USA BASEBALL NEWS

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Game 2 Suspended in Taichung, Taiwan

July 10, 2019
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
CT 0 1 0 0 - - - - - 1 2 0
USA 0 0 1 - - - - - - 1 4 0
Win: TBD Loss: TBD
Live Stats
 

TAICHUNG, TAIWAN - The USA Baseball Collegiate National Team and Chinese Taipei were rained out Wednesday with the score tied 1-1 in the fourth inning at Taichung City Stadium. The teams will try to resume the game Thursday afternoon as part of a doubleheader, although the time and location are TBA based on field conditions. 

The 19th USA vs. Chinese Taipei International Friendship Series is scheduled to end with Games 2-3 on Thursday. The series has been reduced to three games before Team USA plays a different team in Taiwan on Friday at 2 a.m. ET. 

Key Moments
• Chinese Taipei started the scoring in the second inning with an RBI double to the wall in right field by Chung-Chen Yang.
• Austin Martin (Vanderbilt) tripled to right field in the third, then was brought home on an RBI groundout from Colton Cowser (Sam Houston State) to tie the game.

Notable Information
• There were two rain delays in the game. The first was a brief stoppage in the second inning for rain, before the fourth-inning rainstorm postponed the game. 
• Chinese Taipei won Game 1 on Tuesday, 2-1, to snap a 10-game losing streak against the Collegiate National Team. 
• The last 14 games between the Collegiate National Team and Chinese Taipei have all been decided by three runs or fewer.
• Team USA leads the 19th USA vs. Chinese Taipei International Friendship Series, 14-0-4.
• Team USA is 78-13-2 all-time in the USA vs. Chinese Taipei International Friendship Series.
• Team USA and Chinese Taipei have tied all three series in Taiwan (2005, 2010, 2016). 
• This year's games are the first in the series at Taichung City Stadium in Taichung, Taiwan. 

On Deck
• July 11 doubleheader vs. Chinese Taipei (2 a.m. ET; Taichung City Stadium)
• July 12 vs. TBA (2 a.m. ET; Taichung City Stadium)
• Next week: 43rd USA vs Japan Collegiate All-Star Series

Social
• Stay tuned to @USABaseballCNT on Twitter and visit USABaseball.com for the most up-to-date news about the Collegiate National Team.

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CNT

3 Up, 3 Down with Mikie Mahtook

May 20, 2020

We are joined by Mikie Mahtook. Mikie was a member of the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team in 2010 following his Sophomore season at LSU. He is a Louisiana boy turned LSU Baseball legend who helped lead the Tigers to a College World Series championship his freshman season. A first-round draft pick of the Tampa Bay Rays, Mikie has spent time at the big-league level with the Rays and Tigers. He is now a member of the Philadelphia Phillies organization after signing with the club this past offseason. 


USA Baseball (USAB): Let's first talk about your decision to attend LSU In the first place. After your senior year of high school, you had committed to the LSU Tigers, the hometown team about an hour down the road, and you were drafted by the Florida Marlins, was there any possibility you weren't headed to Baton Rouge?

Mikie Mahtook (MM): A small possibility. My dad and my uncle both played football at LSU, my whole family went to school at LSU, so I was going to LSU football games and baseball games from a young age so that's where I wanted to go, that's the place I wanted to be. My situation was a little tricky as a football player first and then a baseball player second. Football recruiting got heated a little bit earlier than baseball did so for a little while there I thought I was going to play both in college but at the end of the day I made a decision in the middle of my senior football season I just wanted to play baseball in college and LSU came to me and asked me if I wanted to go to school there and play baseball there. I initially committed to LSU as a preferred walk on because they had changed the scholarship rules that year and I had taken so long to make a decision that LSU didn't have any scholarship money left. 

So I committed as a preferred walk-on and then went through my senior baseball season and had a great high school senior season and started shooting up draft boards. I had never once in my life thought about getting drafted out of high school. My goal was to get to the major leagues, but I always thought I was going to go to college and then maybe get drafted and make it to the big leagues. But once I had that opportunity and scouts started talking to me, I had no idea what I was doing. My mom and I talked about it and thought we didn't really want to go so we gave them this really high number that they didn't even bat an eye on, so we thought maybe we should have gone higher. But we weren't really ready to sign so there were a few teams that were really high on me, but at the end of the day I called them and said I wanted to go to school and develop more as a player and I appreciated the interest and then I think the Marlins drafted me just as a courtesy selection that late in the draft. But it was a very cool experience that helped prepare me for when I would get drafted.

USAB: Had you had any conversations with big league scouts prior to that draft? Did you have a sense of where you might be drafted?

MM: Yeah, like I said I'd never really expected to get drafted and then all of a sudden you start getting at-home visits, and you start getting phone calls, and then you start having people come to games more often specifically to watch me. So we didn't really know what we were doing. We talked to some people in our hometown that had been drafted, going to ask them for some advice and what we need to do. And one day I had a conversation with my family where I said look I've never focused solely on baseball in my life it's kind of cool that I'm getting looked at to further my career as a professional, but I think for my development I need to go to LSU and focus strictly on baseball. Put football aside. Once I did that, I still kind of wanted to get drafted high, just to pump the ego just a little bit. But I knew after I told him I wanted to go to school that I probably wasn't going to get drafted as high as I thought.

USAB: You get to LSU your freshman year and you guys put together one of the best seasons in program history. You win SEC Tournament MVP. You get to Omaha, cruise through to the College World Series Final, and you come up with the game-winning hit in extra innings of Game 1 against Texas. What do you remember about that game?

MM: First thing I remember was it was extremely, extremely hot. I remember I had to get an IV in the middle of the game because I couldn't stop cramping. The game was actually on TV the other day and it was the first time I ever rewatched it and they said it was 107 degree heat index so it was steaming. After that I remember in my first three at-bats I struck out. Not good at-bats. My fourth at-bat I put the ball in play but I hit into a double play. So I'm 0-for-4 and I made 5 outs. And I'm thinking this is not how I wanted this to go. Then my fifth at-bat I ended up swinging at a pitch way in the other batters box but somehow found a hole for a base hit. And then I got the game-winning hit in the 11th and it was a surreal moment. Obviously you work all year to get to that point and you hope to have an opportunity to come up with a big hit like that and I was able to battle through a tough game and was able to come through so it was exciting. I think the coolest part about that was the way my teammates reacted after I got the hit.

USAB: Were there any moments that came back to you while you were watching the broadcast? 

MM: I remember watching my swing and seeing that they are spinning me slider after slider after slider. I'm a freshman and I'm still trying to make adjustments. I know at that moment I told myself I have got to figure this out. I have got to put this ball in play. And then I finally put the ball in play and believe it or not after I hit into that double play I was able to exhale, even though it was a double play. Because I didn't hit it terrible, but I didn't hit it great because obviously it was a ground ball to the second baseman but I exhaled and thought alright, got a little of the barrel, I put the ball in the play, we have some action here. I'm okay. I can exhale a little bit. And then the next one I found the hole with a lucky hit. Then my last at-bat I tell myself just find a way to get this thing into the outfield and get the hit. And I was able to do that.

USAB: That was game one. What about the series clinching game? What are your memories of that clinching game and claiming the title?

MM: So we had to come back to win the first game. DJ LeMahieu hit a 2-RBI double in the ninth to tie it and then we won in extra innings. Then in game two we had to face Taylor Jungmann and he threw an absolute gem. I think they beat us 5-1 and we had no shot against him that day. He was just on. So the third game, we walked into the clubhouse and had this weird confidence like we knew we were going to win. So we were loose and having fun. No one was really tight. And then in the first inning Jared Mitchell hit a three-run homer and gave us all the momentum.

They actually came back to tie the game but then I hit a double in the sixth inning to give us a 5-4 lead and then I think we ended up scoring four more runs in that inning to clinch it. But we entered that game with this confidence that we knew we were going to win. Coach Mainieri talked to us before the game and said "If I had told you before the season you had one game to win the World Series would you take it?" And we said yes, obviously. We were in that situation and we knew we were going to win. We had our horses ready to go and we had that confidence and I think we ended up winning 11-4. 

USAB: So what were the next two years at LSU like? You are a Louisiana kid, your parents went to LSU, your dad played football at LSU, you won a College World Series as a freshman. Are you Big Man on Campus at that point?

MM: Coming back to campus was pretty cool. We don't have a Major League Baseball team in Louisiana so LSU is almost like the professional team here. People love baseball in south Louisiana, especially LSU baseball. So people recognize us, people want to talk to us, it was kind of cool because I had never experienced that. It was something we had to learn how to juggle to take these new responsibilities and be mature with them and we were good about it. We had our fun and enjoyed it but we knew there were bigger things we needed to do. And that next year we started out 32-6 and we were number one in the country before we had some injuries and lost some pitching depth and we struggled a little bit. We got it back together at the end of the year but ran into a buzz saw in the regional against UCLA with Trevor Bauer and Gerrit Cole. 

Then my junior season was a bit of a lost season. It was personally my best year statistically, but we were 36-20 and didn't make the postseason. It was a tough pill to swallow but it is what it is. It was tough to go out that way, but definitely some good moments.

USAB: I know you still keep in touch with the LSU baseball program. Partly through the No. 8 you wore during your time there. Since you left it has become tradition that the number is given to a player that symbolizes leadership and dedication to LSU Baseball. Some guys who have worn No. 8 since your time at LSU include Alex Bregman, Jake Fraley, and most recently, two-time USA Baseball alum Daniel Cabrera. How did that tradition come about?

MM: LSU football has a similar tradition with No. 18. It started with Matt Mauk and it is an honor to get No. 18. The players vote on it and it is not necessarily the most talented player on the field but more about the character and how much they loved LSU. The person you want to play at LSU. I thought it was a really cool idea so I left after my junior season and Mason Katz was still on the team so I called him and said I wanted to do something like football and asked what he thought about it. I told him I knew No. 5 was his number but I asked him if he would want to wear No. 8 and he said absolutely. So he wore it for two years and I think he hit 17 homers his senior season and he passed it down and we wanted to give it to someone who could lead the team but also have passion and energy for LSU and to represent the number well. I think the few people who have worn it have represented it the way we wanted it represented.

USAB: So you passed it down first and chose who you passed it to. Has it remained that kind of fraternity between guys who have worn the No. 8 jersey?

MM: Antoine Duplantis passed it to Daniel Cabrera and Antoine just broke the LSU hits record a few years ago. Antoine is from my hometown and I actually used to hit in the cage with Antoine and his little brother who is now an olympian. So I have known those guys most of my life. 

I stay connected with the guys, I live in Baton Rouge so I work out at the facility all the time so I talk to those guys about any questions they may have. But most of these guys are pretty set. They know what's going on and have an idea of what they want to do and where they want to be and what they want to become. That is part of wearing the number is taking that responsibility and leading the team. Cabrera, before the season got cancelled, was having a great year and doing just that. 

At the end of a year if they can't figure out who should get the number next year, they will call some of the older guys that had the jersey for their input. It has turned out to be a pretty cool thing.

USAB: That is a really cool tradition. Obviously the number still means a lot to you, and it took four or five years into your pro career to get the number back. Did that mean a lot to you to finally get number 8 with the Detroit Tigers last year? 

MM: I tried to get it even in the minor leagues. I tried to get it in High-A, but someone was there, an older player who already had it, so I couldn't get it there. Then I tried in Double-A, but couldn't get it again. Then I got to Triple-A and the number 8 was retired because of Crash Davis with the Durham Bulls. So I can't get the number anywhere and it is frustrating. 

Then I get to the big leagues and I'm a rookie so I'm not going to ask for a specific number, because you can't do that as a rookie. So then I just decided to embrace wearing No. 27 which is the number they gave me. And then I got traded to Detroit and Justin Upton was wearing No. 8 at the time. And then Justin got traded so in the offseason I asked our clubbie what he thought of me wearing No. 8 now that Justin got traded and he said yes so I was fired up. I actually just got that jersey framed. I only have No. 8 jerseys framed in my house so that is pretty cool.

USAB: Let's get to your time with the Collegiate National Team in 2010. It was a loaded roster, with Gerrit Cole, Sonny Gray, George Springer, Jackie Bradley Jr., Brad Miller and plenty of others. Do you still have relationships with guys from that team?

MM: We keep in touch. Obviously life happens, guys get married and have kids so it's not as much as when we were 20, we don't have as much free time. But whenever we do see each other the conversations are easy, you always have that bond. I'm actually now doing these daily zoom calls with amateur athletes and bringing on other athletes and George Springer came on and did one the other week. And these are relationships you build when you are 20 so they last a long time and it is really a cool thing. 

I think that is one of the coolest things about playing for Team USA is that I got to play with these guys that you don't necessarily get to play with ever again. I think the only person I played with again after Team USA was Brad Miller. Brad Miller and I are really really good friends. So you may not get to play with them all again so you have to embrace it when you're together and it was a really cool experience. 

USAB: What were your favorite memories of that 2010 Collegiate National Team? Anything in particular stick out either on or off the field? 

MM: We had a lot of fun together. We got to go to Tokyo and I had never been to that part of the world so flying together and getting to hang out with each other in Tokyo was really cool. One thing I remember is that we were at the tournament in Tokyo and we were playing Japan, the host team, and the place is packed. All with their fans because we are obviously nowhere near home. So the first inning Springer hits a grand slam. We were going nuts, it was crazy, and we ended up winning the game 4-1 and it was the only runs we scored. But that entire game was so intense and you got to see how much their fans really loved baseball and that was really cool.

We ended up playing Cuba in the finals and it was a hard fought game but they ended up walking us off in extra innings. And that Cuba team was stacked. They had Cespedes and Jose Abreu and those guys. But those two games are what I remember most about that year.

USAB: After playing on that team with so many other talented players, what did you learn and how did you grow as a player after that experience? 

MM: I grew a lot. Like you said that was the first time I played on a team with that much competition outside of college and it was awesome. The outfield was Jackie Bradley Jr. in center, George Springer in left and I was in right. So you get to play in the outfield with guys that are going to be first rounders, guys that are going to be in the big leagues.

And then in the Trials you get to face pitchers who didn't even make the team who are now big leaguers. Pitchers that are aces in the big leagues that were on our team. We had to face those guys at Trials. And just to see how those guys approached the game and competed on the field was really great to be a part of. 

USAB: So a lot of us are in this holding pattern waiting for baseball to resume. Tell me, what is life like right now?

MM: Being back here in Baton Rouge I actually have some nice facilities I can take advantage of. I have a batting cage I can use so I hit every day. The neighborhood I live in, there are still three or four guys that still play professionally so we kind of have our own little mini spring training in the neighborhood. Kevin Gausman lives right around the corner from me and we will go to an empty lot or the edge of a golf course and long toss. He actually bought a portable pitchers mound so he'll set it up in his backyard and throw bullpens. 

Other than that it is like being a kid again. A lot of home workouts. Just trying to find out whatever you can do around the house to stay in shape. It has been tough but it has been kind of fun too. Fun trying to figure out how and where we are going to get these workouts done.

USAB: Anything outside of baseball?

MM: I mentioned earlier that I started this project with a mentor of mine it is called the Champions Rise Challenge. Professional athletes aren't the only athletes affected by this COVID-19 pandemic. More so than us it is these amateur athletes who lost their season and maybe lost their opportunity to get recruited. And not having the resources a professional athlete has can be kind of scary. So we decided to have these daily zoom calls, it is free to sign up, and we are trying to get as many athletes, nutritionists, coaches, all influencing these younger kids. Coming on to donate their time to these athletes. 

We are also encouraging parents to come on because when you're young you look for someone to lean on you want someone to help direct you. So if these parents are doing the same things the kids are doing, they are able to help them grow and get through this tough time. It has been awesome. The feedback has been great. We have a week and a half left but we are so excited about it we are looking at ways to maybe continue it even further than that. 

USAB: Lastly, let's talk about your foundation, The Mikie Mahtook Foundation. It can be found @MahtookCares on Twitter and @MahtookFoundation on Instagram. Tell us about the foundation.

MM: I started this foundation in 2014 to honor my dad. He was Mikie Mahtook Sr. He passed away unexpectedly when I was four years old due to cardiomyopathy. The foundation promotes and educates about the prevention of heart disease. We have recently moved into the testing sector. We are in the process of partnering with another organization that is able to test for free. We want to be able to detect heart disease so these kids and their parents can get diagnosed and get treatment. 

I was four years old when my father passed away and I had twin sisters that were two. So all of a sudden my mother was a young single mother of three and that kind of thing can rock a family. So if I can help just one family prevent a loss like that, then we are doing something right. It has been great, we have a lot of plans for the future, and we have some ambitious goals for it. In the next two or three years, it is going to be a household name.

Give Mikie a "follow" on Instagram and Twitter at @MikieMahtook8!

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USA Baseball Modifies On-Field Programming Schedule

All events continue to be subject to cancellation or postponement
May 18, 2020

CARY, N.C. - USA Baseball announced today a modified schedule of events for its 2020 summer season due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Created in adherence to the regulations set forth by the appropriate federal, state and local governments, the updated schedule is tentatively set to begin with the 14U Cup from July 24-26 at the National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina.

All of these events continue to be subject to cancellation or postponement based on the future state of the evolving coronavirus situation. The organization will monitor the guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC), as well as consult its Medical/Safety Advisory Committee in order to evaluate the status of its upcoming tournaments.

All further decisions will be made in as timely a manner as possible with respect to the safety and well-being of all the participating athletes, coaches and fans. If these tournaments run as scheduled, teams and fans will be required to follow a series of return to play guidelines developed by USA Baseball. These guidelines will be shared with all participants within an appropriate timeframe leading up to the event.

"As the national governing body for baseball in the United States, we feel it is in the best interest of the thousands of baseball athletes in our country to postpone our return to the field due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic," said USA Baseball Executive Director/CEO Paul Seiler. "We share in the longing for baseball's return, but we believe it is prudent to continue assessing the situation and finalizing a course of action that prioritizes the overall health and safety of our participants and their families in light of the continued transmission of this disease.

"This schedule was structured in an effort to secure as many opportunities as possible for athletes who hope to one day play for Team USA. We will remain steadfast in our commitment to this charge; however, we will continue to evaluate the situation on a daily basis and monitor the guidelines set forth by the CDC and the USOPC in case additional modifications need to be made."

The following events have been tentatively rescheduled on the 2020 calendar:

• 17U National Team Championships North Carolina (July 27-30)
• 14U and 15U National Team Championships Arizona (July 27-30)
• 16U and 17U National Team Championships Arizona (July 31-August 3)
• 15U National Team Championships North Carolina (August 4-9)
• 10U Futures Invitational (August 6-9)
• 16U National Team Championships North Carolina (August 11-16)
• 11U, 12U, 13U and 14U NTIS Champions Cup (August 19-23)
• 15U and 16U NTIS Champions Cup (August 26-30)

The following events and national team programming have been cancelled:

• 11U Futures Invitational
• 13U/14U Athlete Development Program (ADP)
• 16U/17U National Team Development Program (NTDP)
• National Team Championships Florida

The 14U Cup (July 24-26) and 11U/13U Futures Series Irvine (August 28-30) are set to take place as originally scheduled.

Additionally, USA Baseball continues to work closely with the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) with respect to the international baseball calendar. To date, the WBSC has postponed the Americas Baseball Olympic Qualifier, U-15 Baseball World Cup and the Women's Baseball World Cup until further notice. The U-12 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier has also been postponed but will not take place this year.

"USA Baseball fully supports the WBSC and its decision to indefinitely postpone the events on the baseball calendar in an effort to protect our national team athletes at this time," continued Seiler. "When the time comes for Team USA to return to the field, we will be ready to continue our longstanding tradition of excellence on the international stage."

Corresponding to the status of the international baseball calendar, USA Baseball has cancelled all 12U National Team programming events for 2020, meanwhile any future events planned for the 15U National Team, 18U National Team, Collegiate National Team and Women's National Team this year will be announced as necessary.

The Medical/Safety Advisory Committee has published a free Athlete Preparation Plan that provides a series of at-home exercises aimed to prepare young athletes for their return to the diamond following a prolonged disruption from on-field activity. To access this plan and to read its recommendations for baseball players during the COVID-19 pandemic, click here.

Further information on USA Baseball updates relating to COVID-19 can be found here. For up-to-the-minute updates on the organization and its events, follow @USABaseball on social media.

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3 Up, 3 Down with Travis Swaggerty

USA Baseball caught up with the 2017 Collegiate National team alum and 10th overall pick in the 2018 MLB Draft on Instagram Live
May 8, 2020

We are joined by 2017 Collegiate National Team alum Travis Swaggerty. Travis ranked second on the team in hits (21) and on-base percentage (.449) and third in stolen bases (6) and batting average (.328) along the way to a 15-5 record. He also earned batting champion honors in the Chinese Taipei series in route to a four-game sweep, as well in the five-game series victory against Cuba.

Travis spent three years at the University of South Alabama where he racked up 27 home runs and numerous top player rankings throughout his career, including being named to the 2018 All-Sun Belt First Team. Afterwards, he was taken 10th overall, second-highest in South Al history, in the 2018 MLB Draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates where he is currently a member of the Bradenton Marauders.


USA Baseball (USAB): When did you realize that playing baseball professionally was more than just a dream and was an actual obtainable goal?
Travis Swaggerty (TS):That's a good question, I would probably say after my freshman year college. You know in high school I was a good player but I was going to South Alabama, not a huge school but still some big names coming out of there. My Freshman fall I still had an "I hope I make it" kind of mindset versus "I'm going to make it". I actually had a really good freshman year and came off that. I got the whole summer off and once I came back to school my sophomore year I was in the best shape of my life. I was feeling good, balls starting to fly little bit and I was like "hey man, I can do this," so I kind of put my nose to the grindstone after that and here I am.

USAB: At any part in that process did you really believe, "I'm not just a draft pick but like a top 10 pick?
TS:That actually never became realistic until it happened. Honestly, I guess the goal when I got to college like maybe top ten rounds would be awesome. You know what that was a pretty reachable goal I thought. I think once I got to Team USA, honestly. I went out there and I still didn't feel like I fit in because there was a bunch of big school guys. I was really one of the few smaller school guys so I was like man I really have to prove myself. Once I made the team and started playing I start playing pretty well and I was like man I can hang these guys. Right then I knew I had a good shot but I didn't really understand until it happened.

USAB:You are a product of the University of South Alabama believing in yourself is a big thing. Who comes to mind in terms of people helping you believe that along the way?
TS:A lot of people. I think South Alabama was perfect for me because we kind of have that blue-collar aspect being a smaller school so a couple of my teammates and coaches really kept me level-headed where I needed to be. Some of the names that come to mind one is Brendan Donovan (Cardinals) and Dylan Hardy (Red Sox) and those two guys are actually going to be in my so we're really close. Those guys have a similar work ethic to me and we surrounded ourselves with each other but I think we kind of fed off each other and now we're all playing professionally so I think that that's no surprise.

USAB:Let's go back to draft day, were you expecting your name to be called and what was it like?
TS:I was at the draft. I had no idea. I had my dad, my cousin, my best friend and mine now fiancé by me. You know must people who sit at home get a call but I was sitting in my chair in the corner. I had my phone in my pocket but I couldn't check it, there's cameras on you so I didn't have any calls or anything. So as soon as commissioner Manfred went up and called my name it was a huge shock.

USAB:What was the first thing on your mind and what were your emotions to hear the commissioner himself mention your name as the next draft pick?
TS:I honestly had no thoughts all I could do was cry. It had finally happened for me, the dream you know. I had nothing going through my mind but like thank goodness, I'm so blessed I made it and now the real work has to begin.

USAB:What have you found is the biggest difference between how you expected entering minor league baseball to be and reality?
TS:I feel like I expected what happened but it really its the everyday grind you know in college you get Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday sometimes Wednesday but you get a lot of practice days some off time but pro ball you don't get any. You get some leisure time spent in the morning before the game and most of the time people want to sleep because you're so tired because you play every day. That and the bus trips every week. I wasn't expecting to travel like that. I thought it would be a little bit easier; it is not. You play a night game on the road on Wednesday, you get on the bus and you drive back home 8 hours, you wake up the next morning and you've got to get up and eat and go back to the park. So it's just nonstop.

USAB:Do you think that playing at a school like South Alabama helped prime you better than other guys that are in the minors?
TS:I don't necessarily think so. I mean we never got to really fly anywhere except one trip a year. I don't think that really prepared me any more than the work ethic piece. I think because it was a blue-collar school we thought we had to work a little harder to be able to compete with everybody else, so I think taking that attitude was a huge advantage for me.

USAB: You performed really well with the Collegiate National Team in the summer of 2017. What did you learn from that experience?
TS:I think I learned how to handle the Scouts a little better. You know before that I really didn;t have a lot of eyes on me and every day you look in the stands and there are scouts from every single team. You have to be able to perform with eyes on you and I think that primed me to be able to just play and focus on the game and not worry about who's in the stands.

USAB: What do you remember about the build-up to it? Was it an unexpected call when you got the invite to training camp with the CNT?
TS:Our head coach Mark Calvi knows someone with Team USA and he got my name out there and Eric Campbell came and watched when we played at Appalachian State in North Carolina. I didn't have a very good weekend but I was having a good year and he told me that because I was the first guy out of the dugout to congratulate the guys for doing something well and just being a good teammate, he said I was the type of guy that he wanted. I was very fortunate that even though I didn't play well I just kept my head down and tried to be a good teammate and at the end of the day that's all that matters.

USAB: What was the mentality heading in and getting to know a lot of bigger school guys?
TS:I got to be around guys like Madrigal and Vaughn and Steele Walker and Shumake and a lot of those guys I got close with. They all approach the game a little bit different way so I got to see what their routine was in the cage and what they liked to do off the tee and I took some of that with me. We fed off each other a lot. You know I thought at the beginning I would try to do a little too much because I was small school guy but it actually turned out to be the opposite I tried to do less and because I tried to do less I got to slow the game down and a little bit and was actually able to have success.

USAB: When you're on a USA Baseball roster, you only get a few months to be around your teammates. How do you bond with those guys in such a short period time and what was your experience like?
TS:It was very easy because we're all going through the same thing, you know. There's some growing pains like learning to get with a new team but everybody's there for the same reason so I think we gelled pretty quickly. Along with staying in the hotel together with was huge. We had as much comradery as possible. We'd go out to eat every day and just try to do something to get to know people. We'd play cards in the anything we could do to get acclimated and it happened pretty quickly. I thought we became friends within the first couple of days before games even started so it was probably the easiest acclamation I ever had.

USAB: Among the handful of guys that you mention is former Golden Spikes Award winner and two-times Collegiate National Team guy, Andrew Vaughn. What's your relationship like with him?
TS:I have a funny story about Vaughny. The first night I was asleep because he flew in really late and apparently, he woke me up and I introduced myself. I woke up next morning and had no recollection so I had to reintroduce myself again. He made fun of me pretty good for that. And then on the second night I was FaceTiming my now fiancé and he starts laughing because he said that she had a really thick southern accent, which she does. And he says, "I need to get me a southern belle like that." So, I told my fiancé and now he's with her best friend who is her maid of honor actually. So, we got them together and sparks flew and now here we are. A California boy with a Mississippi girl, that's right.

USAB: You made the decision to leave South Alabama after your junior year when you were drafted. How did you know it was the right time?
TS:It was relatively easy based on being picked 10th overall so I didn't really have any issue with that. It was really getting into pro ball and being the first-round pick. I feel like at the time I put a lot of pressure on myself trying to show why I was the first-round pick, even though people were telling me not to worry about that. That was tough for me. You were talking about on the water in Alabama and then I had to go up to West Virginia in the mountains and I had never been in the mountains so it was a bit of a culture shock but it wasn't too bad. I was really just playing my game that was all I had to do. I actually ended up having a pretty good summer so it worked out.

USAB: What was the best advice you received beforehand about the differences between college and pro ball?
TS:You get more information. I think the best advice was to do more studying. I think you don't really get a lot of information in college. For us at least at [South Alabama] before games our hitting coach would come up to us round us up in a circle and say, "this is what the pitcher's got, go out there and play." It's not that simple anymore. Now we have video you can watch, there's scouting reports and so much information. Basically, I was told to learn how to study, learn how to break down the data and it'll work in your favor so I think that was the best.

USAB: Do you find yourself diving into analytics on a year-to-year basis and digging into your performance and evaluating yourself that way?
TS:Not necessarily. I think for me I can feel how my body feels and what my body's telling me. So, hitting wise I can feel when something doesn't feel right versus watching. I video myself if something doesn't feel right. I'm sure every hitter is aware of where they hit the ball well and where they don't. I don't really need to see that. Mainly to look into the data I look at the pitcher I'm facing that way I can actually derive a plan. Before I get into the cage I have to have a plan against that guy. I would say I use the data more for pitchers than myself.

USAB: What's it been like as you are currently waiting things out and waiting for the season to begin?
TS:It's strange. I will say that it's strange because we don't really have a timeline really yet. I'm sure we'll get one soon but it's hard to know what to prepare for. Do you go hit in the cage five or six times a week or how much do you throw like we don't know, so that's just uncharted waters for everybody so I don't feel like I'm at a disadvantage. The part that does stink a little bit is not having a gym to go to so you're just using equipment around the house and just make shifting anything just to get something in. I hit a lot, probably 5-6 times a week. We have a high school around here that still has its doors open for us. You know you're supposed to take advantage of any crisis that we go through and I think I've spent a lot more time with the family and it's a good thing. At least with no baseball I get to be around the family so it's good. It's been going well.

USAB: When you were drafted you said your two favorite hobbies were cooking and playing PlayStation golf, is that still true?
TS: I still cook a little bit stay sharp, but I'm back on Call of Duty now, that takes up more of my time anyway. For the most part I try to spend as much time with the family and dogs as possible. I try to cook something every day to stay sharp and keep my weight up. I will say the last time I tried to cook deer sausage I burned it. So, I've been making sure I don't burn it anymore, I've been babying it so I'm getting better at it so I don't make any more mistakes. I'm eating good around here.

 

Give Travis a "follow" on Instagram @tswag_21 and Twitter @TSwaggerty_21!

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2019 Organizational Award Winners Announced

18U National Team member Robert Hassell named Richard W. "Dick" Case Award winner
December 17, 2019

DURHAM, N.C. - USA Baseball announced the recipients of its annual organizational awards on Tuesday, recognizing the top athletes, coaches and performances from its 2019 USA Baseball national teams. 18U National Team member Robert Hassell was named the Richard W. "Dick" Case Award winner, becoming the fourth 18U team alumnus to earn athlete of the year honors. The award is given annually to USA Baseball's top player in honor of the organization's founding Executive Director and CEO.

Women's National Team Manager Veronica Alvarez was named the Rod Dedeaux Coach of the Year, becoming the first woman to earn the award in USA Baseball's history. The organization also recognized the Women's National Team as its Team of the Year and infielder Alex Hugo was named the Sportswoman of the Year after she earned MVP honors at the COPABE Women's Pan-American Championships.

Alec Burleson's late-game heroics against Japan in Game 2 of the 43rd USA vs. Japan Collegiate All-Star Series garnered the International Performance of the Year honors, meanwhile Collegiate National Team Bullpen Coach Xan Barksdale was named the organization's first-ever Service Provider of the Year.

Rounding out the USA Baseball 2019 award winners is 15U National Team Manager Troy Cameron, who was named the Developmental Coach of the Year, as well as Volunteer Coach of the Year Andy Pettitte and the inaugural Coach Educator of the Year Darren Fenster.

"USA Baseball is pleased to recognize these outstanding individuals and their successes from our 2019 national teams," said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball's Executive Director/CEO. "Not only did each and every award winner excel in the field of play or as a coach, they all served as outstanding ambassadors on behalf of the United States. It was an honor to have them represent our organization and the game of baseball with class on the international stage."

USA Baseball finished the year winning gold medals at the COPABE Women's Pan-American Championships and the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-15 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier. The Collegiate National Team also won two of its three international friendship series against Chinese Taipei, Cuba and Japan in 2019.

The complete list of the 2019 USA Baseball organizational award winners is as follows:

Richard W. "Dick" Case Award: Robert Hassell, 18U National Team
Rod Dedeaux Coach of the Year: Veronica Alvarez, Women's National Team
Team of the Year: Women's National Team
Sportswoman of the Year: Alex Hugo, Women's National Team
International Performance of the Year: Alec Burleson, Collegiate National Team
Service Provider of the Year: Xan Barksdale, Collegiate National Team
Developmental Coach of the Year: Troy Cameron, 15U National Team
Volunteer Coach of the Year: Andy Pettitte, Prospect Development Pipeline League
Coach Educator of the Year: Darren Fenster, Sport Development Blog

Hassell was awarded the Richard W. "Dick" Case Award following a summer where he was named to the All-World Team at the 2019 WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup in South Korea. He led the 18U National Team in 10 offensive categories in 2019, including batting average (.514), hits (18), doubles (5), home runs (2), RBIs (14), total bases (31), slugging percentage (.886) and on-base percentage (.548), among others. Hassell was a mainstay in the U.S. lineup, starting all nine games of the World Cup in the outfield, and helped lead the red, white and blue to a silver medal. He was also recognized by the WBSC as its International Baseball Player of the Year.

Just the second female manager in USA Baseball history, Alvarez became the first woman to be named the Rod Dedeaux Coach of the Year. Under her leadership, the Women's National Team finished the COPABE Women's Pan-American Championships with a perfect 7-0 record and a gold medal. The U.S. outscored its opponents 124-20 in the tournament, held a cumulative .500 batting average and hit a record 11 home runs. Their dominating performance also earned the Women's National Team the USA Baseball Team of the Year award.

Two-time Women's National Team alum Hugo was named the 2019 Sportswoman of the Year. She earned tournament MVP honors at the COPABE Women's Pan-American Championships after leading Team USA in six offensive categories en route to a gold medal. In the tournament, she hit .652 (15-for-23) with five doubles and four home runs, tallied 18 RBIs, scored 20 runs, stole six bases, and amassed an astounding 1.391 slugging percentage in seven games.

ECU's Burleson earned the 2019 International Performance of the Year award after hitting his first-career walk-off home run in the 43rd USA vs. Japan Collegiate All-Star Series. With the score tied at 2-2 in the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 2 in Imabari City, Japan, Burleson lifted a 2-0 fastball over the right field fence to give the visiting U.S. a 3-2 walk-off win. His home run was the first one hit of the series and the victory tied the best-of-five-game series at one apiece for the red, white and blue.

The Collegiate National Team's Barksdale was a vital part of the team in 2019 after serving as a bullpen catcher and coach for the national team, and his efforts were rewarded with the first-ever USA Baseball Service Provider of the Year award. Barksdale provided unparalleled service to the athletes by offering creative and engaging training, bullpen and catching sessions that not only allowed the national team to prepare and excel on the field, but also promoted and protected their overall long-term athletic development.

Cameron earned the Developmental Coach of the Year award in 2019 after he led Team USA to its fourth consecutive U-15 Baseball World Cup Qualifier gold medal for the red, white and blue (2013, 2015, 2017, 2019), and the third straight international title for the 15U National Team. The U.S. finished the tournament with an 8-1 record and outscored its opponents 66-33 under his leadership.

Five-time World Series champion and three-time MLB All-Star Pettitte was named the 2019 Volunteer Coach of the Year by USA Baseball after working on the coaching staff for the inaugural joint MLB and USA Baseball Prospect Development Pipeline League. Every day, he used his experience to help players create comprehensive processes for their pitching routines and schedules, and assisted in developing pitch philosophies while fine-tuning pitcher deliveries and mechanics. Pettitte also incorporated advanced, progressive methods to the participants that resulted in significant developmental growth in an abbreviated timeframe.

Lastly, Fenster was named the first Coach Educator of the Year in USA Baseball history due to his continued contribution to the USA Baseball Sport Development department. While simultaneously serving as the Minor League Outfield and Baserunning Coordinator for the Boston Red Sox, Fenster draws upon his professional baseball career as a player and coach to provide unique and insightful educational content for the for the Sport Development Blog. Titled FUNdamental Skills Friday, his contributions assist coaches, parents and leagues in developing young players and improving their experience within the game of baseball.

The United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC) annually honors one Sportsman, Sportswoman and Team of the Year based on nominations from its national governing bodies, as well as Olympic, Developmental and Volunteer Coach of the Year awards. USA Baseball's award winners serve as the organization's nominees in their respective categories with the USOC.

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Japan Clinches 43rd USA vs. Japan Collegiate All-Star Series

July 21, 2019
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
USA 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 4 1
JPN 1 0 0 3 0 0 2 0 X 6 9 2
Win: Morishita (2-1) Loss: Nikhazy (0-1)
Box Score | Play-by-Play | USA Final Stats
 

TOKYO - Japan ace Masato Morishita threw five scoreless innings to lead Japan to a 6-1 win at Meiji Jingu Stadium in Game 5 of the 43rd USA vs. Japan Collegiate All-Star Series and clinch the series 3-2. Japan won the series for the 16th straight time on its home soil over the last 40 years.  

"We lost to a really good team and a great baseball country," said Collegiate National Team manager Dan McDonnell (Louisville). "But we came here expecting to win. So it hurts."

Morishita started for the third time in the series and allowed only one hit in the five scoreless innings to claim MVP honors. The right-hander started Game 1, Game 3, and Game 5, allowing only two runs in 15 innings for a 1.20 ERA and .151 batting average against. Morishita threw 195 pitches in the series. 

Japan gave Team USA a big blow in the fourth inning, scoring three times with two outs to take a 4-0 lead. Takashi Umino had a two-out, two-RBI double and Kazuya Maruyama tripled on the next pitch to bring him home. 

"Obviously, that wasn't the way we wanted the series to go," said Alika Williams. "I had the time of a lifetime over here but we came here to do something and we didn't do it."

Williams led Team USA with a .313 batting average and five hits in the series. 

The Collegiate National Team completed its season with an 8-6 record, including series wins over Cuba and Chinese Taipei. 

"We live in a great country," said McDonnell. "It was an honor to coach the 24 best players in our country."

Key Moments
• Japan scored one in the first inning on a pair of singles, including an RBI from Tatsuru Yanagimachi.
• Japan gave Team USA a big blow in the fourth, scoring three times with two outs. Takashi Umino had a two-out, two-RBI double and Kazuya Maruyama tripled on the next pitch to bring him home. 
• Spencer Torkelson (Arizona State) got the Collegiate National Team on the board in the sixth with a line-drive RBI single to left field. 
• Koki Ugusa singled up the middle for an RBI and Shugo Maki lifted a sac fly in the seventh to give Japan a 6-1 lead. 

Notable Information 
• Tonight was the 14th winner-take-all final game in the history of the event. The Collegiate National Team is 7-7 against Japan in winner-take-all games.
• The Collegiate National Team is 4-7 all-time at Jingu Stadium. 
• Japan threw a shutout in Game 1 behind an excellent outing from ace Masato Morishita. 
• Alec Burleson (East Carolina) hit a walk-off homer to lead off the bottom of the ninth in Game 2 and tie the series 1-1.
• Three Team USA pitchers combined on a one-hitter as the Collegiate National Team shutout Japan to win Game 3. 
• Japan homered in four straight innings to rout Team USA in Game 4 and tie the series. 
• Masato Morishita threw five scoreless innings to earn series MVP honors and lead Japan to a 6-1 win in Game 5. 
• All-Star series: USA leads, 24-19
• Series in Japan: Japan leads, 18-3
• Japan has won 16 straight series in Japan dating back 40 years.
• All-Star series games: Collegiate National Team leads, 133-107-2
• Overall games: Collegiate National Team leads, 156-126-2
• The last five series (2013, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019) have all finished 3-2. Japan won in 2013, 2016, and 2019 in Japan, while the Collegiate National Team won in 2017 and 2018 in the United States.
• Team USA snapped a two-series winning streak against Japan (2017, 2018).

On Deck 
• The Collegiate National Team flies back to the United States on Tuesday. Team USA finished the summer with a record of 8-6, including series wins over Chinese Taipei and Cuba.

Social
• Stay tuned to @USABaseballCNT on Twitter and visit USABaseball.com for the most up-to-date news about the Collegiate National Team.

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Japan Forces Deciding Game 5 Against Collegiate National Team

July 20, 2019
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
JPN 0 0 4 2 1 1 0 1 0 9 12 0
USA 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 6 2
Win: Hayakawa (1-0) Loss: L. Allen (0-1)
Box Score | Play-by-Play | USA Overall Stats
 

KORIYAMA, JAPAN - Japan homered in four straight innings Saturday to beat the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team, 9-1, at Kaiseizan Stadium. Japan tied the series 2-2 and forced Sunday's deciding Game 5 at Jingu Stadium in Tokyo. 

"We are excited about Game 5 tomorrow night," said manager Dan McDonnell (Louisville). "I was a part of this series 10 years ago and we lost in Game 5. If you would've told me I could come back and get another Game 5, I would've said sign me up."

Yuya Gunji hit two of Japan's home runs, solo shots in the fourth and sixth innings. Takashi Umino started the scoring with a two-run homer in the third inning and Shugo Maki hit a solo shot in the fifth. 

The Collegiate National Team could not get anything started at the plate against Japan starter Takashi Hayakawa, who scattered three hits over four innings in his second start of the series. Team USA scored its only run on a double play ball in the eighth. 

Alika Williams led Team USA with two hits. Japan issued six walks and allowed six hits but the Collegiate National Team hit into three double plays. 

The Collegiate National Team and Japan bus to Tokyo tomorrow morning for Game 5 of the series Sunday at Meiji Jingu Stadium, the home of the Tokyo Yakult Swallows professional baseball team.

Key Moments
• Japan's Takashi Umino hit a two-run homer over the left field wall as part of a four-run third inning.
• Japan's Yuya Gunji hit a solo homer to lead off the fourth inning and Japan added another run in the inning to increase its lead to 6-0.
• Shugo Maki hit a solo homer to straight away center field in the fifth inning. 
• Gunji hit his second homer of the day as rain began to fall int he sixth inning. 

Notable Information
• The eight-run differential snapped a streak of 14 straight games in the series decided by three runs or fewer.
• The Collegiate National Team played at Kaiseizan Stadium for the first time ever.
• All-Star series: USA leads, 24-18
• Series in Japan: Japan leads, 17-3
• Team USA has lost 15 straight series in Japan dating back 40 years.
• Team USA lost its last series in Japan, 3-2, including a 5-4 loss in 10 innings in the deciding Game 5 on July 17, 2016 at Kusanagi Stadium in Shizuoka.
• All-Star series games: Collegiate National Team leads, 133-106-2
• Overall games: Collegiate National Team leads, 156-125-2
• The last four series (2013, 2016, 2017, 2018) have all finished 3-2. Japan won in 2013 and 2016 in Japan, while the Collegiate National Team won in 2017 and 2018 in the United States.
• Team USA has won two straight series vs. Japan, a 3-2 win in 2017 throughout the Northeast United States and a 3-2 win in 2018 in North Carolina and Georgia. 
• The longest series winning streak in the series is five by Team USA from 1973-77.

On Deck
• July 21 vs. Japan (5 a.m. ET; Tokyo, Japan; Meiji Jingu Stadium)

Social
• Stay tuned to @USABaseballCNT on Twitter and visit USABaseball.com for the most up-to-date news about the Collegiate National Team.

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Collegiate National Team One-Hits Japan To Take 2-1 Series Lead

July 19, 2019
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
USA 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 2 7 1
JPN 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
Win: Detmers (2-0) Loss: Morishita (1-1) Save: Abbott (1)
Box Score | Play-by-Play | Team USA Stats
 

IWAKUNI, JAPAN - Three USA Baseball Collegiate National Team pitchers combined on a one-hitter to lead Team USA to a 2-0 win over Japan in Game 3 of the 43rd USA vs. Japan Collegiate All-Star Series at Kizuna Stadium. Reid Detmers (Louisville) started and threw the first five innings, Cole Wilcox (Georgia) went 2 2/3 innings in relief, and Andrew Abbott (Virginia) earned the saved by throwing the final 1 1/3 innings.

"Reid Detmers gave us a great start, then Cole (Wilcox) and (Andrew) Abbott were really good," said manager Dan McDonnell (Louisville). "We were dominant on the mound."

Detmers struck out four, while allowing only hit, in the first five innings to set the tone for Team USA. Wilcox followed with three strikeouts and Andrew Abbott got out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth before pitching a 1-2-3 ninth.

Japan's only hit came in the first inning from No. 3 hitter Tatsuru Yanagimachi. 

Heston Kjerstad (Arkansas) hit an inside-the-park homer in the fourth inning and Alika Williams (Arizona State) lined a two-out RBI single in the fifth to provide enough offense for Team USA. Kjerstad's homer hit high off the left field wall and the Japan outfielders could not corral it in time as Kjerstad easily ran home for a stand-up inside-the-park homer.

Many Americans were in the stands, including families stationed at the United States Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni located nearby. 

"We really appreciate the Americans who came out today," said McDonnell. "Especially knowing they are over here sacrificing so that we can live in a great country."

Team USA is now one win away from clinching the USA vs. Japan Collegiate All-Star Series in Japan for the first time in 40 years. Japan has won 15 straight series against the Collegiate National Team on its home fields. 

The Collegiate National Team and Japan fly to Tokyo this afternoon and buses to Koriyama, Japan, for Game 4 of the series Saturday at Kaiseizan Stadium.

Key Moments
• Heston Kjerstad (Arkansas) hit an inside the park homer fourth on a fly ball off the wall in left field. It got away from the left fielder and Kjerstad easily scored on a stand-up inside-the-park homer.
• Luke Waddell (Georgia Tech) doubled with two outs in the fifth and Alika Williams (Arizona State) drove him in with a line drive single to right field to make it 2-0.
• Andrew Abbott (Virginia) induced a fly out to get out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth inning.

Notable Information
• The Collegiate National Team played at Kizuna Stadium for the first time ever.
• All-Star series: USA leads, 24-18
• Series in Japan: Japan leads, 17-3
• Team USA has lost 15 straight series in Japan dating back 40 years.
• Team USA lost its last series in Japan, 3-2, including a 5-4 loss in 10 innings in the deciding Game 5 on July 17, 2016 at Kusanagi Stadium in Shizuoka.
• All-Star series games: Collegiate National Team leads, 133-105-2
• Overall games: Collegiate National Team leads, 156-124-2
• The last four series (2013, 2016, 2017, 2018) have all finished 3-2. Japan won in 2013 and 2016 in Japan, while the Collegiate National Team won in 2017 and 2018 in the United States.
• Team USA has won two straight series vs. Japan, a 3-2 win in 2017 throughout the Northeast United States and a 3-2 win in 2018 in North Carolina and Georgia. 
• The longest series winning streak in the series is five by Team USA from 1973-77.

On Deck
• July 20 vs. Japan (5 a.m. ET; Koriyama, Japan; Kaiseizan Stadium)
• July 21 vs. Japan (5 a.m. ET; Tokyo, Japan; Meiji Jingu Stadium)

Social
• Stay tuned to @USABaseballCNT on Twitter and visit USABaseball.com for the most up-to-date news about the Collegiate National Team.

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Collegiate National Team Postponed Thursday

July 18, 2019
GAME Collegiate National Team at Japan
TIME Thursday, 8 p.m. ET (Friday, 9 a.m. local)
LOCATION Iwakuni, Japan (Kizuna Stadium)
USA: LHP Detmers
JPN: TBA

Live Stats | USA Team Stats

IWAKUNI, JAPAN - The USA Baseball Collegiate National Team's Thursday game against Japan at Kizuna Stadium was postponed due to rain. The teams will be back at Kizuna Stadium on Friday at 9 a.m. local time (8 p.m. ET Thursday) for Game 3 of the five-game series. 

The teams are booked to fly to Tokyo later in the afternoon Friday, thus no new inning will start after 11:30 a.m. (10:30 p.m. ET Thursday). The series is scheduled to continue Saturday in Koriyama, Japan and Sunday in Tokyo with Monday serving as a rain date. 

Notable Information
• The Collegiate National Team is scheduled to play at Kizuna Stadium for the first time ever.
• All-Star series: USA leads, 24-18
• Series in Japan: Japan leads, 17-3
• Team USA has lost 15 straight series in Japan dating back 40 years.
• Team USA lost its last series in Japan, 3-2, including a 5-4 loss in 10 innings in the deciding Game 5 on July 17, 2016 at Kusanagi Stadium in Shizuoka.
• All-Star series games: Collegiate National Team leads, 132-105-2
• Overall games: Collegiate National Team leads, 155-124-2
• The last four series (2013, 2016, 2017, 2018) have all finished 3-2. Japan won in 2013 and 2016 in Japan, while the Collegiate National Team won in 2017 and 2018 in the United States.
• Team USA has won two straight series vs. Japan, a 3-2 win in 2017 throughout the Northeast United States and a 3-2 win in 2018 in North Carolina and Georgia. 
• The longest series winning streak in the series is five by Team USA from 1973-77.

On Deck
• July 18 vs. Japan (8 p.m. ET; Iwakuni, Japan; Kizuna Stadium)
• July 20 vs. Japan (5 a.m. ET; Koriyama, Japan; Kaiseizan Stadium)
• July 21 vs. Japan (5 a.m. ET; Tokyo, Japan; Meiji Jingu Stadium)

Social
• Stay tuned to @USABaseballCNT on Twitter and visit USABaseball.com for the most up-to-date news about the Collegiate National Team.

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Burleson Walks Off Japan, Evens Series for Collegiate National Team

July 17, 2019
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
JPN 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 2 5 3
USA 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 3 7 0
Win: Abbott (2-1) Loss: Itoh (0-1)
Box Score | Play-by-Play | Series Stats
 

IMABARI CITY, JAPAN - Alec Burleson (ECU) hit a walk-off homer Wednesday to lead off the bottom of the ninth and send the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team to a dramatic 3-2 win over Japan at Imabari Municipal Baseball Stadium. It was the first walk-off homer of Burleson's baseball career.

"I hit it and I knew it had the distance," said Burleson. "I was just hoping it would stay fair."

The ball stayed fair and easily cleared the right field wall for the first homer of the series. Team USA tied the best-of-five series, 1-1. 

The Collegiate National Team (7-4) got into position to win the game with an eighth-inning RBI single by Heston Kjerstad (Arkansas) to tie the game 2-2. Japan's pitching had put up six straight zeros before Kjerstad's RBI then Burleson's heroics.

Team USA had another strong night on the mound, which started with four shutout innings from Asa Lacy (Texas A&M). Lacy scattered three hits while striking out five, as Team USA combined to strike out 14 in the game.

"We pitched really well," said manager Dan McDonnell (Louisville). "We had another good outing and we showed toughness."

Andrew Abbott (Virginia) earned the win after throwing a shutout top half of the ninth. He got a big swinging strikeout to end the inning and strand the potential go-ahead run on second base. Burl Carraway (DBU) threw a 1-2-3 eighth and Chris McMahon (Miami) allowed two runs on one hit in three innings of work. 

Team USA and Japan make the trip to Kizuna Stadium in Iwakuni, Japan, for Game 3 of the series Thursday. 

Key Moments
• Team USA scored in the first inning when Spencer Torkelson (Arizona State) drove home Nick Loftin (Baylor) with a sac fly.
• Japan scored twice in the fifth after a leadoff walk. Ryosuke Kodama tripled in the first run on a two-out, two-strike pitch, then scored on a wild pitch. 
• Heston Kjerstad (Arkansas) singled on a line drive over the first baseman's head for an RBI to tie the game 2-2 in the eighth.
• Alec Burleson (ECU) won it in the ninth with the walk-off homer on an up-and-in 2-0 fastball.

Notable Information
• The Collegiate National Team played at Imabari Municipal Baseball Stadium for the first time ever.
• All-Star series: USA leads, 24-18
• Series in Japan: Japan leads, 17-3
• Team USA has lost 15 straight series in Japan dating back 40 years.
• Team USA lost its last series in Japan, 3-2, including a 5-4 loss in 10 innings in the deciding Game 5 on July 17, 2016 at Kusanagi Stadium in Shizuoka.
• All-Star series games: Collegiate National Team leads, 132-105-2
• Overall games: Collegiate National Team leads, 155-124-2
• The last four series (2013, 2016, 2017, 2018) have all finished 3-2. Japan won in 2013 and 2016 in Japan, while the Collegiate National Team won in 2017 and 2018 in the United States.
• Team USA has won two straight series vs. Japan, a 3-2 win in 2017 throughout the Northeast United States and a 3-2 win in 2018 in North Carolina and Georgia. 
• The longest series winning streak in the series is five by Team USA from 1973-77 .

On Deck
• July 18 vs. Japan (5 a.m. ET; Iwakuni, Japan; Kizuna Stadium)
• July 20 vs. Japan (5 a.m. ET; Kooriyama, Japan; Kaiseizan Stadium)
• July 21 vs. Japan (5 a.m. ET; Tokyo, Japan; Meiji Jingu Stadium)

Social
• Stay tuned to @USABaseballCNT on Twitter and visit USABaseball.com for the most up-to-date news about the Collegiate National Team.

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Follow the Collegiate National Team vs. Japan on Wednesday

July 17, 2019
GAME Collegiate National Team at Japan
TIME 5 a.m. ET
LOCATION Imabari City, Japan (Imabari Municipal Stadium)
USA: LHP Lacy
JPN: TBA

Live Stats | USA Team Stats

IMABARI CITY, JAPAN - The USA Baseball Collegiate National Team continues the 43rd USA vs. Japan Collegiate All-Star Series on Wednesday with Game 2 of the five-game series. Japan took Game 1 with a 3-0 shutout Tuesday in Matsuyama, Japan. 

Notable Information
• All-Star series: USA leads, 24-18
• Series in Japan: Japan leads, 17-3
• Team USA has lost 15 straight series in Japan dating back 40 years.
• Team USA lost its last series in Japan, 3-2, including a 5-4 loss in 10 innings in the deciding Game 5 on July 17, 2016 at Kusanagi Stadium in Shizuoka.
• All-Star series games: Collegiate National Team leads, 131-105-2
• Overall games: Collegiate National Team leads, 154-124-2
• The last four series (2013, 2016, 2017, 2018) have all finished 3-2. Japan won in 2013 and 2016 in Japan, while the Collegiate National Team won in 2017 and 2018 in the United States.
• Team USA has won two straight series vs. Japan, a 3-2 win in 2017 throughout the Northeast United States and a 3-2 win in 2018 in North Carolina and Georgia. 
• The longest series winning streak in the series is five by Team USA from 1973-77 .

On Deck
• July 17 vs. Japan (5 a.m. ET; Imabari City, Japan; Imabari Municipal Baseball Stadium)
• July 18 vs. Japan (5 a.m. ET; Iwakuni, Japan; Kizuna Stadium)
• July 20 vs. Japan (5 a.m. ET; Kooriyama, Japan; Kaiseizan Stadium)
• July 21 vs. Japan (5 a.m. ET; Tokyo, Japan; Meiji Jingu Stadium)

Social
• Stay tuned to @USABaseballCNT on Twitter and visit USABaseball.com for the most up-to-date news about the Collegiate National Team.

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