USA BASEBALL NEWS

Brodie Campbell Article

Early Runs, Combined One-Hitter Lift Team USA to 19-0 Win Over Texas Scrappers

Stars and stripes finish three-game exhibition slate with unbeaten record
November 15, 2021
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E Texas Scrappers  0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 Team USA  6 0 6 4 3 0 0 19 15 0 Win: Isaac Vidal Loss: Charlie Gamber Save: None Box Score | Play-by-Play | Cumulative Stats FLOWER MOUND, Texas – Team
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Texas Scrappers  0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 3
Team USA  6 0 6 4 3 0 0 19 15 0
Win: Isaac Vidal Loss: Charlie Gamber Save: None
Box Score | Play-by-Play | Cumulative Stats

FLOWER MOUND, Texas – Team USA scored six runs in the first inning and allowed just one hit all game en route to a 19-0 win over the Texas Scrappers on Monday afternoon at Bakersfield Park in Flower Mound, Texas. With the win, the 12U National Team finishes its three-game exhibition schedule undefeated. 

The six-run first got started on an RBI single by Julian Rodriguez (Boca Raton, Fla.), before Jacob Seamon (Rolling Meadows, Ill.) and Jake Welch (Lehi, Utah) followed with a pair of their own RBI singles. Angel Gonzalez (Whittier, Calif.) capped the rally with a two-run double to right center field, giving Team USA a 6-0 lead it would not relinquish.

Gonzalez led Team USA’s offensive attack in the win, hitting a homer to go along with two more hits and five RBIs. Seamon and Welch also had three hits for the stars and stripes, who got a homer from Brodie Campbell (Newnan, Ga.) for the second consecutive game. Aaron Garcia (Pico Rivera, Calif.) picked up two hits for the third straight game. 

Team USA’s pitchers combined to allow just one hit over seven dominant innings. Jared Grindlinger (Huntington Beach, Calif) started on the mound for the stars and stripes and delivered two scoreless innings, striking out four. Isaac Vidal (Miami, Fla.) earned the win, tossing two perfect frames with five strikeouts. Brady Bickham (Claremont, Calif.) and Derek Vazquez (Charlotte, N.C.) put the finishing touches on the performance, striking out five combined batters in three innings of work. Charlie Gamber suffered the loss for the Scrappers.

Key Moments

  • With Julian Martinez (New York, N.Y.) and Hudson Brown (Iola, Texas) in scoring position in the first, Rodriguez singled through the left side to score the game’s first run. Seamon followed with a two-run single to give Team USA a 3-0 lead.
  • Welch singled to left field to score Seamon, and Gonzalez followed a batter later with a two-run double to cap the six-run rally in the first.
  • Kekahupono Kong (Mililani, Hawaii) plated a run with an RBI groundout and Caleb Hudson (Carrollton, Ga.) scored on a wild pitch to make it 8-0 in the third.
  • With Welch on second, Gonzalez pulled a two-run blast over the right field wall to give Team USA a 10-0 lead.
  • The lead grew to 12 as the stars and stripes scored twice more in the third, once on a passed ball and again on a sacrifice fly by Rodriguez.
  • Gonzalez drove in his fifth run of the day in the fourth, making it 13-0 with an RBI single to left field. Team USA added three more runs on a single by Garcia, an RBI groundout by Jackson Fetters (Montgomery, Texas), and a wild pitch to extend the lead to 16-0.
  • After Seamon doubled and Welch walked with two outs in the fifth, Campbell went the other way for a three-run blast to give Team USA a 19-0 lead that it would protect over the final two frames.

 

Notable Information

  • With the win, Team USA finishes its 2021 three-game exhibition slate with a perfect 3-0 record.
  • The stars and stripes outscored their three opponents, 55-3, in the exhibition contests.
  • Bickham, Grindlinger, Vazquez, and Vidal combined to allow just one hit in the victory. The lone baserunner for the Scrappers came in the first inning on a two-out single.
  • Brown had a game-high three walks, reaching via the base on balls in all of his plate appearances.
  • With the three-hit performances by Gonzalez, Seamon, and Welch, Team USA had at least one hitter with three hits in each game it played.
  • The red, white, and blue hit 11 home runs in three games, including seven in Sunday’s win over Premier National.
  • Team USA finished its slate with just one error, and played its final two games without a defensive miscue.
  • Gonzalez and Bickham tied for the team lead in batting average, both hitting .750 over the three games.
  • Every pitcher who took the mound for Team USA recorded at least two strikeouts in the three games.

 

Social

  • Stay tuned to @USABaseball12U on Twitter for the most up-to-date news about the 12U National Team.
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Brunson 12U WL

Seven Homers Carry Team USA to Win Over Premier National

Brunson goes yard three times, Garcia and Martinez homer again in 22-0 victory
November 15, 2021
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E Team USA  4  2 10 2 0 3 1 22 21 0 Premier National 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 2 Win: Chase Cotton Loss: Parker Legh-Page Save: None Box Score | Play-by-Play | Cumulative Stats FLOWER MOUND, Texas – Easton
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Team USA  4  2 10 2 0 3 1 22 21 0
Premier National 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 2
Win: Chase Cotton Loss: Parker Legh-Page Save: None
Box Score | Play-by-Play | Cumulative Stats

FLOWER MOUND, Texas – Easton Brunson (Highlands, Texas) hit three home runs as Team USA powered past Premier National, 22-0, on Sunday afternoon at Bakersfield Park in Flower Mound, Texas.

Brunson’s first blast came in the top of the first inning. After Team USA took a 2-0 lead on an RBI groundout and a wild pitch, Brunson deposited a two-run homer into the parking lot in right field to give the stars and stripes a 4-0 lead. He homered again in the third, sending another shot to right field in a 10-run frame for Team USA. The final homer came in the top of the sixth, a three-run shot to left field.

Brodie Campbell (Newnan, Ga.), Aaron Garcia (Pico Rivera, Calif.), Jared Grindlinger (Huntington Beach, Calif.), and Julian Martinez (New York, N.Y.) all added homers for the red, white, and blue. It was the second homer in two days for Garcia and Martinez, who both homered in Saturday’s win over ZT Elite.

Kekahupono Kong (Mililani, Hawaii) got the start on the mound for Team USA, allowing just three hits in three scoreless frames. Chase Cotton (Lincoln, Calif.) earned the win out of the bullpen, striking out five in two innings of work. Parker Legh-Page suffered the loss for Premier National.

 

Key Moments

  • Hudson Brown (Iola, Texas) got the scoring started with an RBI groundout and Martinez scored on a wild pitch to give the stars and stripes a 2-0 lead.
  • With two outs and Brady Bickham (Claremont, Calif) on second base, Brunson hit a mammoth homer over the scoreboard in right field to extend Team USA’s lead to 4-0.
  • After Garcia singled in the second, Grindlinger hit an opposite-field homer to left field as the red, white, and blue gained a 6-0 edge.
  • In the third, Jake Welch (Lehi, Utah) was hit by a pitch to drive in a run before Angel Gonzalez (Whittier, Calif.) roped a two-run single to grow the Team USA lead to 9-0.
  • Garcia kept the rally going with a three-run homer to straightaway center field for the second straight game. Grindlinger followed with a single before Martinez cranked a homer over the left field fence to give Team USA a 14-0 lead.
  • Brunson delivered his second round-tripper of the night with Bickham on second to grow the stars and stripes’ lead to 16-0 in the third.
  • The red, white, and blue made it 18-0 in the fourth, when Julian Rodriguez (Boca Raton, Fla.) drove in a run on a fielder’s choice and Caleb Hudson (Carrolton, Ga.) hit an RBI single.
  • Brunson’s third home run was a high-arching, three-run blast to left field, which extended the Team USA lead to 21-0.
  • Campbell went the other way for a solo shot in the seventh to grow the lead to 22-0 in favor of the stars and stripes.

 

Notable Information

  • With the win, Team USA is now 2-0 through the first two games of its three-game slate.
  • Brunson drove in a game-high seven runs in the victory.
  • Seven players had multi-hit games for the stars and stripes, with Brunson and Grindlinger leading the way with three apiece.
  • Brunson, Grindlinger, and Bickham combined to score 10 of Team USA’s 22 runs. Garcia, Gonzalez, and Martinez also scored multiple runs in the win.
  • The red, white, and blue did not make an error in the game, and have only made one through their first two games.

 

On Deck

  • November 15: Team USA vs. Texas Scrappers (11:00 am CT/12:00 p.m. ET)

 

Social

  • Stay tuned to @USABaseball12U on Twitter for the most up-to-date news about the 12U National Team.
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Garcia_Article

Offensive Outburst and Strong Pitching Leads Team USA to Win Over ZT Elite

Garciaโ€™s leadoff homer sets tone in 14-3 victory
November 14, 2021
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E ZT Elite  0  2 1 0 0 0 0 3 6 1 Team USA 2 4 7 0 1 0 0 14 13 1 Win: Jackson Fetters Loss: Luke Esquivel Save: None Box Score | Play-by-Play | Cumulative Stats FLOWER MOUND, Texas – Team USA
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
ZT Elite  0  2 1 0 0 0 0 3 6 1
Team USA 2 4 7 0 1 0 0 14 13 1
Win: Jackson Fetters Loss: Luke Esquivel Save: None
Box Score | Play-by-Play | Cumulative Stats

FLOWER MOUND, Texas – Team USA rode an impressive offensive performance and dominant pitching to a 14-3 win over ZT Elite on Saturday night at Bakersfield Park in Flower Mound, Texas.

The stars and stripes got started immediately on offense when Aaron Garcia (Pico Rivera, Calif.) crushed a leadoff homer to straightaway center field in the first to give Team USA an early lead. Hudson Brown (Iola, Texas) added an RBI double later in the first before hitting a two-run double in a seven-run fourth inning as the red, white, and blue built a commanding lead.

Four players had multi-hit games for Team USA in the win. Brown, Garcia, Jared Grindlinger (Huntington Beach, Calif.), and Julian Martinez (New York, N.Y.) all picked up two hits and combined for eight RBIs for the stars and stripes. Garcia and Martinez added homers in the victory.

Jackson Maddix (Pittsburgh, Pa.) got the start for Team USA, pitching 2.1 innings and allowing three runs. Jackson Fetters (Montgomery, Texas) entered in relief and earned the win, allowing just two hits in 4.2 scoreless innings. ZT Elite’s Luke Esquivel surrendered the loss, allowing eight runs in 2.0 innings pitched.

Key Moments

  • After ZT Elite led off the game with an infield single, Martinez started an around-the-horn double play to keep the visitors off the board.
  • Garcia launched a leadoff home run to straightaway center field to give Team USA a quick lead. Later in the inning, Brown plated Brady Bickham (Claremont, Calif.) with a single to left field to give the stars and stripes a 2-0 lead.
  • ZT Elite tied the game in the second on a two-run home run by Lennex Minor, but Derek Vazquez (Charlotte, N.C.) scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the inning to give Team USA a 3-2 lead.
  • After reaching on an infield single, Caleb Hudson (Carrolton, Ga.) was plated on an RBI single by Grindlinger later in the second. Two batters later, Bickham roped an RBI single to left field to score two runs and extend the lead to 6-2.
  • Levi Leathers hit a solo home run for ZT Elite in the top of the third to trim the visitors’ deficit to three.
  • Team USA responded with a seven-run inning to take a commanding lead. The first two runs of the rally came on a two-run double by Jake Welch (Lehi, Utah), a fly ball down the right field line that scored Vazquez and Julian Rodriguez (Boca Raton, Fla.).
  • After Garcia drove in a run on a fielder’s choice, Martinez singled to left field to plate a run and keep the rally going. Two batters later, Brown doubled to left-center field to score two more runs before an RBI groundout gave Team USA a 13-3 edge.
  • The red, white, and blue scored again in the bottom of the fifth thanks to a no-doubter over the wall in left field by Martinez to lead off the frame.
  • Fetters closed the door on the victory for Team USA, finishing off an impressive relief performance with two strikeouts in the seventh.

 

Notable Information

  • With the win, Team USA starts its three-game slate with a 1-0 record.
  • Fetters struck out six batters in relief, allowing just four baserunners to reach in 4.2 innings.
  • Five players on Team USA scored two runs in the win. Bickham, Gonzalez, Grindlinger, Martinez, and Vazquez all touched home twice in the game.
  • The stars and stripes stole four bases in the win, with Bickham, Hudson, Martinez, and Welch all swiping bags.
  • Bickham drew a game-high two walks on the night.

 

On Deck

  • November 14: Team USA vs. Premier National (4:00 pm CT/5:00 pm ET)
  • November 15: Team USA vs. Texas Scrappers (11:00 am CT/12:00 p.m. ET)

 

Social

  • Stay tuned to @USABaseball12U on Twitter for the most up-to-date news about the 12U National Team.
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Gameday 12u

GAMEDAY: Team USA Has Eyes on Undefeated Slate

First pitch set for 11:00 a.m. CT/12:00 p.m. ET at Bakersfield Park
November 13, 2021
GAME Team USA vs. Texas Scrappers TIME 11:00 a.m. CT/12:00 p.m. ET LOCATION Flower Mound, Texas (Bakersfield Park) FOLLOW Live Stream FLOWER MOUND, Texas -- The 2021 12U National Team will look to finish its three-game set undefeated when it takes on the Texas Scrappers at 11:00 a.m. CT/12:00 p.m. ET at Bakersfield
GAME Team USA vs. Texas Scrappers
TIME 11:00 a.m. CT/12:00 p.m. ET
LOCATION Flower Mound, Texas (Bakersfield Park)
FOLLOW Live Stream

FLOWER MOUND, Texas -- The 2021 12U National Team will look to finish its three-game set undefeated when it takes on the Texas Scrappers at 11:00 a.m. CT/12:00 p.m. ET at Bakersfield Park in Flower Mound, Texas. The game will be streamed live on the USA Baseball Facebook Page.

Notable Information

  • Team USA hit seven home runs in Sunday's 22-0 win over Premier National.
  • Easton Brunson (Highlands, Texas) cranked three homers in the win on Sunday. He drove in a team-high seven runs.
  • Seven players had multi-hit games for the red, white, and blue on Sunday. Brunson and Jared Grindlinger (Huntington Beach, Calif.) led the offensive attack with three hits apiece.
  • Brady Bickham (Huntington Beach, Calif.), Brunson, and Grindlinger combined for 10 of Team USA's 22 runs.
  • The 2021 12U National Team was announced on Thursday after four days of Trials, which featured three games, daily on-field workouts, and Prospect Development Pipeline (PDP) testing.
  • The roster features players from 10 different states. California features the most players on the roster with five, while Texas has three players on the team.
  • The team comprises 13 athletes who competed in the 2021 USA Baseball 11U Futures Invitational in June. The other five players on the roster participated in the 2021 National Team Identification Series (NTIS) Champions Cup in August. Both events were held at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina.
  • The 2021 12U National Team is managed by RJ Farrell, who has previously served as an assistant coach with the 12U National Team three times. It is his national team managerial debut.
  • Farrell is joined on staff by pitching coach Seth Kenny and assistant coaches, Erik Johnson and Tanner Vesely. Johnson and Kenny will make their national team coaching debuts, while Vesely, who led the 2015 12U National Team to gold as manager at the 2015 World Baseball Softball Confederation U-12 Baseball World Cup, is on the staff for the fourth time.
     

Social

  • Stay tuned to @USABaseball12U on Twitter for the most up-to-date news about the 2021 12U National Team.
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RosterRelease

USA Baseball Announces 2021 12U National Team Roster

Eighteen-man roster set to play three exhibition games in Flower Mound, Texas
November 11, 2021
FLOWER MOUND, Texas – USA Baseball today announced the 2021 12U National Team roster, following the completion of 12U National Team Trials held in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The final 18-man roster will compete in three exhibition games against travel programs from the Texas area, beginning on Saturday, November 13. 

FLOWER MOUND, Texas – USA Baseball today announced the 2021 12U National Team roster, following the completion of 12U National Team Trials held in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The final 18-man roster will compete in three exhibition games against travel programs from the Texas area, beginning on Saturday, November 13. 

“The process of selecting a roster is always difficult and exciting,” said 2021 12U National Team Manager RJ Farrell. “Our Trials roster was very talented and produced some great competition over the last three days. Ultimately, we feel that we have chosen the eighteen best players to represent our program and we cannot wait to compete with this group.”

The roster features 13 athletes who competed in the 2021 USA Baseball 11U Futures Invitational in June. The other five players on the roster participated in the 2021 National Team Identification Series (NTIS) Champions Cup in August. Both events were held at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina.

Ten different states are represented on the 18-man roster. California leads all states with five players represented on the team, followed by Texas with three players on the roster. 

The roster was chosen after four days of Trials, which included three games, daily on-field workouts and instruction, and Player Development Pipeline (PDP) Performance Evaluations. 

The 12U National Team will be led in 2021 by first-time manager RJ Farrell, who has previously served as an assistant coach with the 12U National Team three times. He will be joined by pitching coach Seth Kenny and assistants Erik Johnson and Tanner Vesely. Johnson and Kenny will make their national team coaching debuts in 2021, while Vesely, who led the 2015 12U National Team to gold as its manager at the 2015 World Baseball Softball Confederation U-12 Baseball World Cup, is on a national team staff for the sixth time. 

Team USA will begin its three-game 2021 schedule against ZT Elite on Saturday, November 13 at 6 p.m. CT. The stars and stripes will then take on Premier National on Sunday, November 14 at 4 p.m. CT and the Texas Scrappers on Monday, November 15 at 11 a.m. CT. All three games will be streamed on USA Baseball’s Facebook page.

The full 2021 12U National Team schedule can be found here.

For the most up-to-date information on the 12U National Team, visit USABaseball.com or follow @USABaseball and @USABaseball12U on Twitter.

    • 2021 12U National Team Roster
    • (Name; Hometown; School)
    • Brady Bickham; Claremont, Calif.; El Roble
    • Hudson Brown; Iola, Texas; Iola Intermediate
    • Easton Brunson; Highlands, Texas; Goose Creek
    • Brodie Campbell; Newnan, Ga.; Will at Newnan
    • Chase Cotton; Lincoln, Calif.; Whitney
    • Jackson Fetters; Montgomery, Texas; Oak Hills
    • Aaron Garcia; Pico Rivera, Calif.; EM Speed & Power
    • Angel Gonzalez; Whittier, Calif.; Resurrection Catholic
    • Jared Grindlinger; Huntington Beach, Calif.; Mesa View
    • Caleb Hudson; Carrollton, Ga.; Carrollton
    • Kekahupono Kong; Mililani, Hawaii; Kamehamena
    • Jackson Maddix; Pittsburgh, Penn.; Chartiers Valley
    • Julian Martinez; New York, N.Y.; Thompson Square
    • Julian Rodriguez; Boca Raton, Fla.; Don Estridge
    • Jacob Seamon; Rolling Meadows, Ill.; Grace Academy
    • Derek Vazquez; Charlotte, N.C.; Charlotte Preparatory
    • Isaac Vidal; Miami, Fla.; Ethel Koger Beckham
    • Jake Welch; Lehi, Utah; River Rock
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Game 3 Article

Stars Top Stripes, 5-2, in 12U Trials Finale

Three-run fifth inning propels Stars to first win
November 11, 2021
  1 2 3 4 5 6 R H E STARS  0  1 1 0 3 0 5 7 0 STRIPES 0 0 0 2 0 0 2 3 2 Win: Levi Kerr Loss: Duncan McLeod Save: Aaron Garcia  Box Score | Play-by-Play | Cumulative Stats EULESS, Texas – The Stars rallied for three runs
  1 2 3 4 5 6 R H E
STARS  0  1 1 0 3 0 5 7 0
STRIPES 0 0 0 2 0 0 2 3 2
Win: Levi Kerr Loss: Duncan McLeod Save: Aaron Garcia 
Box Score | Play-by-Play | Cumulative Stats

EULESS, Texas – The Stars rallied for three runs in the fifth inning to top the Stripes, 5-2, in the finale of the 2021 12U National Team Trials Series at The Parks at Texas Star in Euless, Texas.

With the game tied in the top of the fifth, Hudson Brown (Iola, Texas) delivered a two-out, two-run single to put the Stars in the lead. Brown then stole a base and scored on an error to give the Stars a three-run lead before the bullpen secured the win.

Seven different players had a hit for the Stars in the win. Brown, Levi Kerr (Holly Springs, N.C.), and Isaac Vidal (Miami, Fla.) all drove in runs for the Stars, who also stole four bases.

The Stripes were held to just three hits, paced offensively by Kekahunopo Kong (Mililani, Hawaii), Adrian Villela (Tucson, Ariz.), and Jake Welch (Lehi, Utah). Chase Cotton (Lincoln, Calif.) had the lone RBI for the Stripes.

Kerr earned the win for the Stars, tossing 1.1 scoreless innings with a strikeout. Duncan McLeod (Huntington Beach, Calif.) surrendered the loss for the Stripes. Aaron Garcia (Pico Rivera, Calif.) earned the save, throwing a perfect inning in the final frame.

Key Moments

  • After a scoreless first inning, the Stars scored first on an RBI groundout by Kerr in the second. Colt Sampson (Magnolia, Texas) scored on the play to give the Stars a 1-0 lead.
  • Jackson Maddix (Pittsburgh, Pa.) led off the top of the third with a single and came around to score on an RBI groundout by Vidal to extend the Stars’ lead to 2-0.
  • Julian Martinez (New York, N.Y.) walked to start the bottom of the fourth for the Stripes and eventually scored on Cotton’s RBI groundout. Villela, who doubled earlier in the inning, scored on a balk to tie the game for the Stripes
  • The Stars took the lead in the bottom of the fifth. Zachary Estrada (Covina, Calif.) started the rally with a leadoff single and advanced to second with two outs, before Brown’s two-run single gave the Stars a 4-2 lead. Brown then stole third base and scored on a throwing error to make it 5-2 in favor of the Stars.
  • After winning an 11-pitch battle with Jared Grindlinger (Huntington Beach, Calif.) to start the bottom of the sixth, Garcia retired the final two batters to secure the win for the Stars.

 

Notable Information

  • With the result, both teams finish Trials with 1-1-1 records.
  • Three pitchers did not allow a hit in the win for the Stars. Garcia, Vidal, and Derek Vazquez (Charlotte, N.C.) all held the Stripes hitless in four combined innings of work.
  • Vazquez struck out a game-high four batters in two innings pitched.
  • Garcia stole two more bases in game three for the Stars, giving him six stolen bases in the series.

 

Social

  • Stay tuned to @USABaseball12U on Twitter for the most up-to-date news about the 12U National Team Trials.
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G2FinalArticle

Stripes Use Late Rally to Top Stars in Game Two of Trials

Eight-run eighth inning gives Stripes first win of series in slugfest
November 11, 2021
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E STRIPES  3  0 4 0 1 0 1 8 1 18 18 4 STARS 2 0 2 2 2 2 1 2 0 13 12 2 Win: Jacob Seamon Loss: Adan Diaz Save: None  Box Score | Play-by-Play | Cumulative Stats FLOWER
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
STRIPES  3  0 4 0 1 0 1 8 1 18 18 4
STARS 2 0 2 2 2 2 1 2 0 13 12 2
Win: Jacob Seamon Loss: Adan Diaz Save: None 
Box Score | Play-by-Play | Cumulative Stats

FLOWER MOUND, Texas – The Stripes used an eight-run eighth inning to rally past the Stars, 18-13, in an offensive battle in the second game of the 2021 12U National Team Trials at Bakersfield Park in Flower Mound, Texas. 

Trailing 11-9 entering the top of the eighth, the Stripes tied the game on an RBI single by Jared Grindlinger (Huntington Beach, Calif.) before rattling off six more runs to take a commanding lead. The rally was capped by a double to left field by Jacob Seamon (Rolling Meadows, Ill.), which plated Brayden Landry (Puyallup, Wash.) to give the Stripes a six-run lead they would not relinquish.

Brodie Campbell (Newnan, Ga.), Grindlinger, and Kekahupono Kong (Mililani, Hawaii) all had three hits in the 18-hit outburst for the Stripes. Campbell was one of five Stripes to drive in two runs in the win. He also added a stolen base.

The Stars were paced offensively by Hudson Brown (Iola, Texas), Caleb Hudson (Carrollton, Ga.), and Isaac Vidal (Miami, Fla.), who all had multi-hit performances. Brown, who hit a two-run homer in the fourth, had a game-high three RBIs. Aaron Garcia (Pico Rivera, Calif.) scored three runs and stole three bases for the Stars.

Seamon earned the win for the Stripes, allowing one run and striking out three in 2.2 innings of work. Adan Diaz (Gavilan Hills, Calif.) surrendered the loss for the Stars.

Key Moments

  • Both teams got off to quick starts, with the Stripes striking for three runs in the opening frame. Campbell drove in the first two runs with an RBI double, and Konnor Briggs (Oxford, Fla.) plated him with an RBI single to give the Stripes an early 3-0 lead.
  • Brown drove in the Stars’ first run, doubling home Garcia, before Diaz added the second run with an RBI groundout to trim the Stars’ deficit to 3-2 in the first.
  • The Stripes’ offense continued its strong start in the third inning, scoring four more runs. Briggs drove in the first run of the frame with an RBI bunt single before Seamon and Easton Brunson (Highlands, Texas) tallied back-to-back RBI hits to extend the Stripes’ lead. Duncan McLeod (Huntington Beach, Calif.) drove in the final run of the inning to give the Stripes a 7-2 advantage.
  • The Stars scored two runs in four consecutive innings, starting with the third. Landon DeRouen (Delcambre, La.) drove in a run for the Stars in the bottom half of the inning, and another run came around to score on an error as the Stars cut the Stripes’ lead to 7-4.
  • With a runner on third and two outs in the fourth, Brown hit an opposite-field, two-run home run as the Stars got within a run to trail 7-6.
  • After the Stripes added a run on an error in the top of the fifth, DeRouen hit a sacrifice fly and Levi Kerr (Holly Springs, N.C.) followed with a game-tying, RBI groundout in the bottom of the inning for the Stars to make the score 8-8.
  • The Stars took their first lead of the game in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI single by Derek Vazquez (Charlotte, N.C.). Vazquez later scored on a groundout to extend the Stars’ lead to 10-8.
  • Brunson scored on a wild pitch to trim the Stripes’ deficit to a run in the seventh, but Hudson hit an RBI single in the bottom of the inning to extend the Stars’ lead back to two runs.
  • The Stripes’ first run of their eight-run eighth inning came on a balk, before Grindlinger hit a game-tying RBI single to score Kong. Three batters later, Brunson was hit by a pitch to give the Stripes a 12-11 lead.
  • After Angel Gonzalez (Whittier, Calif.) walked to drive in a run, Landry hit an RBI single to grow the Stripes’ lead to three. Two more runs scored on an error before Seamon put the finishing touches on the rally with an RBI double to give the Stripes a 17-11 edge.
  • The Stars scored twice in the eighth on a walk and error to make it 17-13, and the Stripes added the final run of the day in the ninth on a fielder’s choice to give them an 18-13 edge that they would hold on to.

 

Notable Information

  • With the win, the Stripes are now 1-0-1 through the first two games of the series. The Stars fall to 0-1-1.
  • The Stripes tallied 18 hits in the win just one day after totaling just four in game one. Six players had two-hit games on Wednesday, and eight players drove in at least one run for the Stripes.
  • Led by Garcia’s three stolen bags, the Stars had seven total steals in the game. There have now been 27 stolen bases in the first two games of the series.
  • Both the Stripes’ Jacob Gray (Benicia, Calif.) and the Stars’ Julian Rodriquez (Boca Raton, Fla.) walked three times in today’s game.
  • Grindlinger has a series-most four hits through the series’ first three games.

 

On Deck

  • November 11: Stars vs. Stripes (9:00 a.m. ET/8:00 a.m. CT, Bakersfield Park)

 

Social

  • Stay tuned to @USABaseball12U on Twitter for the most up-to-date news about the 12U National Team Trials.
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12U G1 Article

Stars Battle Back to Tie Opener of 12U Trials Series

Garcia's ninth-inning RBI secures 7-7 tie in first game of series
November 10, 2021
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E STARS  0  0 1 0 2 1 2 0 1 7 8 3 STRIPES 0 2 0 4 0 1 0 0 0 7 4 3 Win: None Loss: None Save: None  Box Score | Play-by-Play | Cumulative Stats FLOWER MOUND, Texas
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
STARS  0  0 1 0 2 1 2 0 1 7 8 3
STRIPES 0 2 0 4 0 1 0 0 0 7 4 3
Win: None Loss: None Save: None 
Box Score | Play-by-Play | Cumulative Stats

FLOWER MOUND, Texas – The Stars scored three runs over the game's final three innings to battle back and secure a 7-7 tie against the Stripes in the opening game of the 2021 12U National Team Trials at Bakersfield Park in Flower Mound, Texas.

The Stripes scored first, plating a pair of runs in the second inning and four runs in the fourth frame to take an early 6-1 lead. But the Stars chipped away, scoring five runs in the middle three innings to make it a one-run game entering the ninth.

With one out in the top of the ninth, the Stars' Aaron Garcia (Pico Rivera, Calif.) drove Caleb Hudson (Carrollton, Ga.) in with a game-tying groundout to make it a 7-7 game. Isaac Vidal (Miami, Fla.) then worked around a leadoff walk in the bottom of the final frame for the Stars to secure the tie.

Julian Martinez (New York, N.Y.) led the Stripes offensive attack, picking up two hits (2-for-2) and driving in two runs. Easton Brunson (Highlands, Texas) and Jared Grindlinger (Huntington Beach, Calif.) each added a hit for the Stripes.

The Stars tallied eight hits from eight different players. Brady Bickham (Claremont, Calif.), Garcia, Hudson, and Colt Sampson (Magnolia, Texas) all drove in runs for the Stars.

Key Moments

  • After Konnor Briggs (Oxford, Fla.) and Hudson Brown (Iola, Texas) exchanged scoreless first innings on the mound, the Stripes opened the scoring in the bottom of the second on a two-run double by Martinez.
  • The Stars answered in the top of the third, cutting their deficit to one on an RBI single by Bickham. Hudson scored on the play after getting hit by a pitch and stealing two bases.
  • Angel Gonzalez (Whittier, Calif.) and Jacob Gray (Benicia, Calif.) both reached scoring position for the Stripes in the bottom of the third, but Zachary Estrada (Covina, Calif.) escaped the jam on the mound to keep it 2-1, Stripes.
  • The Stripes rallied for four runs in the bottom of the fourth. Brunson led off the inning with a double and scored on a throwing error to make it 3-1, Stripes.
  • Brodie Campbell (Newnan, Ga.) and Martinez both scored on wild pitches for the Stripes, and Jackson Fetters (Montgomery, Texas) added another run to extend the lead to five in the fourth inning.
  • The Stars responded quickly in the fifth. Carter Moon (Bogart, Ga.) led off the inning with a walk before stealing second and scoring on an RBI single by Hudson to make it 6-2, Stripes. Hudson eventually scored on a wild pitch to make it a three-run deficit for the Stars. Estrada was hit by a pitch with two outs in the top of the sixth before coming around to score for the Stars to make it a 6-4 game.
  • The Stripes loaded the bases in the bottom of the sixth, and Kekahupono Kong (Mililani, Hawaii) scored on a wild pitch, extending the lead to 7-4 in favor of the Stripes.
  • After Levi Kerr (Holly Springs, N.C.) and Jackson Maddix (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) walked, Sampson dunked a two-run single into left field for the Stars to cut the deficit to 7-6.
  • Down to their final two outs, the Stars tied the game on an RBI groundout by Garcia to make it 7-7.
  • Adrian Villela (Tuscon, Ariz.) led off the bottom of the ninth with a walk, but Vidal worked around it to escape the jam and secure the tie.

 

Notable Information

  • With the result, both teams are 0-0-1 to begin Trials.
  • All 10 pitchers recorded at least one strikeout in the game, with Maddix leading the way with six in 2.2 innings pitched.
  • Both teams combined for 17 stolen bases. Hudson had a game-high three, while 14 other players tallied a stolen base.
  • Gonzalez, Blake Ragsdale (Burr Ridge, Ill.), and Jake Welch (Lehi, Utah) all drew two walks for the Stripes.

 

On Deck

  • November 10: Stars vs. Stripes (12:30 p.m. CT/11:30 1.m. CT, Bakersfield Park)
  • November 11: Stars vs. Stripes (9:00 a.m. ET/8:00 a.m. CT, Bakersfield Park)

 

Social

  • Stay tuned to @USABaseball12U on Twitter for the most up-to-date news about the 12U National Team Trials.
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Final Gameday Article

GAMEDAY: Stars and Stripes Ready for Final Battle of 12U Trials

November 9, 2021
GAME Stars vs. Stripes TIME 8:00 a.m. CT/9:00 a.m. ET LOCATION Euless, Texas (The Parks at Texas Star) FOLLOW Live Stream EULESS, Texas -- The 2021 12U National Team Trials Stars vs. Stripes Series wraps up on Thursday morning from The Parks at Texas Star in Euless, Texas. First pitch is set for 8:00
GAME Stars vs. Stripes
TIME 8:00 a.m. CT/9:00 a.m. ET
LOCATION Euless, Texas (The Parks at Texas Star)
FOLLOW Live Stream

EULESS, Texas -- The 2021 12U National Team Trials Stars vs. Stripes Series wraps up on Thursday morning from The Parks at Texas Star in Euless, Texas. First pitch is set for 8:00 a.m. CT/9:00 a.m. ET.

It will be the last of three games played as part of the 12U National Team Trials. Following the conclusion of Trials, 18 players will be selected to compete in a three-game exhibition series against local Texas travel programs.

Notable Information

  • The Stripes rallied late to knock off the Stars, 18-13, in the second game of the series on Wednesday.
  • The Stripes enter the finale 1-0-1, while the Stars look for their first win at 0-1-1.
  • Jared Grindlinger (Huntington Beach, Calif.) has a series-best four hits through the first two games of the series.
  • After having only four hits in game one, the Stripes tallied 18 in the game two win on Wednesday.
  • After two nine-inning games to start Trials, Thursday's game will be a six-inning battle.
  • The roster comprises 35 of the best 11-and-under players from across the entire country, selected by the USA Baseball Task Force throughout several different identification events.
  • Twenty-three players on the roster were identified at the 2021 USA Baseball Futures Invitiational, while the other 12 were chosen from the 2021 National Team Identification Series (NTIS) Champions Cup.
  • The roster features athletes from 13 different states, with 10 players hailing from California. Texas has the second-most players with six, while Florida and Georgia each tout four.
  • The 2021 12U National Team will be managed by RJ Farrell, who has previously served as an assistant coach with the 12U National Team three times. It is his national team managerial debut.
  • Farrell is joined on staff by  pitching coach Seth Kenny and assistant coaches, Erik Johnson and Tanner Vesely. Johnson and Kenny will make their national team coaching debuts, while Vesely, who led the 2015 12U National Team to gold as manager at the 2015 WBSC U-12 Baseball World Cup, is on the staff for the fourth time.
  • The Stripes will be coached by Veronica Alvarez, Jim Koerner, and Bryan Madsen. The Stars will be led by Troy Gerlach and Gabe Ortiz Jr.
  • The 2021 12U National Team roster will be announced on November 11, at the conclusion of Trials.

 

Social

  • Stay tuned to @USABaseball12U on Twitter for the most up-to-date news about the 2021 12U National Team Trials.
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Kekahupono Kong Article

USA Baseball Finalizes 2021 12U National Team Trials Roster

Trials to take place in Flower Mound, Texas, beginning on November 8
September 17, 2021
CARY, N.C. – USA Baseball today finalized the 36-man roster for the 2021 12U National Team Trials with the selection of 12 athletes from the 2021 National Team Identification Series (NTIS) Champions Cup. The selected players will compete in Flower Mound, Texas, from November 8-11, for 18 spots on the

CARY, N.C. – USA Baseball today finalized the 36-man roster for the 2021 12U National Team Trials with the selection of 12 athletes from the 2021 National Team Identification Series (NTIS) Champions Cup. The selected players will compete in Flower Mound, Texas, from November 8-11, for 18 spots on the final 12U National Team. The final roster will be announced at the conclusion of Trials on November 11.

The final 12 invitees participated in the 2021 NTIS Champions Cup, which took place earlier this summer in Cary, North Carolina. The NTIS, which is the most comprehensive player identification program offered by USA Baseball, concluded in August at the USA Baseball National Training Complex and Thomas Brooks Park.

“We are excited to take this next step and finalize our thirty-six-man trials roster,” said Will Schworer, USA Baseball’s 12U National Team Program Director. “The players who have been selected have demonstrated elite baseball ability and are high-character kids, and we look forward to watching them compete at Trials in November.”

In addition to the 12 players selected from this year’s Champions Cup, 24 athletes were identified during their participation in the Futures Invitational in June. The Futures Invitational, which are elite youth championship events exclusively reserved for the best 10U and 11U teams featuring the top youth talent in the nation, took place at Thomas Brooks Park and Middle Creek Park in Cary, North Carolina.

Fourteen different states are represented on the 36-man roster, with 10 players hailing from California. Texas has the second most athletes with six, while Florida and Georgia tout four players each. 

The 12U National Team will be led in 2021 by first-time manager RJ Farrell, who has previously served as an assistant coach with the 12U National Team three times. He will be joined by pitching coach Seth Kenny and assistants Erik Johnson and Tanner Vesely. Johnson and Kenny will make their national team coaching debuts, while Vesely, who led the 2015 12U National Team to gold as manager at the 2015 WBSC U-12 Baseball World Cup, is on the staff for the fourth time.

The schedule for the 2021 12U National Team is to be determined following the postponement of the 2021 World Baseball Softball Confederation U-12 Baseball World Cup to the summer of 2022. A formal schedule announcement will be made at a later time.

For the most up-to-date information on the 12U National Team, visit USABaseball.com and follow @USABaseball and @USABaseball12U on Twitter.

  • 2021 NTIS Champions Cup Selections
  • (Name; Hometown; School)
  • Caleb Alexander; Houston, Texas; Wood Creek
  • Brady Bickham; Claremont, Calif.; El Roble
  • Caden Borcherding; McDonough, Ga.; Ola
  • Easton Brunson; Highlands, Texas; Goose Creek
  • Valentin Ceballos; New Braunfels, Texas; New Braunfels
  • Zachary Estrada; Covina, Calif.; Las Palmas
  • Jacob Gray; Benicia, Calif.; North Hills Christian
  • Kekahupono Kong; Mililani, Hawaii; Kamehamena
  • Jackson Maddix; Pittsburgh, Pa.; Chartiers Valley
  • Logan Pascarella; Corona, Calif.; Centennial
  • Blake Ragsdale; Burr Ridge, Ill.; Pleasantdale
  • Jacob Seamon; Rolling Meadows, Ill.; Grace Academy

 

  • 2022 12U National Team Trials Roster
  • (Name; Hometown; School)
  • *Caleb Alexander; Houston, Texas; Wood Creek
  • *Brady Bickham; Claremont, Calif.; El Roble
  • *Caden Borcherding; McDonough, Ga.; Ola
  • ^Konnor Briggs; Oxford, Fla.; The Villages Charter
  • ^Hudson Brown; Iola, Texas; Iola Intermediate
  • *Easton Brunson; Highlands, Texas; Goose Creek
  • ^Nathan "Brodie" Campbell; Newnan, Ga.; Will at Newnan
  • *Valentin Ceballos; New Braunfels, Texas; New Braunfels
  • ^Chase Cotton; Lincoln, Calif.; Whitney
  • ^Landen DeRouen; Delcambre, La.; Erath
  • ^Adan Diaz; Gavilan Hills, Calif.; Amelia Earhart
  • *Zachary Estrada; Covina, Calif.; Las Palmas
  • ^Jackson Fetters; Montgomery, Texas; Oak Hills
  • ^Aaron Garcia; Pico Rivera, Calif.; EM Speed & Power
  • ^Angel Gonzalez; Whittier, Calif.; Resurrection Catholic
  • *Jacob Gray; Benicia, Calif.; North Hills Christian
  • ^Jared Grindlinger; Huntington Beach, Calif.; Mesa View
  • ^Caleb Hudson; Carrollton, Ga.; Carrollton
  • ^Levi Kerr; Holly Springs, N.C.; Marvin Ridge
  • *Kekahupono Kong; Mililani, Hawaii; Kamehamena
  • ^Brayden Landry; Puyallup, Wash.; Stahl Junior High
  • *Jackson Maddix; Pittsburgh, Penn.; Chartiers Valley
  • ^Julian Martinez; New York, N.Y.; Thompson Square
  • ^Duncan McLeod; Huntington Beach, Calif.; Marine View
  • ^Carter Moon; Bogart, Ga.; Malcom Bridge
  • ^Roberto Negron; Land o' Lakes, Fla.; Florida Virtual
  • *Logan Pascarella; Corona, Calif.; Centennial
  • *Blake Ragsdale; Burr Ridge, Ill.; Pleasantdale
  • ^Julian Rodriguez; Boca Raton, Fla.; Don Estridge
  • ^Colt Sampson; Magnolia, Texas; Tomball
  • ^Jael Santos; Paterson, N.J.; Woodrow Wilson
  • *Jacob Seamon; Rolling Meadows, Ill.; Grace Academy
  • ^Derek Vazquez; Charlotte, N.C.; Charlotte Preparatory
  • ^Issac Vidal; Miami, Fla.; Ethel Koger Beckham
  • ^Adrian Villela; Tucson, Ariz.; Dodge
  • ^Jake Welch; Lehi, Utah; River Rock
  •  
  • *denotes identification at NTIS Champions Cup
  • ^denotes identification at Futures Invitational
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LincolnBoyleArticle

USA Baseball Announces 2021 National Team Identification Series Selections

A total of 72 athletes were selected for 2022 national team programming from the 2021 NTIS Champions Cup
September 16, 2021
CARY, N.C. – USA Baseball today announced the 72 athletes selected from the 2021 National Team Identification Series (NTIS) for its 2022 national team programming, following the completion of the NTIS Champions Cup that was held at the National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina, from August 11-29. The announcement

CARY, N.C. – USA Baseball today announced the 72 athletes selected from the 2021 National Team Identification Series (NTIS) for its 2022 national team programming, following the completion of the NTIS Champions Cup that was held at the National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina, from August 11-29. The announcement was first made on the USA Baseball NTIS Selection Show, which can be found on USABaseball.com and the organization’s YouTube channel, USABaseballTV

The NTIS is USA Baseball’s most comprehensive player identification program and includes six age groups ranging from 11U-16U. Under the direction of USA Baseball Regional Directors, tryouts are held in every region of the country to be identified and selected for their regional teams, and invited to the NTIS Champions Cup in Cary, North Carolina.

 

 

The 2021 NTIS Champions Cup featured over 1,200 of the nation’s best players competing in 144 games, as well as skill testing and on-field evaluations run by USA Baseball Task Force and national team coaches.

“After an incredible month of competition, we are excited to announce the seventy-two athletes who have been selected out of our National Team Identification Series for next year’s national team programming,” said USA Baseball Assistant Director of Baseball Operations Ann Claire Roberson. “The outstanding talent at this year’s Champions Cup in Cary made for a very difficult selection process for our task force members and national team program directors, but we are looking forward to watching these players continue to grow in the coming year and seeing their impact on our 2022 programming.” 

Twelve athletes from each age group were invited to compete in the following year’s age-appropriate national team programming events, including the 2022 12U National Team Trials, the 2022 13U/14U Athlete Development Program (ADP), the 2022 15U National Team Trials, and the 2022 16U/17U National Team Development Program (NTDP).

In total, the 72 athletes selected are from twenty-three different states and all six regions from across the U.S.

The 2021 National Team Identification Series selections are as follows:

Name; Position; Hometown; Region

 

  • 2022 12U National Team Trials invitees:
  • (from 11U NTIS)
  • Trenton Finley; C; Lebanon, Tenn.; Southeast
  • Anthony Frausto; INF/LHP; New Braunfels, Texas; South
  • Mason Harris; INF/RHP; Rocklin, Calif.; Northwest
  • Landon King; INF/RHP; San Mateo, Calif.; Northwest
  • Grady Klovstad; OF; Orange, Calif.; Southwest
  • Cristian Matos; C/RHP; Belleville, N.J.; Northeast
  • Braiden Miller; INF/RHP; Waterford, Va.; Northeast
  • Ethan Orozco; C/RHP; Chula Vista, Calif.; Southwest
  • James Stout; C; Artesia, Calif.; Southwest
  • Elliot Su; INF/RHP; Rochester, Minn.; Midwest
  • Maximus Villalva; INF; El Cajon, Calif.; Southwest
  • Ellis White; INF/1B; Concord, N.C.; Southeast

 

  • 2022 13U/14U Athlete Development Program invitees:
  • (from 12U NTIS)
  • Caleb Alexander; IF/RHP; Houston, Texas; South
  • Brady Bickham; IF/RHP; Claremont, Calif.; Southwest
  • Caden Borcherding; C/IF; McDonough, Ga.; Southeast
  • Chase Cotton; IF/RHP; Lincoln, Calif.; Northwest
  • Zachary Estrada; OF/RHP; Covina, Calif.; Southwest
  • Aaron Garcia; IF/C; Pico Rivera, Calif.; Southwest
  • Jacob Gray; MIF; Benicia, Calif.; Northwest
  • Kekahupono Kong; RHP/C; Mililani, Hawaii; Southwest
  • Jackson Maddix; OF/LHP; Pittsburgh, Pa.; Northeast
  • Logan Pascarella; LHP/IF; Corona, Calif.; Southwest
  • Blake Ragsdale; IF/RHP; Burr Ridge, Ill.; Midwest
  • Jacob Seamon; OF/RHP; Rolling Meadows, Ill.; Midwest

 

  • 2022 13U/14U Athlete Development Program invitees:
  • (from 13U NTIS)
  • Blake Bowen; OF/IF; Riverside, Calif.; Southwest
  • Lincoln Boyle; RHP/IF; Overland Park, Kan.; South
  • Judson Dowell; IF/RHP; Houston, Texas; South
  • Andruw Giles; OF/IF; Henderson, Nev.; Southwest
  • Aaron Hernandez; LHP/OF; Miami, Fla.; Southeast
  • Archer Horn; IF/RHP; San Mateo, Calif.; Northwest
  • Josiah Morris; C/IF; Oakley, Calif.; Northwest
  • Joshua Priest; IF/OF; San Diego, Calif.; Southwest
  • Taytum Reeves; C/IF; Menifee, Calif.; Southwest
  • Logan Schmidt; LHP/IF; Villa Park, Calif.; Southwest
  • Dylan Seward; IF/RHP; Eastvale, Calif.; Southwest
  • Julian Suarez; C/IF; Sinton, Texas; South

 

  • 2022 15U National Team Trials invitees:
  • (from 14U NTIS)
  • Marcus Cantu; IF/RHP; Friendswood, Texas; South
  • John Dolan; C/IF; Huffman, Texas; Southm
  • Ethan Downum; OF/LHP; Frisco, Texas; South
  • Magdiel Estevez; OF/LHP; Miami, Fla.; Southeastk
  • Gian Gamelli; LHP/IF; Wenham, Mass.; Northeast
  • Reid Jacobson; IF/RHP; Albuquerque, N.M.; Southwest
  • Lyndon Lee; IF/IF; Las Vegas, Nev.; Southwest
  • Carlos Machado; IF/RHP; Pembroke Pines, Fla.; Southeast
  • Brady Murrietta; C/IF; Yorba Linda, Calif.; Southwest
  • Davidenko Rodriguez; IF/OF; Katy, Texas; South
  • Sebastian Segura; IF; Spring, Texas; South
  • John Austin Wood; C/IF; Tupelo, Miss.; Southeast

 

  • 2022 16U/17U National Team Development Program invitees:
  • (from 15U NTIS)
  • Alec Blair; OF/LHP; Lafayette, Calif.; Northwest
  • Cash Campbell; IF/RHP; Downers Grove, Ill.; Midwest
  • Kayson Cunningham; IF/OF; San Antonio, Texas; South
  • Jonathan Dobis; OF/RHP; Eagan, Minn.; Midwest
  • Conor Essenburg; IF/LHP; Manhattan, Ill.; Midwest
  • Jake Evans; IF/OF; Long Beach, Calif.; Southwest
  • Ross Felder; RHP/IF; Springdale, Ark.; Southwest
  • Aidan Hall; IF/RHP; Galt, Calif.; Northwest
  • Jake Haruki; C/OF; Irvine, Calif.; Southwest
  • Cooper Moss; RHP/IF; Panama City Beach, Fla.; Southeast
  • Jacob Smith; IF/RHP; Winston Salem, N.C.; Southeast
  • Quindon Wright; OF/RHP; Albany, Ga.; Southeast

 

  • 2022 16U/17U National Team Development Program invitees:
  • (from 16U NTIS)
  • Danny Arambula; IF/OF; Redlands, Calif.; Southwest
  • Andrew (AJ) Garcia; OF/LHP; Chicago, Ill.; Midwest
  • Holden Harris; RHP/IF; Leander, Texas; South
  • Leighton Harris; LHP/IF; Lexington, Ky.; Midwest
  • Joshua Knoth; RHP/OF; Medford, N.Y.; Northeast
  • Joe McGee; OF; Danville, Calif.; Northwest
  • Joseph McMannis; RHP/IF; Emmitsburg, Md.; Northeast
  • Bryce Navarre; LHP/IF; Lake Charles, La.; Southwest
  • Landon O'Donnell; IF; Valrico, Fla.; Southeast
  • Owen Paino; IF/OF; Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; Northeast
  • Gabriel Tirado; C/IF; Newington, Conn.; Northeast
  • Joey Tonnotti; RHP/OF; Southington, Conn.; Northeast
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Leiter_TeamPagesMW

Six USA Baseball Alumni Taken in First Night of 2021 Major League Baseball Draft

2018 18U National Team alum Jack Leiter selected by Rangers with second overall pick
July 12, 2021
CARY, N.C. – Six USA Baseball alumni were selected in the first round of the 2021 Major League Baseball Draft on Sunday night, including second overall pick Jack Leiter. USA Baseball has now had 529 total athletes drafted in the first round since 1972. Leiter (No. 2, Texas Rangers) was the

CARY, N.C. – Six USA Baseball alumni were selected in the first round of the 2021 Major League Baseball Draft on Sunday night, including second overall pick Jack Leiter. USA Baseball has now had 529 total athletes drafted in the first round since 1972.

Leiter (No. 2, Texas Rangers) was the first USA Baseball alum taken in the 2021 draft. The Rangers have now drafted a USA Baseball alumnus with their first-round pick in three consecutive drafts (Josh Jung, 2019; Justin Foscue, 2020). Leiter pitched for the 2018 18U National Team, striking out 20 and allowing zero earned runs to help the stars and stripes clinch gold at the 2018 COPABE U-18 Pan-American Championships.

Two more alumni were selected in the Draft’s first 10 picks with 2019 Collegiate National Team outfielder Colton Cowser coming off the board next as the fifth overall pick by the Baltimore Orioles. Kumar Rocker, who won a world championship with the 2017 18U National Team, was selected 10th overall by the New York Mets.

Two-time national team alum Brady House immediately followed Rocker, going to the Washington Nationals with the 11th pick. House is an alum of both the world-champion 2015 12U and 2018 15U National Teams. He was joined on the board two picks later by 15U National Team teammate Andy Painter, who went 13th overall to the Philadelphia Phillies.

2015 12U National Team alum Cooper Kinney was selected 34th overall by the Tampa Bay Rays to round out the first round for USA Baseball.

Four national team programs were represented in the first round of the 2021 MLB Draft. In total, the six alumni selected in the opening round have won a total of six gold medals in international competition.

Nine athletes taken in the first round have participated in the National Team Development Program, including Marcelo Mayer (No. 4, Boston Red Sox), Jordan Lawlar (No. 6, Arizona Diamondbacks), Rocker, House, Painter, Max Muncy (No. 25, Oakland Athletics), Maddux Bruns (No. 29, Los Angeles Dodgers), Joe Mack (No. 31, Miami Marlins), and Kinney.

The 2021 MLB Draft will continue on Monday, July 12, at 1 p.m. ET.

The full list of USA Baseball alumni selected in the first round of the 2021 MLB Draft is as follows:

    • Round-Pick; Name; MLB Team; USA Baseball Team(s)
    • 1-2; Jack Leiter; Texas Rangers; 2018 18U National Team
    • 1-5; Colton Cowser; Baltimore Orioles, 2019 Collegiate National Team
    • 1-10; Kumar Rocker; New York Mets; 2017 18U National Team
    • 1-11; Brady House; Washington Nationals; 2015 12U National Team, 2018 15U National Team
    • 1-13; Andy Painter; Philadelphia Phillies; 2018 15U National Team
    • 1-34; Cooper Kinney; Tampa Bay Rays; 2015 12U National Team
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RJ Farrell 16-9

USA Baseball Announces 2021 12U National Team Coaching Staff

R.J. Farrell named manager after serving as assistant coach for three years
June 10, 2021
CARY, N.C. – USA Baseball today named the coaching staff for the 2021 12U National Team highlighted by the naming of three-time 12U National Team assistant coach R.J. Farrell as manager. Farrell is joined on the 2021 staff by pitching coach Seth Kenny and assistant coaches Erik Johnson and Tanner Vesely.

CARY, N.C. – USA Baseball today named the coaching staff for the 2021 12U National Team highlighted by the naming of three-time 12U National Team assistant coach R.J. Farrell as manager. Farrell is joined on the 2021 staff by pitching coach Seth Kenny and assistant coaches Erik Johnson and Tanner Vesely.

"We are excited to have R.J. leading the 12U National Team this summer as he brings great experience not only with USA Baseball, but with the game in general to our players," said USA Baseball 12U National Team Director Will Schworer. "We are confident that he, and the rest of his staff, will serve as exceptional mentors for these young athletes both on and off the field as they continue to set a standard of excellence for our program."

Farrell was set to be the manager of the 2020 12U National Team before the COVID-19 pandemic forced the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-12 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier to be postponed. Currently, he is in his second year as an assistant coach and Athletic Support and Compliance Coordinator at Orange Lutheran High School (Orange, Calif.) after spending seven years as the head coach at Rancho Cucamonga High School (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.), where 30 of his former players went on to play collegiate baseball.

Prior to coaching at Rancho Cucamonga High School, he spent one year as an assistant coach at Orange Lutheran High School in 2012, was an associate head coach and recruiting coordinator at Patten University (Oakland, Calif.) from 2009-2011, and served as an assistant coach at De La Salle High School (Concord, Calif.) from 2007-2008.

In his three years as an assistant coach for the 12U National Team, Farrell helped to lead Team USA to gold medals at the 2017 WBSC U-12 Baseball World Cup and the 2018 COPABE U-12 Pan-American Championships. In addition, Farrell has worked with USA Baseball at the 11U National Team Identification Series (NTIS), 12U National Open and the USA Baseball Futures Invitational, as well as serving as a 12U National Team Trials coach in 2016.

Kenny, who is making his USA Baseball national team coaching debut as the pitching coach for the 2021 12U National Team, is currently in his 11th year as the Director of Player Development and Youth Director for Top Tier Baseball. Kenny started his 20-year coaching career as a pitching coach for the Danville Dans, Austin Peay State University and Illinois State University from 2000-2008. Following his time at Illinois State, he returned to his role as pitching coach at Austin Peay, while also serving as the program's recruiting coordinator until joining Top Tier Baseball in 2010. In his career with USA Baseball, Kenny has coached at the 12U National Open since 2015, was a member of the 11U NTIS Task Force in 2017 and 2019, and was a 12U National Team Trials coach in 2018 and 2019. Kenny was also set to be the pitching coach for last year’s 12U National Team before competition was canceled.

Johnson is also making his USA Baseball national team coaching debut in 2021 after no games were played last summer. However, he is no stranger to donning the red, white and blue, having first played for Team USA on the 1985 Collegiate National Team before suiting up as a coach. He has been involved with the NTIS since its inception in 2007, serving as a coach of the Northern California region until 2017 when he became a scouting director and coach for the Northwest Region. Additionally, he was a member of the 12U National Open coaching staff in both 2018 and 2019 and then served as a 2019 12U National Team Trials coach. Currently, he is the President and General Manager of EJ Sports where he has also been a coach since 1997.

Rounding out the staff is Vesely, who returns to the 12U National Team coaching staff after leading the 2015 squad to the program's second consecutive world championship at the WBSC U-12 Baseball World Cup. Prior to his time as manager, Vesely helped guide the 12U National Team to its first-ever gold medal at the 2013 International Baseball Federation and a silver medal at the 2014 COPABE "A" Pan-American Championships as an assistant coach.

Vesely began his national team coaching career more than a decade ago with back-to-back gold medals as an assistant coach with the 2008 and 2009 14U National Teams. In addition, he has served as a member of the Task Force at the National Team Championships in Arizona since 2008, a member of the 12U National Open coaching staff since 2013 and was a coach at the Women's National Team Trials in 2019. He was also part of the inaugural 2019 13U Athlete Development Program coaching staff and served on the NTIS Task Force in 2009, 2016 and 2018. Currently in his 16th season as an assistant coach at Corona del Sol High School (Tempe, Ariz.), Vesely also helped lead his team to the USA Baseball National High School Invitational in 2019.

The 2021 12U National Team identification process kickstarts at the 2021 11U Futures Invitational from June 24-27 in Cary, North Carolina. Following the identification events, players will be invited to participate in the 12U National Team Trials later in the summer.

The 12U National Team schedule is not yet finalized for 2021. Events and dates will be announced at a later time.

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

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Bratcher

Ashley Bratcher Named General Manager of 18U National Team Program

She will manage all aspects of the national team program, including 16U and 17U NTDP and the PDP League
April 20, 2021
CARY, N.C. – USA Baseball today named Ashley Bratcher General Manager of the 18U National Team program. She will manage all aspects of the 18U National Team program, including the 16U and 17U National Team Development Programs and the Prospect Development Pipeline (PDP) League. Additionally, she will continue to oversee the

CARY, N.C. – USA Baseball today named Ashley Bratcher General Manager of the 18U National Team program. She will manage all aspects of the 18U National Team program, including the 16U and 17U National Team Development Programs and the Prospect Development Pipeline (PDP) League. Additionally, she will continue to oversee the Baseball Operations department.

The 18U National Team program is a stalwart on the international stage. Winners of eight world championships dating back to 1988, the 18U program has won 13 gold medals in its history, including eight consecutive from 2011-2018. Major League Baseball (MLB) MVPs Bryce Harper, Eric Hosmer, Clayton Kershaw, Freddie Freeman, Joe Mauer, Andrew McCutchen, Buster Posey, and Alex Rodriguez have all represented the U.S. in this program, and 71 alumni have been selected in the first round of the MLB Draft since 2010.

"It is an exciting time for USA Baseball and that stems from naming Ashley Bratcher as the General Manager for our 18U National Team,” said USA Baseball Executive Director and CEO Paul Seiler. “Ashley is eminently qualified for this position. She is highly knowledgeable and very well respected within the game of baseball, and we are incredibly excited for her to take responsibility and ownership of this program. We know she will do a great job representing our 18U National Team and our nation on the international stage."

“I am extremely honored to be named the General Manager for the 18U National Team,” said Bratcher. “I have had a host of tremendous opportunities throughout my career at USA Baseball that have prepared me for this new role. I look forward to calling upon those experiences and the relationships I have cultivated over the past twelve years to sustain and build upon the successful history of the 18U program.”

The 2021 18U National Team will compete on its home soil for its ninth world championship this September. For the first time since 1995, the United States will host the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-18 Baseball World Cup. The event will take place September 10-19 in Bradenton and Sarasota, Florida.

Bratcher joined USA Baseball in 2009 as an operations intern and was promoted to the Director of Operations later in the same year. In that role, she ran baseball camps, managed all operational needs at the USA Baseball National Training Complex, and oversaw the Women’s National Team program. Bratcher was elevated to Director of National Team Development Programs and Women’s National Team in 2012 and was named Senior Director of Baseball Operations in 2015. For the past six years she supervised the 12U, 15U, and Women’s National Team programs, the 14U National Team Development Program (NTDP), the National Team Identification Series (NTIS), the National Team Championships, and the 13U/14U Athlete Development Program.

As the program director for the 15U National Team, Bratcher led the team to three consecutive gold medals from 2017-2019, including its first world championship in program history at the 2018 WBSC U-15 Baseball World Cup and back-to-back gold medals at the WBSC U-15 Baseball World Cup Qualifier in 2017 and 2019. She also led the Women’s National Team to a gold medal in the inaugural women’s baseball tournament at the Pan American Games in 2015 and a gold medal at the 2019 COPABE Women's Pan-American Championships.

Additionally, she currently serves on the Steering Committee for the newly acquired Appalachian League as part of the PDP and has been integral in its daily operation as USA Baseball prepares for its inaugural season.

Bratcher graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in exercise and sports science. While at UNC, she worked with the 21-time NCAA National Champion women's soccer program as both a team manager and camp administrator. Bratcher also completed the Major League Baseball Scouting Bureau’s scout development program in 2017.

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Jim Koerner Named USA Baseball Director of Player Development

He will develop on-field programming for national team and development programs after 20 years as a college coach
April 13, 2021
CARY, N.C. – USA Baseball announced today the hiring of Jim Koerner as its Director of Player Development. Following 20 years of coaching at the collegiate level, Koerner will now be responsible for developing on-field programming for USA Baseball’s six national teams and three national team development programs. He will

CARY, N.C. – USA Baseball announced today the hiring of Jim Koerner as its Director of Player Development. Following 20 years of coaching at the collegiate level, Koerner will now be responsible for developing on-field programming for USA Baseball’s six national teams and three national team development programs. He will also produce curriculums related to player development for USABDevelops.com, the organization’s free online educational resource center.

Koerner will also serve as the Field Coordinator at the Prospect Development Pipeline League, the premier development and showcase experience for high school draft prospects from Major League Baseball and USA Baseball, and the primary identification event for the 18U National Team. Additionally, he will assist with player and staff identification for all 10 clubs in the Appalachian League and serve as a roving instructor during the season. Koerner will start with USA Baseball following the 2021 college baseball season.

"We could not be more thrilled to have Jim joining USA Baseball as our Director of Player Development,” said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball Executive Director/CEO. “His passion for our game and for developing young athletes is inspiring, and the knowledge he has gained over two decades of coaching will be an invaluable asset to all of the players and coaches that come through our programs. From our national teams to the Prospect Development Pipeline League, the new MLB Draft Combine, and the Appalachian League, Jim will be integral in ensuring all of our athletes grow both on and off the field.”

“I am honored to accept this position with USA Baseball,” said Koerner. “This organization represents a standard of excellence that is unmatched in the amateur baseball world and one that I am excited to be a part of going forward. I want to thank everyone involved in the process that helped make this opportunity possible and I am excited to get started!”

Koerner has been the head coach at North Carolina Central University (NCCU) from 2011-2021. As just the second head coach in the program’s modern-day history, Koerner took NCCU baseball to new heights in his 10 years at the helm. Under his guidance, the Eagles set the school record for wins twice, in 2013 (27) and again in 2018 (28). He also coached two MLB Draft picks with NCCU, including Corey Joyce, who became the highest selection in program history when he was taken in the 12th round by the Detroit Tigers in 2019. Koerner helped lead NCCU’s transition to the NCAA Division I level in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference during the 2011-2012 season and has since coached 31 All-MEAC selections, including the 2017 and 2019 MEAC Rookies of the Year and the 2018 and 2019 MEAC Players of the Year.

Before his time at NCCU, Koerner was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at the University of Buffalo from 2007-2011, helping the Bulls reach their best offensive performances in program history in 2009 and 2010. The team recorded an all-time high in wins since 1999 during the 2009 season and set the records for team batting average (.312), home runs (46), and stolen bases (71) in 2010. In those two seasons combined, the Bulls broke over 25 season, career, team, and individual records.

He began his coaching career in 2001 as the head coach at Medaille College, where he helped found the program and was named the 2003 North Eastern Athletic Conference Coach of the Year. In 2004, he moved to the Division I ranks as an assistant coach at Monmouth University before taking the assistant coach and recruiting coordinator role at Marshall University from 2005-2006. During that time, Marshall ranked highly among NCAA teams in most offensive categories and Koerner helped Adam Frederick break the program’s all-time hits record (250) while also recruiting and signing several of the Top 100 rated players in the Northeast.

Koerner received his bachelor’s degree in economics in 1997 from St. John Fisher College (N.Y.) and a master’s degree in athletic administration from Marshall University. 

For more information on USA Baseball, visit USABaseball.com and follow along on Twitter @USABaseball.

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USA Baseball Announces Development of Youth Baseball Manual

The manual aims to assist coaches in providing a safe, positive, development-based experience for athletes
April 9, 2021
CARY, N.C. – USA Baseball announced today the development of its new Youth Baseball Manual presented by US Sports Club Insurance. The manual aims to support the thousands of youth baseball coaches around the country by providing a positive, development-based experience to their athletes. The manual provides coaches with a

CARY, N.C. – USA Baseball announced today the development of its new Youth Baseball Manual presented by US Sports Club Insurance. The manual aims to support the thousands of youth baseball coaches around the country by providing a positive, development-based experience to their athletes.

The manual provides coaches with a fundamental framework to build an athlete-focused culture within their leagues and is suited for both youth leagues with longstanding traditions of on-field excellence, as well as for leagues and coaches that are building a program from the ground up. Importantly, the manual highlights health and safety resources to help ensure athletes are provided with a safe and secure environment for play.

The Youth Baseball Manual presented by US Sports Club Insurance is available to the public at no charge at www.USABDevelops.com or can be accessed directly at YouthBaseballManual.com.

“We are proud to provide free support to youth baseball programs and to thousands of volunteer coaches across the country with our new Youth Baseball Manual,” said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball Executive Director/CEO. “The importance of community-based baseball programs in the development of our game cannot be overstated, and USA Baseball is excited to help create a consistent framework for those programs so that athletes can continue to learn and grow in a safe, positive, and healthy environment.”

This initiative continues USA Baseball's reach into the amateur baseball landscape and specifically reinforces its commitment to the proliferation of community-based baseball in the United States. The manual boosts the youth baseball experience and allows for the consistent development for any athlete, regardless of their skill level.

Key concepts from the Youth Baseball Manual include:

  • The importance of emphasizing enjoyment of the game and the best interests of the athletes.
  • How to create appropriate practice and game plans based on the USA Baseball Long-Term Athlete Development Plan that enables maximum engagement, movement, and physical activity.
  • The benefits of supporting athletes’ participation in multiple sports.
  • How to manage relationships within a program, including conflict resolution techniques.
  • How to develop a positive team culture.
  • Best practices concerning health and safety.
  • How to keep the game fun.
  •  

For more information on the Youth Baseball Manual, and other similar educational resources produced by USA Baseball, such as the Mobile Coach App, Long-Term Athlete Development Plan and others, visit USABDevelops.com. All resources produced by USA Baseball are provided free of charge to the public.

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How to Become a USA Baseball Coach - Part Four: The Career Coach

August 21, 2020
You go to a USA Baseball national team identification event. You play your best. You get noticed. You get invited to the chance of a lifetime: An opportunity to represent your country as a player on the USA Baseball national team. That's the common path for a player. But what

You go to a USA Baseball national team identification event. You play your best. You get noticed. You get invited to the chance of a lifetime: An opportunity to represent your country as a player on the USA Baseball national team.

That's the common path for a player.

But what about the coaches for the USA Baseball national teams? A coach cannot go 8-for-19 with three home runs over the course of a weekend tournament. So, what do they do? What is their path? How do you become a coach for USA Baseball?

It is a question we get asked a lot.

The answer: Honestly, there is no "path" for the best coaches in the country to carefully weave through, marking off accomplishments from a cultivated list in order to get closer to their coaching dreams. The answer is more complex than that. There are any number of ways someone with the right heart, attitude and abilities can end up wearing U-S-A across their chest and, hopefully, a gold medal around their neck.

For proof of this, look no further than the 2018 15U World Cup champion coaching staff. Four men with wildly different paths to our coaching ranks found themselves all sharing a medal stand in Panama.

The Career Coach: Pitching Coach Adam Moseley

Adam Moseley is the head baseball coach at Hoover High School (Hoover, Ala.). As of 2020 he has been leading a big-time high school baseball program for thirteen years, spending the last six at Hoover. But his path to becoming a decorated head coach was set much earlier in life.

A pitcher by trade, Adam played baseball at Birmingham Southern College. But the on-field opportunity wasn't the main factor that drew him to the NAIA school; it was a coach.

"I knew I wanted to coach when I was in high school," Adam remembered. "It actually affected where I went to college. I wanted to play for someone who really taught the game."

That someone was Coach Brian Shoop. Shoop built a program at Birmingham Southern, turning the small school into an NAIA national champion and eventually an NCAA Division I conference champion and NCAA tournament threat.

Moseley studied under Shoop both as a player and ex-player, returning to camps to help out his mentor. He wanted to one day build his own program into a winner the same way Shoop had.

"We talked coaching all the time," Adam remembered of his time as a collegiate player. "He has been a constant source for me."

After graduating from Birmingham Southern in 1998, Adam started coaching high school baseball while taking graduate school classes. After grad school he began teaching and kept coaching before he eventually got a call from his hometown school, Grissom High School.

Adam would join Grissom as an assistant coach for three years before he took over the program. He led the Tigers for eight years and took the school to new heights, reaching the Alabama state quarterfinals four times in five years and an overall record of 224-153.

In 2014, Adam was hired to be the new head coach at Hoover High School. That same year, he was contacted by then USA Baseball Director of Baseball Operations Brooks Webb.

Why was Adam Moseley on USA Baseball's radar? He was an up-and-coming coach with drive and passion for the game, he already owned a track record of success in a major high school setting and was vouched for by a current USA Baseball coach, David Sharp. He checked all the boxes.

Moseley's insight to USA Baseball came from his relationship with David Sharp, the head coach of another big-time Alabama baseball program: Huntsville High School (Huntsville, Ala.). Sharp had helped with several USA Baseball identification events for the 12U National Team and shared his experiences with Moseley, and also recommended the career coach to USA Baseball.

"Brooks Webb called me and asked if I was interested [in working with USA Baseball]," Moseley remembered. "And I said yes, but I'd be a whole lot more comfortable if the pitchers were 60 feet, six inches away from the plate and the base paths were 90 feet apart."

Luckily, Webb was calling to fill a need at the National Team Championships in Florida, specifically with the 14U and 17U tournaments. Adam admits his first experience at a USA Baseball event was "a little overwhelming" due to the pressure of helping select a national team and the 14-hour days in hot and humid southern Florida. But, once he got settled in, it was "non-stop watching good baseball and learning."

Even though he wasn't coaching, Adam was determined to work as hard as he could at this new opportunity. His goal was to provide the best information possible, and let his dedication and drive show through his work.

He loved it, but it wasn't coaching. And Adam Moseley is a coach. He had known that since he was in high school.

The following year, even though it wasn't coaching, Adam once again returned to the National Team Championships event in Florida to give his time and expertise to USA Baseball and young players from across the country. And it was then that he was asked to lend his services to the 14U National Team Development Program.

"I thought the National Team Development Program was the coolest thing ever," said Moseley. At the National Team Development Program he was back where he felt most at home, back on the field coaching some of the most talented kids in the country. This is where he belonged.

Being back on the field and spending time with these players was something Adam took to heart. "I was there to coach pitchers, but I was there to coach them about life as well," he said.

Adam continued to coach USA Baseball players about pitching and life and "The USA Way" at any event he was asked to attend. And in 2017 he was named head pitching coordinator for the 14U National Team Development Program.

"You look around at these players and you think, well they are going to win a world championship next year," Moseley said. He didn't know it at the time, but he would be right there with them when they did. It was the plan all along.

"It was clear during the 14U National Team Development Program that Adam was meticulous and organized when it came to pitchers," said Ashley Bratcher, USA Baseball Senior Director of Baseball Operations and the 15U National Team program director. "He knew every detail about each player on the field and he created a thorough and development plan for all of them.

"Making him the pitching coach on the 15U National Team in 2018 was one of our easier decisions. He displayed an appreciation to the game, to his craft as a pitcher and to developing the athletes that told us he was the right guy to for the job. It is not an easy task to lead a pitching staff at a World Cup, especially when you were still searching for your first world title, and his experience and dedication to competing that helped lead our program to new heights."

The pitching staff he led in the 2018 U-15 Baseball World Cup posted a combined 1.24 ERA in the nine-game tournament. They outscored their opponents 88-13 on their way to winning the first U-15 Baseball World Cup in USA Baseball history. Adam Moseley returned home from the first international trip of his life with a gold medal.

That gold medal came just one year after he led the Buccaneers to an Alabama State Championship in 2017. It's safe to say the high school player looking at colleges knew exactly what he was meant to do with his life. He chose the right path and USA Baseball is thankful for it.

Adam Moseley's story is the fourth and final story of a four-part series on "How to Become a USA Baseball Coach." The remaining three stories of the series can be found on USABaseball.com.

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How to Become a USA Baseball Coach - Part Three: Unfinished Business

August 14, 2020
You go to a USA Baseball national team identification event. You play your best. You get noticed. You get invited to the chance of a lifetime: An opportunity to represent your country as a player on the USA Baseball national team.That's the common path for a player.But what about the
You go to a USA Baseball national team identification event. You play your best. You get noticed. You get invited to the chance of a lifetime: An opportunity to represent your country as a player on the USA Baseball national team.
That's the common path for a player.
But what about the coaches for the USA Baseball national teams? A coach cannot go 8-for-19 with three home runs over the course of a weekend tournament. So, what do they do? What is their path? How do you become a coach for USA Baseball?
It is a question we get asked a lot.
The answer: Honestly, there is no "path" for the best coaches in the country to carefully weave through, marking off accomplishments from a cultivated list in order to get closer to their coaching dreams. The answer is more complex than that. There are any number of ways someone with the right heart, attitude and abilities can end up wearing U-S-A across their chest and, hopefully, a gold medal around their neck.
For proof of this, look no further than the 2018 15U World Cup champion coaching staff. Four men with wildly different paths to our coaching ranks found themselves all sharing a medal stand in Panama.
The Alum With Unfinished Business: Assistant Coach Manny Crespo
In 1984, USA Baseball won silver at the Los Angeles Olympic Games and that team was led by a southern California native, Mark McGwire. In 1984, Manny Crespo was five years old. He still remembers the baseball card of a young Mark McGwire sporting a USA-branded hat and jersey that put USA Baseball into the consciousness of young Manny and many others.
Nine years later, a then 14-year-old Manny was invited to try out for Team USA, just like the athletes he watched on the field during the Olympics in L.A., but fate would not favor Manny during his first tryout.
"A couple days into Trials, I caught a line drive off my leg, and that pretty much eliminated me for that year," Manny remembered. "But I got another shot. And in 1997 I made the team."
He was drafted in the 12th round of the 1997 MLB Draft after his senior season at Westminster Christian, but elected to forego his immediate professional opportunity to instead attend the University of Miami.
In the Fall of 1997, Manny was selected to the 18U National Team. He played in five of the six games at the Junior World Championships, where he batted .365 and hit a pair of home runs. But, the team had to settle for a bronze medal.
The following school year, Manny headed to campus to play for the University of Miami where he enjoyed a decorated career where he was Freshman of the Year and a two-time All-American. And in 1999, he achieved another career milestone as the Hurricanes won the College World Series. Manny was named to the All-Tournament Team.
But the College World Series celebration was short-lived, because the next morning Manny was on a plane to join his new teammates on the 1999 Collegiate National Team.
Another year, a new team, similar results for Manny. He batted .320 with a pair of homers over 17 games with Team USA. But with no World Cup that season, a gold medal still eluded him.
1999 would be Manny's last season representing USA Baseball on the field as a player, but, according to Manny, "Once you're a USA guy, you're always a USA guy."
Over the next ten years, life happened to Manny Crespo. After a few minor league seasons, he left the game of baseball and became a teacher. Baseball was no longer a part of his professional life, until 2009 when another Hurricanes baseball alum asked Manny to help out coaching baseball at Gulliver Prep.
That Gulliver Prep head coach was Javy Rodriguez, and Manny joined his staff as an assistant. But Javy had a side gig as well. He had been working on the task force at the USA Baseball National Team Championships for a few years.
By 2014, Manny had been coaching alongside Javy for five years, all the while hearing stories of the talent he had seen while coaching at USA Baseball events. Already familiar with the organization, Manny decided he wanted an opportunity to return USA Baseball, and give back some of the lessons he learned, so he joined Javy to help out at the National Team Championships in 2014.
"I never won gold as a player, so in the back of my mind I think it was always there. I always wanted to come back. And I was happy to give back to an organization that provided so much for me," said Manny.
Back in the fold with USA Baseball, Manny was hooked again.
After helping out at the National Team Championships, Manny made it clear he wanted to help with any event or team that his help was needed. Over the next couple of years, he returned to the National Team Championships and also helped out at the National Team Identification Series (NTIS).
His next step up the ladder came in 2016 when USA Baseball Senior Director of Baseball Operations Ashley Bratcher needed an extra coach at the Women's National Team Trials, preferably one with catching experience.
Manny was the fit.
"Having been a player himself, Manny knew what it took to play for Team USA and the honor associated with getting to wear the uniform," recalled Bratcher "He is as passionate about the experience as anyone. He wanted to help players not just realize their dream of playing for Team USA, but to see them win for their country.
"He didn't care if they were women, 15-year-olds or professional athletes."
"That experience…" Manny said. "I would recommend it to anybody."
Getting on the field and coaching this group of women as they worked to get selected to the USA Baseball Women's National Team put Manny in an even smaller tier of coaches aiming to be a USA Baseball coach. He was on the short list of possible national team coaches and his willingness to coach any age group and any team only increased his odds to put that USA jersey on again and go for the gold medal he just missed out on as a player.
In preparation for the 2017 USA Baseball season, the baseball operations staff was putting together collections of coaches that made sense for each age group. The 14U National Team Development Program prospects looked to be immensely talented, good enough to challenge for a first World Cup title for the 15U National Team the following year.
So, who would be given the reigns to help groom these boys at age 14 towards a possible World Cup showing the following year? Manny Crespo was one of those coaches selected to coach at the 14U NTDP that season.
"Manny is a player's coach, it is as simple as that. He brings an successful baseball background to the field that athletes of any age can relate to. His selection to that coaching staff was a no-brainer," said Bratcher.
Throughout that 2017 14U NTDP, relationships were built with his fellow coaches, trust was established and players' talents flourished. And heading into the 2018 season and the U-15 Baseball World Cup, Manny was ultimately one of four coaches selected to lead the 15U National Team and go to Panama, once again putting him in the grasp of winning a gold medal.
"I was in Panama, the birthplace of my mother, playing against Panama for the World Championship," Manny remembered. "That's when it got surreal."
The 15U National Team in 2018 had a motto: Leave no doubt. And the team did just that. The team outscored their opponents 88-13 over nine games, bringing the WBSC U-15 Baseball World Cup championship to the United States for the first time in history.
It was the gold medal-dream finally realized for Manny Crespo. A gold medal-dream that he was able to share with his fellow coaches and with a group of kids still beginning their baseball careers.
Manny Crespo's story is the third of a four-part series on "How to Become a USA Baseball Coach." The final story of the series will be released on USABaseball.com and @USABaseball on Facebook, Instgram and Twitter.
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How to Become a USA Baseball Coach - Part Two: The Scorekeeper

August 7, 2020
You go to a USA Baseball national team identification event. You play your best. You get noticed. You get invited to the chance of a lifetime: An opportunity to represent your country as a player on the USA Baseball national team.That's the common path for a player.But what about the
You go to a USA Baseball national team identification event. You play your best. You get noticed. You get invited to the chance of a lifetime: An opportunity to represent your country as a player on the USA Baseball national team.
That's the common path for a player.
But what about the coaches for the USA Baseball national teams? A coach cannot go 8-for-19 with three home runs over the course of a weekend tournament. So, what do they do? What is their path? How do you become a coach for USA Baseball?
It is a question we get asked a lot.
The answer: Honestly, there is no "path" for the best coaches in the country to carefully weave through, marking off accomplishments from a cultivated list in order to get closer to their coaching dreams. The answer is more complex than that. There are any number of ways someone with the right heart, attitude and abilities can end up wearing U-S-A across their chest and, hopefully, a gold medal around their neck.
For proof of this, look no further than the 2018 15U World Cup champion coaching staff. Four men with wildly different paths to our coaching ranks found themselves all sharing a medal stand in Panama.
The Scorekeeper: Assistant Coach Troy Gerlach
Troy Gerlach is the head baseball coach at Chaparral High School in Scottsdale, Arizona. Before that, he held the same position at Arcadia High School in Phoenix. Being around the game his entire life, Troy was drawn to USA Baseball and what it represented as the leading youth baseball federation in the country and the world. He needed to be a part of it, and he'd be honored to help in any way possible. Literally.
In 2012, USA Baseball needed a scorekeeper at the National Team Championships in Arizona. For Troy, living and coaching close by, it seemed like an easy fit.
Troy was an astute scorekeeper, keeping track of players that impressed him and putting down hand written notes on a separate sheet of paper. He wanted to have information at the ready in case any scouts came by asking for his input. So he wrote down pop times and velocity numbers that stood out among all these players fighting for the opportunity to play for a national team.
And those scouts did come by, asking Troy if any players caught his eye throughout the day that started at 7:00 a.m. and featured 110-degree heat beating down from the Arizona sun.
"I had this stuff all written down. Guys would look at it and I think just having that info down and knowing that I was putting in that effort, when I told them 'Hey there is this guy over here, he looks pretty good,' I think they trusted that I did know what I was talking about and they would go check him out."
The scouting bug had caught Troy, and he wanted to help in an even more direct way. One day, atop the field tower, Senior Director of Baseball Operations Ashley Bratcher was talking to Troy about what he had seen that week. During the conversation, Troy told Ashley he was honored to do anything USA Baseball wanted him to do, but if there was ever an opportunity to do more, to scout one of the tournaments, he would love a shot.
"Troy expressed to me that he would like to help out with scouting or be on a task force if there was ever an opportunity. So, the last week of the tournament, something happened with one of the guys who was supposed to scout that week and so we had an opening. I asked Troy if he wanted to do it," Bratcher remembered.
For one tournament, Troy had graduated from scorekeeper to scout. A tournament of 14-year-old ball players working to be seen by the right scout, to get invited to that next step, to have a chance to put on a jersey that read U-S-A across the front. And as one of those scouts, Troy had a similar opportunity.
"I think I wrote every single thing down that week. I was in panic mode. I didn't want to screw this up," said Troy.
At these tournaments, each scout on the USA Baseball task force handles one field per day. Watching four games each day, scouting all eight teams at once. At the end of the day, the four members of the task force get together with national team coaches and USA Baseball personnel to discuss their day's worth of findings.
"The other guys said he did a great job and that he was fully committed, so the next year, instead of hiring him as a scorekeeper, we hired him back as a scout," said Bratcher.
A week of scouting turned into a year of scouting, which turned into years of scouting. From National Team Championships to National Team Identification Series (NTIS) to National Team Development Programs (NTDP) to National Team Trials, Troy kept up with the grind and never lost passion for the gig, the players, and the ultimate goal of winning a World Cup.
And then in 2017, Troy was asked to be on the staff for the 14U NTDP. Also working the NTDP that year, Jason Maxwell, who would go on to be named the manager of the 2018 15U National Team.
"The relationships we built in that 14U National Team Development Program year, those relationships played a huge role in winning the World Cup," Maxwell said of the two-year process. And those relationships went from coach to player, player to player, and coach to coach. "When Ashley had asked me to be the manager for the World Cup team, she asked who I wanted to be the coaches, and the three coaches we took came from that National Team Development Program."
Passion. Hard work. Selflessness. Relationships. These things are invaluable to a coach on a journey to becoming a representative of USA Baseball, and all are attainable for anyone that has that dream. Doesn't matter if you are a former big leaguer, or a former scorekeeper.
Troy Gerlach's story is the second of a four-part series on "How to Become a USA Baseball Coach." The remaining two stories of the series will be released on USABaseball.com and @USABaseball on Facebook, Instgram and Twitter.
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How to Become a USA Baseball Coach - Part One: The Handshake

July 31, 2020
You go to a USA Baseball national team identification event. You play your best. You get noticed. You get invited to the chance of a lifetime: An opportunity to represent your country as a player on the USA Baseball national team.That's the common path for a player.But what about the
You go to a USA Baseball national team identification event. You play your best. You get noticed. You get invited to the chance of a lifetime: An opportunity to represent your country as a player on the USA Baseball national team.
That's the common path for a player.
But what about the coaches for the USA Baseball national teams? A coach cannot go 8-for-19 with three home runs over the course of a weekend tournament. So, what do they do? What is their path? How do you become a coach for USA Baseball?
It is a question we get asked a lot.
The answer: Honestly, there is no "path" for the best coaches in the country to carefully weave through, marking off accomplishments from a cultivated list in order to get closer to their coaching dreams. The answer is more complex than that. There are any number of ways someone with the right heart, attitude and abilities can end up wearing U-S-A across their chest and, hopefully, a gold medal around their neck.
For proof of this, look no further than the 2018 15U World Cup champion coaching staff. Four men with wildly different paths to our coaching ranks found themselves all sharing a medal stand in Panama.
The Handshake: Manager Jason Maxwell
Jason Maxwell played professional baseball for 12 years, started a high school program from scratch in Tennessee, and went on to lead Team USA to their first-ever U-15 Baseball World Cup title. But how did Maxwell get his start with USA Baseball? From the way he tells it: A handshake.
"You never know what a handshake will mean down the road." This is a philosophy Jason lives by and instills in his two sons. And it is a philosophy that set Jason on a path to what he calls his 'number one without a doubt' personal achievement in the game of baseball.
The handshake in this instance was with Jan Weisberg. Jan is the head coach of a college program that was recruiting one of Jason's high school players back in 2013. That college program was Birmingham-Southern, which was also the alma mater of Brooks Webb, former Senior Director of Baseball Operations at USA Baseball.
One day, Brooks called his former college manager asking if he knew of any coaches that showed the heart and ability to join the newest crop of USA Baseball coaches.
Jan sent him to Jason Maxwell.
Jason started his USA Baseball coaching career where most coaches do, working as a member of the task force at the National Team Championships and the National Team Identification Series. Hundreds of kids packed into ballparks across the country, all with the same goal as each other, all with the same goal as Jason Maxwell: A chance to represent the United States of America.
His passion for the game and his drive to help these young athletes reach their potential was obvious to everyone around him. Jason was suddenly at any event USA Baseball needed an extra hand.
After three short years, he was named to his first national team staff, and traveled to Japan as an assistant coach with the 2016 15U National Team. The team placed third in the tournament. But Jason left wanting more.
In 2017 Jason was named the field manager for the 14U National Team Development Program (NTDP). A group of young players stacked with talent. Enough to have a chance at history, to be the first team in U.S. history to bring home the U-15 World Cup championship the following year.
Over the next two summers, Jason led that group of young athletes, helped them develop and earned their trust. And in 2018, history was made.
"When you are standing in another country with a gold medal around your neck, and the national anthem starts to play," Jason remembered. "There is nothing like it."
From a handshake, to a phone call, to a gold medal.
Now if this sounds like fate, and something impossible for an everyday coach, that is not the case. Yes, Jason played big league baseball, but Jason was the head coach of a team coming off a 13-16 record when he received that phone call. A moment in which his first instinct was 'Just let it ring. We aren't going to be in the National High School Invitational' when he saw that his caller ID read "USA Baseball." 
But the call was for him. Because his passion, drive and ability were obvious to anyone around him. Obvious to Jan Weisberg, then obvious to Brooks Webb and eventually obvious to new Senior Director of Baseball Operations at USA Baseball, Ashley Bratcher, who served as the program director for the world championship 15U National Team in 2018.
"Jason epitomizes the character, leadership and personal qualities we look for to be a USA Baseball national team coach," said Bratcher. "In every facet of his life, both personal and professional, he does everything the right way and is a perfect representation of our game, our organization and our country.
"Without a doubt, he was truly an obvious and deserving choice to lead a USA Baseball national team and it was an honor to witness his direct impact on our athletes and his fellow coaches on the 2018 squad. It surprised nobody whom has ever had the privilege of working with him that he led our 15U National Team to unprecedented heights, winning its first-ever world championship title."
Every coach makes connections every day. And you never know what a handshake will mean down the road. And you'll never know when the right impression on the right person might lead to glory.
Jason Maxwell's story is the first of a four-part series on "How to Become a USA Baseball Coach." The remaining three stories of the series will be released on USABaseball.com and @USABaseball on Facebook, Instgram and Twitter.
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