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GSA Spotlight: George Kirby

May 16, 2019

ELON, N.C. - It's the kind of stat you'd expect to see from a finesse pitcher: just six walks in 82.2 innings, spanning 13 starts. But Elon's George Kirby is no thumber - he's one of the premier power arms in college baseball.

Kirby also has 105 strikeouts and has held batters to a .203 average this season, while going8-1, 2.07 for the Colonial Athletic Association regular-season champion Phoenix. Kirby ranks fifth nationally with a 0.83 WHIP, and he leads all of Division I with a ridiculous 17.5-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

"It's quite a floor, ain't it?" said Elon pitching coach Sean McGrath. "He's the best of both worlds. He's a command guy, kind of what you see from a mid-major Friday or Saturday guy who's a mid-to-upper-80s guy, and he's doing it at 95. And beyond that, he's doing it probably better than most ever do it."

The combination of plus fastball velocity, an ideal pitcher's frame at 6-foot-4, 201 pounds, and elite strike-throwing ability gives Kirby perhaps a better combination of a high floor and a high ceiling than any other pitcher in the 2019 draft class. In his final regular-season start Sunday against UNC Wilmington, Kirby came out of the chute sitting at 96 mph with his fastball and bumped 97. He pitched comfortably at 94-95 and touched 96 repeatedly over the first four innings, and he didn't throw a fastball below 93 mph in his five excellent innings of work, before Elon pulled him at the 79-pitch mark to get him a little extra rest heading into the conference tournament and hopefully the NCAA tournament. It was typical Kirby dominance: he allowed just one unearned run on two hits while striking out nine - and walking none, as usual.

For most college pitchers, learning to pound the strike zone is paramount. Kirby, however, has had to learn to expand the zone more often.

"He's really taken to being able to leave the zone, because the beginning portion of this year, he was so much in the zone that he was putting guys in swing mode," McGrath said. "Then he learned, 'OK, I can pitch a couple balls off or I can pitch a couple balls up, and they're probably still gonna offer.' And he commands it well enough that even if you do it 1-0 and 2-1, you're not afraid you're gonna go walk them, and it gets called more because he has the reputation."

Kirby showed good control as a sophomore too, going 10-3, 2.89 with a 96-27 K-BB mark in 90.1 innings. But he's gotten better across the board as a junior.

"One thing I've done a lot better this year is be able to command and limit the walks, which has helped me a lot. I expect to do this well every time I go out," Kirby said. "I think just the work I do during the week, trying to hone in my mechanics, I think that's helped me a lot. The pitch calling helps me a lot to expand, so I just try to hit those spots, keep it out of the zone. I didn't really change anything mechanically, I just tried to add more flow in my delivery. I changed the way I step back, I'm a little quicker to the plate now, which has helped me in the flow of the game, staying consistent. … It kind of just clicked."

Kirby took an important step forward last summer in the Cape Cod League, where he posted a 1.20 ERA in 11 relief appearances for Harwich. He said he enjoyed the closer role last summer, and he gained confidence from facing the best hitters in college baseball day-in and day-out. He also worked hard to improve his changeup and slider in the summer and throughout the fall.

Kirby's calling card remains that electric fastball, which served as the putaway pitch on eight of his nine strikeouts against UNCW. But he has refined his secondary stuff to the point that he now feels comfortable mixing with four quality pitches. His 85-86 mph straight changeup has been his best secondary pitch for most of his collegiate career, and he threw it with good arm speed against the Seahawks, helping him get ahead of hitters early in counts. He also excels at throwing his 78-80 mph curveball as a backdoor strike against lefties. It's not a hammer, but he has developed it to the point that he can get occasional swing-and-misses with it, as he did Sunday against Riley Zayicek, who struck out on the pitch.

"He's been able to go ahead and leave that thing short and believable, more often than he was last year," McGrath said. "Last year it was almost, how do you mix early to finish with fastball? Now we can give any assortment of pitches early in the AB and finish them whichever way we see fit late in the AB."

The biggest difference from last year is the development of Kirby's slider, an 82-85 mph offering that flashes solid-average. That's become an important weapon for him, as he has learned to throw it harder, with more intent, as he put it.

"We tried to add a slider last spring and it never really took shape. Some days he'd have it and would be able to throw a couple, and other days it just wouldn't be there," McGrath said. "And then this fall, a little bit this summer when he was up in the Cape, he was able to go ahead and fiddle around with grips and fiddle around with thoughts of what exactly he's looking to do with the slider, if he were to add one. Man, he's hammered away at it in bullpens and game plan, and it's taken shape. But he went from fastball-changeup with a show-me breaking ball, to now he can put people away with four different pitches."

Kirby and fellow junior righthander Kyle Brnovich form one of the best one-two pitching duos in college baseball, giving Elon a chance to beat any team in America in a weekend series. They have two very different styles - Brnovich pitches heavily off his devastating slider, one of the best in the country, while Kirby lives off that fastball - but they complement each other well. They also have a healthy competitive relationship; last year Kirby pitched on Friday and Brnovich went 8-2, 1.71 with 147 strikeouts in 105 innings as the Saturday starter. This year, Brnovich is 6-3, 3.81 on Fridays, and Kirby has been utterly dominant on Saturdays.

"We definitely push each other, but I'd say it's more individual, honestly," Kirby said. "We both have different styles of pitching, and we both worked on that during the week all the time, bullpens and everything. But we definitely do push each other a little bit, because Friday-Saturday, either of us could really have the Friday spot. So we're both competing with each other, and it's good to be competitive when you're good friends."

Kirby places great value in being a model teammate and helping Elon's young arms improve. He's soft-spoken and even-keeled, and he isn't afraid to offer teammates some insights.

"He's a guy's guy. Teammates love him. They know not to bother him too much on game day, but you won't to be able to tell, 'Oh, that's George Kirby.' He doesn't want to look any different than any of these other 33, 34 guys," McGrath said. "He's just one of the boys. The guys take to him. The other thing he's been really, really good at is he's been a great leader, whether it be allowing young guys to watch his bullpens and allowing them to take something from him, or he'll sit down with guys and talk about how he thinks about using his lower half, or his thoughts on certain pitches, where to execute, how to execute. He's done as much developing as I have with those freshman and sophomore arms, in terms of getting in touch with them and making sure in his catch play that he's a good example for others. He's diligent, and I think he's helped some buy-in, and other guys carry themselves pretty similarly."

"I'm just trying to share all the information I can give them," Kirby added. "A lot of times we struggle just hitting the zone, so I'll spot some things that guys are doing down there that I think have worked for me. I think having McGrath down there, we're both on the same page, so if I have something to say he'll let me say it, and he usually agrees with it. I think just giving my advice has helped them get a little more confidence on the mound, and I think it's shown. The past couple weeks the younger guys have gone out and done pretty well."

After going 19-5 in CAA play to run away with the regular-season title, Elon is now focused on winning the automatic bid that goes to the conference tournament champion, and getting the program back to regionals for the first time since 2013. With Kirby and Brnovich leading the way, and talented sophomore Jared Wetherbee rounding out the rotation with flame-thrower Ty Adcock anchoring the back of the bullpen, the Phoenix have the pitching firepower to make some serious noise in the postseason. And Elon's progression over the last three years has been very gratifying for Kirby, as you might imagine.

"Came here freshman year, we didn't do very well. Last year we got bumped out in the semis. So I'm just glad we're making progress every year," Kirby said. "We have a special group of guys, our pitching staff's really good, gave our guys a chance to win every time out there. You see we just dominated the CAA this year, so it was pretty fun to watch."

Kirby is awfully fun to watch, too.

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CNT

Burleson Walks Off Japan, Even 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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CNT

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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12U

Team Red Opens 12U National Team Trials With A Win

Jack Ruckert and John Dolan lead Team Red past Team Blue
July 17, 2019
  1 2 3 4 5 6 R H E
Team Blue 0 1 1 3 0 0 5 9 0
Team Red 0 2 3 2 1 1 9 10 2
Win: T. Targac Loss: O. Robinson Save: None
Box Score | Play-by-play

 

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. - Jack Ruckert (Baton Rouge, La.) and John Dolan (Camarillo, Calif.) recorded a hit and two RBIs apiece to lead Team Red past Team Blue, 9-5, in the first game of the 2019 12U National Team Trials on Tuesday at William S. Hart Pony Baseball and Softball Park in Santa Clarita, California.

Titan Targac (Flatonia, Texas) (1-0) earned the win in relief for Red after striking out two batters in his lone inning on the mound. Owen Robinson (Greensboro, N.C.) (0-1) suffered the loss for Blue after allowing two runs on two hits in the second inning. Team Red's pitching staff struck out seven batters, while Blue earned four strikeouts in the contest.

Ruckert and Dolan led the way for Red offensively, recording a hit and two RBIs each. Jayden Stroman (Medford, N.Y.) added an RBI-single and scored two runs, while 10 batters picked up a hit for Red. Brenden Lewis (Santee, Calif.) led Blue with two hits and a pair of RBIs at the plate. Rashad Hayes (Oakland, Calif.) and Thomas Brown (Livermore, Ga.) each hit a double for Team Blue in the game.

Key Moments:

  • Blue opened the scoring in the top of the second after Brenden Lewis (Santee, Calif.) brought home Rashad Hayes (Oakland, Calif.) with a single through the middle of the infield to give his team the 1-0 lead.
  • Team Red's Lucas Tinajero (Corpus Christi, Texas) tied the game at one in the bottom of the second with an RBI-single to shallow center field. Tinajero crossed home two batters later, on a wild pitch to give Red the 2-1 lead.
  • Blue tied the game at two in the top of the third after Brayden Gutierrez (Bakersfield, Calif.) drove in Luis Mejia (Phoenix, Ariz.) with a single that fell just short of the center fielder.
  • Jack Ruckert (Baton Rouge, La.) regained the lead for Red with a two-RBI single that plated Jayden Stroman (Medford, N.Y.) and Gavin Fien (Temecula, Calif.).
  • The back-and-forth game continued in the top of the fourth as Blue plated three runs on five hits and a walk to tie the game at five.
  • John Dolan (Camarillo, Calif.) claimed the lead for Red with a two-out double that bounced to the wall in right-center as Stroman and Jesse Del Toro (Modesto, Calif.) scored.
  • Gustavo Melendez (Cayey, P.R.) scored on a passed ball in the bottom of the fifth and Del Toro scored on a bases-loaded walk in the home half of the sixth to give Red the 9-5 win.

 

Notable Information:

  • Team Red took a 1-0 advantage in the three-game intrasquad scrimmage.
  • Titan Targac (1-0) earned the win, while Owen Robinson (0-1) suffered the loss on the mound.
  • Following the conclusion of Thursday's intrasquad matchup, USA Baseball will announce the final 18-man roster for the 2019 12U National Team.

 

On Deck:

  • Game two of the three-game series will take place on Wednesday, July 17, at 2:30 p.m. (PT) at William S. Hart Pony Baseball and Softball Park in Santa Clarita, Calif.
  • The 2019 12U National Team Trials will conclude on Thursday, July 18, with the series finale at William S. Hart Pony Baseball and Softball Park. First pitch is set for 12 p.m. (PT).
  • Red outhit Blue 10-9.

 

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12U

12U National Team Trials Continues Wednesday

July 16, 2019
GAME Red vs. Blue
TIME Wednesday, 2:30 p.m. ET
LOCATION Santa Clarita, Calif. (William S. Hart Park)
Red: TBA
Blue: TBA

National Team Trials Roster | Watch Live

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. - The USA Baseball 12U National Team Trials continues with the second game of a three-game intrasquad series on Wednesday at William S. Hart Pony Baseball and Softball Park in Santa Clarita, California.

Jack Ruckert (Baton Rouge, La.) and John Dolan (Camarillo, Calif.) recorded a hit and two RBIs apiece to lead Team Red past Team Blue, 9-5, in the first game of the 2019 12U National Team Trials on Tuesday.  

Live updates throughout the game will be available via @USABaseball12U on Twitter and live stats via links on the 12U National Team's schedule page.

Notable Information
• Team Red took a 1-0 advantage in the three-game series with a 9-5 win over Blue on Tuesday. 
• The 36-man 12U National Team Trials roster was named on Monday, July 15, following the conclusion of the National Open in Santa Clarita California. The 36 players hail from 14 different states and Puerto Rico. 
• Eleven players on the trials roster were selected from the 2018 National Team Identification Series (NTIS), while 10 were chosen from the 11U Futures Invitational. Additionally, 15 players were selected from the 12U National Open, finalizing the 2019 12U Trials roster.
• Todd Fine returns as the manager of the 12U National Team for the second consecutive year and will be joined by Jason Sekany, RJ Farrell and Marc Wiese, who all return to the staff after helping Team USA to its first-ever gold medal at the COPABE U-12 Pan-American Championships in 2018. Sekany will lead the pitching staff, while Farrell and Wiese will serve as assistant coaches.
• The 12U National Team will be playing for a record fourth consecutive world championship after earning the IBAF "A" World Cup gold medal in 2013, followed by gold medals at the WBSC U-12 Baseball World Cup in 2015 and 2017.

On Deck
• July 18, Red vs. Blue (12 p.m. PT; Santa Clarita, Calif.; William S. Hart Pony Baseball and Softball Park)
• The final 18-man 12U National Team roster will be announced following the conclusion of the third intrasquad game on Thursday, July 18. 
• The 12U National Team will then play two exhibition games on Friday, July 19 and Saturday, July 20, before traveling to Tainan, Taiwan to compete in the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-12 Baseball World Cup.

 

Social
• Stay tuned to @USABaseball12U on Twitter and visit USABaseball.com for the most up-to-date news about the 12U National Team.

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CNT

Japan Blanks Collegiate National Team to Start Five-Game Series

July 16, 2019
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
USA 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 2
JPN 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 3 6 1
Win: Morishita (1-0) Loss: Meyer (1-2) Save: Itoh (1-0)
Box Score | Play-by-Play | Team USA Stats
 

MATSUYAMA, JAPAN - The 43rd USA vs. Japan Collegiate All-Star Series started Tuesday night with Japan shutting out the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team, 3-0, at Botchan Stadium. Japan opened a 1-0 lead in the five-game series. 

"(Japan) did a great job on the mound," said manager Dan McDonnell (Louisville). "They pitched to both sides of the plate and kept our hitters off balanced. Credit to their pitching staff."

The Collegiate National Team (6-4) was shut out for the first time this summer. Team USA had four hits and struck out 18 times, including nine punchouts by Japan ace Masato Morishita over five innings. 

"We'll play better tomorrow night," said McDonnell. 

Key Moments
• Japan started the scoring in the first inning with an RBI single by No. 3-hole hitter Shugo Maki.
• USA starter Max Meyer (Minnesota) made an error on a bunt in the third inning to plate Japan's second run.
• Heston Kjerstad (Arkansas) tripled to start the seventh inning, but was stranded after three straight strikeouts. 
• Japan's Takashi Umino singled through the left side with two outs in the seventh inning to make it 3-0.

Notable Information
• Overall 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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12U

USA Baseball Reveals 2019 12U National Team Trials Roster

12U National Team Trials will begin July 16 in Santa Clarita, California
July 15, 2019

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. - USA Baseball revealed the 36-man 2019 12U National Team Trials roster on Monday, following the conclusion of the 12U National Open in Santa Clarita, California.

The 2019 12U Trials will begin on Tuesday, July 16, at William S. Hart Pony Baseball and Softball Park in Santa Clarita, California, and the final national team roster will be announced on July 18. The 12U National Team will then travel to Tainan, Taiwan to compete in the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-12 Baseball World Cup.

"Our staff is thrilled to welcome these thirty-six young athletes to compete for a chance to play for Team USA," said 12U National Team Program Director Will Schworer. "Our task force has done a tremendous job at evaluating and selecting young men from every corner of the United States that bring an incredible amount of talent and a high-level of character to the USA Baseball program."

Eleven players on the national team trials roster were selected from the 2018 National Team Identification Series (NTIS), while 10 were chosen from the 11U Futures Invitational. Additionally, 15 players were selected from the 12U National Open on Monday, finalizing the 2019 12U Trials roster.

The 12U National Team will be playing for a record fourth consecutive world championship after earning the IBAF "A" World Cup gold medal in 2013, followed by gold medals at the WBSC U-12 Baseball World Cup in 2015 and 2017.

Todd Fine will return as the manager of the 12U National Team for the second consecutive year and will be joined by Jason Sekany, RJ Farrell and Marc Wiese, who all return to the staff after helping Team USA to its first-ever gold medal at the COPABE U-12 Pan-American Championships in 2018. Sekany will lead the pitching staff, while Farrell and Wiese will serve as assistant coaches.

For more information on the 12U National Team and the selection process, please visit USABaseball.com or follow along on Twitter at @USABaseball12U.

2019 12U National Team Trials roster:
Name; Position; Hometown; Identification Event (Team)
Dillon Adkins; LHP/OF; Mechanicsville, Md.; 12U National Open (Free)
Jack Armijo; LHP/1B; San Lorenzo, Calif.; 12U National Open (Eagles)
Thomas Brown; C/UTIL; Livermore, Calif.; 12U National Open (Patriots)
Anthony Del Angel; OF/IF; Rio Ranchero, N.M.; 2018 11U NTIS (Southwest)
Jesse Del Toro; RHP; Modesto, Calif.; 12U National Open (Stars)
John Dolan; C/RHP; Camarillo, Calif.; 12U National Open (Free)
Gavin Fien; SS/RHP; Temecula, Calif.; 11U Futures Invitational (MVP Hustle)
Hamilton Friedberg; SS/RHP; Redondo Beach, Calif.; 11U Futures Invitational (MVP Hustle)
Brayden Gutierrez; C/RHP; Bakersfield, Calif.; 12U National Open (United)
Josiah Hartshorn; OF/LHP; Anaheim, Calif.; 11U Futures Invitational (Top Tier Americans)
Rashad Hayes; OF; Oakland, Calif.; 12U National Open (Eagles)
Gavin Hottle; IF/RHP; Irvine, Calif.; 2018 11U NTIS (Southwest)
Bryant James; IF/RHP; Herndon, Va.; 2018 11U NTIS (Capital)
Brenden Lewis; 2B/RHP; Santee, Calif.; 11U Futures Invitational (San Diego Show)
Jaiden Lo Re; C/UTIL; Phoenix, Ariz.; 12U National Open (United)
Jack McKernan; OF/LHP; Missouri City, Texas; 11U Futures Invitational (Twelve Baseball)
Elijah McNeal; IF; Dublin, Calif.; 2018 11U NTIS (Mountain West)
Luis Mejia; IF/OF; Phoenix, Ariz.; 2018 11U NTIS (Southwest)
Gustavo Melendez; SS/UTIL; Cayey, P.R.; 11U Futures Invitational (I AM Baseball)
Alexander Mercurius; RHP; Las Vegas, Nev.; 12U National Open (United)
Noah Meza; OF; Chino Hills, Calif.; 12U National Open (Eagles)
Bryce Nixon; INF; Huffman, Texas; 12U National Open (Pride)
Henry Pancoast; UTIL/RHP; Hainesport, N.J.; 11U Futures Invitational (I AM Baseball)
Kalub Ramirez; UTIL/RHP; Hereford, Texas.; 11U Futures Invitational (Banditos Black)
Owen Robinson; LHP/IF; Greensboro, N.C.; 2018 11U NTIS (Capital)
Isaac Rojas; RHP/OF; Riverside, Calif.; 12U National Open (Eagles)
Jack Ruckert; OF/1B; Baton Rouge, La.; 12U National Open (Stripes)
C. J. Sampson; RHP/IF; Magnolia, Texas.; 2018 11U NTIS (South Texas)
Kruz Schoolcraft; IF/LHP; Aloha, Ore.; 2018 11U NTIS (Northwest)
Sebastian Segura; INF/UTIL; Spring, Texas; 12U National Open (Stars)
Logan Shields; RHP/1B; Manvel, Texas; 12U National Open (Stripes)
Jayden Stroman; IF/RHP; Medford, N.Y.; 2018 11U NTIS (North Atlantic)
Titan Targac; LHP/1B; Flatonia, Texas; 11U Futures Invitational (Banditos Black)
Lucas Tinajero; SS/RHP; Corpus Christi, Texas; 11U Futures Invitational (Banditos Black)
Eli Willits; IF/RHP; Fort Cobb, Okla.; 2018 11U NTIS (Midwest)
Miles Young; IF; Cypress, Texas; 2018 11U NTIS (North Texas)

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CNT

43rd USA vs. Japan Collegiate All-Star Series Begins Tuesday

July 14, 2019
GAME Collegiate National Team at Japan
TIME Tuesday, 5 a.m. ET
LOCATION Matsuyama, Japan (Botchan Stadium)
USA: RHP Meyer (1-1)
JPN: TBA

Live Stats | USA Team Stats | Japan Team Info

MATSUYAMA, JAPAN - The USA Baseball Collegiate National Team arrived Sunday to Japan for the 43rd USA vs. Japan Collegiate All-Star Series. Team USA holds a 24-18 advantage in the series, although Japan has won 17 of 20 series in its home country and 15 straight series in Japan over the last 40 years. 

Team USA has won six of its first nine games in 2019, including series wins over Cuba (4-1) and Chinese Taipei (2-1). The team practiced Saturday in Taiwan, traveled Sunday to Japan and plans to practice Monday in preparation for its biggest series of the summer. 

The Collegiate National Team has had a balanced start, hitting .331 as a team for 6.8 runs per game with a 2.68 team ERA and .991 fielding percentage. Heston Kjerstad leads the hitters with a .542/.556/.792 slash line and nine pitchers have an ERA under 2.00.

All five games will be televised nationally in Japan. It is unknown whether a video feed will be available in the United States. Team USA will provide updates via @USABaseballCNT on Twitter and live stats via links on the Collegiate National Team's schedule page.

Notable Information
• Overall 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
• All-Star series games: Collegiate National Team leads, 131-104-2
• Overall games: Collegiate National Team leads, 154-123-2
• 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 16 vs. Japan (5 a.m. ET; Matsuyama, Japan; Botchan Stadium)
• 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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Cups

East Coast Clippers Win 14U Cup Bronze After Defeating NW Elite 8-2

Effective pitching and a 12-hit game were the difference in Sunday's third place game
July 14, 2019

CARY, N.C. - East Coast Clippers were efficient on the mound and on offense to win the 14U Cup bronze medal after defeating NW Elite 8-2 on Sunday at the National Training Complex in Cary, N.C. 

East Coast Clippers' Ryan Hench got his team on the board first with a bases-clearing RBI-double in the bottom of the first. After a scoreless second inning, NW Elite's Dane Brubaker hit a sacrifice-fly to bring his team within one run. East Coast Clippers' Hench hit his second RBI-double of the game in the bottom of the third to give his team a two-run cushion. 

After advancing to third on a wild pitch, East Coast Clippers' Stephen Lamb was able to cross the plate on a ground out hit by Jackson Berini. NW Elite's Samuel Shaw cut the deficit to three when he hit a sacrifice-fly to center field. In the bottom of the sixth, East Coast Clippers scored three runs to seal the victory and win the bronze medal.

East Coast Clippers had a 12-hit game led by Garnder who had two hits and two RBIs and Hench who recorded two hits and three RBIs. Cayden Goodwin pitched five innings for East Coast Clippers and complied five strikeouts.

Cayden Goodwin earned the win for East Coast Clippers. Max Clark suffered the loss for NW Elite.

East Coast Clippers finished the tournament with a 4-1 record. NW finished with a 3-2 record.

Key Moments

• With the bases loaded, Ryan Hench doubled on a line drive to center field to drive in the first three runs of the ballgame and give East Coast Clippers the 3-0 lead.
• NW Elite scored their first run of the game when Dane Brubaker hit a sacrifice-fly to center field that brought home Jay Mentink.
• Ryan Hench doubled on a line drive to left field that brought home Keith Gardner to make the score 4-1 in favor of East Coast Clippers.
• In the bottom of the fourth, Jackson Berini grounded out to shortstop which allowed Stephen Lamb to score and make the game 5-1.
• In the top of the fifth, NW Elite's Samuel Shaw hit a sacrifice-fly to center field, scoring Charles Goldthwait.
• East Coast Clippers' scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth when Jaxon Lucas singled on a hard ground ball to left field and Gardner doubled on a line drive to center field, making the score 8-2.
• Cayden Goodwin pitched five innings and recorded five strikeouts for East Coast Clippers.

 

Social
• Stay tuned to @USABEvents on Twitter and visit USABaseball.com for the most up-to-date news about the 14U Cups.

 

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Cups

Rawlings Prospects Defeat Canes Barbour 3-1 to Claim 14U Cup Gold

Seth Wilkinson turned in a one run, complete game performance to secure the victory
July 14, 2019
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Rawlings Prospects 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 3 3 2
Canes Barbour 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 7 1
Win: Wilkinson  Loss: Brown  Save: None
Box Score | Play-by-Play
 

CARY, N.C. - Rawlings Prospects utilized a strong start from Seth Wilkinson to defeat Canes Barbour 3-1 and secure their spot as the 2019 USA Baseball 14U Cup champions Sunday afternoon at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina.

Rawlings Prospects recorded just three hits on the day but made the most of them. Joshua Potter drew a walk with the bases loaded to get Rawlings Prospects on the board and tie the game at one in the fourth inning and Dylan Mason hit an RBI triple to drive in their second run and put them up 2-1. Nathan Galloway scored on a wild pitch in the fifth to add an insurance run and put Rawlings Prospects out to a 3-1 lead.

On the mound, Wilkinson was the only pitcher Rawlings Prospects needed. He tossed a complete game while allowing just seven hits and one unearned run, striking out one in the process. Wilkinson (1-0) earned the win in the championship matchup while Luke Brown was the losing pitcher (0-1).

Rawlings Prospects finished 4-1 at the 2019 14U Cup while Canes Barbour finished 3-2.

Key Moments
• Garrett Roark singled up the middle in the second inning to drive in Tyler White and give Canes Barbour the early 1-0 lead.
• Joshua Potter drew a walk with the bases loaded to get Rawlings Prospects on the board and tie the game at one in the fourth inning.
• The Rawlings Prospects jumped out to a 2-1 lead in the top of the fifth after Dylan Mason hit an RBI triple to the center field wall, driving in Blake Faulkner, who had reached base via a double two batters earlier.
• With runners on the corners and two away, Canes Barbour starting pitcher Colin Kimball picked off the runner at first to end the inning and prevent Rawlings Prospects from adding to their lead.
• Canes Barbour threatened in the top of the fifth inning with a runner on third, but Rawlings Prospects pitcher Seth Wilkinson escaped the jam unscathed to hold on to the 2-1 lead.
• Nathan Galloway led off the top of the fifth with a base on balls and came around to score on a wild pitch, extending the Rawlings Prospects lead to 3-1.

Up Next
The 2019 16U Cup will be held next weekend at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina. The first game action will kick off on Friday, July 19.

Social
Stay tuned to @USABEvents on Twitter and visit USABaseball.com for the most up-to-date news about the 2019 Cups.

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Cups

An Early Lead Propels Tri State Arsenal To 8-6 Win Over Rawlings Prospects

Both teams are now 1-1 in the 14U Cups
July 13, 2019

CARY, N.C. - Tri State Arsenal used an early six-run lead to defeat Rawlings Prospects 8-6 on Saturday at the National Training Complex in Cary, N.C. 

Tri State Arsenal started the first inning off with a two-run RBI-single from Casey Culberth. After a scoreless second inning, Tri State Arsenal added to their lead with an RBI-single from Culberth and Jackson Kuhn. Later in the third, Blake Freeman hit an RBI-double that drove in two more runs.

After being held scoreless through four innings, Rawlings Prospects fought back in the top of the fifth thanks to a bases clearing RBI-double from Dylan Laws to bring his team within three. Rawlings Prospects kept the momentum in the top of the sixth with a pair of RBI-singles from Noah Joyner and Joshua Potter to then cut the lead to one. 

Tri State would respond in the bottom of the sixth after Cooper Clark hit an RBI-double that allowed Alex Hatcher to cross the plate and increase the lead by two. Joseph Taylor scored the final run of the game for Tri State Arsenal after an he reached on an error that allowed Clark to score. Rawlings Prospects fought back and scored a run in the top of the seventh, but it would be their last.

Casey Culberth went 3-for-3 on the day for Tri State Arsenal with three RBIs. Joseph Taylor earned the win for Tri State Arsenal after 4.2 innings pitched and five strikeouts. Chase Arrington suffered the loss for Rawlings Prospects.

Tri State Arsenal are now 1-1 and are set to take on NCDB Rivercats on Saturday at 5:00 pm ET. Rawlings Prospects fell to 1-1 and will play Huguenot Huskies at 5:00 pm ET on Saturday.

Key Moments

• Casey Culberth hit an RBI-single for Tri State Arsenal which plated two runs in the bottom of the first.
• Culberth and Jackson Kuhn hit RBI-singles in the bottom of the third to increase Tri-State Arsenal's lead to four. 
• Tri-State Arsenal's Blake Freeman finished off the third inning with a two-run RBI-double to make the score 6-0.
• Rawlings Prospects' center fielder Dylan Mason made a diving catch to save a run in the top of the fifth. 
• Rawlings Prospects' Dylan Laws doubled to deep center field in the top of the fifth that scored three runs and cut the deficit to three.
• Noah Joyner ripped an RBI-single to left field for Rawlings Prospects to score a run and make the score 6-4.
• In the following at bat, Joshua Potter hit an RBI-single to right.
• Tri State Arsenal added to their lead in the bottom of the sixth after Cooper Clark hit a hard grounder to short stop that brought home Alex Hatcher.
• In the next at-bat, Clark crossed the plate after an errand throw to home, making the score 8-5.
• Rawlings Prospects' Laws reached home after a wild pitch to score the final run of the game, making the final score 8-6.

Social
• Stay tuned to @USABEvents on Twitter and visit USABaseball.com for the most up-to-date news about the 14U Cups.

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