USA BASEBALL NEWS

GSA Spotlight: Kody Clemens

May 2, 2018

The word choice was ironic.

Texas Longhorns second baseman Kody Clemens, youngest son of seven-time Cy Young winner "Rocket" Roger Clemens, was asked if he ever tried pitching.

As it turns out, Clemens pitched a bit as a closer at Houston's Memorial High, where he also competed as a shortstop, second baseman and center fielder.

"I didn't have the rocket arm," said Clemens, no pun intended. "I didn't have crazy velocity. I think I was at 88 (mph)."

But even without a rocket arm, Clemens has a boomerang bat, able to turn around pitches and send them back from whence they came like a torpedo.

Clemens, a 6-foot, 185-pound junior who bats left and throws right, is batting .333/.437/.644, ranking third in the Big 12 in OPS (1.081), tied for second in homers (13) and third in RBIs (50) and slugging.

Batting in the 3-hole, Clemens has led 24th-ranked Texas to a 30-17 record overall, 12-6 in the league.

"He was a quiet workhorse for us last year - didn't say much," Texas catcher Michael McCann said. "This year, he has the same work ethic, but he's more vocal.

"His personality and his leadership have taken over. He has the ability to communicate with a lot of different personality types. He takes the time to get to know everyone."

McCann said people gravitate toward Clemens.

"Eyes are drawn to him," McCann said. "He's one of the shining lights on the team. When he steps up in the box, everyone says, 'OK, what is he going to do now? How many runs is he going to drive in?'"

Best Of The Brothers?

Roger Clemens was on the mound when his Longhorns won the 1983 College World Series, and now - 35 years later - Kody is hoping to win his own ring.

Kody, one of four brothers, is also aiming to be the best athlete of the bunch.

Koby signed with Texas but never played for the Longhorns, signing a pro contract as an eighth-round pick. A corner infielder/catcher, he never made it to the majors and is now a coach in the Astros farm system.

Kory is "an amazing chef," according to Kody, and, for a while, owned a restaurant that had a great baseball name, "Catch 22."

Kacy, who turns 24 in July, is in Class A for the Blue Jays as a first baseman. He was their eighth-round pick last year after a solid Longhorns career.

David Pierce, who took over as Texas coach in June of 2016, was asked about Kody's pro potential.

"I know he will be drafted," Pierce said. "I would rather not comment on what range, but I'm 100 percent certain it will be in the top 10 rounds.

"I'm hoping pro organizations recognize that he's one of the top hitters in college baseball."

That Clemens enjoys that status is a testament to his resilient nature.

He had elbow surgery in August of 2016 after suffering a non-baseball injury. The issue stemmed from wrestling with one of his brothers, and the severity of the injury and how it happened threatened his career, especially since it occurred before he had played a game for Pierce.

Clemens said that just two minutes after the incident with Kory - who is a big man at 6-foot and 280 pounds - his elbow was throbbing.

The next day, it was worse - his elbow was swollen, and an MRI revealed that Tommy John surgery was necessary.

"It was a freak accident," said Clemens, whose father - ironically - never had elbow surgery despite pitching 24 years in the majors. "It was terrible that first month after surgery - I had to be so delicate with my elbow.

"But every week I was able to do a little bit more, and when I was finally able to swing a bat off a tee I had a huge smile on my face."

Comeback For Clemens

In his first season post-surgery, Clemens made 46 starts as Texas' DH and one at second base. He slashed .241/.356/.365 with five homers, six doubles and 23 RBIs.

Then he faced more adversity after he accepted an invitation to play in the prestigious Cape Cod League for the first time in his career. But since he was still two weeks away from being able to play second base, his Cape League coach released him.

Undeterred, Clemens joined his father in Boston and was able to take batting practice at Fenway Park. He then went home to Houston and worked on his speed and agility, and that has paid dividends this year.

"He committed himself to playing defense," Pierce said. "There's no doubt his best position is second base. He has the ability to play the left side - he has enough arm strength.

"But he has gotten better and better at second, figuring out the different angles to throw from and the timing and footwork."

Clemens, who has a 3.0 grade-point average and is majoring in Corporate Communications with a minor in Business, could be a coach one day or perhaps work in sports marketing.

But a major league career is his primary goal, and that powerful bat of his will be his calling card going forward.

"He's a great hitter for average, and his power is showing up because he's more confident now," Pierce said. "He has the ability to foul off borderline pitches and work for the next one … Great two-strike hitter, very disciplined and a good on-base guy."

Pierce said he wants Clemens to continue to focus on the middle of the field when he is hitting and then react to the pitch rather than going in thinking pull.

Clemens, meanwhile, seems eager to try pro ball after this June's draft, and he's been around the game his whole life, so he knows the routine.

"It's the scouts' job to understand where I will go," Clemens said. "Whatever team likes me the most will take me."

D1Baseball.com is your online home for college baseball scores, schedules, standings, statistics, analysis, features, podcasts and prospect coverage.
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15U Champs

Sanders and Kemper Named Co-Pitchers of the Day, Hughes Player of the Day

June 17, 2018

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. - Bryce Sanders and Bryce Kemper of 5 STAR Snyder, were both named Pitchers of The Day at the USA Baseball 15U National Team Championship for June 16. The pair threw for a combined for a no-hitter and four strikeouts resulting in a 13-0 win over So Cal NTT.

Hughes of 5 STAR National Black was named Player of the Day. He went 2-for-2 on the day with a solo home run and three runs batted in.

Honorable Mentions:
- Kyle Neri (BIC Showcase), 2-3, 3B, 3 RBI, SB
- Logan Forsythe (Elite Squad National) 2-3, 3 RBI, SB
- Brady House, (Team Elite), 3-3, 2 2B, 2 RBI, SB
- Zach Zabarowski, (3D Gold) 2-2, 2 RBI
- Jake Elberry, (Blue Chips US Underclass) 2-2, 3 RBI

Follow @USABChamps_East on Twitter for up-to-the-minute updates from the USA Baseball National Team Championships in Florida.

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15U Champs

A Strong Offensive Performance Pushes Team Elite American Past Rawlings Stealth FL

June 17, 2018

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. - The bats were alive today for Team Elite American as they moved past Rawlings Stealth FL 8-3.

Elite totaled eight runs on nine hits with two players gathering multiple-hit games. Nick Kurtz, a former 12U USA Baseball World Champion, went 3-for-4 and smoked one out of the park in the top of the seventh inning to help seal the win.

"I saw a fastball right away and took it to right field," said Kurtz. "I was the leadoff hitter so I wasn't going to swing at the first pitch. He threw two balls and I knew this one had to be a strike."

Team Elite American is now 3-1 in the tournament and they look forward to competing for a championship trophy here at the USA National Team Championships in Florida.

"We are going to take it one inning at a time from here on out," said head Coach Jon Link. "We are going to win as many games as we can and then hopefully find ourselves in the bracket round and then the championship."

On the defensive side, Team Elite American had no errors, and starter Carson Kelly, who earned the win, tallied four strikeouts on the day.

Rawlings Stealth FL had a productive day at the plate as well with three runs on five hits. They plated two runs in the fourth making the score 4-2 and pushed another run across in the sixth.

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17U Champs
Nat'l Team Champs

Pitching Wins the Day as Zoots Baseball Club Defeats Bartolucci Baseball Club

June 17, 2018

GLENDALE, Ariz.- Behind stellar pitching performances from Joey Soberon and Nick Kresnak, Zoots Baseball Club outlasted Bartolucci Baseball Club, 3-0, at White Sox 5 on Sunday.

Soberon gave up just two hits in the win, walking one and striking out two.

Kresnak earned the six-out save, allowing no hits and two walks to go along with three strikeouts.

Zoots got the scoring started in the bottom of the first due to a flurry of defensive miscues after a Nick Yorke ground ball, eventually scoring Davis Diaz.

Bartolucci would put runners on the bases in the third with a Joshua Roppel single, but Roppel would be caught stealing after a missed bunt attempt. They would again follow suit in the fourth after Wesley Flatt singled, but Flatt was caught stealing just four pitches later.

Both offenses remained quiet until the fifth, when Zoots centerfielder Eddie Park sent a two-RBI single through the infield, scoring Joe Yorke and Tommy Splaine.

Brek Galbreath pitched well in the loss for Bartolucci, giving up just three runs on four hits and two walks in the complete game effort.

Zoots improves to 2-0 with the win, while Bartolucci falls to 1-1. Both teams will be back in action at 1:00 p.m. at the Peoria Sports Complex to complete their preliminary games.

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Nat'l Team Champs

Erwin, Alvarez Named Player, Pitcher of the Day

June 17, 2018

Easton Erwin was named Player of the Day for June 16. Erwin, of Wilson Sandlot 2019, went 4-for-6 on the day, including a 3-for-3 performance against CBA Marucci American. Erwin's four hits included three doubles and four runs batted in.

Julian Alvarez was named Pitcher of the Day. Alvarez, of GBG I. E. 2019, tossed 6.0 innings against San Diego Naturals, striking out 10 and allowing only two earned runs in the 6-2 win.

Honorable Mentions
Matthew Bardowell (GBG I. E. 2020): 4-5, 3B, 4 RBI
Clark Candiotti (Canyon Thunder): 6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER
Justin Flebbe (Gamers Baseball Alaska): 2-5, 2 HR, 5 RBI
Dylan Joyce (Zoots Baseball Club-Black): 3-3, 2 2B, 3 RBI
Jonathan Robinson (Youth Academy 17U): 6.2 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 7 K

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15U Champs

Team Elite comes out on top 1-0 over Louisiana Knights

June 17, 2018

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.- A strong pitching performance from Team Elite (Georgia) sealed a 1-0 victory over the Louisiana Knights (Baton Rouge, La.) on Saturday morning at USA Baseball 15U National Team Championships at the FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches in Florida.


TeamElite opened the scoring with two outs in the bottom of the first inning thanks to an RBI-triple by Jeffery Waters. Brady House kick-started the offense, doubling down the left field line and later scored on the Waters' triple to take an early 1-0 lead after one inning of play.


That was all the offense the two teams could muster however, as both pitching staffs kept the opposing batters at bay.


Team Elite's starting pitcher Carter Bailey tossed four innings before Riley Stanford and closer Ryan Spikes combined to throw three innings of hitless relief. Collectively, the staff struck out three batters on the day. Bailey earned the win while Spikes was credited with the save.


"When you give up one run in one day that's pretty good," said Team Elite Head Coach Brooke Richards after his pitchers surrendered just one total run in their two games on Saturday. 'We threw a lot of strikes and we limited the walks. When you do that and have a good defense behind you, it comes in your favor. Those guys established the strike zone early and did a great job."


The Louisiana Knights' offense was led by Baylor Cobb and Brant Smith who each had one hit in the game. The Knights pitchers, Timothy Williams and Kros Sivley, surrendered five hits on the day and tallied nine strikeouts. Williams was tagged with the loss.

 

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17U Champs
Nat'l Team Champs

TB SoCal Wins in Walk-Off Thriller Over IPB Trinity to Cap Day 1 of the 17U National Team Championships

June 17, 2018

Cody Schrier blasted a three-run inside-the-park walk-off home run to secure the 8-7 victory for TB SoCal over IPB Trinity on Saturday during Session 4 of the USA Baseball 17U National Team Championships in Arizona.

Both starters were solid in the contest, allowing no hits until TB SoCal's Jack Wong booked the first of the contest in the bottom of the fourth. That got the runs rolling, as Wong would later score on a Tank Espalin ground ball. TB SoCal would plate another, taking a 2-0 lead into the fifth.

IPB Trinity would immediately answer with two runs of their own on a pair of triples from Ryan Dominguez and Vicente Rodriguez. However, TB SoCal quickly regained the lead in the bottom half with a Caden Szuba triple and a Zachary Rodriguez RBI double.

TB SoCal's scoring would be stymied until the seventh, while IPB Trinity plated five more runs to give themselves a nice cushion.

Entering the bottom of the seventh with a four-run lead, IPB Trinity managed two quick outs before TB SoCal kick-started their offense. A walk followed by three singles brought Schrier to the plate to play the hero.

IPB Trinity starter Ryan Dominguez went 4.0 innings, allowing two unearned runs on one hit and two walks.

Starter Joseph Romero provided 3.0 innings of no-hit ball for TB SoCal. Nick Crystal receives the win, tossing the final frame and allowing one earned run.

TB SoCal improves to 1-1 for the tournament, while IPB Trinity falls to 0-2. Both teams continue pool play tomorrow afternoon.

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Bradford Selected to USA Baseball National Team

June 15, 2018

WACO, Texas - Baylor baseball sophomore left-handed pitcher Cody Bradford has been selected for the 2018 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team roster, joining Baylor teammate Shea Langeliers.

Bradford is the ninth player in program history named to the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team. He joins Pat Combs (1988), Jason Jennings (1997-98), Bryan Loeb (1998), Jon Topolski (1998), Zane Carlson (2000), Michael Griffin (2003), Kendal Volz (2008) and Langeliers (2018).

Bradford will participate in a game against the Coastal Plain League Select and a series against Chinese Taipei, and he'll be competing for a spot on the final 24-man roster that will play a series against Cuba and Japan.

An Aledo, Texas, native, Bradford became the first Baylor player to be named Big 12 Pitcher of the Year. He also picked up Collegiate Baseball All-America third team honors, was named 2018 Big 12 Championship Co-Most Outstanding Player after helping the Bears win the first Big 12 Championship tournament title in program history, and he was selected to the CoSIDA Academic All-District team.

Bradford finished his sophomore season 7-6 with a 2.51 ERA and two complete game shutouts in 14 starts. He led the Bears with 87 strikeouts in a team-high 96.2 innings and limited opposing hitters to a .240 batting average.

Bradford was even better in Big 12 Conference play, posting a 4-3 record with a 1.88 ERA and two complete games. He struck out 49 batters in 52.2 innings over seven starts, averaging more than 7.1 innings per start. His 1.88 ERA broke the Baylor record for best ERA by a starting pitcher in a Big 12 season, which was previously held by Josh Turley with a 1.92 mark in 2012.

He became the first player in program history to post back-to-back complete game shutouts when he accomplished the feat by throwing a one-hitter in a 6-0 shutout of TCU on April 20 and shutting down Kansas State 18-0 on April 27. Bradford was also recognized as Big 12 Pitcher of the Week three times in 2018, becoming the first BU pitcher to pick up three conference weekly awards in a season since Mark McCormick in 2005.

The USA Baseball Collegiate National Team will participate in three international friendship series in 2018, beginning with the 18th USA vs. Chinese Taipei International Friendship Series that will be held in North Carolina from June 28 through July 2. The U.S. will then compete in the 42nd USA vs. Japan Collegiate All-Star Series from July 3-9 in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina and the seventh-annual USA vs. Cuba International Friendship Series in Cuba from July 13-18.

Seven Collegiate National Team games will be streamed live on USABaseball.com, as well as Facebook Live and YouTube. 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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Canterino to Pitch for USA Baseball

June 15, 2018

DURHAM, N.C. - Rice's Matt Canterino has been named to the initial USA Baseball 2018 Collegiate National Team roster, with a chance to represent the Owls and his country in the squad's international tour later this summer.

USA Baseball's Collegiate National Team is scheduled to play three international series in 2018, beginning with the 18th USA vs. Chinese Taipei Friendship Series in North Carolina from June 28-July 2. Team USA will then announce a final 24-man roster to compete in the 42nd United States vs. Japan Collegiate All-Star Series from July 3-9 in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina; and the 7th Annual USA vs. Cuba International Friendship Series in Cuba from July 13-18.

Canterino posted a 7-5 record and a 3.06 ERA this season while holding opposing hitters to a composite .188 batting average. The Owls' 'Friday night ace' led the team, and tied for 22nd in the nation, with 116 strikeouts in 94.0 innings of work. Originally from Southlake, Texas, Canterino was also 48th in the country with 11.11 strikeouts-per-9.0 innings on the way to first team All-Conference USA , but his success on the field is only part of the story. He was also named to C-USA All-Academic Team for maintaining 3.99 grade point average.

Former Rice All-America and major league draft pick Glenn Otto pitched for the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team in the summer of 2016. Canterino and Otto were teammates on the Owl squad that made a historic international tour of Cuba in November of 2016.

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Doxakis Earns USA Baseball Collegiate National Team Invite

June 14, 2018

COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Texas A&M sophomore pitcher John Doxakis earned an invitation to the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team Training Camp to compete for a roster spot on the nation's premier summer collegiate team.

This summer, Doxakis joins Aggie teammate Braden Shewmake, who earned his second Team USA invite in March.

The USA Baseball Collegiate National Team participates in three international friendship series in 2018, beginning with the 18th USA vs. Chinese Taipei International Friendship Series, in North Carolina from June 28 - July 2. The U.S. then announce a final 24-man roster to compete in the 42nd USA vs. Japan Collegiate All-Star Series from July 3-9 in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina; and the 7th Annual USA vs. Cuba International Friendship Series in Cuba from July 13-18.

The southpaw ended the season with an 8-5 record along with a 2.70 ERA, .212 opponent batting average and 92 strikeouts over 93.1 innings.

Doxakis blossomed into an ace down the stretch, including outdueling No. 1 Draft Pick Casey Mize in the SEC Tournament and earning a victory in the Aggies' NCAA Regional win against Indiana. In his last three starts, he was 2-1 with a 0.95 ERA, .134 opponent batting average and 28 strikeouts in 19.0 innings.

The list of recent Aggies to play for the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team include Shewmake, Nick Banks, Ryan Hendrix, Daniel Mengden, A.J. Minter, Tyler Naquin and Michael Wacha. Shewmake is the first to play on the team in back-to-back summers since Banks in 2014 and 2015.

After last season's College World Series run, Shewmake played 17 games for Team USA, hitting .209 (9-for-43) with five runs, two doubles, one triple, six RBI and two stolen bases.

In 2015, Banks and Hendrix represented Texas A&M on the USA College National Team. That year, Banks batted .386 with three doubles, one home run and 11 RBI in 17 games and Hendrix combined on the first-ever no-hitter of the Cuban National Team. In 2014, Banks batted .241 with two doubles, two home runs and 13 RBI and Minter pitched 12.1 innings without allowing an earned run. In 2013, Mengden posted a 1-0 record with a 1.35 ERA and 11 strikeouts in 13.1 innings. In 2011, Naquin batted .321 in 12 games, logging four doubles, one triple, two home runs and 10 RBI and Wacha went 1-0 with a 0.79 ERA and 12 strikeouts in 11.1 innings.

Seven Collegiate National Team games will be streamed live on USABaseball.com, as well as Facebook Live and YouTube. 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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WNT

Stripes Claim Trials Series Win

June 14, 2018
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Stars 2 0 1 3 1 0 0 7 11 0
Stripes 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 8 3
Win: L. Collins Loss: I. Borders Save: A. Lansdell
Box Score | Stars Cume | Stripes Cume
 

CARY, N.C. - Behind strong performances from Malaika Underwood (San Diego, Calif.) and AJ Hamilton (Tallahassee, Fla.), the Stripes clinched the Women's National Team Trials series with a 7-4 victory over the Stars at the USA Baseball National Training Complex on Thursday.

Underwood went 2-for-4 with two runs scored, while Hamilton went 2-for-3 with a double and a RBI in the win for the Stripes.

Both teams got out to a quick start in game three, each pushing runs across in the first inning. Underwood, who went 2-for-4 with two runs scored in the game, and Hamilton, who finished 2-for-3 with a double and a RBI, got the scoring started for the Stripes when Hamilton doubled in Underwood.

But the Stars answered immediately to tie it up and a take a lead of their own in the bottom half. The squad strung together a single, a double and a walk to load the bases for Anna Kimbrell who delivered a 2-RBI knock to make it a 2-2 game. A double from Brittany Schutte and a Kylee Lahners RBI groundout plated two more to give the Stars an early 4-2 lead.

The Stripes cut the deficit to one in the third inning before striking the big blow in the fourth when they scored three more. A Stars error allowed the first Stripes run of the inning to score and Ashton Lansdell followed with a 2-RBI single up the middle that gave the team a 6-4 advantage. The team would then add one more in the fifth for the final 7-4 score.

Despite their fast start, the Stars couldn't get anything going after the first inning against the Stripes pitching staff. Laura Collins, Thea Hanscom, Meggie Meidlinger and Ashton Lansdell combined to allow just three hits and one walk through the final five innings.

Shelby Estocado and Kelsie Whitmore's two hits apiece along with Kimbrell's two RBI led the way offensively for the Stars.

With the conclusion of trials, the final 20-woman roster for the 2018 Women's National Team will be announced on Monday, June 18.

"My years with the Women's National Team have given me the opportunity to watch the progression and growth of this program, and the talent pool we had over the past week has been the best I have seen," 2018 Women's National Team Manager, Matt Weagle, said.

"This year's selection has been very difficult; however, the talent shown over the course of the past week shows that we are in a great position to win gold now and going forward. The future of the Women's National Team is bright."

The final team will reconvene on August 16 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for training before competing in the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Women's Baseball World Cup from August 22-31. The event, which is being hosted at the USSSA Space Coast Complex in Viera, Fla., is being held in the U.S. for the first time in 2018.

Team USA is a two-time world champion, having claimed gold in 2004 and 2006, and has also won two silver (2012, 2014) and two bronze medals (2008, 2010) in the event.

Continue to follow @USABaseballWNT on Twitter and visit USABaseball.com for the most up-to-date news about the Women's National Team, including the announcement of the final roster.

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