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Louisville's Dan McDonnell Named 2019 Collegiate National Team Manager

July 6, 2018

DURHAM, N.C. - USA Baseball named Louisville's Dan McDonnell the manager of the 2019 Collegiate National Team on Friday. McDonnell just finished his 12th season with the Cardinals, amassing a 554-222 overall record during that time and earning National Coach of the Year award honors in 2007 and 2017.

The 2019 summer will be McDonnell's second coaching tour for Team USA after he served as an assistant coach with the Collegiate National Team in 2009. Team USA finished with a 19-5 overall record that summer with series victories over Canada and Guatemala, and won a gold medal at the 2009 Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline World Baseball Challenge in Prince George, British Columbia, Canada.

"Dan McDonnell is an outstanding baseball coach and the tremendous success that he has had at the University of Louisville from the moment he stepped on campus has been truly remarkable," said USA Baseball Executive Director and CEO Paul Seiler. "USA Baseball is pleased to welcome him back to the Collegiate National Team coaching staff for the first time since 2009 as he takes the reins as manager for our 2019 squad. We look forward to having him lead a group of talented young men in an influential and positive way next summer."

McDonnell will enter his 13th season at the helm of Louisville next year, where he has led the Cardinals to an 554-222 overall record during that time and currently ranks fourth nationally in overall winning percentage of active college coaches (.714). He was named the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Coach of the Year in three consecutive years from 2015-2017 and has led the Cardinals to eight regular season conference championships (including six years in a row from 2012-2017), 11 NCAA Regional appearances, seven NCAA Super Regionals and to four College World Series. Rivals and Baseball America tabbed McDonnell as the National Coach of the Year in 2007 and 2017, respectively.

"Coaching college baseball for the past 26 years has been a blessing for me and a major highlight on that journey was serving on the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team staff in 2009," said McDonnell. "Having played and coached for 12 years at The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, enhanced my appreciation for the freedom we have in the United States of America, the greatest country in the world. Assembling a collection of the nation's most talented college baseball players and participating in America's pastime, while representing this wonderful country is an honor. I hope we make all Americans, especially those who fight for our freedom, proud of the effort and performance next summer."

As the head coach for the Cardinals, he has coached 37 All-Americans, 91 all-conference selections, 11 players who were earned conference freshman, pitcher or player of the year honors, and 2017 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award winner, Brendan McKay.

Sixty-four of his former players while at Louisville have signed professional contracts after being selected in the Major League Baseball Draft and seven players have participated on the Collegiate National Team: Zack Burdi (2015), Kyle Funkhouser (2014), Devin Hairston (2016), Brendan McKay (2015, 2016), Corey Ray (2015), Ryan Wright (2010) and Tony Zych (2009).

McDonnell will be recognized and will throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to game four of the 42nd USA vs. Japan Collegiate All-Star Series at 6:05 p.m. on Saturday, July 7, at Riley Park in Charleston, South Carolina.

For more information on the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team, visit USABaseball.com or follow @USABaseballCNT on Twitter.

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Martin, Kjerstad And Opitz Earn Invite To Team USA Training Camp

The sophomores helped Arkansas reach its 10th College World Series in school history and first ever in back-to-back years in 2019
June 24, 2019

CARY, N.C. - Less than a week after finishing their 2019 seasons with the Arkansas Razorbacks, infielder Casey Martin, outfielder Heston Kjerstad and catcher Casey Opitz will have a chance to continue playing this summer as they will suit up for the Team USA Collegiate National Team starting this week at their training camp in North Carolina.

All three Hogs will go through numerous workouts and intrasquad games this week in the hopes to earn one of the coveted spots on the roster. In its history, Arkansas has had 16 players don the Red, White, and Blue. Last year, outfielder Dominic Fletcher and closer Matt Cronin joined the team after Arkansas' run to the College World Series final.

Current head coach Dave Van Horn also served time as the manager of the USA Collegiate National Team in the summer of 2014, making trips to the Netherlands and Cuba.

This year, Martin, Kjerstad and Opitz were all integral sophomores that helped Arkansas reach its 10th College World Series in school history and first ever in back-to-back years. Combined, the trio hit .291 with Kjerstad hitting over .300 for the second-straight year (.327). Of the team's 88 home runs, 35 came off the bat of Martin, Kjerstad or Opitz, making up 40 percent of Arkansas' long balls.

Kjerstad has posted nearly identical numbers during his first two seasons in a Razorback uniform, hitting .332 as a freshman and .327 as a sophomore. In 65 games this year, the right fielder had the second-most hits on the team (87), the fourth-most RBIs (51) and the most home runs (17), which tied for the 10th-most by a Razorback in a single season. He was named to the All-SEC Second Team for the second-consecutive year.

Martin hit .286 this season in 66 games and had 15 home runs with 57 RBIs, which are both higher totals than in 2018. The Lonoke, Arkansas native also notched 40 extra-base hits, including a team-leading four triples and three inside-the-park home runs. He showed off his speed on the basepaths, stealing 10 of 12 bases, the third-most on the squad. Like Kjerstad, Martin also earned his second-straight All-SEC Second Team honor.

As for Opitz, the Colorado native had, arguably, the best defensive season for a catcher in the SEC, totaling 22 caught stolen bases, which led all league catchers. That total is the most for a Razorback catcher since Tucker Pennell had 27 during the 2016 season. He caught 14 potential stolen bases in conference play and three in the NCAA Tournament. Opitz hit .243 for the year in 58 games and had a .379 on-base percentage, walking 38 times, which was the third-most on the team.

This year, Team USA is led by Louisville head coach Dan McDonnell and will begin its schedule on June 27 with four intrasquad games. Following a single game against the Coastal Plains League Select on July 1, the team will travel throughout North Carolina for a five-game series against Cuba in the 8th Annual USA vs. Cuba International Friendship Series.

Team USA will travel overseas to Taichung, Taiwan for a five-game series against Chinese Taipei (July 9-12) before finishing its summer schedule with a five-game set against Japan (July 16-21) with all five games played in a different location around Japan.

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USA Baseball Announces 2019 Collegiate National Team Staff

Mark Kingston, Greg Moore, Tony Skole and Dave Turgeon will join Dan McDonnell on staff in 2019
June 21, 2019

DURHAM, N.C. - USA Baseball announced on Friday the 2019 Collegiate National Team coaching staff. Dan McDonnell (Louisville) was named the manager for the Collegiate team last July and he will be joined by assistant coaches Mark Kingston (South Carolina) and Tony Skole (The Citadel), pitching coach Greg Moore (Saint Mary's) and bench coach Dave Turgeon (Pittsburgh Pirates) for the summer tour.

McDonnell is making his Team USA managerial debut this year but is suiting up for the red, white and blue for the second time in his career. He previously served as an assistant coach on the 2009 Collegiate National Team staff.

Moore is also no stranger to the Team USA coaching ranks, having served as an assistant coach for the gold medal-winning 2015 and 2016 18U National Teams. Kingston, Skole and Turgeon are all making their USA Baseball coaching debuts this year.

"We are delighted to welcome the talent and expertise these coaches will bring to the 2019 Collegiate National Team staff," USA Baseball Executive Director and CEO Paul Seiler said. "The collective knowledge and experience they contribute is tremendous and we cannot wait to see how they continue the Collegiate National Team program's impressive run of success and the impact they have on these incredible athletes."

McDonnell is currently in his 13th season at the helm of Louisville, where he has led the Cardinals to a 603-238 overall record and was named the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Coach of the Year in three consecutive years from 2015-2017. He has led the Cardinals to nine regular season conference championships (including six in a row from 2012-2017), 12 NCAA Regional appearances, eight NCAA Super Regionals and to five College World Series, including the 2019 tournament. Rivals and Baseball America tabbed McDonnell as the National Coach of the Year in 2007 and 2017, respectively.

Kingston finished his second season at the helm of South Carolina in 2019 after guiding the Gamecocks to a 37-26 record and an NCAA Super Regional appearance in his first season. Prior to his time in Columbia, Kingston spent three years as the head coach at University of South Florida where he compiled a 100-78-1 (.561) record and led the Bulls to two NCAA Regional appearances. He also served as the head coach at Illinois State University from 2010-2014 and helped the Redbirds to an NCAA Regional, two Missouri Valley Conference regular season titles and a conference tournament championship while breaking the program's season wins record twice. In his ten seasons as a head coach, Kingston has compiled a 338-234-1 record (.590). In addition, he has been a college coach since 1997, serving as an assistant coach from 1997-2009 at Purdue University, Illinois State, University of Miami-where he helped the Hurricanes claim a College World Series title in 2001-and Tulane University. Kingston was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers out of the University of North Carolina in 1992 and spent five years in the Brewers and Chicago Cubs organizations before starting his coaching career. 

2019 marks Moore's third year as a national team coach with USA Baseball. He made his debut as the pitching coach for the 2015 18U National Team that won a gold medal at the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-18 Baseball World Cup. He then returned to the 18U National Team program in 2016 where he helped guide Team USA's pitching staff to a 1.14 ERA en route to a COPABE "AAA" Pan American Championships gold medal.

Recently named the head coach at Saint Mary's College, Moore joined the Gaels after six seasons at the helm of Cal State Northridge. During his tenure with the Matadors, the program collected more Big West Conference wins (44) from 2014-2018 than in any other four-year block in school history and Moore led the team to its best Big West Conference finish (third) in 16 years in 2018. Prior to his time at Cal State Northridge, Moore started his coaching career at University of South Florida, where he was named one of the Top 10 Assistant Coaches in College Baseball by Baseball America. In addition, he spent three seasons as the associate head coach at his alma mater, the University of San Francisco, where the team ranked sixth nationally with a conference-best 2.86 ERA.

In 2019, Skole entered his second season as the head coach at The Citadel, following 17 years as the head coach at East Tennessee State University where he accumulated a program-record 471 wins. Under his guidance, the Bucs surpassed multiple school records, including the single-season records for runs scored (503), hits (724), home runs (93) and doubles (142) in 2010. He started his 22-year head coaching career at Lincoln Memorial University in 1997 and led the team's transition from the NAIA to a Division II program that rose as high as No. 13 in the national rankings. 

Turgeon currently serves as the Coordinator of Instruction for the Pittsburgh Pirates and is a USA Baseball Sport Development contributor following a successful 20-year coaching career. His first coaching stint was in the Cleveland Indians system as manager of the Burlington Indians in 2000 and the Mahoning Valley Scrappers in 2001. He then moved to the collegiate coaching ranks, where he spent time as an assistant coach at Boston College, UCONN, Duke and Virginia Tech. In 2010, he moved back to professional baseball, working as a manager in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization before transitioning into his current role with the club in 2015. Prior to coaching, he was a standout third baseman at Davidson College before being selected in the 1987 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft by the New York Yankees. Turgeon enjoyed a 13-year professional playing career that included time in the Yankees and Orioles systems, as well as time playing in Holland, France, Taiwan and Mexico.

Chris Lemonis, who is in his first year at the helm of Mississippi State, will serve as a taskforce member and founder of Catching 101, Xan Barksdale, will serve as the 2019 Collegiate National Team's bullpen coach following three straight years working with the 14U National Team Development Program (2016-2018). Bill Burniston, who was named the 2017 USA Baseball Volunteer Coach of the Year, will return for his seventh consecutive year with the Collegiate National Team program as the team's performance specialist. In addition, Pat Hassell has been named the team's certified athletic trainer following 10 years working with McDonnell's baseball program at Louisville, Brett Moore (Illinois) will serve as the team's press officer and Ryan Brittain (NC State) will assist as the operations coordinator.

The 2019 Collegiate National Team will start its summer at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina, competing in intrasquad Red vs. Blue games from June 27-30 before playing against the Coastal Plain League Select team on July 1. 

The team will then host the 8th Annual USA vs. Cuba International Friendship Series in various locations across North Carolina from July 2-6. The two teams will kick off the series at L.P. Frans Stadium in Hickory, North Carolina, on July 2 before a July 3 matchup at BB&T Ballpark in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Fourth of July game between the two teams will be played in Durham, North Carolina, at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park (DBAP) followed by a game at the National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina, on July 5. The series will wrap-up on July 6 when the team's will once again meet at the DBAP in Durham.

Following the annual friendship series with Cuba, the Collegiate National Team will travel to Taipei, Taiwan, for the 19th USA vs. Chinese Taipei International Friendship Series from July 9-12 before heading to Matsuyama, Japan, to begin the 43rd USA vs. Japan Collegiate All-Stars Series from July 16-21.

For more information on the 2019 Collegiate National Team, follow along on Twitter @USABaseball and @USABaseballCNT.

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Denholm Earns USA Baseball Invite

The right-hander was a All-American and Big West Pitcher of the Year in 2019
June 20, 2019

IRVINE, Calif. --- All-American and Big West Pitcher of the Year Trenton Denholm has caught the eye of USA Baseball earning a spot in their 2019 Collegiate National Team training camp this summer.

Denholm has been invited to the training camp that runs from June 27 to July 1 will be whittled down to 26 players in preparation for their numerous international series in July. 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.

"It's an honor to be recognized with the best players in the country," noted the standout sophomore. "I am greatly looking forward to making the most of the opportunity."

He earned the nod after being one of the nation's stingiest starters in 2019 with the nation's third-lowest WHIP while amassing a 9-4 record, four complete games, and conference bests in ERA (1.81) and innings (99.2). Denholm raked in four Big West Pitcher of the Week awards as part of the haul of 12 weekly awards the team claimed in 2019.

Denholm could join the other four Anteaters to wear the Red, White, and Blue in the past building on the growth of the UC Irvine legacy that head coach Ben Orloff is a beacon for.

"It's a great honor for Trenton to get the opportunity to play with Team USA. He has distinguished himself as one of the best pitchers in the country, and is a great representative of UC Irvine and this baseball program."

The Anteaters have represented on the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team twice in the last three seasons with Keston Hiura in 2016 and Andre Pallante in 2018. Scott Gorgen was the first selection back in 2007 followed by Taylor Sparks in the summer of 2013.

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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Carraway Earns Invitation to USA Collegiate Baseball National Team Training Camp

Carraway posted a 4-2 record with a 2.81 ERA and a team-best six saves this season
June 19, 2019

DBU Baseball's Burl Carraway has earned an invitation to compete for a roster spot on the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team. With the recent announcement, Carraway becomes the fourth player from DBU to receive an invitation from the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team, joining Austin Krum (2006), Victor Black (2008), and Brandon Koch (2014).

As a sophomore in 2019, Carraway was a First Team All-Missouri Valley Conference selection after posting a 4-2 record with a 2.81 ERA and a team-best six saves. In 28 appearances, Carraway struck out 72 batters in 41.2 innings for an average of 15.72 strikeouts per nine innings, a mark that ranks second best in a single-season in DBU's Division I era dating back to 2004.

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.

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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Burleson Selected For USA Baseball Collegiate National Team Camp

Burleson led the Pirates outright in eight offensive categories and owned a 6-2 ledger with 5 saves.
June 19, 2019

GREENVILLE, N.C. - ECU's Alec Burleson has accepted an invitation from USA Baseball to the Collegiate National Team (CNT) Training Camp the organization announced today. The standout sophomore is the fourth Pirate in program history to receive an invitation following Pat Watkins (1992), Jake Agnos (2018) and Bryant Packard (2018). Both Agnos and Packard made the 2018 CNT squad and were joined by ECU skipper Cliff Godwin, who served as the third base and hitting coach, helping the Red, White & Blue to a 12-3 record that included series wins over Chinese Taipei, Japan and Cuba.

Regarded as one of the top two-way players in the country after being named a finalist for the 2019 John Olerud National Player-of-the-Year Award along with earning inclusion to five All-America teams as the utility player, Burleson led the Pirates outright in eight offensive categories including batting average (.370), doubles (23), hits (91), RBI (61) and multi-hit games (23), while sharing the team lead in multi-RBI contests (16) and fielding percentage (1.000). He slugged at a .573 clip to stand second on the club and belted nine homers to rank third.

On the mound, he appeared in 24 games making nine starts where he owned a 6-2 ledger with five saves and a 3.28 ERA. Burleson earned his 11th career win against Campbell in an elimination game on June 3 in the 2019 Greenville Regional after working five innings. He fanned 68 batters while walking 26 and struck out a career-high 10 batters against Monmouth on Feb. 23. The lefty allowed 22 runs (all earned) on 56 hits in 60.1 innings and held opposing hitters to a composite .246 average. In the classroom, he is a six-time ECU Director of Athletic Honor member, a 2018 AAC All-Academic selection and was a 2019 Third-Team Google Cloud Academic All-American who boasts a 3.959 cumulative GPA as a business management major.

The USA Baseball Collegiate National Team will participate in series of four intra-squad 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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Abbott Invited to USA Baseball Collegiate National Team Training Camp

One of the most reliable arms out of the bullpen over the last two seasons, Abbott co-led the Cavaliers with 24 appearances as a sophomore in 2019.
June 18, 2019

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Virginia left-handed pitcher Andrew Abbott (Nathalie, Va.) has been invited to USA Baseball Collegiate National Team Training Camp. The Cavaliers have been represented on the Collegiate National Team in three of the last four years.

One of the most reliable arms out of the bullpen over the last two seasons, Abbott co-led the Cavaliers with 24 appearances as a sophomore in 2019. He struck out 59 batters in 44 innings pitched while pitching to a 3.89 ERA. Two of his three saves on the year came against Atlantic Coast Conference opponents.

As a freshman in 2018, Abbott earned Freshman All-America honors from Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball Newspaper. He struck out 74 batters, the third most among ACC relievers and sixth most in the country. Abbott was listed on 2018 ACC All-Freshman team and was listed on the ACC All-Academic team his first year on Grounds. He was credited with six saves, the second most ever by a Cavalier freshman.

In two years, Abbott has amassed 137 strikeouts in 95 innings pitched.

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.

Last season, Virginia head coach Brian O'Connor served as the Collegiate National Team's pitching coach. Team USA went 12-3 on a three-week international tour that included games against Cuba, Chinese Taipei and Japan. Under O'Connor's direction, the Team USA pitching staff sported a 2.06 ERA and recorded three shutouts.

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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Pelio Invited to Team USA Training Camp

Pelio would be the first BC player in the 46-year history of USA Baseball's Collegiate National Team program.
June 18, 2019

CARY, N.C. - Boston College freshman right-handed pitcher Mason Pelio (San Diego, Calif.) has accepted an invitation from USA Baseball to the Collegiate National Team Training Camp. Recognized as a Freshman All-American by Perfect Game/Rawlings, Pelio would be the first BC player in the 46-year history of USA Baseball's Collegiate National Team program.

Pelio started his rookie season as the Eagles' Sunday starter before moving into the Saturday role midway through ACC play. He went 4-3 on the season with a 3.63 earned run average and 62 strikeouts in 72 innings. Pelio turned in seven quality starts, including seven innings of two-hit, shutout ball to clinch a series at No. 19 Florida State. An ACC All-Freshman Team pick, he got BC off on the right foot with six innings and one earned run against eighth-seeded Clemson in an eventual extra-inning win in the ACC Championship opener.

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. 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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Garrett Crochet Invited To USA Baseball Collegiate National Team Training Camp

The Ocean Springs, Miss., native finished the year with a 5-3 record and set career bests in 7 statistical categories.
June 17, 2019

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Tennessee sophomore pitcher Garrett Crochet has accepted an invitation to the 2019 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team training camp.

The talented left hander is the 21st player in program history to be associated with one of the USA Baseball National Teams and the first to earn an invite to the Collegiate Team training camp since former UT pitcher Zach Warren made the team in 2016.

"It means a lot to be chosen to wear the Red, White and Blue and to represent not only our country but also the University of Tennessee and my family," Crochet said. "This is something I've always dreamed of but never believed would be something I would be a part of. The feeling is very surreal."

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.

After starting the year as one of the Volunteers' top options in the bullpen, Crochet worked his way into the weekend rotation midway through the season and ended up starting six games. The Ocean Springs, Miss., native finished the year with a 5-3 record and set career bests in numerous statistical categories, including ERA, appearances, saves, innings pitched, strikeouts, walks allowed and hits allowed.

Crochet racked up 81 strikeouts on the year to rank second on the team, and his 13.5 strikeouts per nine innings led all Tennessee pitchers with at least two starts. In his first outing of the season, Crochet struck out a career-high nine batters in four perfect innings of relief to earn a save against Appalachian State. He went on to strike out nine more batters in 5.1 innings of work in a victory over Indiana on Feb. 24.

Crochet also posted impressive performances in wins over a pair of top-five ranked teams in Vanderbilt and Georgia. The hard-throwing lefty tossed 4.1 shutout innings out of the bullpen to lead the Vols to a 7-6 road victory over the fourth-ranked Commodores on March 31, one of just four home games that Vanderbilt lost in the regular season.

Crochet made his first start of the year two weeks later in the series opener against No. 2 Georgia. He gave UT five shutout innings while striking out six batters as the Big Orange went on to post a 2-0 shutout victory.

After suffering a fractured jaw in the final series of the regular season against Ole Miss, Crochet returned just two weeks later to pitch for the Vols in the NCAA Chapel Hill Regional. He threw 2.1 scoreless innings to earn the win in an elimination game against UNCW before tossing 3.2 innings the next day in a victory over Liberty to help UT advance to the regional championship.

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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Doug Nikhazy Selected for USA Baseball Collegiate National Team Camp

Nikhazy closed the season with a team-best 9-3 record and 3.31 ERA.
June 14, 2019

DURHAM, N.C. - After a standout freshman season with Ole Miss baseball, Doug Nikhazy has been selected for this summer's USA Baseball Collegiate National Team training camp.

The freshman out of Windermere, Florida, is the 10th Ole Miss student-athlete to be selected for the Collegiate National Team. A Rebel has been selected for Team USA in each of the past three seasons.

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.

Earlier this week, Nikhazy earned his second All-American nod of the season, being chosen for Perfect Game's Freshman All-American First Team. Previously, Nikhazy was named Freshman All-SEC by the Southeastern Conference coaches, as well as a Freshman All-American by Collegiate Baseball. During the season, Nikhazy also brought home two SEC Freshman of the Week honors during conference play.

Nikhazy closed the season with a team-best 9-3 record and 3.31 ERA. The freshman worked 89.2 innings over 20 total appearances and 14 starts, striking out an Ole Miss freshman record 86 batters while walking 33.

He opened the season working primarily out of the bullpen but moved into a weekend starting role around the start of SEC play. In his first SEC start, Nikhazy took a no-hitter into the seventh inning at Missouri and ultimately turned in 7.2 innings of two-hit ball, combining on one of four shutouts by the Rebel staff this season.

Nikhazy also combined with Parker Caracci on the fourth Rebel shutout of 2019 against Texas A&M during the SEC Tournament. In an elimination game, Nikhazy outdueled Aggie ace John Doxakis, going eight innings with no runs allowed on just three hits, walking four and striking out two in a 1-0 Rebel victory.

He was outstanding in the NCAA Oxford Regional as well, silencing a dangerous Clemson lineup. Nikhazy went 8-plus innings, allowing just one run on four hits, walking three and striking out nine. He got into some hot water in the eighth inning but struck out the Tigers' top bat, Logan Davidson, who was selected in the first round of the MLB Draft just two days later.

Nikhazy capped one of the best seasons by a freshman pitcher in Ole Miss history with an excellent outing against a dangerous Arkansas lineup in the Fayetteville Super Regional. He went five innings at Baum-Walker Stadium, striking out eight Razorbacks to earn a win in Game 2 of the series. In the victory, he increased his season-long strikeout total to 86, the most ever by a Rebel freshman, surpassing the mark held by two future MLB Rebels, Jeff Calhoun (1977) and Drew Pomeranz (2008).

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Hancock and Wilcox Invited to USA Baseball Collegiate National Team Camp

June 7, 2019

ATHENS, Ga. - University of Georgia pitchers Emerson Hancock and Cole Wilcox have been invited to the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team (CNT) summer training camp.

Hancock, a 6-4, 215-pound right-hander from Cairo, Ga., is on the 24-man USA CNT roster. He was a semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award and the Dick Howser Trophy. A First Team All-Southeastern Conference selection as a sophomore, he went 8-3 with a 1.99 ERA in 14 starts this past season. In 90.1 innings, Hancock registered 97 strikeouts and only 18 walks while holding the opposition to a .185 batting average. Hancock's 1.99 ERA was the eighth best in school history and lowest by a Bulldog starter since 1977 (Chuck Fore, 1.67). In SEC action, Hancock went 4-2 with a 1.69 ERA in eight starts.

Wilcox, a 6-5, 232-pound right-hander from Chickamauga, Ga., earned SEC All-Freshman honors after going 3-2 with a 4.07 ERA in 11 appearances including three starts. In 59.2 innings, he struck out 64 with 38 walks. In SEC play, Wilcox posted a 3-1 mark and a 2.57 ERA. As a freshman, Wilcox will be on the training camp roster with the aim of making the 26-man squad and ultimately the final 24-man team.

The 2019 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team will participate in series of four intrasquad exhibition games later this month and a contest against the Coastal Plain League Select squad before announcing a 26-man roster.

Then, the team will play Cuba in an 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.

The Bulldogs (46-17) earned a National No. 4 seed for the 2019 NCAA Championships and advanced to the NCAA Athens Regional Final. Hancock and Wilcox were part of a staff that set school records for most strikeouts (601) and lowest opponent's batting average (.200) plus posted the second-best ERA in school history at 3.24 and the second fewest runs allowed (235). They are the first Bulldogs to be invited to a USA CNT summer camp since shortstop Cam Shepherd in 2017.

The Bulldogs who toured with the USA Summer Team include pitcher Cris Carpenter (1987), pitcher Dave Fleming (1989), pitcher Brian Powell (1994), catcher Clint Sammons (2002), shortstop Kyle Farmer (2012) and pitcher Robert Tyler (2015).

Hancock and Wilcox are projected first round draft picks in the 2020 MLB Draft next June.

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