14U Champs
17U Champs
15U Champs

2017 West Championships Digital Fan Guide

June 5, 2017


USA Baseball National Team Championships West

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USA Baseball | West Championships

Important Links

Event Overview

USA Baseball hosts the 14U, 15U and 17U National Team Championships in both Arizona and Florida at various locations. These events provide an opportunity for over 350 teams to showcase their abilities, providing opportunities for players to be considered for both the 15U National Team and14U and 17U National Team Development Programs.

Event Schedule:

West Itinerary

Schedule Updates:

For schedule updates, changes due to inclement weather and general event information please follow the West Championships on Twitter @USABChamps_West. You can also follow along on our Social Media Wall found HERE -- COMING SOON!


14U West Championships
15U West Championships
17U West Championships

Bat Guidelines:

  • 14U bat requirements will be any BBCOR -3 bat
  • 15U bat requirements will be any BBCOR -3 bat
  • 17U bat requirements will be any solid (one peice) wood bat and NFHS approved BBCOR wood barrel baseball bat

Approved bat list is reflected in the Washington State Approved bat list is reflected in the Washington State University: Sports Science Lab, NCAA and NFHS BBCOR Approved Baseball Bats

USA Baseball's 2017 Bat Guidelines


Pre event: to subscribe to text updates, please text FOLLOW @USABChamps_West, to 40404 (please note USABCHAMPS_WEST is one word). You will then receive a confirmation text immediately after confirming your subscription.
Post event: to unsubscribe from text updates, please text OFF @USABChamps_West, to 40404 (no quotes, and please note USABCHAMPS_WEST is one word). You will then receive a confirmation text immediately after confirming you have unsubscribed.
*Standard text messaging rates apply.

Media and Press:

If you are an accredited member of the press and wish to obtain a USA Baseball media credential, please fill out the Credential Request Form or email

Social Media:

Keep up to date on USA Baseball via social media on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

West Championships specific social media can be found on InstagramTwitter and on the USA Baseball Social Media Wall.

Live Scoring:

All games at the 2017 West Championships will be available through the GameChanger scoring app. Please click the below event link for the most up-to-date scores:

Cameras & Video Equipment:

USA Baseball has adopted the following policy regarding camera lenses (including telephoto and zoom lenses) for any of the organization's events at the West Championships. Spectators are not permitted to bring telephoto or zoom camera lenses into Camelback Ranch, Goodyear Ballpark or Peoria Sports Complex. Cameras may be brought in to the facility so long as they are not accompanied by these types of lenses. Only USA Baseball personnel and credentialed members of the media are permitted to have possession of telephoto and zoom lenses. This policy is in place to ensure that all of our players, coaches and fans have a positive experience at our events.


General Ticket Info: There are no advanced ticket sales for the National Team Championships - West. Ticket sales will be at the Team Store, located at the Peoria Sports Complex, starting June 16 for the 17U tournament, June 23 for the 15U tournament and July 1 for the 14U tournament. For the remainder of each tournament, tickets can be purchased on-site at all gates with cash or credit card. USA Baseball accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover Card.

Ticket Prices:

  • Daily Pass: $10
  • Tournament Pass: $50
  • Kids under 12: Free

As official event participants, players and staff members listed on the team roster will be credentialed for the event upon their arrival to Arizona.

Re-Entry Policy:
Fans can re-enter either Cambelback Ranch, Goodyear Ballpark and the Peoria Sports Complex by showing their daily pass wristband or tournament pass.

Ticket Policy - Inclement Weather:

Weekly Pass: Patrons who have purchased a weekly pass at the start of the National Team Championships West will be readmitted into the original ballpark or new ballpark should a game be delayed/postponed and the patron decides to exit the ballpark. Should weather postpone an already started game, anyone with a weekly pass will be readmitted at no extra cost. If a game is cancelled due to weather and cannot be made up, there will be no daily refund of $10 given to those with a weekly pass. If the game is final (through the 5th, pending the home team has a chance, if needed, to bat in the bottom of the 4th) then there is no refund.

Daily Pass: Patrons who have purchased a daily pass/wristband for the day will need to comply with the following in the case of inclement weather affecting games:

  • If the game is final then there is no refunded for a daily pass.
  • If we postpone prior to the 5th inning (Top 1st to Bottom 4th, pending the home team is either tied or behind and needing their at-bats), we will have to pick the game back up where it left off, at the same or different location. At that point, those who bought a daily pass will need to cut their wristband, return it to the gate staff in exchange for $10.
  • If the game has been postponed prior to the start of the game and will have to be made up on a different day, all patrons will need to return to the gate and exchange their daily wristband for their $10.
  • If a game is canceled prior to the start of the game due to weather, patrons can receive a full refund of their $10.

Games are considered final if:

  • Weather or darkness interferes with play so that the game is called (ended) by the umpire
  • 5 full innings have been played, or if the home team has score an equal or greater number of runs in 4 or 4 and a fraction turns at bat than the visiting team has scored in 5 turns at bat
  • Play has gone beyond 5 full innings


National Team Announcement Dates

The final player selections for 2017 National Teams will be announced on the below dates:

Players who are selected will be contacted by the National Team's Director within 2 days following the release.


Event Information

Batting Cage Policy

Batting cages at the facilities are to be used on a first-come, first-serve basis at the Peoria Sports Complex and Goodyear Ballpark. Batting cages are not available for player use at Camelback Ranch.

The cages will become available once gates open. We ask that teams move quickly through the cages to ensure as many teams as possible are able to get swings in before their game.

The cages will be self-monitored. USA Baseball staff reserves the right to rotate teams should teams be uncooperative or have spent more than 1 rotation in the cages with another team waiting. 


USA Baseball's team store will be open during the entire event at the Peoria Sports Complex. All major credit cards are accepted: Visa, Master Card, American Express and Discover Card. For additional Team USA merchandise please check out the official online shop.

Event Program:

The official West Championships program is produced by USA Baseball and will be available at the USA Baseball Team Store and the Peoria Sports Complex gates for $5.

Facility Information

Peoria Sports Complex
16101 North 83rd Avenue
Peoria, Arizona 85382
Google Map

Goodyear Ballpark
1933 South Ballpark Way
Goodyear, Arizona 85338
Google Map

Camelback Ranch
10710 West Camelback Road
Phoenix, Arizona 85037
Google Map

West Championships Field Maps


There is no cost for parking at Camelback Ranch, Goodyear Ballpark and the Peoria Sports Complex.

Prohibited Actions & Items at the facilities:

The following are prohibited at Camelback Ranch, Goodyear Ballpark and the Peoria Sports Complex:

  • Outside food, beverage and coolers
  • Smoking
  • Animals except for service animals
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Weapons
  • Skateboards, rollerblades and scooters
  • Umbrellas are limited to grass seating

Foul Balls:

Please be aware of foul balls at all times while at Camelback Ranch, Goodyear Ballpark and the Peoria Sports Complex. USA Baseball asks that all foul balls are returned to the fields' tower as quantities for the event are limited.

Wireless Internet Access:

There is no wireless internet access available on-site.

Bag Search:

All bags are subject to a bag search upon entering the facilities.


Concessions will be open for the duration of the event.

All prices are set by each respective facility.

Lost and Found:

Please check the USA Baseball Team Store at the Peoria Sports Complex, the White Sox and Dogers tower at Camelback Ranch or the Reds and Indians tower at Goodyear Ballpark.


A certified athletic trainer will be on site through the entire event. In case of emergency, the closest hospital is:

Peoria Sports Complex
Banner Boswell Medical Center
10401 West Thunderbird Boulevard
Sun City, Arizona 85351
Google Map

Camelback Ranch
Dignity Health Saint Joseph's Westgate
7300 North 99th Avenue
Glendale, Arizona 85305
Google Map

Goodyear Ballpark
Abrazo West Campus
13677 West McDowell Road
Goodyear, Arizona 85395
Google Map

Event Partners

Gatorade Prime Energy Chews, Gatorade Prime Fuel Bars, Gatorade Thirst Quencher and Gatorade Recover Protein Bars will be available to athletes for the duration of the National Team Championships to help fuel their performance on the field. Gatorade Prime products provide carbohydrates for energy without caffeine, while Gatorade Thirst Quencher has fluids to rehydrate, electrolytes to replenish, and carbs to refuel. Gatorade Recover Protein Bars have the high quality protein athletes need to help muscles recover. To learn more about the science behind Gatorade, visit
Chinook Seedery has a fresh take on the timeless, all-American tradition of eating sunflower seeds. Tastefully salted and uniquely flavored, Chinook's non-GMO verified seeds are better tasting and better for you. As a partner and healthy snack purveyor of USA Baseball, Chinook Seedery is proud to supply our nation's elite athletes with sunflower seeds that deliver powerful nutrition and amazing flavor. To learn more about Chinook, please visit
FungoMan, the Automated Baseball Pitching & Fielding Machine, provides accurate, repetitive, and timely practice for all players. This powerful and efficient practice machine allows coaches to be most effective by being next to players in the field while FungoMan executes precise and easy to run practice plans. This is achieved by FungoMan's ability to automatically throw any kind of ground ball, line drive, popup, fastball, curveball, or knuckleball, from 2 to over 400 feet, at speeds from 5 to over 100 mph, to precise places on the field or in the strike zone. These balls can be thrown as quickly as every 3 seconds, using an easy to use manual or wireless controller. This simple to use automated rep machine maximizes training, accelerates development, and ultimately transfers into championship players and teams at every level. Visit FungoMan for more information at
The Backspin Tee is an Edison Award Winning Invention that is Turning Baseball Upside Down. Line drives are hit over the infield, so you must hit the correct part of the ball to do so. Developed by a Professional Pitching Coach, The Backspin batting tee forces you to focus on the middle and bottom half of the baseball. The middle and bottom half of the baseball is the part professional pitchers don't want you to hit, because hitting that part of the baseball means backspin, which equals distance, and distance creates champions!


Pitch Smart:
League Baseball and USA Baseball have teamed up to help young players reduce arm injuries through Pitch Smart, a comprehensive resource for safe pitching practices. Pitch Smart offers a series of practical, age-appropriate guidelines to help players, parents and coaches avoid overuse injuries and foster long, healthy careers. The guidelines were developed throughout the 2014 regular season, as MLB and USA Baseball collaboratively sought to pool the recommendations of many leading medical authorities in the sport in conjunction with baseball officials. serves as the program's online home and is accessible via and The site offers pitch count and rest recommendations, statistics on Tommy John surgery, risk factors, awareness tips, published research and videos from experts like Dr. James Andrews and USA Baseball's medical safety committee chairman, Dr. Glenn Fleisig. USA Baseball, the national governing body for amateur baseball, will use as a major resource to educate the amateur baseball community on pitcher safety.

USA Baseball has adopted these guidelines for the 2017 NHSI and all coaches, players, and staff will be required to adhere to these rules.

USA Baseball Online Education Center:
Supported by Major League Baseball, the USA Baseball Online Education Center is a new learning platform that emphasizes a culture of development, safety and fun within the sport through free online training courses and programs focused for players, parents, coaches, and umpires. USA Baseball Online Education aims to continue to enhance the game of baseball for all constituents through online educational courses.

Each of the educational courses are hosted by the most-esteemed professionals within the game. The current course offerings include The Confident Baseball Coach, hosted by Manager of the Chicago Cubs, Joe Maddon; Introduction to Pitch Smart, hosted by Hall of Fame pitcher, John Smoltz; Coaching the Fundamentals of Infield, hosted by Hall of Fame shortstop, Barry Larkin; Coaching the Pitching Delivery, hosted by Pitching Coach for the Cleveland Indians, Mickey Callaway; Baserunning Fundamentals, hosted by Manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Dave Roberts; and more.

The Online Education center is also home to USA Baseball's Sport Development Blog, The Amateur Resource Center, and the USA Baseball Mobile Coach Application, as well as many more features.

The online training center can be found at USABaseball.Education.

High School Coaches Education Courses:
As the national governing body for baseball in the United States, USA Baseball in partnership with the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), has developed "Coaching Baseball," an online 1 Illness Prevention", "Creating a Safe and Respectful Environment", "Positive Sports Parenting" and "Sportsmanship" are courses that can assist in creating a positive environment for your team at USA Baseball events and beyond. All of these courses are completely free of charge and can also be found at

In 2010, the USOC convened the Working Group for Safe Training Environments and charged it with the task of developing a set of recommendations concerning misconduct in sport. The diverse group included individuals from the Olympic family as well as outside experts. The SafeSport program is the culmination of the sustained work on the part of these passionate individuals, addressing misconduct in sport by providing information, training, and resources, while focusing on four primary objectives:

  • Addressing sexual and physical misconduct in sport.
  • Reviewing the guidelines across sports and other related organizations for responding to these issues.
  • Assessing the needs of athletes, coaches, staff, National Governing Bodies (NGBs), clubs and other sport organizations.
  • Developing a set of recommendations to promote athlete well-being.

The resources of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) have been made available to our sport, and as such USA Baseball is committed to providing a safe environment for its members, participants, coaches, officials and volunteers. Sexual, physical or emotional abuse and harassment in any form by a USA Baseball member, participant, coach, official, or volunteer is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. When any member, participant, coach, official, staff or volunteer is subjected to sexual, physical or emotional abuse or harassment in any form, it undermines the mission and values of USA Baseball. USA Baseball advocates building strong self-images among the athlete participants, strives to promote good sportsmanship throughout the organization and encourages qualities of mutual respect, courtesy and tolerance.

For more information, log on to

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USA Baseball National High School Invitational Begins Wednesday, March 28

March 20, 2018

USA Baseball invites the local and national media to the 2018 USA Baseball National High School Invitational (NHSI) presented by the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance (GRSA) and the Town of Cary.

The NHSI is a 16-team, single-elimination championship tournament. Each participating team is guaranteed to play four games. The NHSI will present participating athletes with national exposure in addition to providing the opportunity for the best teams in the country to compete against each other.

  • WHAT: USA Baseball National High School Invitational (NHSI)
  • WHEN: March 28 - 31, 2018
  • WHERE: USA Baseball National Training Complex 200 Brooks Park Lane Cary, N.C., 27519

The NHSI will bring together 16 of the top prep teams in the country to compete against each other in what has become the premiere event on the high school baseball calendar. As no event currently brings in a level of talent from top to bottom that which the NHSI promises, the eventual tournament champion will kick off their respective season with recognition as the top high school baseball team in the country.

Credential Application

Members of the media can apply for a credential by visit the USA Baseball Media Services page on the official website:

Opening Ceremony

For the first time ever, USA Baseball will host an opening ceremony for the NHSI. It will take begin approximately at 5:20 p.m. on Wednesday, March 28 on Coleman Field at the USA Baseball National Training Complex.

Immediately following the Opening Ceremonies, Walton High School (Marietta, Ga.) will take on Green Hope High School (Cary, N.C.) will play the final game of Day 1 on Coleman Field.

USA Baseball will honor members of the 2017 18U and 15U National Teams during the Opening Ceremony for winning gold medals at the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup and COPABE Pan Am "AA" Championships, respectively.

Triston Casas (American Heritage High School) will also be honored during the Opening Ceremy for winning the 2017 USA Baseball Richard W. "Dick" Case Award. The award annually recognizes USA Baseball's top player while honoring the memory of the organization's founding Executive Director/CEO.

Hometown team to compete in the NHSI for the first time

Green Hope High School (Cary, N.C.) will serve as the host for the 2018 National High School Invitational. Green Hope High School is located roughly one (1) mile from the USA Baseball National Training Complex. This will be the first-ever appearance for Green Hope at the event.

USA Baseball Coverage

Live Stats: GameChanger
Social Media: @USABEvents (Twitter) and @USABaseball (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat)
Streaming/TV: Select games will be broadcast live on,, and Facebook Live

Participating Teams and Schedule

In total, 10 states are represented in the 2018 NHSI field.

Alabama: Florence High School (Florence, Ala.)
Arizona: Mountain Ridge High School (Glendale, Ariz.),
Sandra Day O'Connor High School (Phoenix, Ariz.)
California: Mater Dei High School (Santa Ana, Calif.), Orange Lutheran High School (Orange, Calif.), Santiago High School (Corona, Calif.)
Florida: American Heritage High School (Plantation, Fla.), Calvary Christian Academy (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), George Jenkins High School (Lakeland, Fla.), Trinity Preparatory School (Winter Park, Fla.)
Georgia: Walton High School (Marietta, Ga.)
Illinois: Mount Carmel High School (Chicago, Ill.)
Louisiana: John Curtis Christian School (River Ridge, La.)
Mississippi: Hattiesburg High School (Hattiesburg, Miss.)
North Carolina: Green Hope High School (Cary, N.C.)
Virginia: Hanover High School (Mechanicsville, Va.)

For the full schedule, please visit the NHSI Schedule page on

Past Champions

2017: Orange Lutheran High School (Orange, Calif.)*
2016: Huntington Beach High School (Huntington Beach, Calif.)
2015: San Clemente High School (Calif.)
2014: The First Academy (Fla.)
2013: Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.)*
2012: Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.)*
* denotes participants in the 2018 NHSI

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USA Baseball Mourns the Passing of Augie Garrido

March 15, 2018

DURHAM, N.C. - USA Baseball President, Mike Gaski, released the following statement following the passing of 1990 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team Assistant Coach Augie Garrido.

"Augie Garrido was a baseball genius who transformed the landscape of college baseball in the United States. His love for teaching the game changed the lives of the players and coaches who knew him, and USA Baseball joins the entire world of baseball in mourning his passing."

Garrido's 48-year baseball coaching career spanned six decades, winning five National Championships. He passed away Thursday morning at the age of 79.

For more information, click here.

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GSA Spotlight: Andrew Vaughn

March 14, 2018

Sometimes players simply shatter expectations.

That would be California sophomore first baseman Andrew Vaughn, whose rise up the college baseball ranks began last season, while his overall story as a budding baseball player began well before he stepped on campus in Berkeley.

California head coach Mike Neu remembers recruiting Vaughn out of high school in Santa Rosa, Calif., well. Neu spent the last two seasons as the head coach at Pacific. However, he was an assistant for the Golden Bears before that and recruited Vaughn as a sophomore. Way back then, Neu, former Cal coach Dave Esquer and other Golden Bears staffers saw impressive potential. They saw a high school hitter with a consistent, mature approach and swing, and they saw a guy they believed would hit for a good average in college.

What Neu didn't see was his ability to hit for big-time power at the collegiate level, something that he mastered last season as a freshman, and continues to make serious strides with as a sophomore so far this season. How so? He hit 12 home runs last season, and after hitting another home run against San Francisco on Tuesday, is tied with NC State's Brett Kinneman for the national lead with 10. He'll easily eclipse last year's mark.

"You know, we recruited him as a sophomore, and the reason we recruited him is we thought he'd have a chance to really hit at the collegiate level," Neu said. "He had a flat swing and great hands at the time, and we honestly kind of compared him to Tony Renda, who excelled here.

"It was a short, flat swing and we knew he'd have a chance to be good. I never thought he'd develop into this, though," Neu continued. "He was a guy, even when he showed up here, who had a chance to hit for a high average. But then that raw power started showing up. In recruiting, you never know for sure what you're going to get, but it's extremely impressive to see what he's developed from a power standpoint. He had some power out of high school, but it wasn't anything like this."

Vaughn was ranked the No. 39 prospect in the 2019 MLB draft class before this season, but he wasn't always this highly touted. As Neu alluded to in our conversation, Vaughn was anything but a high profile guy during his high school days. He wasn't on any Area Code Games rosters, he went undrafted out of high school and he actually flew under the radar a little bit, as some players from the "North Bay" area, as Neu calls it, often do.

But someone else's loss has become California's gain when it comes to Vaughn. He made an instant impact as a freshman last season with a .349 average, .414 on-base percentage, .555 slugging percentage and .969 OPS, along with seven doubles, 12 homers and 50 RBIs. He also had a solid showing with the USA Collegiate National Team over the summer.

"He's a very legitimate power bat who had a strong freshman season and who was really impressive in the fall and coming into the season," a National League scout said. "He has made a huge, huge jump from high school. His lack of position does bother me a little bit, but you can't deny his ability as a hitter."

So far this season, Vaughn has established himself as one of the nation's premier overall hitters. Sure, he co-leads the nation in home runs, but he's such a complete hitter. He's hitting a ridiculously high .472 (fifth nationally) and has a .627 OBP, 1.113 slugging percentage, four doubles, 10 homers and 26 RBIs. Vaughn also has a 1.734 OPS, but most impressive to me and probably others is his control of the zone with a whopping 16 walks versus four strikeouts. The sophomore is three walks away from equaling his total all of last season.

"It's been really impressive to watch. He has such a professional offensive approach. He goes up there and he kind of knows what he wants to do every time," Neu said. "He doesn't chase a lot of pitches out of the zone and he takes his hits. Obviously, he has a lot of raw power, but some of the balls he hits go a long, long way.

"For me, he's just the complete package," Neu continued. "He has a ton of bat speed, he can hit it out of the ballpark every time he steps in the box, he's disciplined and he's a really good teammate. He's honestly everything you want out of one of your best players."

While Vaughn is shining from an offensive standpoint, some have wondered why he hasn't pitched. Last season, he made 10 appearances in 8.1 innings. And while his ERA wasn't good (7.56), he was up to 90-92 with his fastball and proved to be a potential future bullpen weapon.

Neu isn't opposed to pitching the heralded sophomore, but it's not at the top of his priority list at the moment. He'd rather develop other arms, though Vaughn continues to have periodic bullpen sessions. Ideally, the Golden Bears would like to keep him focused on the offensive side of things, with the potential of using him on the mound in a key spot later in the season, and perhaps in the NCAA postseason, which is a safe bet for now with a 12-4 record.

"You know, we've had him throwing bullpens each week. What I had in mind is kind of using him the same way we used Lucas Erceg a few years ago. We pitched Lucas about 10 innings his last year when we went to a regional, so maybe that's the way we'll use him," Neu said. "Andrew is such an offensive weapon and so important to our team as a hitter, that we just haven't used him as a pitcher just yet.

"Honestly, I'd rather go out there and develop some of the younger pitching that we have, while also having the ability to throw him if we need to," he continued. "It's probably an emergency situation with Vaughn for now. It'd be one thing if he was out there like Erceg throwing 94-96 mph, but he's more 89-90, and up to 91-92 with an ability to get some guys out."

It wasn't that long that Vaughn was considered a talented high school hitter who would head to college, maybe hit for a solid average and be a spot reliever.

Now, he's one of the nation's elite hitters with premium power.

"He's got impressive power to all fields and doesn't miss many mistakes," one Pac 12 coach said. "He stays balanced and does a great job of staying inside the ball."

Andrew Vaughn is all about exceeding expectations. is your online home for college baseball scores, schedules, standings, statistics, analysis, features, podcasts and prospect coverage.
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GSA Spotlight: Brett Kinneman

March 7, 2018

NC State recruiting coordinator Chris Hart remembers seeing Brett Kinneman terrorize opposing pitching during a tournament in Charlottesville, Va., when he was a high school underclassmen. A week later, Kinneman did the same thing at a tournament in Atlanta, and Hart's mind was made up. The Wolfpack offered Kinneman a scholarship quickly and beat out plenty of other interested schools for his commitment.

Kinneman never really put up gaudy numbers in high school up in York, Pa., hitting .316 as a junior and .278 with three homers as a senior - but Hart knew he was getting a good player. He just didn't know how good. How could anyone know Kinneman would grow into one of college baseball's premier power hitters - and well, premier all-around players, gauging by the season's first three weeks - by the time he was a junior?

"You know how it works, you never really know until they step on campus, but I felt good about him," Hart said. "We gave him a pretty good scholarship and felt really good about him as a player."

As a freshman in the fall of 2015, it took no time at all for Kinneman to work his way into NC State head coach Elliott Avent's good graces.

"When he walked on campus, I told Chris Hart - who recruited him - 'I love that kid.' He's just a throwback to everything the game used to be when we all fell in love with it," Avent said. "I grew up loving Mickey Mantle, and I call him Mickey Mantle because he reminds me of Mickey Mantle. That guy's playing hurt. He banged into the wall his freshman year and dislocated his shoulder that he had dislocated on a swing. He does so many things. He reminds me a little bit of (former Wolfpack baseball/football player) Russell Wilson too - Russell used to play hurt all the time, and nobody would ever know he was hurt because he'd run off the field, and everybody thought he was fine.

"Kinneman's got that same makeup. And it's probably from his parents or grandparents or somebody, who knows where he got it from - he's just got that toughness that makes him a special player. He runs the bases well, he makes great turns. He plays the game like Pete Rose played it. He plays the game like you'd picture maybe Ty Cobb, Stan Musial, Joe DiMaggio, who had great respect for the game, Willie Mays - he'd always make great turns. They didn't play the game according to the score, they played the game the way it's supposed to be played. He reminds me of that since his freshman year."

It's a testament to Kinneman's authentic throwback style that Avent can go on and on about his turns around first base and his toughness and his genuine love for the game, before the coach ever gets around to the fact that Kinneman is hitting .462 and leading the nation in home runs (eight) and total bases (55), ranking second in RBIs (25) and fourth in slugging (1.058). Avent can't help but compare him to Mantle, Rose, Cobb, Musial, DiMaggio and Mays - for his hustle and his intensity and his joy on the diamond.

But OK, it's also nice that Kinneman has hit like those guys over the season's first three weeks.

Kinneman has always had a pretty lefthanded swing, and he has been a productive hitter his entire career at NC State. He posted a .931 OPS with six homers in 135 at-bats as a freshman in 2016, then put up an .874 OPS with 10 homers in 209 at-bats as a sophomore.

Those are rock-solid numbers, but they pale in comparison to Kinneman's 1.575 OPS so far this spring. He already has eight home runs in just 52 at-bats, not to mention three doubles and two triples.

Kinneman tantalized scouts with his bat speed and all-around tools package last summer in the Cape Cod League, but he also struck out an eyebrow-raising 47 times in 121 at-bats, following a sophomore spring in which he whiffed 64 times and drew 29 walks. So he's always seen a lot of pitches, and he's always shown the bat speed to catch up to good fastballs, but he needed to do a better job recognizing spin and picking the right pitches to swing at.

Hart said plate discipline has been a point of emphasis for the whole team this year, but nobody has made more progress in that area than Kinneman, who has seven walks and eight strikeouts, and is excelling at doing damage when he gets his pitch in the zone.

"It's like everybody does through time, their plate discipline becomes better," Avent said. "He's still gonna strike out, so did Mickey Mantle. All the guys who the ball jumps off their bat, they have some swing and miss in them, probably the only one who didn't was Barry Bonds. So he's still got some swing and miss in him, but his plate discipline has become so much better through the last couple years. And I think that's what's starting to make a big difference too."

Obviously Kinneman has been a wrecking ball at the plate, but there's a lot more to his game than just the bat - he's a very good all-around player. The 6-foot, 197-pounder is an above-average runner who can run the 60-yard dash in 6.7 seconds, and he has an above-average arm from left field, where he's become a very good defender.

"He is an underrated runner, and an underrated defender, and an underrated thrower," Avent said. "He just does every part of the game really well. So he's had a lot of success since he's been here, but it's because he's worked so hard. Coach Hart and I were talking the other day, and he said, 'What round do you think Kinny is?' I said, 'Well, I don't know, but if they see the way he runs the bases every day, if they see the way he plays defense and makes throws to bases every day, then you would appreciate his game a lot more than if you just see him hitting home runs and doubles, the ball just jumps off his bat.' If they can watch everything that kid does, then he's a high-round draft pick, because his makeup is off the charts."

The combination of tools and performance give Kinneman a chance to keep on climbing draft boards - maybe he'll follow in the footsteps of Virginia's Adam Haseley as a well-rounded college oufielder with advanced baseball instincts who plays his way right into the first round. That will depend on whether he can keep performing at a high level against stronger competition once ACC play begins this weekend. But the way he's playing now, it seems like there's nothing he can't do.

"There's nothing missing with that kid, I'm telling you," Avent said. "Plus he's got a great smile. And he wears his hat kind of tilted on the back of his head like Mickey Mantle. And when he hits a home run, I remember Mickey Mantle said this one time - 'When I hit a home run, I figure the pitcher's embarrassed enough so I don't want to add to it by looking at him,' so he ran around the bases with his head down. I always remember that about Mickey Mantle. Kinneman did that, and the first time I saw it, that's when I started calling him Mickey Mantle. He probably thought I was telling him he was as great as Mickey Mantle - he ain't that good. He ain't that good."

Nobody is, except Mike Trout. But Kinneman's first three weeks have been downright Mantle-esque. is your online home for college baseball scores, schedules, standings, statistics, analysis, features, podcasts and prospect coverage.
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USA Baseball Announces 2018 15U National Team Staff

March 7, 2018

DURHAM, N.C. -- USA Baseball announced on Wednesday the coaching staff for the 15U National Team that will compete in the 2018 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-15 Baseball World Cup in Panama City, Panama. Jason Maxwell will take the reins as manager in 2018 and Manny Crespo, Troy Gerlach and Adam Moseley will join him on the staff as assistant coaches.

Maxwell will serve as a national team manager for the first time in 2018; however, he has a plethora of experience with USA Baseball, including serving as an assistant coach for the 15U National Team in 2016 when the U.S. won a bronze medal at the WBSC U-15 Baseball World Cup in Japan. He was also the field coordinator for the 2017 14U National Team Development Program (NTDP) and has worked at numerous National Team Trials, the USA Baseball National Team Championships and the USA Baseball National Team Identification Series (NTIS).

Maxwell is the first head coach in school history at Ensworth School (Nashville, Tenn.) and has led the program to eight straight playoff appearances and two Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association quarterfinal appearances. Maxwell was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 1993 Major League Baseball Draft and played 12 years of professional baseball. He made his Major League debut with the Cubs in 1998.

"We are excited to have Jason Maxwell lead our 15U National Team this year as they head to Panama for the WBSC U-15 Baseball World Cup," USA Baseball Executive Director and CEO Paul Seiler said. "Jason has been a staple within the coaching ranks of our youth programs for years and we are confident he will do everything he can to lead our 15U National Team program to new heights. We cannot wait for him and his tremendously talented coaching staff to get on the field this summer as they begin the journey to what we hope will be our first-ever U-15 world championship."

Crespo joins the 2018 15U National Team staff as an assistant coach after serving as a coach at the 2017 15U National Team Trials and the 2016 14U NTDP. He has also served on the staff at the National Team Championships, the NTIS and the Women's National Team Trials. A two-time USA Baseball alumnus (1997 18U, 1999 Collegiate), Crespo is currently the head coach at Gulliver Preparatory School in Miami, Florida. Crespo played collegiately at the University of Miami where he was named the Freshman of the Year in 1998, was a two-time All-America selection, and was a member of the 1999 National Championship team. He was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the 14th round in 2000 and spent four years in the minor leagues until 2003.

Arcadia High School (Phoenix, Ariz.) Head Coach, Gerlach, will also serve as an assistant coach for the 2018 15U National Team. Formerly a coach at the 2017 15U Trials, and the 2016 and 2017 14U NTDP, he also served on the USA Baseball Task Force at the National Team Championships and NTIS. Gerlach is heading into his sixth season as the head coach for the Titans where he has led them to the Arizona Interscholastic Association Baseball State Tournament in four out of his five seasons. Prior to his time at Arcadia High School, Gerlach was an assistant coach at Paradise Valley Community College where he helped the Pumas reach the Junior College World Series in 2010 where they finished in fourth place.

Moseley will serve as the Pitching Coach for the 15U team in 2018, following his time coaching at the 2017 14U NTDP and 15U Trials. He is the head coach at Hoover High School (Hoover, Ala.), where he led the Buccaneers to a 41-11 overall record in 2017 and the Alabama State Baseball Championship. Before taking over at Hoover in 2014, Moseley led Grissom High School (Huntsville, Ala.) to the state quarterfinals in four of his final five seasons. Moseley has coached high school baseball for 11 seasons and has compiled an overall record of 325-195.

All three assistant coaches are making their national team coaching debuts with USA Baseball.

The 15U National Team will be selected through a revamped trials system that was introduced in 2017. 15U National Team Trials is split into two phases, starting with Phase 1 from July 29-31 and finishing with Phase 2 from August 1-3. Both trials phases will take place at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina.

Phase 1 will feature 72 players identified from the 2017 NTIS, 2017 14U NTDP, the 2018 National Team Championships and the 2018 14U NTDP. Thirty-four of those athletes will then be invited to Phase 2 before 20 players will be named to the final roster on August 3. The 2018 15U National Team will then train at the National Training Complex before competing in the 2018 WBSC U-15 Baseball World Cup from August 10-19 in Panama City, Panama.

Team USA will be looking for its first-ever U-15 Baseball World Cup title after winning a silver medal in 2014 and a bronze medal in 2016.

For the most up-to-date information on the 15U National Team, be sure to follow @USABaseball15U and @USABaseball on Twitter.

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GSA Spotlight: Joe DeMers

February 28, 2018

As the series opener against UC Riverside progressed last Saturday, Washington junior righthander Joe DeMers kept putting up zeroes. Early in the game? Zeroes. Middle innings? Zeroes. So, when UW pitching coach Jason Kelly peeked up at the scoreboard in the eighth inning, it finally started to sink in. Not only was DeMers closing in on a no-hitter, he was on the verge of recording the first perfect game in Husky history.

Perhaps no pitching coach expects his arms to record a perfect game at any point in their careers, but when the Huskies signed DeMers out of high school, Kelly envisioned being able to share many of these types of moments with the premier righty. He was expected to be an elite arm in college baseball and a total game-changing prospect for UW.

DeMers got through that eighth inning against UCR unscathed and came out for the ninth with a surprisingly low pitch count. The first Highlanders hitter grounded out to third, the next struck out looking, and the final batter of the game flew out to center field.

The impossible had been accomplished. DeMers threw a perfect game. Kelly, who recruited DeMers and has taught him tricks of the trade the last two seasons, couldn't help but to soak it all in as the Huskies celebrated with their history-making hurler.

"It's something I've never been a part of, and it's not something you really anticipate at all," Kelly said. "You don't know how you're going to feel if it happens, but we got to about the eighth inning and then I realized this could happen. I was just excited for him, because he pitched so well.

"Honestly, from my perspective, it wasn't all about the perfect game," he continued. "It was about him. There aren't many days in your pitching career when you go out there and throw almost every pitch for a strike, and throw it exactly where you want it. That performance was the culmination of a lot of hard work for Joe."

Though some pitchers were lucky enough to pitch in warmer temperatures last weekend, DeMers did the deed in brutally cold temperatures - officially 43 degrees and cloudy in Seattle. In other words, you'd expect a pitcher to be somewhat rusty.

Not DeMers. Not on this day. The righty, who just missed our College Top 100 Prospects list in the preseason, but certainly could scale the rankings with a fast start, sat 87-91 and up to 92 mph with his sinking fastball. He showed great fastball command, a good changeup and threw a 79-82 mph slider for strikes.

He struck out nine batters, and get this: he also finished the afternoon with only 84 pitches.

"It wasn't the warmest of days, but he was really sharp. He was throwing the slider for strikes and really did a nice job of keeping them off balance," Kelly said. "To strikeout nine guys and throw just 84 pitches. That's crazy. It wasn't like he had two strikeouts like some of those old Greg Maddux performances where he had three strikeouts and threw just 90 pitches. He still had nine strikeouts." DeMers also challenged hitters throughout the contest. Though some pitchers would get obsessed with nibbling on the outside part of the plate with a no-hitter or perfect game in their crosshairs, Kelly said his hard-nosed righty attacked hitters from the first to the last out.

"He wasn't afraid to go in there and challenge hitters," he said. "Once you get to the seventh inning in that type of situation, you want to try so hard and you want to nibble and try to just get outs. He just kept going after guys, and that was really impressive to me."

The junior righthander's first two starts this season could be a turning point for his immediate future as a college pitcher and long-term future as a professional prospect.

The former Perfect Game All-American Classic competitor exited high school with incredibly high expectations. He was the No. 9 high school prospect in California and was ranked No. 48 with a strong commitment to Washington. He was going to be an instant impact arm for Lindsay Meggs' Huskies. Not everything went as planned for DeMers. He made 16 starts as a freshman, but the results weren't good. He tallied a 6.91 ERA in 71.2 innings, struck out 32 and walked 19. And get this: teams hit the righty at a .385 clip, something Kelly said he's never seen outside of that aberration from DeMers.

"Joe was giving up an average of something like 15 hits per nine innings as a freshman. He was throwing strikes, but was just getting hit really hard," he said. "Now? He never really has to give in and he can throw the ball on both sides of the plate, up and down, whenever he wants to." DeMers took a significant step forward last season. He tallied a 3.35 ERA in 14 starts and 99.1 innings and struck out 65. Teams didn't hit him at a .385 clip like his freshman season, but they did hit at a .289 clip, illustrating that he still had some work to do."

This season, DeMers, through two starts, looks like the guy everyone thought he'd be out of high school. He has a huge arm and has the ability to reach back and touch 94-95 mph with his fastball when he wants to. But he feels more comfortable throwing at a slightly lower speed with better command. DeMers, who has yet to allow a run in 15 innings, while also striking out 16 and walking three, continues to throw a good changeup, while he's made big strides with the slider. When he arrived in Seattle, his primary breaking ball was more of a curveball. But now, he feels more comfortable with the fast-developing slider, giving him a strong three-pitch mix and setting the stage for what should be a fruitful junior season.

"The big thing with Joe has been his commitment to command and his overall development of the stuff. It was about learning to sink his fastball and really developing the changeup and slider," Kelly said. "He's become a more dynamic pitcher and he's doing whatever he needs to do to experience success at this level. "He's pitching in to righties and lefties, he's pitching backwards and he's doing a great job of exploiting hitter's weaknesses," he continued. "There's not really a hitter or lineup that seems to be giving him trouble right now. The changeup has always been good, but now it's really good. The slider has been the big one for him. He's taken that pitch to another level, and that's helped him become a more well-rounded pitcher."

DeMers and Kelly will forever remember what happened this past Saturday, but they don't want that to be the only special memory this season. As a team, the Huskies still have some pieces to put together to get where they want to be at the end of the season. But at least so far, there's been one constant, and that's the arm of the righty from California.

He's back on the national map, and he might just be here to stay.

"Having a guy like Joe on Friday, it not only gives you some reliability, but it also gives you a guy who can go out there and shut someone out," he said. "Noah Bremer and Tyler Davis could beat other people's Friday guys, but there's no doubt having a guy like Joe makes teams a little more thoughtful and how they approach you both offensively, and how they use even their own pitchers throughout the weekend." is your online home for college baseball scores, schedules, standings, statistics, analysis, features, podcasts and prospect coverage.
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USA Baseball Ranked Number One In Latest WBSC Baseball World Rankings

February 22, 2018

DURHAM, N.C. - USA Baseball has reclaimed the top spot in the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Baseball World Rankings as announced today by the WBSC. Following a 2017 season in which Team USA swept its international competitions at the 12U, 15U, 18U, Collegiate and Professional levels, the U.S. is ranked number one for the first time since 2014.

"To be recognized by the WBSC as the preeminent baseball program in the world is a testament to all of the hard work that our athletes, coaches and USA Baseball staff have put in to our national team programs," said Paul Seiler, Executive Director and CEO of USA Baseball. "Our organization has celebrated unprecedented success in the past few years and we will continue to build on those achievements as we reach toward new heights."

The WBSC Baseball World Rankings weigh a country's National Team performance - from U-12 to Professional - in WBSC-sanctioned international competitions over a four-year period.

USA Baseball had its most successful year in 2017, setting a record for most annual Baseball World Ranking points amassed with 2,127. The U.S. swept through its international competition with gold medals at the World Baseball Classic, WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup, COPABE Pan Am U-15 Championships and the WBSC U-12 Baseball World Cup; in addition to the Collegiate National Team winning all three of its international friendship series against Chinese Taipei, Cuba and Japan. It is the first time in international baseball history a federation has won all of its international competitions in a calendar year.

Since 2015, USA Baseball has won five world championships, including being the reigning World Baseball Classic Champion, as well as the reigning world champions at the 12U and 18U age levels. In total, the U.S. has medaled in all 11 international tournaments it has participated in since 2015, winning seven gold medals, three silver medals and one bronze.

Additionally, the Collegiate National Team has won six of eight international friendship series against Chinese Taipei (2-0-1), Cuba (3-0) and Japan (1-1) in that time frame, including winning the 5th Annual USA vs. Cuba International Friendship Series in Cuba - the first-ever series victory on Cuban soil in USA Baseball history.

The USA Baseball Women's National Team - currently ranked number three in the WBSC Women's Baseball World Rankings - has also won two gold medals since 2015, highlighted by an 11-3 victory over Canada in the finals of the 2015 Pan American Games.

To see the full WBSC Baseball World Rankings, visit

World Baseball Softball Confederation Baseball World Rankings (1-12):
1. USA
2. Japan
3. Korea
4. Cuba
5. Mexico
6. Chinese Taipei
7. Canada
8. Australia
9. Netherlands
10. Puerto Rico
11. Venezuela
12. Dominican Republic

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Golden Spikes Spotlight: Shane McClanahan

February 20, 2018

TAMPA - The list of major league lefthanders who threw a pitch 100 mph in 2017 is short. Just six big league southpaws managed it, and only four of them threw more than one 100 mph pitch.

So to say Shane McClanahan is valued as a rare commodity by MLB clubs is an understatement. McClanahan, a redshirt sophomore lefthander for South Florida, is one of the hardest-throwing southpaws in college baseball history. Multiple scouts confirmed that he hit 100 mph multiple times in a recent preseason scrimmage, and in his season debut Friday against North Carolina he touched 99 at least twice.

Big velocity is sexy, but McClanahan is trying to ensure that his story doesn't start and end with the radar gun readings. He's working hard to make himself a more complete pitcher, a process that began after he recovered from Tommy John surgery, which caused him to miss all of 2016. He had a very encouraging redshirt freshman season in the USF rotation last year, going 4-2, 3.20 with 104 strikeouts and 36 walks in 76 innings, but one of his primary objectives in 2018 is to reduce that 4.26 walks per nine rate.

In that respect, his season debut left something to be desired - he issued five walks and hit a batter in six innings of work. But he also allowed just three hits, and whenever UNC got runners on base, McClanahan knuckled down and escaped unscathed. Three times, the Tar Heels got the leadoff man aboard, twice via walk, but McClanahan kept them from capitalizing on any of those scoring chances, and he exited after six scoreless innings and 11 strikeouts.

Perhaps the highlight was the fourth inning, when he allowed a leadoff single to Zack Gahagan and then proceeded to strike out the next three batters, on a 95 mph heater, an 81 mph slider and a 96 fastball.

"I had five walks and that's unacceptable, but I just really worked on just trying to locate my pitches and not trying to overthrow," McClanahan said. "But first-game jitters, and it's one of those things, we'll come back next weekend and really tweak some things and not let that happen again, because that's unacceptable."

As part of McClanahan's attempt to lower his walk rate and save some of his big bullets for when he really needs them, he is making a concerted effort to dial back his fastball early in counts, often pitching at 89-94 mph, then reaching back for 95-98 in big spots.

"I thought he did a really good job adding and subtracting on his fastball," USF coach Billy Mohl said. "When he needed he could reach back and hit the 97, 98, but I thought he did a really good job - I think he ranged anywhere from 88 to 99 on the board. But that's what he needs to do, because we've had many talks where, you just cannot keep your foot on the gas, and he did a really job doing that tonight. Mixing in breaking ball, we were fastball-dominant early, then he started getting the offspeed going. That's huge to have a couple quick innings instead of trying to strike everybody out."

Last year, McClanahan pitched overwhelmingly off his fastball, but he has worked hard to develop his secondary stuff in the offseason. His changeup is his clear No. 2 pitch, an 84 mph offering with good arm speed that he uses to induce weak contact against righties, though he also got at least one strikeout with the pitch Friday. His slider is still his third pitch, but it is making clear progress; he threw some really good ones early in the game at 83-86, and when he throws it with conviction like that, it's a real weapon. Usually it comes in around 79-82, and he still needs to throw it firmer more consistently, but it's developing.

"Let's just say I was tired of it being terrible," McClanahan said. "Just trusting the grip and trusting the arm with it, mechanics and everything like that. That's really all it was."

Even when he throws it with less velocity, the slider is starting to become an effective offering for him, and he's learning to command it much better, as Friday illustrated.

"Just the feel of it, the ability to throw it for strikes. I mean, we threw a 3-2 slider tonight; last year I could never call a 3-2 slider with him," Mohl said. "The shape of it and everything else has gotten a lot better. It's still not a finished deal, he still needs to trust it more and throw it a little firmer, but right now I'd say the changeup is the No. 2 pitch, he throws that with good arm speed. And the slider we're still working on, it's still developing. When he trusts it and he rips it, it's good. (Last year) he wouldn't, because it would be off the backstop."

During the middle innings Friday when the Bulls were at bat, McClanahan went to throw on the side. "Ah, well UNC's like a human rain delay, so I had to stay loose," he quipped.

McClanahan has a quick wit and a blunt manner about him, as you can see. He's got a little edge about him that translates well to the mound, where he always competes hard. His off-the-field maturation, however, has been just as impressive to Mohl as his development on the mound.

"Shane's a big kid. That's really what he is. When it's time to compete, he competes. But off the field, he's a character," Mohl said. "He's kind of a smart aleck, kind of throws out one liners at you. That's just who he is, he's fun to be around. Compared to what he was three years ago when he was kind of shy, immature, now he's just one of the guys, jokes around, has a good old time.

"From the deer in headlights as a freshman, being away from home for the first time, kind of holding his hand through a few things. Now, the leaps and bounds he's made from a maturity standpoint is unbelievable."

McClanahan is a good teammate, and on Friday he just seemed happy to get a win for his team - and the first career win for Mohl as head coach.

"It's awesome," McClanahan said. "That guy has our back and we have his back no matter what. We wanted him here, we got him, and we're gonna go out there and bust our ass for him." is your online home for college baseball scores, schedules, standings, statistics, analysis, features, podcasts and prospect coverage.
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2018 Collegiate National Team Staff Announced

February 14, 2018

DURHAM, N.C. - USA Baseball announced the 2018 Collegiate National Team coaching staff on Tuesday. LSU's Paul Mainieri was named the manager of the Collegiate team last October and he will be joined by assistant coaches Cliff Godwin (ECU), Jim Hendry (New York Yankees), Brian O'Connor (Virginia) and Jorge Perez (St. Thomas) in 2018.

All four assistant coaches will make their USA Baseball National Team coaching debuts with this year's team, while 2018 will be Mainieri's second coaching appearance for Team USA after serving as a Collegiate National Team assistant coach in 2015.

"We could not be more excited about the staff that USA Baseball's General Manager of National Teams, Eric Campbell, and Paul Mainieri have selected to lead this year's Collegiate National Team," USA Baseball Executive Director and CEO Paul Seiler said. "Each one of these coaches brings a wealth of baseball experience and knowledge that will be invaluable to our athletes."

Mainieri begins his 12th season at the helm of LSU and has posted a 512-202-3 record (.716) since arriving in Baton Rouge in 2007. He was named the Southeastern Conference (SEC) Coach of the Year in 2009 and 2015, and has led the Tigers to 29 team championships, including an NCAA title, five Super Regional championships, seven NCAA Regional championships, six SEC Tournament titles, four SEC championships and six SEC Western Division crowns.

After serving as a coach at the 2017 USA Baseball 14U National Team Development Program, Cliff Godwin will make his national team coaching debut as the 2018 Collegiate National Team's hitting coach and third base coach. Godwin is entering his fourth year at the helm of East Carolina University, where he has guided the Pirates to two NCAA Regionals and one Super Regional berth (2016), and a 110-72-1 record. Godwin was named the 2015 AAC Coach of the Year after becoming the first coach in ECU history to win 40 games in his first season and guiding his team to a conference tournament title and an NCAA Regional appearance. In addition to his time at ECU, Godwin has served at six other Division I institutions, including as an assistant coach at Ole Miss, LSU, Notre Dame and UNC Wilmington, as well as the associate head coach at Central Florida and the Director of Baseball Operations at Vanderbilt.

New York Yankees special assignment scout Jim Hendry joins the staff as the 2018 bench coach. Prior to his time with the Yankees, Hendry served as the Chicago Cubs General Manager from 2002-2012. In addition to his time as GM, he worked in numerous front office positions during his time with the Cubs, including serving as farm director, scouting director and assistant GM. Hendry has also coached at the high school, college and minor league levels. He was the head coach at Creighton University from 1984-1991 and was named National Coach of the Year by Baseball America after leading his team to the College World Series for the first, and only, time in school history.

O'Connor, who is entering his 15th season as the head coach at the University of Virginia, will serve as the 2018 Collegiate National Team's pitching coach. A five-time ACC Coach of the Year and three-time national coach of the year, he has led the Cavaliers to 14 straight NCAA tournament appearances, including the program's first National Championship in 2015. As a member of Hendry's Creighton team that made it to the College World Series in 1991, O'Connor is one of just a handful of coaches that have both played and coached in the CWS. His 639-239-2 record at UVA gives him the third-highest winning percentage of all current head coaches in Division I baseball (72.7 percent) and he was the second fastest ACC coach to 500 career wins.

St. Thomas University Head Coach, Jorge Perez, joins the 2018 staff as an assistant coach and first base coach. Now entering his tenth season with the Bobcats, Perez boasts a 313-213 record, and six appearances in the NAIA National Championship Opening Round, including a runner-up finish at the NAIA World Series in 2015 - the best finish in school history. Perez also served as the head coach at Gulliver Preparatory School and South Dade Senior High School, accumulating an 80-54 record, prior to his time at St. Thomas.

Trent Forshag, a member of the LSU equipment staff, will serve as the bullpen coach, Carter Hicks (North Carolina) will be the team's operations coordinator and Bill Burniston will return as the team's performance coach in 2018, marking his sixth consecutive year working with the Collegiate National Team program. Burniston was named the 2017 USA Baseball Volunteer Coach of the Year after serving in the same role with last year's Collegiate National Team. In addition, Hank Hager (Oregon State) will serve as the team's Press Officer for the second time (2011) and Mike Bean (Notre Dame), who worked with Mainieri during the coach's tenure at Notre Dame, has been named the team's certified athletic trainer.

The 2018 Collegiate National Team will train at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina, and compete against teams in the Coastal Plain League from June 26-27, before hosting the 18th USA vs. Chinese Taipei International Friendship Series from June 28-July 2. All seven of these games will be streamed live on and Facebook Live.

The team will then host the 42nd USA vs. Japan Collegiate All-Star Series from July 3-9. University of Pittsburgh Head Coach, Joe Jordano, will serve as the official technical commissioner for the series. Jordano is entering his 21st season at the helm for the Panthers and currently ranks among the top-25 active winnings Division I coaches. Finally, Team USA will travel to Cuba for the 7th Annual USA vs. Cuba International Friendship Series that will take place July 13-18.

For more information on the 2018 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team, follow along on Twitter @USABaseball and @USABaseballCNT.

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Sport Dev

USA Baseball Launches Fun At Bat Professional Development Course

February 12, 2018

DURHAM, N.C. - USA Baseball announced the addition of two new assets to the USA Baseball Online Education Center on Monday. The additions include the Basic First Aid course and Fun At Bat Instructor, a training course for instructors implementing the Fun At Bat program.

These new assets are available at no cost to users on the USA Baseball Online Education Center. The Online Education Center includes a catalog of online courses for players, coaches, parents and umpires, hosted by some of baseball's most esteemed professionals; as well as hosting additional resources such as the Long Term Athlete Development Plan, USA Baseball Mobile Coaching App, the Sport Development blog and more. All resources are free of charge and aim to provide a positive baseball experience for all.

The Fun At Bat Instructor course, hosted by former Major League Baseball player Michael Cuddyer, aims to provide Fun At Bat instructors with the tools they need to successfully implement the program in their school or community. This course includes information on the program's environment, an overview of the program's structure and components of bat-and-ball fundamentals introduced through the Fun At Bat program.

Fun At Bat, a USA Baseball youth initiative supported by Major League Baseball, SHAPE America and Franklin Sports, is an introductory level bat-and-ball program for kids with an emphasis on character development, functional movement, literacy, active play and fun. The overarching goal of this program is to promote fun and active lifestyles for children, while teaching them the fundamental skills of bat and ball sports. The program also includes a literacy component and teaches character traits such as leadership, honesty and teamwork. Fun At Bat is a part of the PLAY BALL initiative, which is the sport's largest collective effort to encourage young people to participate in baseball- or softball-related activities, including formal leagues, special events and casual forms of play.

"The Fun At Bat program continues to be a priority initiative for USA Baseball," said Rick Riccobono, USA Baseball's Chief Development Officer. "The launch of the Fun At Bat Instructor course demonstrates our commitment to ensuring that we provide the best resources possible to create a positive experience for every child who participates in the program."

Hosted by the Team Physician of USA Baseball, Dr. Josh Bloom, the Basic First Aid course provides coaches, parents and administrators with basic information on various injuries and emergencies. This course includes information on how to be best equipped to handle injuries and emergencies, and key things to look out for when players are injured.

"We were fortunate to receive the support of Dr. Bloom and USA Baseball's Medical Safety Committee in delivering this outstanding resource for coaches and parents. The Basic First Aid course furthers our commitment to player safety and adds depth to the Online Education Center, making it an even more comprehensive resource for baseball coaches, players and parents," Riccobono continued.

The Basic First Aid and Fun At Bat Instructor courses, like the rest of the offerings on the USA Baseball Online Education Center, are equipped with a functionality that allows the user to select their preferred language (English or Spanish) upon launching the course. If the user selects Spanish as their preferred language, the course will automatically be delivered entirely in Spanish, including videos with Spanish subtitles.

The Basic First Aid and the Fun At Bat Instructor courses can be found by accessing the USA Baseball Online Education Center at USABaseball.Education.

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