GSA Spotlight: Hunter Bishop

March 21, 2019

No player in college baseball has made a bigger leap forward from last year to this year than Arizona State junior outfielder Hunter Bishop. Through 19 games, he ranks third in the nation in OPS (1.535), which is more than double the OPS he finished with last year (.759). He's hitting .438/.549/.986 with 10 home runs in 73 at-bats, matching his career long ball total in 293 at-bats over his first two seasons. He's 8-for-8 in stolen bases, matching his career total entering the season in that category too.

In short, Bishop is a bona fide star for a 19-0 Arizona State club, the nation's last remaining unbeaten team. And while his rise to stardom has been dramatic, it certainly hasn't come out of nowhere. He's tantalized with his enormous raw tools since he set foot on campus; it's just taken him a little longer to harness those tools because of his multi-sport background and limited baseball experience in high school.

Bishop said he didn't start playing baseball "seriously" until his sophomore year of high school. His first love was football, and he originally committed to play wide receiver for Washington, where his older brother Braden played baseball from 2013-15. Braden, a third-round pick by the Mariners in 2015 who just earned a trip to Japan for the big league team's season-opener, was supportive of Hunter's football ambitions, but he also encouraged Hunter to give baseball a chance too.

"Braden was instrumental in all parts of my career … He's my hero, he's my role model, and I try to model every part of my game after him. Because he plays the game super hard and works harder than anybody I've ever met," Hunter Bishop said. "I loved baseball in high school, but I didn't really see what everybody else saw in terms of how I played the game, and what I brought to the game, because I still had no idea, honestly. So he was really important in telling me, 'Hunt, you've just got to stick with it, baseball's super hard, keep working at it, keep working hard, and everything else will take care of itself.' I put a lot of trust into him, and it's paying off."

Arizona State coach Tracy Smith has always targeted big, strong-bodied athletes on the recruiting trail, dating back to his days at Indiana, where he famously coached future big leaguers Kyle Schwarber and Sam Travis. The 6-foot-4 Bishop was exactly the kind of projectable talent Smith covets, so it should be no surprise that Bishop's raw tools caught his eye at the Area Code Games, even though he didn't play a lot there. At that time, Bishop was already committed to play football at Washington, but Smith had a relationship with Bishop's father Randy, so he placed a call just in case.

"At the time, my son was going through the football recruiting process, and he had changed his mind a couple different times through that process," Smith said. "I remember picking up the phone one time, because I liked his dad, I said, 'Hey here's the deal, he's going to play football, that's awesome, my son's football, whatever. But here's the thing, I think your son's going to be a really good baseball player, if he ever chooses that. There's some question on the NFL thing, but I guarantee you he's going to be a professional baseball player. If he ever changes his mind, do not be embarrassed to pick up the phone and call me.'

"Something told me to put that call in just to tell him that, like, 'Hey man, don't be embarrassed.' About two or three weeks passed, and all of a sudden I get this call from his dad saying, 'You know, a few other people have said he might be a baseball player, he'd like to go look at Arizona State.' Because it was so late, we didn't have a letter of intent to him through the draft, so we had to actually physically wait until after the draft, and he turned down a lot of money with no letter of intent in hand, and I'll always be grateful to that family for that."

Doing It '4Mom'

Another factor that played into Bishop's decision to turn down pro baseball was the health of his mother, Suzy, who was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's when Hunter was in high school. Smith thinks Hunter was drawn to the idea of going to college and having a safety net to help support him during that ordeal.

Naturally, Suzy's condition helped shape Hunter as a person and a baseball player.

"It made me grow up really, really fast, because the last four or five years I haven't really had a life with a mom. She's still there but it's not who my mom was growing up," Hunter said. "It's been really hard, but my family is super supportive of me and everything I've done in my baseball career and my personal life. So I'm really thankful for the people I have in my life. But as a baseball player, last year was a super hard year for the team and for me, but it just made me realize how small baseball really is in comparison with the bigger picture, with my family and what my mom's going through. So it really put everything in perspective and allowed me to realize baseball's just a game. I obviously love playing it, I love my teammates, but at the end of the day family's the most important thing to me."

Hunter and Braden decided to try to make something positive out of a difficult situation. They started an organization called 4MOM to raise money for Alzheimer's research; Hunter said Braden was the pioneer, using his platform in pro ball to take the lead on the effort, but Hunter plans to get more involved once his pro career gets underway. They worked together to plan a recent 4MOM event at Top Golf in Glendale, which drew a great turnout from pro players and Hunter's Arizona State teammates.

"Obviously it's a really bad situation, but whatever way we can turn it positive is huge for us," Hunter said.

Hunter said Suzy is struggling with the disease but hanging in there. He went home just before this season started to see her, and he said it was "pretty special to see her still smile through it all."

"So it definitely gave me a really good perspective to be able to go home right before the season and reflect on everything that I've been through," he said, "and just say, 'You know what? Go out and have fun this year, because it can be taken away from you in one second.'"

Learning To Stay The Course

That sense of perspective is rare for a college junior, and it has played an integral part in Bishop's maturation as a player. Another key part of Bishop's emergence has been his commitment to a consistent approach at the plate.

Smith said in his first two years, Bishop would tinker with his stance or his swing just about every two weeks - "probably against our wishes," Smith said.

"We got to a point where we said, 'Hey man, we're going to do this, or we're not going to do it at all,'" Smith said. "I just think it's that wanting to do well - here's a guy who hadn't played a ton of baseball. He's a great kid, so probably listening to too many people or trying to please too many people. I think once he finally put the arms up and said, 'OK man, I'm yours,' with our hitting guy Mike Earley, it's been really good. And he's had success doing it, which helps buy-in too."

Bishop agreed that simplifying his approach and sticking with it has been crucial to his success. He said he had a tendency to get jumpy on his back side and fly open his first two years, and he would chase pitches in the dirt, or foul off pitches he should be hitting.

"So the biggest thing me and Coach Earley tried to work on was how can I get myself into a consistent hitting position over my back side? So I start pretty tall now, and I just kind of sink into the back side, instead of doing some big leg kick or something that's too much, or could get me not in that consistent position," Bishop said. "So for me it's just simplifying everything and staying over that back side with a slow and smooth load. The smoother I am, the slower I am, the more I can see the ball, and when I can see the ball, I feel as if I can hit it more consistently and hit it hard."

Bishop said he saw glimpses of his emerging power last summer in the Cape Cod League, where he hit four home runs but hit just .233, striking out 45 times in 120 at-bats. But he really took off when he returned to campus in the fall, and he's been a force of nature ever since. Smith estimated that Bishop has probably hit 30 to 35 home runs since the fall in scrimmages and games, counting the 10 he has already this spring.

"In the fall I really started to see the jump in the home runs, and it kind of surprised me," Bishop said. "I knew I had the power, but it just kind of surprised me how many and how consistently I was hitting them in the fall. I think now I'd attribute a lot to Spencer (Torkelson), they're worried so much about him hitting a home run that I think they're already tired when they get to me, and they just throw it down the middle. So I attribute a lot of my success to him and guys like Carter (Aldrete), they do a great job protecting me in the lineup."

Bishop's dramatically improved plate discipline has also contributed to the power spike. After posting a 33-94 strikeout-walk mark in his first two seasons combined, Bishop has 15 walks and just 11 strikeouts so far this spring. And he's continued to improve as a defender in center field, where his plus speed helps him cover plenty of ground, and his first step has continued to improve. He said the coaches have emphasized over the years that even if you can't make a play on offense, go out and make a big play on defense - and Bishop has taken that to heart. "And I like to think of myself as a pretty good defender now," he said. "I take a lot of pride in it as well."

Bishop's only tool that doesn't project as at least above-average is his arm, which is fringe-average but very playable. But his loudest tool is his raw power, which draws double-plus grades from some scouts. Smith said he sometimes hears scouts question Bishop's long-term track record, but he finds that baffling.

"I think it's just funny, I've been thinking a lot about this, I hear guys talk about it. As always, you try to pick apart what he doesn't do - 'Oh he doesn't have any history, this and that.' I'm sitting here saying, 'I dunno, I've coached some pretty darn good players in my career. This guy's a freak, physically,'" Smith said. "He hits balls as far as anybody I've ever coached, he runs as fast as anybody I've ever coached. So not having history? To me that's a plus. Look at the jumps that he's made, to me it's the tip of the iceberg. There aren't people I've seen out there in college baseball doing what he's doing, not many of them, quite frankly in the last 10 years. His bat speed, it's ridiculous. He's in the same breath as Schwarber and Travis, but faster. I think he has the ability to play center field in the big leagues with that power. That's rare, I think."

Indeed, Bishop is a rare talent, with rare life experience and makeup. And by the time his special season at ASU comes to a close, he might find himself as a first-round pick and a leading contender for the Golden Spikes Award.

Not that Bishop is filling his head with such notions. He's just enjoying the ride with a tightknit group of Sun Devils.

"Our motto this year is 'for us'. How can we make everything for us, just our team, that's it. No one else, no outsiders, just us," he said. "How can we make this year special for this group? I think it's showing, right? Nineteen wins in a row is tough to do in any conference, any games.

"If you would have told me this before the season, I don't know if I would have believed 19-0, but to be honest before the season I knew the group we had was special compared to the years before. So I just think you could see it in the fall from the roster growing up a little bit and taking a more mature approach to the game, and it's really special to see."

Bishop's maturation has been awfully special to see, too. is your online home for college baseball scores, schedules, standings, statistics, analysis, features, podcasts and prospect coverage.
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Mace Has Opportunity with Team USA - Florida Gators

June 26, 2019

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Florida sophomore Tommy Macehas a rare opportunity this summer.

On Wednesday, Mace will travel to Cary, North Carolina, to take part in the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team Training Camp, which runs from June 27 to July 1.

Mace was the lone constant in the Gators' rotation in 2019, posting an 8-5 record in a team high 16 starts. In week five, he took over Florida's Friday night starter. On the season, Mace led the team with 89.2 innings pitched and 74 strikeouts.

In two years at Florida, Mace has a 13-5 record in 42 appearances (22 starts) with a 4.84 earned run average.

The USA Baseball Collegiate National Team participants will compete in series of four intrasquad exhibition games and one contest against the Coastal Plain League Select before announcing a 26-man roster prior to the 8th USA vs. Cuba International Friendship Series that will take place July 2-6 in Cary, Charlotte, Durham and Hickory, North Carolina.

If selected to the 26-man roster, Mace will become the 19th Florida player to join the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team. The last time a UF player participated was 2016, when Alex Faedo, Dalton Guthrie and Mike Rivera played for Team USA.

Team USA's 26-man roster will travel to Taiwan for the 19th USA vs. Chinese Taipei International Friendship Series after which USA Baseball will announce a final 24-man roster to compete in the 43rd USA vs. Japan Collegiate All-Star Series from July 16-21 in Japan.

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Nat'l Team Champs

Taurek Named Player, Egan Named Pitcher of the Day for June 24

June 25, 2019

PHOENIX - On day one of seeded action at the 2019 USA Baseball 15U National Team Championships in Arizona, Aiden Taurek and Owen Egan have been named Player and Pitcher of the Day, respectively, for their performances today.

Taurek got on base every single time he stepped into the box, going 4-for-4 and just a home run away from the cycle. Taurek notched a single, two doubles and a triple in his squad's 7-1 win over MountainWest while also knocking in four of the seven runs the So Cal Birds White scored in the victory. With today's win, the Birds total a 3-1 record through action so far.

Egan tossed a complete game no-hitter on the bump today, keeping all but one base runner off the path from BPA. He tossed five innings of no-hit ball to dominate BPA to the tune of a 9-0 run-rule win, striking out five while walking just one better. The win brings the GBG Renegades to a 3-1 record as well.

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Sun Devil Baseball's Williams Invited To USA Collegiate National Team Training Camp

June 25, 2019

PHOENIX - Sun Devil Baseball's Alika WIlliams will join ASU teammate Spencer Torkelson in donning the Red, White and Blue this summer as he has been selected to represent the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team this summer, where he will take part in the 2019 National Team Training Camp in an effort to earn a spot on the final Team USA roster that will compete in three international friendlies in the coming months.

Williams put up impressive numbers in a breakout sophomore campaign, embracing his role as a cleanup hitter an honorable mention nod on the Pac-12 All-Conference team while also earning a spot on the league's All-Defensive roster.  Williams finished with a .333 batting average with 53 RBIs - easily a career high in the category. He had just 20 total RBIs last season.

When he did get RBIs, he tended to get a lot of them as he logged 16 multi-RBI games this season and while finishing second on the team with nine games with three or more RBIs. Williams homered four times this year and recorded 12 doubles and three triples. He slugged .474 on the season - nearly 150 points higher than his freshman total of .333. With 19 extra-base hits on the year, he easily far surpassed his freshman total of nine.

The sophomore was incredible when falling behind in counts this season, posting a .409 average (18-of-44) when facing 1-2 counts. Of his 71 hits on the year, 41 came while trailing in the count and 20 of his 53 RBIs (.377) came when falling behind in counts.

He was 37-of-105 (.352) on two-strike hitting on the year - striking out a team-low 28 times while walking 33 times, making him the only player on the team with more walks than strikeouts. The sophomore was incredible at advancing baserunners this season, second on the team with a .593 advance percentage with 73 advancements on 123 opportunities.

Defensively, Williams finished second in the Pac-12 with 149 defensive assists this season. He  helped turn 36 double plays this season, which was good for fourth overall in the Pac-12 and first among non-first basemen. He finished with an impressive .967 fielding percentage on the year. He was named a member of the Pac-12 All-Defensive team as a result of his prowess on that side of the ball.

Williams joins an illustrious list of Sun Devils to represent their country over the years, including Floyd Bannister (1975), Bob Horner (1976), Kevin Romine (1981), Oddibe McDowell (1984), Dustin Pedroia (2002 and 2003) and current MLB players Mike Leake (2008), Deven Marrero (2011) and Trevor Williams (2012). 

He will join up with sophomore teammate Spencer Torkelson on the Team USA roster this season, with Torkelson being named to the squad earlier this season. This will mark the first time a pair of teammates have been a part of the Collegiate National Team since Deven Marrero and Brady Rodgers paired up in 2011. 

In total, 35 Sun Devils have been selected a total 39 times to represent the United States with Torkelson and Williams' additions this summer. Only USC and Stanford have more all-time selections than ASU.

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Nat'l Team Champs

NW Futures 2022 Scout Team Defeats Adidas Baseball National Team, 7-3

NW goes undefeated in pool play action with the victory
June 25, 2019
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
ABNT 0 1 0 0 0 2 0 3 5 3
NWF 0 0 1 2 3 1 x 7 7 3
Win: Z. Hauser Loss: A. Johnson Save: None
Box Score | Play-by-Play

PEORIA, Ariz - NW Futures 2022 Scout Team finished pool play in the 15U portion of the National Team Championships in Arizona with a 7-3 victory over Adidas Baseball National Team Tuesday in Peoria, Arizona. 

Adidas struck first in the second inning when an error helped Cade Climie score. He reached base with a line drive double to third. In the bottom of the third, Camden Christenson tied the game for NW Futures with a single on a 1-0 count to push Cole Hubka across. 

NW Futures pulled away in the next inning when Josh Baldwin doubled and Joe Ritz singled to score Matthew Sauve and Baldwin, respectively. NW Futures solidified the win with three runs tallied in the fifth. The rally was led by a sac fly by Uurlandt and a double by Suave. 

Adidas made a run in the sixth, putting two runs on the board. A single by Wilson Woodcox scored Climie and Justin Vossos before NW brought the inning to a close with a 6-4-3 double play. 

Adam Johnson took the loss for Adidas. He lasted two and two-thirds innings, allowing one hit and no runs while striking out two.

Zach Hauser was the winning pitcher for NW Futures. He went three and two-thirds innings, allowing one run on two hits, striking out one and walking one. Hockert and Nicholas Holm entered the game out of the bullpen and helped to close out the game in relief. 

NW Futures went undefeated in pool play and awaits seeding for bracket action that begins Thursday, June 27. Adidas (3-1) will also wait for seeding to determine if the team qualified for bracket play. 

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16U Champs
Nat'l Team Champs

Peck, Baumeister Named Final Player, Pitcher of the Day for 16U

June 25, 2019

Jupiter, Fla. - Second baseman Owen Peck of Dallas Tigers 2022 - Polk has been named the Player of the Day for the final day of the 16U tournament at the National Team Championships in Florida. During the semifinal game against FTB55 2021, Peck went 3-for-3, with a double, three runs, two walks and two stolen bases to help his team secure a 10-6 win.

The Pitcher of the Day title goes to 5 Star National Burress's Jackson Baumeister. Baumeister tossed for no runs on one hit and five strikeouts in their four-inning win against Bandito Scout to advance to the championship game.

Honorable Mentions

- DH Aiden Mastantuno (5 Star National Burress): 1-for-2, 3B, BB, R, 2 RBI

- SS Dylan Taylor (5 Star National Burress): 3-for-3, 3B, BB, 2 R, RBI

- C Walker Polk (Dallas Tigers 2022 - Polk): 1-for-3, HR, R, 4 RBI, BB, SB

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16U Champs
Nat'l Team Champs

5 Star National Burress Wins Gold Medal at 16U National Team Championships in Florida

June 25, 2019
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
5STR 0 1 4 1 1 0 0 7 7 1
DLST 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 3 9 0
Win: D. Haines Loss: J. Thomas Save: None
Box Score | Play-by-Play

Jupiter, Fla. - 5 Star National Burress took down undefeated Dallas Tigers 2022 - Polk, 7-3, early Tuesday afternoon to win the 16U gold medal at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium at the National Team Championships in Florida.

5 Star struck first in the game, putting one run on the board in the top of the second inning. A leadoff walk, single and fielder's choice loaded the bases for 5 Star and a sacrifice fly from Wyatt Campbell (0-for-2) brought Ethan Campbell (0-for-1) in to score.

Dallas Tigers responded in the bottom of the inning to tie the game at one, with Trenton Shaw (1-for-4) scoring off a wild pitch after moving to third thanks to a pair of walks and a sacrifice bunt.

The third inning brought four runs home for 5 Star to take a 5-1 lead. A leadoff double from Coleman Rowan (2-for-3) put him in scoring position and single from Devin Obee (1-for-3) allowed Rowan to score the first of the four. Next up, Aiden Mastantuno (1-for-2) hit a triple to right field and brought Dylan Taylor (1-for-3) and Obee in. Mastantuno scored off a sacrifice fly from Ethan Campbell.

The top of the fourth and fifth innings brought a run each for 5 Star. Branson Owens (0-for-2) scored on a single from Rowan in the fourth inning after drawing a walk and Tyler Christmas (0-for-1) added a run to take a 7-1 lead on a single from Treyson Hughes (2-for-3) in the fifth.

Dallas Tigers had two more runs of their own in the fifth and sixth innings. A pair of singles and an error allowed Owen Peck (1-for-3) to score in the bottom of the fifth inning after he reached on a single to second base. Peck came home again in the sixth, drawing a two-out walk and scoring off a triple from Tyler Collins (2-for-4) to right field.

Dillion Haines (1-0) secured the championship win for 5 Star National Burress with two runs on seven hits and one strikeout during five of the seven innings. The loss for Dallas Tigers 2022 - Polk went to Jared Thomas (0-1), who threw for five runs on four hits and struck out two batters in 2.1 innings on the mound.

5 Star National Burress ended the National Team Championships in Florida with an 8-1 record overall and Dallas Tigers 2022 - Polk took home a 7-1 record with their silver medals.

The bronze medal game between FTB55 2021 and Bandito Scout ended in forfeit by FTB55 and Bandito Scout being named the bronze medal winners.

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Loftin Invited to 2019 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team Training Camp

June 25, 2019

WACO, Texas - Rising junior shortstop Nick Loftin has officially accepted an invitation to the 2019 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team training camp, it was announced by USA Baseball. 

The talented shortstop becomes the 10thBear in program history to be associated with one of the USA Baseball National Teams and for the first time since 1997-1998 the Bears have back-to-back seasons with participants on the collegiate national team after Shane Langeliers and Cody Bradford participated in 2018. 

"It's a special feeling when you get to put on the Red, White and Blue and play for your country. I couldn't be more thankful for this opportunity," said Loftin. 

In 2019, Loftin started all 53 games he appeared in on the season at shortstop, slashing .323/.380/.502 in his sophomore campaign. His 41 RBIs were third-best on the team, and he tied for the team lead with 76 total hits on the year. Loftin was a First Team All-Big 12 selection for the first time in his career, finishing the regular season batting .332 with 38 RBIs, six home runs, two triples and 16 doubles on a team-high 69 hits. The Corpus Christi, native, also excelled in the classroom, as he was a Second Team Academic All-Big 12 selection. In 2018 as a true freshman, he played in 55 games, making 53 starts at shortstop and in left field. He earned Freshman All-America honors by Collegiate Baseball and Baseball America, was a unanimous Big 12 All-Freshman Team selection and a 2018 Second Team All-Big 12 honoree. 

Loftin currently is playing in the prestigious Cape Cod League for the Hyannis Harbor Hawks, batting .273 (6-for-22) through five games played, with two doubles and one RBI. 

The USA Baseball Collegiate National Team will participate in series of four intrasquad exhibition games and a game against the Coastal Plain League Select before announcing a 26-man roster prior to the 8th USA vs. Cuba International Friendship Series that will take place July 2-6 in Cary, Charlotte, Durham and Hickory, North Carolina. Team USA's 26-man roster will then travel to Taiwan for the 19th USA vs. Chinese Taipei International Friendship Series after which USA Baseball will announce a final 24-man roster to compete in the 43rd USA vs. Japan Collegiate All-Star Series from July 16-21 in Japan. 

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16U Champs
Nat'l Team Champs

Dallas Tigers 2022 - Polk, 5 Star National Burress Advance to Championship Game

June 25, 2019

Jupiter, Fla. - FTB55 2021 6, Dallas Tigers 2022 - Polk 10

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
FTB 4 1 1 0 0 0 X 6 4 1
DLST 3 4 3 0 0 0 X 10 13 4
Win: B. Gay Loss: M. Quevedo Save: None
Box Score | Play-by-Play

No. 1 Dallas Tigers 2022 - Polk defeated No. 5 FTB55 2021 10-2 during Tuesday morning's semifinal round at the National Team Championships in Florida.

FTB55 started strong in the top of the first inning with a leadoff home run by Edwin Arroyo (1-for-4). A pair of hits-by-pitch and pair of errors brought Sean Ambrose (1-for-1) home then a single from Ty Hollandsworth (1-for-2) brought both Gregorio Campos (0-for-1) and Brady Garcia (0-for-0) in to take an early 4-0 lead.

Dallas responded with three runs of their own in the bottom of the inning, bringing Owen Peck (3-for-3), Tyler Collins (3-for-4) and Jayson Jones (1-for-2) across home plate to cut FTB55's lead to one.

From there, FTB55 scored two more runs, one each coming in the second and third innings. A pair of walks and a single put James Carraher (0-for-1) at third and allowed him to score on a fielder's choice from Jaime Ferrer (0-for-3) in the second inning. The sixth run came from Hollandsworth after he made his way around the bases off a walk, error and sacrifice bunt. FTB55 stayed away from home plate the rest of the morning.

Dallas Tigers took a 7-5 lead in the bottom of the second inning when Walker Polk (1-for-3) hit a three-run home run to score himself, Jones and Jordan Lawler (1-for-2) after Peck scored on a single from Lawler.

The final three Dallas Tigers runs scored in the third inning. Two singles and a walk loaded the bases for Dallas with no one out. Two more walks and a fielder's choice scored Tommy Delaney (1-for-3), Caleb Bergman (1-for-4) and Peck to secure a 10-6 lead.

Brooks Gay (1-0) got the win for Dallas Tigers 2022 - Polk, throwing for six runs on four hits and four strikeouts during 4.2 innings on the mound. FTB55 2021's Michael Quevedo (0-1) was tagged with the loss for his one inning on the mound, with five runs on six hits and one strikeout.

5 Star National Burress 14, Bandito Scout 0

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
5STR 0 11 1 2 X X X 14 13 1
BNDT 0 0 0 0 X X X 0 1 1
Win: J. Baumeister Loss: C. Howard Save: None
Box Score | Play-by-Play

No. 7 5 Star National Burress clinched a spot in the championship game after a four-inning matchup with No. 6 Bandito Scout.

After a scoreless first inning, 5 Star came out swinging and didn't let up through the top of the second inning. A leadoff walk and two singles brought Treyson Hughes (1-for-1) home to score first with no one out. Branson Owens (1-for-2), Jackson Mayo (1-for-2) and Coleman Rowan (2-for-3) all scored next off of two doubles in a row to put 5 Star up 4-0.

A pair of walks and a third double scored Tyler Christmas (1-for-3) and Dylan Taylor (3-for-3) next. An error, triple and single brought in Devin Obee (1-for-1), Aiden Mastantuno (1-for-3) and Ethan Campbell (1-for-3) to increase 5 Star's lead to 9-0. The final two runs brought Hughes and Owens home from a pair of walks and a single.

5 Star sprinkled three more runs over the next two innings. In the top of the third, Taylor hit a triple and scored on a single from Obee to go up 12-0. A pair of singles from Taylor and Hodges scored Campbell and Christmas in the top of the fourth inning to secure the 14-0 mercy-rule win.

5 Star National Burress's Jackson Baumeister (1-0) snagged the win for throwing for no runs on one hit and striking out five batters through all four innings on the mound. Cody Howard (0-1) got the loss with nine runs on seven hits and two strikeouts in his 1.1 innings.

5 Star National Burress advanced to face Dallas Tigers 2022 - Polk in the championship game at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium later Tuesday morning.

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Colton Cowser Earns Team USA Invite

June 25, 2019

CARY, N.C. - Freshman all-American and Southland Conference Hitter of the Year Colton Cowser has added another feather to his cap, earning an invitation to the Team USA 2019 Collegiate National Team training camp.

Cowser will head to North Carolina to join other invitees for a camp that runs from June 27 to July 1. The team will be cut down to 26 players in preparation for a number of international series in July.

The USA Baseball Collegiate National Team, led by Louisville head coach Dan McDonnell, will participate in a series of four intrasquad exhibition games and a game against the Coastal Plain Select before announcing the 26-man roster prior to the 8th USA vs Cuba International Friendship Series that will take place July 2-6 in Cary, Charlotte, Durham and Hickory, N.C.

Team USA's 26-man roster will then travel to Taiwan for the 19th USA vs Chinese Taipei International Friendship Series after which USA Baseball will announce a final 24-man roster to compete in the 43rd USA vs Japan Collegiate All-Star Series from July 16-21 in Japan.

Cowser is the third Bearkat to ever earn an invitation to try out for Team USA, joining Kevin Renz (1984) and Greg Kubes (1997). He is seeking to become the first player from the Southland Conference to make his way onto the team since UTA's Michael Choice did so in 2009.

The invitation adds onto a banner freshman season for the Cy Ranch HS product where he ranked second in the SLC in batting average (.361), fourth in slugging percentage (.602), third in on-base percentage (.450) and fourth in runs scored (50). He also ranked third in the SLC in hits (78) and RBI (54), leading the SLC with seven triples and ranking seventh with 17 doubles to go with seven homers.

In addition to being named the SLC Hitter of the Year and a first team all-Southland performer, Cowser has already earned Freshman All-America honors from Collegiate Baseball Magazine and Perfect Game, while also earning an all-region nod from the ABCA.

For more information on USA Baseball and the Collegiate National Team, follow @USABaseball on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter; and @USABaseballCNT on Twitter.

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Tanner Allen, Justin Foscue and Jordan Westburg named to 2019 Collegiate National Team

June 25, 2019

DURHAM, N.C. - Mississippi State baseball sophomores Tanner Allen, Justin Foscue and Jordan Westburg will each have the opportunity to represent Team USA this summer as a part of the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team, as the organization announced the trio will be a part of the Collegiate National Team Training Camp, which begins on June 27 in Cary, North Carolina.

Head coach Chris Lemonis will also be a part of the USA Baseball experience, serving as a member of the Collegiate National Team task force.

The winningest first-year head coach in Southeastern Conference history, Lemonis helped the Diamond Dawgs to a 52-15 record and the 11th College World Series appearance in school history. The 52 wins rank No. 2 all-time in program history, while the 20 SEC victories are tied for the No. 2 spot at Mississippi State. Lemonis helped the Bulldogs earn a share of the SEC Western Division title, as the Diamond Dawgs swept through the NCAA Starkville Regional and Super Regional on the way to Omaha.

Allen, Foscue and Westburg have been invited to the training camp that runs from June 27 to July 1. The USA Baseball Collegiate National Team participants will compete in series of four intrasquad exhibition games and one contest against the Coastal Plain League Select before announcing a 26-man roster prior to the 8th USA vs. Cuba International Friendship Series that will take place July 2-6 in Cary, Charlotte, Durham and Hickory, North Carolina.

Team USA's 26-man roster will then travel to Taiwan for the 19th USA vs. Chinese Taipei International Friendship Series after which USA Baseball will announce a final 24-man roster to compete in the 43rd USA vs. Japan Collegiate All-Star Series from July 16-21 in Japan.

Mississippi State's history with the Collegiate National Team began with Will Clark in 1984 and Brad Hildreth in 1986. In all, nine MSU student-athletes have represented Team USA on 10 occasions as a part of the Collegiate National Team. Most recently, Adam Frazier (2012) and Konnor Pilkington (2017) were participants.

Allen started all 67 games at first base for the Diamond Dawgs and hit .349 with a team-best 66 RBIs and .426 on-base percentage. His 23 doubles and 142 total bases both ranked second on the team, with his doubles total sitting tied for No. 9 on the single-season charts.

A third-team All-American by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, Allen was named to the Southeastern Conference All-Tournament Team, NCAA Starkville Regional All-Tournament Team and was a first-team All-SEC pick following a 96-hit effort during the 2019 season to rank No. 10 in MSU single-season history.

Foscue has earned All-America honors from every publication during his breakout sophomore campaign, grabbing first-team laurels from the College Baseball Foundation, second-team accolades from the American Baseball Coaches Association, Collegiate Baseball Newspaper and D1Baseball, and third-team honors from Baseball America and Perfect Game.

Foscue played two positions on the infield during the 2019 campaign, making 31 starts at third base and 36 starts at second base. He was the first Diamond Dawg to earn All-America honors at second base since 1998 when Brad Freeman garnered second-team honors from the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.

The right-handed hitter boosted his batting average from .241 to .331 during his second season and his 14 home runs were the most in a single season since Brent Rooker hit 23 in 2017. A first-team All-SEC pick, he posted career highs in average (.331), hits (91), runs scored (66), doubles (22), home runs (14), RBIs (60) and total bases (155).

Westburg anchored the middle infield for the Maroon and White during the 2019 season with 66 starts at shortstop during the season. Hitting .294 on the season, the right-handed hitter owned a .402 on-base percentage thanks to a team-best 39 walks and 12 hit-by-pitch. He ranked second on the team with 68 runs scored and 61 RBIs.

During the season, Westburg rode four reached base streaks of 10-or-more games, including a 14-game streak to open the season and an active 20-game streak to close the 2019 campaign. He was a Perfect Game Midseason All-America, ending the year with 21 doubles, two triples and six home runs as part of a 78-hit campaign.

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