The manual boosts the high school baseball experience and allows for the consistent development for any athlete, regardless of their skill level or the school for which they compete.

Key concepts from the High School Baseball Program Manual include:

- Importance of underscoring academic goals of the athletes and school
- Practice plan directives that enable maximum engagement, movement and physical activity
- Benefits of supporting athlete participation in multiple sports
- Management tools for interpersonal relationships within a baseball program, including conflict resolution techniques
- Keys to building a positive culture that transcends the student-athlete experience
- Best practices concerning a player's health and safety
- Keeping the game of baseball fun

"I think the High School Baseball Program Manual is by far the most comprehensive publication that I have ever seen. The attention to the specific needs of the player from understanding multi-sport athletes to nutrition and rest considerations is spot on. You can sense the intentional compassion in this document. It should be considered mandatory reading for any new baseball coach and a refresher for experienced coaches," said Elliot Hopkins, Director of Sports, Sanctioning and Student Services for the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS). "This manual along with the many other USA Baseball programs and resources is indicative of the support and commitment by USA Baseball to the interscholastic game. This is a quality manual that will assist anyone who is interested in maximizing practice time and improving their training sessions.

"We are so appreciative of USA Baseball for this work, but more importantly for a wonderful collaborative partnership for over a decade. We both value young people playing baseball and it is always good to share that excitement and drive with a like-minded organization. We are thrilled that they are our national governing body and represents the United States so proudly in international and domestic competitions."

For more information on the High School Baseball Program Manual, and other similar educational resources produced by USA Baseball, such as the Mobile Coach App, Long-Term Athlete Development Plan (LTAD) and others, visit All resources produced by USA Baseball are provided free of charge to the public.

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USA Baseball Announces 2018 National Team Identification Series Selections

A total of 68 athletes were selected for 2019 national team programming from the 2018 NTIS
September 10, 2018

DURHAM, N.C. - USA Baseball announced on Wednesday the 68 athletes that were selected from the 2018 National Team Identification Series (NTIS) to participate in 2019 national team programming. The tenth-annual NTIS was held at the National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina, from August 8-26 and for the tenth year in a row, the selection announcement was made through an online show.

Twenty-seven states and 16 regions from across the U.S. are represented by the 68 athletes chosen and fourteen states boast more than one selection.

Under the direction of USA Baseball task force, the 2018 NTIS featured over 1,200 of the nation's best players competing in 172 games, as well as skill testing and on-field evaluations. Twelve athletes were invited to compete at each of the 2019 12U National Team Trials, the 2019 14U, 16U and 17U National Team Development Programs (NTDP) and the 15U National Team Trials. In addition, eight players from the 17U NTIS were chosen to participate in the 2019 18U National Team selection process.

"Our task force had a difficult job selecting just 68 athletes out of the incredible pool of talent from across the U.S. that participated in this year's NTIS," Senior Director of Baseball Operations, Ashley Bratcher, said. "We are excited about the players chosen from the 2018 event and what they will bring to our 2019 national team programming."

The 2018 USA Baseball National Team Identification Series (NTIS) is the most comprehensive player identification program offered by Team USA. With tryouts in every region of the country, players now have greater access to USA Baseball National Team opportunities than ever before. The program includes six separate age groups - 11U, 13U, 14U, 15U, 15U and 17U.

The 2018 National Team Identification Series selections are as follows:

Name; Position; Hometown

2019 12U National Team Trials Invitees:
(from 11U NTIS)
Anthony Del Angel; OF/IF; Rio Rancho, N.M.
Parker Friend; C/RHP; Germantown, Md.
Gavin Hottle; IF/RHP; Irvine, Calif.
Bryant James; IF/RHP; Herndon, Va.
Elijah McNeal; Dublin, Calif.
Luis Mejia; IF/OF; Phoenix, Ariz.
Owen Robinson; LHP/IF; Greensboro, N.C.
C.J. Sampson; RHP/IF; Magnolia, Texas
Kruz Schoolcraft; IF/LHP; Aloha, Ore.
Jayden Stroman; IF/RHP; Medford, N.Y.
Eli Willits; IF/RHP; Fort Cobb, Okla.
Miles Young; IF; Cypress, Texas

2019 14U National Team Development Program invitees:
(from 13U NTIS)
Kai Caranto; IF/RHP; Castaic, Calif.
Angel Cepeda; OF/IF; Union City, N.J.
Carson Dean; OF/IF; Frisco, Texas
Ian Duarte; OF/RHP; Santa Clarita, Calif.
Terry Dunsford; IF/RHP; Grand Bay, Ala.
Keondre Fields; OF/RHP; Nesbit, Miss.
Gavin Grahovac; C/IF; Orange, Calif.
Houston Hirschkorn; IF/RHP; Kingsburg, Calif.
Andre Modugno; IF/Upper Saddle River, N.J.
Brandon Olivera; RHP; Hialeah, Fla.
Kellon Parnell; OF/IF; Pascagoula, Miss.
Brooks Wright; UT/RHP; Knoxville, Tenn.

2019 15U National Team Trials invitees:
(from 14U NTIS)
Mason Balsis; C; Bristow, Va.
Maxwell Clark; OF; Franklin, Ind.
Tyson Dewall; RHP; Folsom, Calif.
Demitri Diamant; OF/RHP; Las Vegas, Nev.
Termarr Johnson; IF; Atlanta, Ga.
Steven Milam; IF; Las Cruces, N.M.
Louis Rodriguez; RHP; Long Beach, Calif.
Logan Saloman; RHP/IF; Chandler, Ariz.
Christopher Scinta; LHP; Tamarac, Fla.
Tyrus Williams; OF; Oxford, Miss.
Jaxon Willits; IF; Fort Cobb, Okla.
Colton Wombles; C; Salem, Ala.

2019 16U National Team Development Program invitees:
(from 15U NTIS)
Jesse Bullard; IF/RHP; Riverside, Calif.
Korbyn Dickerson; OF/RHP; Jeffersonville, Ind.
Jake Geis; RHP; San Jose, Calif.
Rafael Gross; OF/IF; Pearland, Texas
Trevor Haskins; IF; San Jose, Calif.
David Horn; IF/RHP; Murrieta, Calif.
Kyndon Lovell; LHP; Fort Cobb, Okla.
Jaron Nevarez; LHP/IF; San Ramon, Calif.
Xavier Perez; RHP/OF; Corpus Christi, Texas
William Rogers; C/IF; Shoreview, Minn.
Chase Spencer; IF/RHP; Plano, Texas
Austin Young; RHP; Saint Peters, Mo.

2019 17U National Team Development Program invitees:
(from 16U NTIS)
Jackson Baumeister; C/RHP; Jacksonville, Fla.
Mark Black; C/OF; Pittsburgh, Pa.
Michael Davinni; IF/RHP; Laguna Niguel, Calif.
Kade Grundy; RHP/OF; Somerset, Ky.
Samuel Hunt; C/IF; Minneapolis, Minn.
Joseph Mack; C/IF; Williamsville, N.Y.
Michael Morales; RHP/IF; Enola, Pa.
Joshua Pearson; OF/IF; West Monroe, La.
Joseph Quick; RHP/IF; Lake Jackson, Texas
Kurtis Reid; IF/RHP; Hamilton, Ohio
Nate Savino; LHP/OF; Sterling, Va.
Tyler Wiederstein; RHP/IF; Greensburg, Pa.

2019 18U National Team selection process invitees:
(from 17U NTIS)
Jag Burden; OF/IF; Huntington Beach, Calif.
Colten Keith; IF/RHP; Biloxi, Miss.
Harold Coll; IF; Hyde Park, Mass.
Mac Guscette; C/IF; Nokomis, Fla.
Cayden Wallace; IF; Greenbrier, Ark.
Jonathan Vaughns; IF/RHP; Glendora, Calif.
Alex Urban; OF; Lexington, S.C.
Cameron Brown; RHP/IF; Flower Mound, Texas

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Team USA Captures First U-12 Pan Am Gold

USA completes perfect 9-0 tournament record with win over Mexico
September 2, 2018
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Mexico 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 2 4 2
USA 1 4 2 0 1 2 X 10 10 0
Win: Kibru Pam (1-0) Loss: Salvador Villegas Save: None
Box Score | Play-by-play | Team USA Tournament Stats


AGUASCALIENTES, Mexico - Team USA scored seven runs over the first three innings and the quick offensive start led to a 10-2 victory over Mexico to claim gold and win the 2018 COPABE U-12 Pan American Championships with a perfect 9-0 record. It marks the first time the USA has won the tournament after finishing runner-up in 2014 and 2016.

"I can't say enough about our guys," said a joyful USA 12U National Team head coach Todd Fine. "From start to finish, we continued to build everyday. We ran the table and went 9-0. These kids have given everything we have asked of them. It is a special group and they have a medal to show for it."

USA scored at least one run in the first inning of each game of the tournament and Sunday was no different. Leadoff batter Kameron Davis (Albany, Ga.) was hit by a pitch in the bottom of the first inning and eventually scored on an error for a 1-0 USA lead.

The stars and stripes were able to void out the overflow crowd of thousands at CECADI Stadium with a four-run second inning. With the bases loaded, Christian Hamilton (Lauderhill, Fla.) hit a ball booted by the third baseman, resulting in Julius Pfau (Tampa, Fla.) and Brock Thompson (Bakersfield, Calif.) scoring. Masato Chilcutt (San Antonio, Texas) followed with an RBI-single up the middle, and Hamilton completed the four-run inning by scoring on a wild pitch to take a 6-0 lead.

Dean Moss (Hillsborough, Calif.) struck out to leadoff the third inning, but was able to reach on a dropped third strike. Paul Dominguez (Anaheim, Calif.) made Mexico pay for the mistake, hitting a monstrous two-run home run well beyond the center field fence and into the parking lot. Dominguez's fifth home run of the tournament not only provided USA an 8-0 lead, but it also was USA's 38th home run of the tournament to set a USA single-tournament record.

The offense was clicking for USA, but so was Kibru Pam (Pasadena, Calif.) on the mound. The starting pitcher faced one batter over the minimum through his first four innings. He allowed two hits over the span and both were infield singles. He faced trouble in the fifth inning, allowing a runner to score from third base on a bases loaded ground out, but he prevented any further damage with a strikeout for the third out while two runners were in scoring position.

USA matched the Mexico run in the bottom of the fifth inning with a Thompson two-out infield single to score Kailand Halstead (Aberdeen, Wash.). They added insurance in the bottom of the sixth inning with a high arching two-run home run from Hamilton for his fourth home run of the tournament. The blast extended the USA lead to 10-1.

Hamilton, who moved from center field to the mound to start the sixth inning, allowed one hit over the final two innings of work. Mexico's Ricardo Orozco led off the seventh inning with a single and eventually scored on a passed ball. Hamilton was able to force Fernando Rubio into a double play to end the game and the on-field celebration began for the U.S.

Chilcutt (2-for-4), Davis (2-for-3), Moss (2-for-4) and Thompson (2-for-3) each had a multi-hit game for the U.S. Hamilton led the squad with a three-RBI performance. On the mound, Pam (1-0) claimed the victory with one run allowed off three hits and struck out four batters. Salvador Villegas was straddled with the loss for Mexico, allowing seven runs (six earned) off five hits in 3.1 innings.

The win moved USA to 5-2 all-time against Mexico, and they are 1-1 against them in U-12 Pan American championship games. USA went 9-0 in the tournament and their 10-2 win over Mexico was their smallest margin of victory. Their success in the tournament qualified them for the 2019 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-12 Baseball World Cup in Taiwan. The USA Baseball 12U National Team, winning their first gold at the U-12 Pan American Championships, are a three-time defending world champion at the WBSC U-12 Baseball World Cup.

Inside the Numbers
4 - Four members of the U.S. received all-tournament awards and honors. Kibru Pam (MVP), Kailand Halstead (Batting Champion), Dean Moss (RBI Champion, First Baseman) and Brock Thompson (Second Baseman) each received recognition at the conclusion of Sunday's game.

127-7 - The U.S. outscored their opponents 127-7 and they outhit them 122-20. USA's pitching staff pitched two no-hitters and four one-hitters in the tournament. Their prior single-tournament record for runs allowed was 81 (2015) and hits was 87 (2015).

41 - USA combined for 41 runs in the first inning (they did not allow a run in the first inning) during the tournament.

39 - The U.S. hit 39 home runs in the tournament which topped their prior single-tournament high of 37 from the 2016 tournament.

32 - In 38 innings of at-bats, USA scored at least 1 run in 32 of the innings.

12 - Twelve different USA players hit a home run in this season's tournament. Kailand Halstead led the team with six.

.557 - USA hit .557 in the tournament (single-tournament record). Dean Moss led the team hitting .727 (16-for-22).

.579 - The U.S. hit .579 (70/121) with runners on base. They held their opponents to 0-for-22 in the same category through the first five games of the tournament (opponents finished 6-for-62, .097). USA went 53-for-87, .609 with runners in scoring position.

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USA Shuts Out Nicaragua, Ready to Focus on Gold

Team USA gets their fourth one-hitter of the tournament
September 1, 2018
  1 2 3 4 5 6 R H E
Nicaragua 0 0 0 - - - 0 1 2
USA 9 1 5 - - - 15 16 0
Win: Brady Strohm (2-0)   Loss: Jose Cano  Save: None
Box ScorePlay-by-play | Team USA Tournament Stats


AGUASCALIENTES, Mexico - If there were any questions if Team USA is eager and ready to get to Sunday's gold medal game of the COPABE U-12 Pan American Championship, they were answered Saturday at CECADI Stadium. The U.S. used a nine-run first inning and Brady Strohm (Winchester, Calif.) pitched USA's second consecutive one-hitter (fourth of the tournament) to shutout Nicaragua 15-0 in a game shortened to three innings to close out Super Round play.

In the bottom of the first inning, USA sent 13 batters to the plate, with the first 11 batters reaching base safely. Dean Moss (Hillsborough, Calif.) added to his team-leading RBI totals with a two-run single, and three batters later, Brock Thompson (Bakersfield, Calif.) crushed a grand slam for the team's third slam and Thompson's fourth homer of the tournament. Kameron Davis (Albany, Ga.) and Michael Torres (Miami, Fla.) closed out the scoring in the frame with RBI-singles.

Moss hit a single to lead off the second inning and eventually scored on a wild pitch. The run was USA's lone run of the inning and they took a 10-0 lead into the third inning. Nicaragua was unable to record an out in the third inning, as five batters stepped into the batter's box and three hit home runs for USA. Torres and pinch hitter Gavin Garguilo (Coral Springs, Fla.) led off the third inning with back-to-back home runs, and Paul Dominguez (Anaheim, Calif.) ended the game with a three-run home run to activate the run-rule (15-run lead after three innings).

On the mound, Strohm allowed one hit in his three-inning complete game victory, which improved him to 2-0 in the tournament. Nicaragua's Erick Gomez had their lone hit of the game with a two-out single in the top of the second inning. Jose Cano suffered the loss for Nicaragua. He went 0.1 innings and allowed six runs off five hits.

USA produced 16 hits from a combined 11 different players. Dominguez, one of four U.S. players with at least two hits, led the team with a 3-for-3 performance at the dish. He and Thompson co-led the squad with four runs-batted-in.

USA improved their all-time mark to 4-2 against Nicaragua, with a 2-2 mark in games played in COPABE competition. The U.S. is now 8-0 overall in this season's tournament and they completed the Super Round with a 3-0 mark. Sunday, USA will go for their first ever gold medal in the tournament's history. The U.S. will face Mexico, who clinched their berth to the championship game Saturday with a win over Cuba. First pitch is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. (CT) at CECADI Stadium in Aguascalientes.

Inside the Numbers
117-5 - The U.S. has outscored their opponents 117-5 and they have outhit them 112-16. USA's pitching staff has pitched two no-hitters and four one-hitters in the tournament.

40 - USA has combined for 40 runs in the first inning (have not allowed a run), and they are averaging five runs per game in the first inning.

37 - The U.S. has hit 37 home runs in the tournament through eight games. The total matches their single-tournament high from the 2016 tournament. The 37 home runs in 2016 was at a pace of 4.1 per game (averaging 4.6 per game this tournament).

27 - In 32 innings of at-bats, USA has scored at least 1 run in 27 of the innings.

12 - Twelve different USA players have hit a home run in this season's tournament. Kailand Halstead leads the team with six.

.586 - USA is batting .586 in the tournament. Christian Hamilton leads the team hitting .800 (12-for-15).

.590 - The U.S. is hitting .590 (62/105) with runners on base. They held their opponents to 0-for-22 in the same category through the first five games of the tournament (opponents now 6-for-54, .111). USA is 48-for-75, .640 with runners in scoring position.

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USA Stamps Their Ticket To Gold Medal Game

USA defeats Mexico and holds them to one hit in game between unbeatens
September 1, 2018
  1 2 3 4 5 6 R H E
Mexico 0 3 0 1 0 - 0 1 0
USA 5 4 0 2 X - 11 7 0
Win: Paul Dominguez (2-0)   Loss: Victor Garcia  Save: None
Box ScorePlay-by-play | Team USA Tournament Stats


AGUASCALIENTES, Mexico - Team USA's Paul Dominguez (Anaheim, Calif.) and Gavin Gargiulo (Coral Springs, Fla.) combined to hold Mexico to one hit, while Dean Moss (Hillsborough, Calif.) went 3-for-3 with two home runs and six RBI, and the U.S. defeated Mexico 11-0 Friday in the Super Round at CECADI Stadium. Both teams entered the game 6-0 and USA's victory clinched a spot in Sunday's COPABE U-12 Pan American Championship gold medal game.

Dominguez, making his first start on the hill since pitching a no-hitter against Panama on August 26, went 3.2 innings and a single up the middle by Darey Flores to lead off the second inning was the only hit for Mexico. Dominguez, who struck out four batters, walked five batters, but he recovered to hold Mexico 0-for-11 with runners on base (they finished the game 0-for-12). Garguilo pitched the final 1.1 innings and retired all four batters he faced (two by strikeouts). Dominguez was credited with the win and improves to 2-0 in the tourney. The one-hit pitching performance marks the team's third one-hitter of the tournament for USA.

Kameron Davis (Albany, Ga.) opened the bottom of the first inning the same way he has the prior two games and that was with a leadoff home run. His fourth homer of the tournament jump-started a five-run inning for the U.S. The first six USA batters reached base safely and the inning's scoring was capped by a grand slam home run from Moss. The slam was USA's second of the tournament.

USA added to the 5-0 lead in the second inning. Masato Chilcutt (San Antonio, Texas) dumped a single into right field to plate Julius Pfau (Tampa, Fla.) before Kailand Halstead (Aberdeen, Wash.) blasted a three-run home run. Halstead's team-leading sixth home run of the tournament provided USA a 9-0 lead.

Halstead was hit by a pitch in the fourth inning and Moss followed with his second home run of the game to push USA's lead to 11-0. The game ended after the top of the fifth inning with USA leading by more than 10 runs after five innings.

USA finished the game with seven hits, which is their lowest mark in the tournament, but five were for extra bases (four home runs). Moss was responsible for three of the extra base hits, as two home runs and a double made up his 3-for-3 performance at the plate. His six runs-batted-in was the most by a USA member this season (he leads the team with 17 RBI in the tournament).

USA improved their all-time mark to 4-2 all-time against Mexico, with a 2-2 mark in games played in COPABE competition. It was the USA's first win over Mexico on their soil since July 14, 2014 (USA had lost the prior two).

The U.S. is now 7-0 overall in this season's tournament and their 2-0 Super Round record has them a berth into the gold medal game Sunday. Cuba and Mexico face each other Saturday and the winner will clinch the berth to play USA.

USA has one more Super Round contest before Sunday's championship. They face Nicaragua Saturday at 9 a.m. (CT) at CECADI Stadium in Aguascalientes.

Inside the Numbers
102-5 - The U.S. has outscored their opponents 102-5 and they have outhit them 96-15. USA's pitching staff has pitched two no-hitters and three one-hitters in the tournament.

33 - The U.S. has hit 33 home runs in the tournament through seven games. The single-tournament high for the U.S. is 37 from the 2016 tournament. The 37 home runs in 2016 was at a pace of 4.1 per game (averaging 4.7 per game this tournament).

24 - In 29 innings of at-bats, USA has scored at least 1 run in 24 of the innings.

12 - Twelve different USA players have hit a home run in this season's tournament. Kailand Halstead leads the team with six.

.568 - USA is batting .568 in the tournament. Christian Hamilton leads the team hitting .786 (11-for-14).

.584 - The U.S. is hitting .584 (52/89) with runners on base. They held their opponents to 0-for-22 in the same category through the first five games of the tournament (opponents now 5-for-49, .102). USA is 40-for-64, .625 with runners in scoring position.

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Team USA Drops Bronze Medal Game to Canada, 8-5

Megan Baltzell and Meggie Meidlinger honored with individual awards
August 31, 2018
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 R H E
Canada 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 5 8 10 3
Team USA 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 5 9 0
Win: A. Schroder Loss: S. Piagno Save: None
Box Score | Play-by-play | World Cup Stats

VIERA, FLA. - The USA Baseball Women's National Team ended its run at the 2018 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Women's Baseball World Cup with a heartbreaking 8-5 loss to Canada in the bronze medal game on Friday at the USSSA Space Coast Complex in Viera, Florida.

Despite getting out to an early lead and then forcing extra innings with a late rally, the U.S. couldn't hang on as Canada's bats caught fire in the tenth.

The U.S. took charge in the first inning as it put two runs on the board courtesy of a Michelle Cobb (Wenatchee, Wash.) single and a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch. That lead would hold until the fifth as the pitching locked in on both sides.

Team USA's Brittany Schutte (Gainesville, Fla.) put together a strong start, giving up just four hits in five innings and striking out two. All of the runs Schutte allowed came on one hit as Daphnee Gelinas hit a three-run home run in the top of fifth to give Canada a 3-2 lead.

A rally, sparked by a leadoff single from Jade Gortarez (Riverside, Calif.) and a sacrifice bunt by Amanda Gianelloni (Napoleonville, La.), got the momentum rolling back in the U.S.'s direction in the seventh inning. Malaika Underwood (San Diego, Calif.) came to the plate and the veteran came through once again, roping a double to left-center that tied the game at 3-3 and forced extra baseball.

Stacy Piagno (St. Augustine, Fla.) came took over on the mound in the seventh inning and shut Canada down in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings. But Team USA couldn't cash in on bases loaded situations in the eighth or ninth innings either, sending the contest to the tenth where Canada took control.

The U.S. had its work cut out for it in the bottom of the tenth after Canada put up five runs in the top half for a commanding 8-3 lead. The stars and stripes loaded the bases once again and an AJ Hamilton (Tallahassee, Fla.) single brought in two to cut the deficit to just three but a double play ended the inning and gave Canada the final 8-5 win.

Following the conclusion of the event on Friday night, it was announced by the WBSC that two U.S. players were named to the WBSC Women's Baseball World Cup All-World Team. Megan Baltzell (Stafford, Va.) was named the All-World Designated Hitter, while Meggie Meidlinger (Sterling, Va.) was named the All-World Relief Pitcher. In five appearances in the 2018 event, Meidlinger tallied a 0.00 ERA, while allowing just three hits and striking out three.

Baltzell hit a team-high .500 and also led the tournament in home runs with two. The lefty now owns the WBSC Women's Baseball World Cup home run record after hitting one in the 2016 World Cup and two this year. In addition to being named to the All-World Team, Baltzell won two individual awards for her stellar performance in the event. She took home the hardware for most home runs (2) and most RBI (10).

Team USA finished the World Cup 6-3 with a 1.98 team ERA and a collective .288 average.

Continue to follow @USABaseballWNT on Twitter or visit for the most up-to-date news about the Women's National Team.

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U.S. Beats Dominican Republic, Will Play for World Cup Bronze

Kelsie Whitmore gives up just three hits and no earned runs in start
August 31, 2018
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Dominican Republic 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 2
Team USA 6 0 1 0 1 0 X 8 7 2
Win: K. Whitmore Loss: M. Quero Save: None
Box Score | Play-by-play | World Cup Stats

VIERA, FLA. - The USA Baseball Women's National Team finished off Super Round play in the 2018 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Women's Baseball World Cup with an 8-1 defeat of Dominican Republic at the USSSA Space Coast Complex in Viera, Florida, on Thursday night.

Having already secured a spot in the World Cup bronze medal game with Canada's loss to Chinese Taipei earlier in the day, the U.S. still came out swinging.

The Dominican Republic opened the scoring with a run in the top of the first but that was all the team would get in the contest as three U.S. pitchers combined for six subsequent innings.

Kelsie Whitmore (Temecula, Calif.) got her second start of the World Cup on Thursday and set the tone early on the mound for Team USA. She allowed just three hits, one walk and no earned runs in four solid innings before handing the ball to Laura Collins (Hollywood, Fla.) and Emily Tsujikawa (Redmond, Wash.) to finish off the win. Neither relief pitcher gave up a hit in the final three innings.

On the offensive side, the red, white and blue responded to the Dominican Republic's run in the top of the first with a six-run bottom half to put the game away early. The inning was highlighted by clutch hitting as all six runs came with two outs.

Megan Baltzell (Stafford, Va.), Michelle Cobb (Wenatchee, Wash.), Kylee Lahners (Laguna Hills, Calif.) and Anna Kimbrell (Fort Mill, S.C.) collected hits and the squad also took advantage of walks and hit-by-pitches to take a 6-1 lead to the second inning.

Team USA added to its lead with one run each in the third and fifth innings for the final score of 8-1 to claim the win. Baltzell finished the contest 2-for-4 with a run scored and Kimbrell went 1-for-2 with two RBI and a run scored.

The U.S. will play Canada for the 2018 WBSC Women's Baseball World Cup bronze medal at 1 p.m. ET on Friday, August 31, at the USSSA Space Coast Complex in Viera, Fla. This will be the second game in the 2018 tournament between the two teams as they matched up against each other in the Super Round on Wednesday. Team USA came out on top in that game with a 5-1 win. Friday's bronze medal game will be streamed live on the WBSC YouTube channel.

Continue to follow @USABaseballWNT on Twitter for the most up-to-date news about the Women's National Team.

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