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An Update Regarding the 2020 Futures Invitational

May 4, 2020
Members of the USA Baseball staff held a conference call on Friday to discuss the status of our upcoming events and the continued effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. Stemming from this conversation, we would like to share with you an update regarding the Futures Invitational.Due to this unprecedented situation and
Members of the USA Baseball staff held a conference call on Friday to discuss the status of our upcoming events and the continued effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. Stemming from this conversation, we would like to share with you an update regarding the Futures Invitational.
Due to this unprecedented situation and its ever-evolving effect on regulations set forth by federal, state and local governments, USA Baseball will continue to monitor the impact of COVID-19 daily and provide a definitive update relating to our Summer 2020 schedule on-or-around Monday, May 18.
We apologize for any inconvenience this additional delay may cause; however, we felt it prudent to follow this course of action in an effort to maintain the planned on-field programming offered by USA Baseball this summer.
With this change to our initial timeline, an updated timeline is as follows:
  • A final decision on the Futures Invitational will be announced on-or-around Monday, May 18.
  • If the Futures Invitational does occur on schedule, final payments will be due on Monday, June 8.
  • If teams drop from the tournament before May 25, they will receive a full refund of deposits and registration fees that have been made up to that date.
  • If the Futures Invitational does not occur, all teams will receive a full refund of deposits and registration fees for the event.
  • If necessary, USA Baseball will begin to process and send all refund checks the week of June 8.

Additionally, please note that the USA Baseball Travel Services department has extended the hotel reservation deadline to Monday, June 8. Please email [email protected] if you need further assistance.
We appreciate your continued support of USA Baseball and we will continue to champion the best possible course of action moving forward with consideration to the best interest of all parties involved.
Thank you for your understanding and please stay safe!
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Champs AZ generic

Hodson, Garcia Receive Player, Pitcher of the Day Honors for June 20 at Champs AZ

June 21, 2021
PHOENIX — Kaden Hodson delivered four hits, including a grand slam, and collected six RBI to earn Player of the Day honors on Day 2 of bracket play at the 2021 16U National Team Championships Arizona. Hodson's MBA Navy 2023 squad advanced to Monday morning's gold-medal game with a pair of wins

PHOENIX  Kaden Hodson delivered four hits, including a grand slam, and collected six RBI to earn Player of the Day honors on Day 2 of bracket play at the 2021 16U National Team Championships Arizona.

Hodson's MBA Navy 2023 squad advanced to Monday morning's gold-medal game with a pair of wins against Alpha Power 2023 and previously undefeated Canes Arizona. The 6-foot-2 outfielder and shortstop sparked his team's offense in both games Sunday.

Hodson singled and scored an important insurance run in MBA Navy's quarterfinal win before he showed out in the semifinal matchup with three hits — a single, double and grand slam — and six RBI to power MBA Navy to a 19-8 victory. His slam extended MBA Navy's lead to 14-7 in the sixth inning and he also closed out the game by pitching 2.1 innings of one-run ball with a pair of strikeouts.

Hodson owns a .400/.478/.600 slash line through eight games at the National Team Championships Arizona for MBA Navy 2023 (8-0), who will face top-seeded TB SoCal Easton (8-0) in the championship game at 9 a.m. Monday at Peoria Sports Complex.

Nehuel Garcia spun six hitless frames and earned the win in the final game for Titans Baseball Club at the 2021 16U National Team Championships.

Garcia, a right-hander, allowed just one unearned run via an error and struck out six batters to guide Titans Baseball Club (2-4) to its second win at the tournament.

Garcia commanded his pitches effectively to the tune of a 67 percent strike rate. It marked his second appearance on the mound at the National Team Championships after he tossed three scoreless innings in a 9-6 win against GamePrep Baseball Academy 2023 on Tuesday.

Garcia's performance helped Titans Baseball Club seal a 9-1 win against MVP Hustle to conclude its tournament schedule.

 

Honorable mentions (Player of the Day):

Nate Smith (Team Trinity) — 3-for-3, 2B, 3 RBI, R

Cooper Rasmussen (MBC) — 3-for-4, 3 2B, 3 RBI, 2 R

Joshua Bravo (Titans Baseball Club) — 2-for-3, 2B, 3B, 4 RBI, R, SB

Michael Raymond (West Coast Blackdogs) — 3-for-3, 3B, 3 RBI, 2 R

Honorable mentions (Pitcher of the Day):

Cristian Brewster (Legacy Baseball Group Black) — W, 4.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 9 K, 0 BB

Carson Timothy (Alpha Prime 2023) — 4.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 K, 0 BB (quarterfinals)

Luke Barragan (West Elite) — W, 5.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 8 K, 1 BB

Ryan Jemkins (Rios Baseball 2023) — W, 5.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 5 K, 4 BB

Stay tuned to @USABChamps_AZ on Twitter for the most up-to-date news about the National Team Championships Arizona.

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Tahj Henrie — MBA Navy 2023

MBA Navy 2023, TB SoCal Easton Clinch Spots in 16U Gold-Medal Game at Champs AZ

June 20, 2021
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E MBA Navy 2023 2 2 0 4 2 4 5 19 24 0 Canes Arizona 2 0 4 0 1 1 0 8 9 2 Win: Nolan Miller Loss: Tyler Johnson Box Score | Play-by-Play | Cumulative Stats   1 2 3
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
MBA Navy 2023 2 2 0 4 2 4 5 19 24 0
Canes Arizona 2 0 4 0 1 1 0 8 9 2
Win: Nolan Miller Loss: Tyler Johnson
Box Score | Play-by-Play | Cumulative Stats
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
USA Prime National 16U 2 1 0 0 0 1 0 4 8 1
TB SoCal Easton 1 0 0 5 0 2 X 8 10 0
Win: Andrew Bertolette Loss: Jayden Holloway
Box Score | Play-by-Play | Cumulative Stats

PHOENIX — Fifth-seeded MBA Navy and top-seeded TB SoCal Easton erased deficits in both of their respective quarterfinal and semifinal matchups to earn spots in the gold-medal game of the 16U National Team Championships Arizona on Sunday at Peoria Sports Complex.

Semifinal — MBA Navy 2023 19, Canes Arizona 8

MBA Navy 2023 delivered an offensive onslaught en route to a 19-8 win against previously undefeated Canes Arizona to lock up a trip to the gold-medal game of the 16U National Team Championships Arizona. MBA Navy scored multiple runs in every inning except the third, which included a four-run fourth to take the lead for good.

MBA Navy's lineup collected 24 hits in the victory and eight players recorded multiple hits. Kaden Hodson's three-hit, six-RBI performance led the way. He hit a grand slam to break the game open and extend MBA Navy's lead to 14-7 in the sixth.

The 6-foot-2 outfielder and shortstop owns a standout .400 clip at the plate and a 1.078 OPS through seven games at the event. Hodson also closed out the win for MBA Navy and tossed 2.1 innings of one-run ball, which marked his first appearance on the mound at the tournament.

Ryker Schow (4-for-5, 4 R, SB) and Ryder Robinson (3-for-4, 2B, 3 RBI, 4 R) helped set the tone for MBA Navy, as well, and set the table for Hodson's run-producing role.

MBA Navy 2023 (8-0) advanced to Monday's gold-medal game to face TB SoCal Easton (8-0). First pitch is set for 9 a.m. MT at Peoria Sports Complex.

Semifinal — TB SoCal Easton 8, USA Prime National 16U 4

TB SoCal Easton erased a deficit for the third time in four games since the start of bracket play to capture a spot in the gold-medal game with an 8-4 win against USA Prime National 16U.

SoCal fell behind 3-1 before Jackson Freeman sparked a two-out rally with a two-run single to center to tie the game. Roman Martin followed with a two-RBI double down the left-field line to put SoCal ahead for good.

Martin, a UCLA commit, reached base safely three times in the win, scored twice and also stole his sixth base of the tournament.

Right-hander Andrew Bertolette scattered four hits across four innings of work and allowed just one run to earn the victory in relief. He struck out four and did not walk a batter.

TB SoCal Easton, the tournament's No. 1 seed, is set to face MBA Navy 2023 in Monday's gold-medal game. First pitch is set for 9 a.m. MT at Peoria Sports Complex.

Key Moments (MBA Navy 2023 vs. Canes Arizona)

  • Jacob Faust (MBA Navy) delivered an RBI-single to give MBA Navy the lead in the second inning.
  • Reese Orrison (Canes) doubled home a pair of runs to tie the game at 4-4 in the bottom of the third.
  • Ryder Robinson (MBA Navy) ripped a go-ahead three-run double to left to put MBA Navy ahead 7-6 in the fourth.
  • Kaden Hodson (MBA Navy) hit a grand slam to extend MBA Navy's lead to 14-7 in the sixth inning.

Key Moments (USA Prime National 16U vs. TB SoCal Easton)

  • Ashton Larson (USA Prime) recorded an RBI-groundout to open up scoring in the first inning.
  • Nazzan Zanetello (SoCal) singled through the left side to get TB SoCal Easton on the board in the top of the second.
  • Jackson Freeman (SoCal) leveled the score with a two-run single to center in the fourth.
  • Roman Martin (SoCal) gave TB SoCal Easton its first lead of the game with a two-run double down the left-field line in the fourth.
  • Andrew Bertolette (SoCal) induced a groundout with the potential tying run at the plate for USA Prime National in the sixth.

 

Notable Information

  • "The whole week we've gotten better and better with our at-bats and we've been attacking fastballs. It seems like anything people have been throwing up there we've been hammering. We've had a bunch of really, really good at-bats the entire week." — MBA Navy 2023 head coach Murph Norris
  • "It's pretty incredible (to reach the gold-medal game). It's a pretty incredible feat for these kids and I'm really proud of them." — MBA Navy 2023 head coach Murph Norris
  • "It's awesome (reaching the gold-medal game). We came in looking to do exactly what we're going to do tomorrow. It's great getting to do it with all my guys here." — TB SoCal Easton infielder Roman Martin
  • "These kids like to compete. We have a lot of quality players on this roster, but we just like to have fun and that's the biggest thing. These kids feel like we're always going to find a way, even if it's not the prettiest." — TB SoCal Easton head coach Benny Bonilla

 

On Deck

  • Top-seeded TB SoCal Easton (8-0) will face fifth-seeded MBA Navy 2023 (8-0) in the gold-medal game of the 16U National Team Championships at 9 a.m. MT on Monday at Peoria Sports Complex.
  • Second-seeded Canes Arizona (7-1) and fourth-seeded USA Prime National (7-1) will square off in the bronze-medal game at 9 a.m. on Monday at Peoria Sports Complex.

 

Social

  • Stay tuned to @USABChamps_AZ on Twitter for the most up-to-date news about the National Team Championships Arizona.
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All Tourney Story

14U National Team Championships North Carolina All-Tournament Team Announced

Seventeen players earn All-Tournament honors
June 20, 2021
CARY, N.C. – After a week of competition and 40 games, the 14U National Team Championships North Carolina announced its All-Tournament team. The list features eight pitchers and nine hitters with 13 of the tournament’s 16 teams represented. Hunter Atkins – East Cobb Astros Hunter Atkins gave up just two hits

CARY, N.C. – After a week of competition and 40 games, the 14U National Team Championships North Carolina announced its All-Tournament team. The list features eight pitchers and nine hitters with 13 of the tournament’s 16 teams represented.

  • Hunter Atkins – East Cobb Astros
  • Hunter Atkins gave up just two hits in four innings pitched while collecting three strikeouts. He finished the tournament with a 1.76 ERA for the Astros.
  •  

  • Malachi Boone – TBT National
  • Malakhi Boone posted a .571 batting average (8-for-14), driving in six runs and adding a walk. Boone hit a team-best two doubles and scored four runs.
  •  

  • Blaine Bullard – Texas Twelve
  • Blaine Bullard had a hit in exactly half of his at-bats, posting a .500 (8-for-16) batting average. He drove in four runs and scored six of his own, while also adding two doubles.
  •  

  • Tommy Cernius – MVP Hustle
  • Tommy Cernius owned a .571 batting average (8-for-14), striking out just once in five games. Cernius drove in four runs and scored a team-best seven.
  •  

  • Cooper Clemmons – East Coast Sox
  • Cooper Clemons threw six shutout innings in his start against the Cangelosi Sparks to finish the tournament with a 0.00 ERA. He allowed six hits while striking out three batters and giving up just two walks in the tournament.
  •  

  • Emery Coleman – 5 Star National
  • Emery Coleman tossed a complete game shutout for 5 Star National in its opening game of the tournament. He allowed just four hits while striking out six for the eventual gold medalists.
  •  

  • Pressly Courville – Knights Knation National
  • Pressly Courville batted .667 (6-for-9) with four RBIs for Knights Knation, adding a double and three walks. Courville reached base in nine of his 12 plate appearances.
  •  

  • Gavin Flores – MVP Hustle
  • Gavin Flores pitched in eight innings throughout the week, the majority of which came in his start against Texas Twelve in the quarterfinal match up. The righthander tossed a complete game one-hit shutout and finished the tournament with a 0.88 ERA and four strikeouts.
  •  

  • Samuel Harris – South Charlotte Panthers
  • Samuel Harris threw 6.2 innings in two appearances, allowing no runs to finish the week with a 0.00 ERA. Harris gave up just five hits in the tournament while picking up two strikeouts.
  •  

  • Mercer Hudson – East Cobb Astros
  • Mercer Hudson owned a .500 batting average (6-for-12) at the 2021 14U National Team Championships North Carolina, picking up two doubles and driving in a run. Hudson also scored three runs and added a stolen base.
  •  

  • Donavan Jeffrey – Richmond Braves Platinum
  • Donavan Jeffrey led the Richmond Braves with a .692 batting average (9-for-13) over five games. Jeffrey had two three-hit games in the tournament, driving in six runs without striking out a single time.
  •  

  • Jaiden Lo Re – Scottsdale Dirtbags
  • Jaiden Lo Re struck out nine batters in just 5.1 innings of work, picking up the win against the East Coast Sox. Lo Re gave up three hits while finishing with a 2.63 ERA.
  •  

  • Ethan Moore – Cangelosi Sparks
  • Ethan Moore compiled a .714 batting average (5-for7), scoring four runs. Moore drove in two runs and reached base at an .818 clip.
  •  

  • Kelvyn Paulino Jr. – 5 Star National
  • Kelvyn Paulino Jr. batted .556 (5-9) for the tournament champions, notching a pair of doubles and driving in six runs. Paulino also scored seven runs and walked five times. 
  •  

  • Mavarek Russell – MVP Hustle
  • Mavarek Russell batted .571 (8-for-14) for MVP Hustle, scoring five runs with a pair of extra base hits. Russell had four multi-hit games, and reached base at a .600 clip.
  •  

  • David Shields – Canes National
  • David Shields made two appearances and one start on the mound, finishing with a 1.40 ERA in five innings pitched. Shields struck out nine batters while surrendering just one hit in the tournament.
  •  

  • Ethan Trivison – Elite Squad
  • Ethan Trivison allowed just three hits and one earned run in two appearances and 7.1 innings pitched. He finished the tournament with a 0.96 ERA and four strikeouts.
  •  

The National Team Championships North Carolina will continue with the 17U age group from June 22-25 at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina. To stay up to date on all the action, follow @USABaseball and @USABChamps_NC on Twitter.

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ChampsMW

5 Star National Earns Gold at 14U National Team Championships North Carolina 

After a rainout on Sunday, 5 Star National awarded gold medal based on final seeding
June 20, 2021
CARY, N.C. – The 14U National Team Championships North Carolina came to a close on Sunday as the semifinals and gold medal game had to be canceled due to inclement weather. Based on final seeding from the week, 5 Star National was awarded the gold medal. MVP Hustle was awarded

CARY, N.C. – The 14U National Team Championships North Carolina came to a close on Sunday as the semifinals and gold medal game had to be canceled due to inclement weather. Based on final seeding from the week, 5 Star National was awarded the gold medal. MVP Hustle was awarded the silver medal while the Cangelosi Sparks took home bronze.

5 Star National finished the week with a 5-0 record, outscoring opponents 43-5. The team opened up with an impressive 4-0 win on Wednesday over the South Charlotte Panthers as Emery Coleman tossed the complete game shutout while collecting six strikeouts.

With a doubleheader on Thursday, the team’s bats came alive as they picked up 8-0 and 12-3 wins over the Dulins Dodgers and MVP Hustle, respectively. In the game against MVP Hustle, seven 5 Star National players collected RBIs, led by Jacob Kendall who went 3-for-3 at the plate and drove in four runs.

In the team’s 11-2 win over Texas Twelve on Friday to claim the one seed in bracket play, Randy Ruiz, Jackson Roper, and Luke Pappano all had multi-RBI performances. The team then followed with a convincing 8-0 victory over the Scottsdale Dirtbags to advance to the semifinals.

Kelvyn Paulino Jr. had a multi-hit game and led the way at the plate all week for 5 Star, hitting .556 (9-for-15) with six RBIs. Kendall had a team-high nine RBIs in five games. Coleman, Pappano, and Dillon Askew all had shutout performances on the mound en route to the team’s gold medal.

MVP Hustle finished the week 4-1 to earn the silver medal, and the team’s lone loss of the tournament came to the eventual champions. MVP Hustle responded to the loss with a 4-3 walk-off win over the East Cobb Astros in seeded pool play. Brandon Gomez drove in Tomas Cernius on a double into center to win it. Cernius batted a team-high .571 (8-for-14) during the week with a triple and four RBIs to lead the team offensively.

In its quarterfinal game, MVP Hustle got an outstanding performance on the mound from Gavin Flores, who tossed a one-hit complete game shutout. Flores was the team’s best pitcher during the tournament, also appearing in one relief outing and finishing the week with a 0.88 ERA.

The Cangelosi Sparks collected the bronze medal for the tournament. With a 3-2 tournament record, they advanced to the semifinals after a tight 3-2 victory over Knights Knation National on Saturday. Ethan Moore finished the tournament with a team-high batting average of .714 (5-for-7) while also drawing three walks and scoring four runs. The team pitched by committee with ten different players stepping on the mound for the Sparks, combining for a 3.78 team ERA.

The National Team Championships North Carolina will continue with the 17U age group from June 22-25 at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina. To stay up to date on all the action, follow @USABaseball and @USABChamps_NC on Twitter

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Champs AZ Generic Field

Beltowski, Hernandez Earn Player, Pitcher of the Day Honors for June 19 at Champs AZ

June 20, 2021
PHOENIX — Tanner Beltowski collected six hits and five RBI across a two-game stretch for Ventura County Baseball Academy (VCBA) to earn Player of the Day honors on Day 1 of bracket play at the 16U National Team Championships Arizona. Beltowski, who reached base four times in VCBA's 11-7 win against BPA

PHOENIX  Tanner Beltowski collected six hits and five RBI across a two-game stretch for Ventura County Baseball Academy (VCBA) to earn Player of the Day honors on Day 1 of bracket play at the 16U National Team Championships Arizona.

Beltowski, who reached base four times in VCBA's 11-7 win against BPA SD in the Round of 32, followed with another three-hit performance in a Round of 16 victory against GBG Renegades.

Beltowski, a 6-foot-1 infielder, owns a standout .591/.625/.682 slash line through six games for VCBA at the National Team Championships Arizona and has hit safely in all six contests, which includes three consecutive three-hit efforts.

VCBA (5-1) is set to face Canes Arizona (6-0) in Sunday's quarterfinal matchup.

Gabriel Hernandez (Dukes Baseball) captured Pitcher of the Day honors with a stellar performance on the mound against Trosky National 2023 in the Round of 32.

Hernandez spun 6.2 innings of three-hit, one-run ball and showed tremendous command with nine strikeouts and no walks in his first appearance on the mound at the tournament.

The 5-foot-10 right-hander's strong effort helped Dukes Baseball (4-2) squeeze past Trosky by a 2-1 final score and earn a spot in the Round of 16 against Alpha Prime 2023 (6-0).

 

Honorable mentions (Player of the Day):

Owen Egan (GBG Renegades) — 4-for-6, 2 2B, 2 RBI, R, 2 BB, SB

Nathanial Wagner (Team Kado Hawaii) — 4-for-5, 3 RBI, R, 2 BB

Luke Johnson (Saddleback Cowboys Black) — 4-for-5, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R, BB

Kevin Braun (CBA Victus North) — 2-for-4, 2B, 3B, 3 RBI, 2 R

Honorable mentions (Pitcher of the Day):

Jace Gillmore (Alpha Power 2023) — W, CG, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 7 K, 1 BB

Tyler Ball (MBA Navy 2023) — W, 5.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 10 K, 0 BB

Tyler Albanese (Team California Black) — W, CG, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 12 K, 1 BB

Andrew Krodel (TB SoCal Easton) — W, CG, 3 H, 0 R, 9 K, 3 BB

Stay tuned to @USABChamps_AZ on Twitter for the most up-to-date news about the National Team Championships Arizona.

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Jack Svinth — Saddleback Cowboys Black

Seven-Run First Powers Saddleback Cowboys Black to Round of 16 at Champs AZ

June 19, 2021
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E Juggernaut Group Baseball Academy 1 0 0 0 X X X 1 3 1 Saddleback Cowboys Black 7 1 4 X X X X 12 10 2 Win: Jack Svinth Loss: Karney Box Score | Play-by-Play | Cumulative Stats PHOENIX — Saddleback Cowboys
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Juggernaut Group Baseball Academy 1 0 0 0 X X X 1 3 1
Saddleback Cowboys Black 7 1 4 X X X X 12 10 2
Win: Jack Svinth Loss: Karney
Box Score | Play-by-Play | Cumulative Stats

PHOENIX — Saddleback Cowboys Black used a seven-run first inning to advance to the Round of 16 with a 12-1 win against Juggernaut Group Baseball Academy on the first day of bracket play at the 2021 16U National Team Championships Arizona.

Saddleback's first eight batters reached base safely (six hits, one HBP, one error) in the bottom of the first after Juggernaut opened the scoring with a run-scoring double in the top half of the frame. The Cowboys took the lead on an RBI-single from Luke Johnson (3-for-3, 2 2B, 2 RBI) and broke the game open when Zach Fjelstad plated three runs with a base knock through the right side.

Saddleback added to its commanding lead with another run in the second courtesy of Johnson's first double of the day, and extended it to 12-1 with four more runs in the third.

Cowboys right-hander Jack Svinth kept Juggernaut's bats at bay and allowed just one unearned run in three innings of work. He struck out three. Austin Palmares fanned a pair in the final inning before a run-rule was initiated. Nine of his 11 pitches went for strikes.

Saddleback Cowboys Black (5-0) advances to the Round of 16 to play Total Baseball Vipers (4-1).

Juggernaut Group Baseball Academy (3-2) awaits its next opponent in the consolation bracket.

Key Moments

  • Gavin Williams (Saddleback) leveled the score in the first inning with a single through the left side.
  • Luke Johnson (Saddleback) provided the Cowboys with their first lead of the game with an RBI-single through the left side.
  • Zach Fjelstad's (Saddleback) three-run base knock to right extended the Cowboys' lead to 5-1 in the opening frame.
  • Jackson Kemmerer (Saddleback) ripped an RBI-single to left to plate Saddleback's seventh run of the first inning.
  • Luke Johnson (Saddleback) recorded his first of two doubles and brought home a run in the second inning.

 

Notable Information

  • "The bats came alive in the bottom of the first and we strung some quality at-bats together, stung some baseballs and some others found holes. We were able to come up with a couple clutch hits and came away with a good win." — Saddleback Cowboys Black head coach Mitch Holland
  • "One at a time. I think we have a good chance. I think if we play good baseball and clean baseball, we have a good chance to play with anybody. If we take care of business on our end, I think we'll be okay." — Saddleback Cowboys Black head coach Mitch Holland

 

On Deck

  • Saddleback Cowboys Black (5-0) will face Total Baseball Vipers (4-1) in the Round of 16.
  • Juggernaut Group Baseball Academy (3-2) awaits its next opponent (TBD) in the consolation bracket.

 

Social

  • Stay tuned to @USABChamps_AZ on Twitter for the most up-to-date news about the National Team Championships Arizona.
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Placentia Mustangs

Placentia Mustangs Aim to Find Missing Piece to Champs AZ Puzzle

June 18, 2021
PHOENIX — There’s a missing piece to the puzzle for the Placentia Mustangs. Nate Alam, head coach of the California-based organization, is determined to find it. Placentia has appeared in the championship game of the National Team Championships Arizona at the 14U, 15U, and 17U levels, which included a pair of

PHOENIX — There’s a missing piece to the puzzle for the Placentia Mustangs.

Nate Alam, head coach of the California-based organization, is determined to find it.

Placentia has appeared in the championship game of the National Team Championships Arizona at the 14U, 15U, and 17U levels, which included a pair of gold-medal finishes in 2013 (14U and 17U). Reaching the final game of the 16U tournament, however, has been a bit more elusive since USA Baseball added the age group to the event in 2018.

“Pitching-wise, we have what it takes (to win gold at 16U),” Alam said. “We have a lot of arms this year. We just have to swing the bat a bit and that’s what we’re looking to do.”

The Mustangs’ rotation features a talented group of players, including past National Team Championships participant Ayden Holker. The 6-foot-4 right-hander and first baseman returns to the summer showcase in Arizona after he captured Pitcher of the Day honors on July 3, 2019, as a member of JG Juggernaut Group at the 14U National Team Championships. Holker spun a complete-game, four-hit shutout and struck out five in a 10-0 win against GBG Marucci Blue.

“That was really fun and one of my greatest baseball experiences,” Holker said. “It really drove me to keep playing this sport and it was fun to go out there and shut down a team and really be ‘that guy.’”

Holker hopes to be next in a long line of major-league and USA Baseball alumni who have passed through the Placentia Mustangs program on their way to success at the professional, national, and international levels. Texas Rangers southpaw Kolby Allard, Rangers closer Ian Kennedy and seven-year MLB veteran Hank Conger are all former first-round selections who suited up for the red, white, and blue after they donned the Mustangs’ red jersey with black and white trim.

“(The National Team Championships) are a great opportunity for exposure and getting seen,” Holker said. “I really want to test myself and get some work in.”

Placentia has won three of its four games in pool play at the 2021 National Team Championships, which included a 5-0 shutout of Beach City Prospects 16U on the first day of competition. Holker fired three scoreless frames and allowed just one hit to earn the win. He commanded his pitches well to the tune of a 76 percent strike rate and tossed another 1.1 hitless innings against undefeated Canes Arizona (4-0) two days later.

“This is a great group of guys,” Holker said of the relationships he’s developed with his teammates throughout the tournament. “I really like playing with them.”

Holker and Alam aim to win a championship with their squad and have Placentia set on the right path. The Mustangs will face San Diego Show (3-1) in the Round of 32 at 7:30 a.m. MT on Saturday and look to advance to the quarterfinals.

“We just tell our guys to come out here and compete,” Alam said. “We just let them play their game and the rest takes care of itself.”

Much like a puzzle, once you find the first handful of pieces, the rest seems to take care of itself.

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LionettiRelease

USA Baseball Names Chris Lionetti Director of Player Identification

Lionetti will identify athletes for the Collegiate and 18U National Teams, as well as for joint MLB and USA Baseball events
June 18, 2021
CARY, N.C. – USA Baseball today announced the naming of Chris Lionetti as its Director of Player Identification. Following six years of scouting experience with the Atlanta Braves, Lionetti will be responsible for identifying candidates for the Collegiate National Team, 18U National Team, and 16U/17U National Team Development Program. He will also

CARY, N.C. – USA Baseball today announced the naming of Chris Lionetti as its Director of Player Identification. Following six years of scouting experience with the Atlanta Braves, Lionetti will be responsible for identifying candidates for the Collegiate National Team, 18U National Team, and 16U/17U National Team Development Program. He will also identify candidates for joint MLB and USA Baseball events such as the Appalachian League, MLB Draft Combine, Prospect Development Pipeline (PDP) League, and PDP Premier events.

Lionetti will also be the organization’s liaison with the 30 MLB Clubs related to player identification and performance analysis, and assist all youth national team and development programs with player selection.

"We are extremely excited to welcome Chris Lionetti to the USA Baseball family as our first Director of Player Identification,” said USA Baseball Executive Director/CEO Paul Seiler. “Chris brings invaluable experience scouting the amateur baseball landscape on behalf of a Major League Club. We look forward to following his lead in the creation of a player identification system at USA Baseball and enhancing the talent pool for our identification events and national team programs.”

“I am both excited and honored to be named USA Baseball’s first Director of Player Identification,” said Lionetti. “The scouting community helped raise me in baseball and I look forward to using those experiences to contribute to USA Baseball’s standard of excellence. I cannot thank my mentors enough for making this opportunity a reality and I am ready to hit the road in search of players to represent our country.”

Lionetti began his professional career as a scouting intern with the Braves in January 2015 before being promoted to a scouting assistant in October. While in that position, he helped create an in-house scouting system, oversaw recruiting of players for the Braves Scout Team, and scouted more than 100 athletes annually, including Ian Anderson, Austin Riley, and Kyle Wright.

In January of 2018, Lionetti was once again promoted within Atlanta’s organization, serving as a scouting coordinator until he was named the Area Supervisor for the State of Georgia in October 2019. In his past few years with the Braves, he recruited players for “The Prospect World Series,” served as a liaison between the front office and athletes during contract negotiations, filed scouting and character reports, and assisted in creating camp and showcase opportunities for underserved athletes.

Lionetti received his bachelor’s degree in science and sports management in 2014 from the University of Georgia.

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

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Champs AZ Generic Field

Moses, Round Capture Player, Pitcher of the Day Honors for June 17 at Champs AZ

June 17, 2021
PHOENIX — Matt Moses posted three hits and five RBI in a must-win game for Sacramento Sports Center 2023 to capture Player of the Day honors on Day 3 of pool play at the 16U National Team Championships Arizona. Moses, who also scored twice, ripped a three-run triple to break the game

PHOENIX  Matt Moses posted three hits and five RBI in a must-win game for Sacramento Sports Center 2023 to capture Player of the Day honors on Day 3 of pool play at the 16U National Team Championships Arizona.

Moses, who also scored twice, ripped a three-run triple to break the game open for SSC in the second inning. The 6-foot-1 outfielder later plated a pair of runs with a single up the middle to extend SSC's lead to 12-1.

Moses owns a standout .667/.733/.917 slash line through four games at the National Team Championships Arizona for SSC (3-1) and has hit safely in all four contests.

Samuel Round (Canes West Gold) spun six scoreless innings of two-hit ball to earn the Pitcher of the Day award.

Round, a right-hander, struck out nine and walked just two batters as Canes West Gold topped CBA Victus North by a 5-1 count to collect its first win at the National Team Championships Arizona.

Round maintained a 66 percent strike rate in the win, which marked his second appearance on the mound in the tournament.

Honorable mentions (Player of the Day):

Damian Cabrera (Aggies National) — 4-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI, R, SB

Carter Wood (Easton Prime Navy) — 3-for-3, HR, 5 RBI

Austin Stapleton (Chico Aces 2023) — 3-for-4, 2B, 3 RBI, 2 R

Jacob Hong (Dolphins Black) — 3-for-4, 2 RBI, R, 4 SB

Honorable mentions (Pitcher of the Day):

Roman Magana (T2) — W, CG, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 8 K, 4 BB

Brian Chin (Show Cali National) — W, CG, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 6 K, 0 BB

Rory Minty (California Warriors 16U Elite) — W, CG, 4 H, 0 R, 8 K, 2 BB

River Diaz De Leon (Force Baseball Club 16U Elite) — W, CG, 6 H, 0 R, 5 K, 2 BB

Stay tuned to @USABChamps_AZ on Twitter for the most up-to-date news about the National Team Championships Arizona.

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River Diaz De Leon

Diaz De Leon Fires Complete-Game Shutout in Force Baseball Club Blue Win 

June 17, 2021
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E Force Baseball Club Blue 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 3 2 0 Zoots Baseball Club 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 2 Win: River Diaz De Leon Loss: Lucas Dennis Box Score | Play-by-Play | Cumulative Stats
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Force Baseball Club Blue 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 3 2 0
Zoots Baseball Club 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 2
Win: River Diaz De Leon Loss: Lucas Dennis
Box Score | Play-by-Play | Cumulative Stats

PHOENIX — River Diaz De Leon fired a complete-game, six-hit shutout to guide Force Baseball Club Blue to a 3-0 win against Zoots Baseball Club on Thursday at the 2021 16U National Team Championships Arizona.

Diaz De Leon struck out five in the standout performance and kept Zoots at bay by inducing three double-play grounders. The right-hander escaped multiple jams with the help of his defense, which included a 1-6-3 double play with the potential tying run at the plate in the sixth inning.

Zoots also loaded the bases in its final at-bats in the seventh, but Diaz De Leon struck out consecutive batters to seal the win for Force Baseball Blue. He needed just 76 pitches to work through the seven innings and maintained a 71 percent strike rate.

The lone offense in the game came in the third frame when Gabriel Camacho tripled to bring home a pair of runs. Adrian Macias followed with a single through the right side to plate Camacho and extend Force Blue's lead to 3-0.

Right-handed reliever Cole Ehrhorn kept Zoots within striking distance and tossed four hitless, scoreless innings with four strikeouts and no walks.

Diaz De Leon earned the win for Force Baseball Blue, while Lucas Dennis suffered the loss for Zoots.

Force Baseball Club Blue improved its mark to 2-2 at the National Team Championships Arizona. Zoots Baseball Club dropped to 1-3 at the event.

Key Moments

  • River Diaz De Leon (Force Blue) started a 1-5 double play to escape a first-inning jam.
  • Gabriel Camacho (Force Blue) delivered a two-RBI triple to right field to open scoring in the third inning.
  • Adrian Macias (Force Blue) singled through the right side to extend Force Blue's lead to 3-0 in the third inning.
  • River Diaz De Leon (Force Blue) retired seven consecutive batters between the third and fifth innings.
  • Rivera Diaz De Leon (Force Blue) struck out consecutive batters looking to end the game with the bases loaded.

 

Notable Information

  • "(Diaz De Leon) had traffic on the bases all day, but I think when guys got on base, he really buckled down. The three double plays were huge for him and he threw all three pitches for a strike. For him, in those pressure situations, he actually got better throughout the game. He was a bulldog on the mound, for sure." — Force Baseball Club Blue head coach Brandon Decker
  • "This is what we prepare our guys for. We want to play against the best and we believe our team has gotten to that level. In order for our young guys to develop and get eyes on them, we have to play the best teams and be in this type of environment." — Force Baseball Club Blue had coach Brandon Decker

 

On Deck

  • Force Baseball Club Blue improved to 2-2 at the event and awaits its next opponent (TBD).
  • Zoots Baseball Club fell to 1-3 at the event and awaits its next opponent (TBD).

 

Social

  • Stay tuned to @USABChamps_AZ on Twitter for the most up-to-date news about the National Team Championships Arizona.
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18UStaff

USA Baseball Names 2021 18U National Team Coaching Staff

Adam Moseley, Michael Cuddyer, and Jack Wilson will join manager Jason Maxwell this summer
June 17, 2021
CARY, N.C. – USA Baseball today announced the 2021 18U National Team coaching staff that will assist manager Jason Maxwell at the 2021 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-18 Baseball World Cup from September 10–19 in Sarasota and Bradenton, Florida. Adam Moseley joins the staff as the team’s pitching coach while

CARY, N.C. – USA Baseball today announced the 2021 18U National Team coaching staff that will assist manager Jason Maxwell at the 2021 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-18 Baseball World Cup from September 10–19 in Sarasota and Bradenton, Florida. Adam Moseley joins the staff as the team’s pitching coach while Michael Cuddyer and Jack Wilson will serve as assistant coaches.

“We are very excited to have this experienced group join Jason on the 18U National Team staff this summer as we work toward reaching our goal of claiming another world championship,” said Ashley Bratcher, USA Baseball’s 18U National Team General Manager. “The baseball experience and knowledge that these coaches bring to the table will be a huge benefit to our players as they develop both on and off of the field and strive toward winning gold.” 

Moseley, who served as Maxwell's pitching coach for the World Cup-champion 15U National Team in 2018, will return in the same position for the 2021 18U National Team. His USA Baseball coaching experience also includes stints at the 2017 14U National Team Development Program (NTDP) and 15U National Team Trials, and he was also named to the 2020 15U National Team staff before the 2020 WBSC U-15 Baseball World Cup was postponed. Moseley is currently the head coach at Hoover High School (Hoover, Ala.), where he led the Buccaneers to an Alabama State Baseball Championship in 2017. Before taking the head coaching position at Hoover following the 2014 season, Moseley led his former high school, Grissom High School (Huntsville, Ala.), to the state quarterfinals in four of his final five seasons. Moseley has coached high school baseball for 15 seasons and has compiled an overall record of 429-244.

Cuddyer will make his USA Baseball coaching debut in 2021 but is no stranger to the stars and stripes, having played on both the 1996 and 1997 18U National Teams. He hit .367 and recorded the second-most RBIs (5) on the 1996 squad. In 1997, he hit .397 with a .853 slugging percentage while leading the team in RBIs (26) and home runs (7). In that same year, he was named the Virginia Player of the Year, Gatorade National Player of the Year, and a USA Today All-Star. Cuddyer was selected ninth overall by the Minnesota Twins in the 1997 MLB Draft before making his MLB Debut in 2001. In his 15-year MLB career, he played in over 1,500 games, spending the first 11 seasons of his career with the Twins where he was named to his first All-Star team in 2011. From 2012 to 2014, Cuddyer played for the Colorado Rockies and was selected to his second All-Star team in 2013. Cuddyer was also a 2013 Silver Slugger and finished the season with the National League batting title, hitting a league-best .331 with a career-high 162 hits. Cuddyer was only the 30th Major League player to hit for the cycle twice in his career and was just the third to accomplish the feat in both the American and National Leagues. Since retirement, Cuddyer contributes a weekly online video series called “Cuddyer’s Corner” for the USA Baseball Develops blog, covering topics surrounding the game to help young athletes grow both on and off the field.

Rounding out the staff is Wilson who also makes his USA Baseball coaching debut this summer. Currently the head coach at Thousand Oaks High School (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), Wilson led the Lancers to a 24-6 overall record, including a 10-2 mark in league play, en route to winning the Marmonte League championship in 2019. He followed that by managing the squad to an 8-0 start to the 2020 season and a No. 1 CIF-SS Division 2 ranking before the pause in play caused by COVID-19. Under Wilson’s guidance, the program picked up where it left off in 2021 as the Lancers claimed another Marmonte League championship and finished with a 27-1 record. Before beginning his coaching career, Wilson played for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Seattle Mariners, and Atlanta Braves for over 12 years in the big leagues. He led the National League with 12 triples in 2004, earning a spot on the National League All-Star team and a Silver Slugger award for his efforts. In 1,370 MLB games, Wilson recorded a .265/.306/.366 career slash line with 61 home runs and 426 RBIs. 

The 2021 18U National Team identification process begins with the 2021 Prospect Development Pipeline (PDP) League at the USA Baseball National Training Complex from July 23–31. The invitation-based development opportunity will feature approximately 96 top high school baseball players ahead of the 2022 MLB First-Year Player Draft. The 16U/17U NTDP also serves as an identification event for the 18U National Team and will take place from August 6-9 at the National Training Complex.

Invited players will then participate in the 18U National Team Trials from August 29-September 3 in Tampa, Florida, before naming the final 18-man 18U National Team roster. The 18U team will continue to train in Tampa from September 4-8 before competing at the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup from September 10-19 in Sarasota and Bradenton, Florida.

For more information on the 18U National Team, follow along on Twitter @USABaseball and @USABaseball18U.

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Champs AZ generic

Carlson, Standish Earn Player, Pitcher of the Day Honors for June 16

June 17, 2021
PHOENIX, — Owen Carlson delivered a four-hit, five-RBI performance to guide Legacy Baseball Group Black to a pair of wins and earn Player of the Day honors on Day 2 of competition at the 16U National Team Championships Arizona. Carlson, who also scored three runs, walked once and stole one base,

PHOENIX, — Owen Carlson delivered a four-hit, five-RBI performance to guide Legacy Baseball Group Black to a pair of wins and earn Player of the Day honors on Day 2 of competition at the 16U National Team Championships Arizona.

Carlson, who also scored three runs, walked once and stole one base, owns a standout .667 clip at the plate through three games at the tournament. The 5-foot-10 shortstop delivered a game-tying sacrifice fly in the seventh inning of Legacy's early-morning game against Long Beach Bears and followed by reaching base four times (three hits, one walk) in the second game of the day against Arizona Travel Ball.

Carlson and Legacy Baseball Group Black sit at 2-1 following Day 2 of competition at the event.

Southpaw Myles Standish collected Pitcher of the Day honors after he logged four hitless frames and struck out eight in a 7-0 win for CCB National against Legacy Baseball Group Gold.

Standish, who struck out four of the first five batters he faced, combined with right-hander Paul Montgomery to pitch the shutout. He maintained a 65 percent strike rate and helped lead CCB National to its first win at the National Team Championships Arizona.

Standish also contributed on the offensive end in CCB National's second game Wednesday with one walk and one run scored in an 11-3 victory against USA Prime American.

Honorable mentions (Player of the Day):

Demetriz Lewis Jr. (Top Tier Americans) — 2-for-3, 3B, 3 RBI, 2 R, 2 SB

Anthony Martinez (Sacramento Sports Center 2023) — 6-for-8, 2B, 7 RBI, SB

Jackson Freeman (TB SoCal Easton) — 4-for-6, 2 2B, 3 RBI, 3 R, BB, 2 SB

Van Coughlin (Quakes Baseball) — 4-for-6, 3 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R, 2 BB

Honorable mentions (Pitcher of the Day):

Holden Hungerford (Trosky Southern California - Antelope Valley) — W, 6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 9 K, 3 BB

Adam Harper (Dolphins Black) — W, 6.1 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 9 K, 3 BB

Tanner Beltowski (VCBA) — W, 6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 7 K, 2 BB

Mooman (USA Prime American 16U) — W, CG, 3 H, 0 R, 9 K, 2 BB

Stay tuned to @USABChamps_AZ on Twitter for the most up-to-date news about the National Team Championships Arizona.

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Marcos Cisneros — Team Trinity

Team Trinity Tops CBA Wave in Champs AZ Game of the Day

June 16, 2021
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E TEAM TRINITY 0 1 0 0 4 0 1 6 9 1 CBA WAVE 0 2 0 2 0 0 0 4 9 0 Win: Marcos Cisneros Loss: Braxton Ohton Box Score | Play-by-Play | Cumulative Stats PHOENIX — Team Trinity collected its first
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
TEAM TRINITY 0 1 0 0 4 0 1 6 9 1
CBA WAVE 0 2 0 2 0 0 0 4 9 0
Win: Marcos Cisneros Loss: Braxton Ohton
Box Score | Play-by-Play | Cumulative Stats

PHOENIX — Team Trinity collected its first victory at the 2021 16U National Team Championships Arizona in comeback style after it erased a three-run deficit to top CBA Wave by a 6-4 final Wednesday at Peoria Sports Complex.

Trinity strung together three consecutive hits to take a 5-4 lead. Luis Arias' RBI-single through the right side proved to be the spark plug. He later came around to score on a two-run single off the bat of George Banuelos. Gavin Klennert then gave Trinity the lead with his second hit of the afternoon, a single to left to plate Banuelos.

Klennert has two multi-hit efforts through three games at the National Team Championships Arizona for Team Trinity.

Marcos Cisneros, who entered the game trailing 4-1, earned the win in relief for Trinity. The right-hander surrendered just one hit across 3.2 scoreless frames and struck out five batters, including two in the seventh inning.

CBA Wave put the potential tying run aboard in the sixth after Colton Miller reached via an error, but Cisneros induced a fielders' choice groundout and a strikeout to negate the threat.

Team Trinity sits at 1-2 following the first two days of games at the National Team Championships Arizona. CBA Wave (0-3) remains in search of its first win of the event.

Key Moments

  • Gerardo Munoz (Trinity) delivered a sacrifice fly to open up scoring in the second inning. Jesiah Zamora scored the game's first run.
  • Donovan Ward (CBA Wave) laced a double to right field to score a pair of runs and give CBA Wave its first lead of the game in the second inning.
  • William Cruz (CBA Wave) brought home a pair of runs with a single through the right side and extended CBA Wave's lead to 4-1 at the time.
  • Luis Arias (Trinity) delivered a run-scoring single through the right side to ignite Team Trinity's fifth-inning rally.
  • George Banuelos (Trinity) leveled the score with a two-RBI single in the fifth inning.
  • Team Trinity regained the lead for good after Gavin Klennert roped a single to left to score Banuelos.
  • Marcos Cisneros (Trinity) worked a 1-2-3 ninth inning, including a pair of strikeouts.

 

Notable Information

  • "We've got a young team. We just have to keep them focused, keep them driving and make sure they're having fun. We want our guys to learn from this and enjoy it. The (National Team Championships Arizona) is a good experience for them, develops them and it makes them strive harder." — Team Trinity head coach Roy Borgersen

 

Social

  • Stay tuned to @USABChamps_AZ on Twitter for the most up-to-date news about the National Team Championships Arizona.
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ChampsArticle

Excitement in the Air as National Team Championships NC Returns to the National Training Complex

14U National Team Championships NC kicks off with testing day and first slate of games
June 16, 2021
Clear skies, 80-degree weather, and for the first time in nine months, the National Team Championships North Carolina returned to the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina.  The morning got started early with each team going through a pro-style workout and getting testing feedback in several areas

Clear skies, 80-degree weather, and for the first time in nine months, the National Team Championships North Carolina returned to the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina. 

The morning got started early with each team going through a pro-style workout and getting testing feedback in several areas of the game. Outfielders got the chance to track their velocities on throws to third and home, while hitters took swings in the cages using Diamond Kinetics technology. The SwingTracker gives real-time data on various parts of a batter’s swing, and this morning it made for great friendly competition amongst teammates as they got ready for the day ahead.

“It’s good for everybody to let us know where we’re at and where we stand against other competition,” said Micah Matthews, a member of the Canes National team. Seeing these assessment results gives players tangible things to work on to improve their game. The goal? To keep getting better in every aspect of the game. Seeing these results pay off makes all the hard work worth it. 

And 12U National Team alum Dillon Adkins has experienced this firsthand. After impressing at the National Team Identification Series (NTIS) in 2018, Adkins got the chance to play for the 2019 12U National Team at the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-12 Baseball World Cup. Now, he’s back this year at the National Team Championships with Knights Knation National and ready for more.

“We’re really excited to compete with other big teams, a lot of people think we’re underdogs,” Adkins said of his Knights team. “I think we have a pretty good chance at doing good while we’re here. We’re really excited to compete and showcase our talent.”

Alandez Blaylock shared the same sentiment about his East Coast Sox Franchise team. “I’m excited to be playing better competition, this field of teams is stacked, so you just have to expect the best,” he said.

After a morning of testing, the teams took the field ready to prove themselves. With 16 of the premier clubs from across the country, the competition is stout and the teams are ready to show they belong here.

Not only are these teams getting the opportunity to play against some of the best competition in the country, but they are also getting to do it at one of the finest facilities in the country. The USA Baseball National Training Complex is home to four major league-quality fields, highlighted by the 1,754 seat Coleman Field. Getting the chance to play where MLB All-Stars and Team USA alums like Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Marcus Stroman, and many more have played is an opportunity the players are grateful for.

“These are the best fields I’ve ever seen, I’ve never seen anything like it, and I can’t wait to get out there,” said David Shields, a Pittsburgh native playing for Canes National this week. Shields’ teammate Micah Matthews added, “It’s big for us. For us young kids getting to experience this, it’s really special and I’m really excited.”

The stage is set. Teams got started their journey to gold today and with a full week ahead, players will have plenty of chances to put their talents on display.

Aidan Nohava from the Cangelosi Sparks summed it up well, saying “I’ve never played on any fields like this and never seen any competition like this either. I’m ready to play.”

A full slate of game action will highlight day two of the event on Thursday as each team will play twice to finish out pool play before the bracket is set on Friday.

Let’s play ball.

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Champs AZ Preview photo

National Team Championships Arizona Set for First Pitch

June 11, 2021
2021 FAN GUIDE 16U SCHEDULE & RESULTS TICKETS Who will be next? The 2021 National Team Championships Arizona will welcome 327 teams from 11 states to four of the premier Spring Training facilities in the Greater Phoenix area to compete for gold and play for the opportunity to represent the

Who will be next? The 2021 National Team Championships Arizona will welcome 327 teams from 11 states to four of the premier Spring Training facilities in the Greater Phoenix area to compete for gold and play for the opportunity to represent the red, white, and blue on the diamond..

Beginning June 14 and running through July 7, the National Team Championships in Arizona will serve as the primary identification event for players to be considered for the 2021 15U National Team, as well as this year’s 13U/14U Athlete Development Program (ADP) and 16U/17U National Team Development Program (NTDP).

NOTEWORTHY

      • 16U Starts it Off
      • The National Team Championships Arizona is set to begin June 14 with the 16U age group, which enters its third year as part of the event. MVP Hustle won the inaugural tournament in 2018 and will look to recapture gold in 2021. Individual athletes will be evaluated and invited to the 2021 13U/14U ADP. The schedule for the 16U National Team Championships Arizona can be accessed here. The slate of preliminary-round games for the ensuing age groups can be found here (17U), here (15U) and here (14U), and will be updated as each event nears its start date.
      •  

      • Spring Training in Summer
      • USA Baseball’s National Team Championships Arizona are held at the Spring Training homes of today’s brightest stars in Major League Baseball: Camelback Ranch, home of the Chicago White Sox and reigning World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers; Goodyear Ballpark, home of the Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Indians; Peoria Sports Complex, home of the San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners; and Surprise Stadium, home of the Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers. 
      •  

      • Also in Arizona
      • While this is only the second year that the National Team Championships North Carolina will take place, the event has been successful in Arizona for nearly a decade. Since 2012, some of the country’s finest young players have earned spots on USA Baseball national teams thanks to their performances at the National Team Championships Arizona.
      •  

      • How About Some History?
      • From 32 teams in one division to 327 teams across four age groups, USA Baseball’s National Team Championships have enjoyed tremendous growth since the event debuted in 1996. Arizona (since 2012) is one of four states to host the event, along with North Carolina, Florida and New Jersey. GBG Renegades (15U) and Zoots Baseball Club (17U) return to the tournament as the reigning gold medalists at their respective age groups after being crowned champions in 2019.
      •  

      • Travel Plans
      • Different journeys. Same goal. Teams from 11 states will travel as many as 3,600 miles to play for gold in the summer heat. The state of California features the greatest number of teams at the event (258), while host state Arizona will see 23 programs take the field. In addition, the lineup of participants includes teams from Texas (9), Utah (9), Washington (8), Nevada (7), Colorado (6), Hawaii (4), Alaska (1), Missouri (1) and New York (1).
      •  

      • Remarkable Resume
      • Entering its 25th year as an identification event for Team USA, the National Team Championships have provided a plethora of future top prospects and MLB stars with an opportunity to showcase their talent, including three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw, reigning National League MVP Freddie Freeman and six-time All-Star Bryce Harper.
      •  

      • Opportunity Knocks
      • In addition to on-field evaluation across the week-long event, USA Baseball’s task force of scouts and coaches will identify potential talent for the red, white, and blue through comprehensive PDP testing and character evaluation. The primary goal of testing day is to equip athletes with tangible evaluations of their skills and abilities, and offer the players an opportunity to create a positive first impression upon the USA Baseball task force in a non-game setting.
      •  

      • Quick Quotes
      • “Having an opportunity to go play against teams that are filled from top-to-bottom with some of the best athletes in the world at this age group for the National Team Championships in Arizona is challenging and fun. A ton can be learned.” — Jared Halpert, assistant coach of the 2019 15U National Team
      •  

      • “The USA Baseball National Team Championships consistently deliver on every team being very competitive year after year.” — Jamar Hill, head coach of Gamers/RBI Alaska
      •  

      • COVID-19 Protocol
      • USA Baseball will follow all current, federal, state and local government-mandated guidelines regarding COVID-19 with relation to the location of the facilities hosting its events. USA Baseball encourages all participants and guests to practice social distancing of at least six feet from other people. Spectators and guests are strongly encouraged to wear a cloth face covering which covers both the nose and mouth while attending USA Baseball events. Face coverings will be required in enclosed areas.
      •  

FOLLOW ALONG

      • All games will be scored live on GameChanger. Links to up-to-the-second scoring and statistics will be posted on USABaseball.com. You can also find media coverage and updates via social media by following @USABChamps_AZ on Twitter and USA Baseball on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

 

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2021-GSA-SemiFinalists-16x9

USA Baseball Announces 2021 Golden Spikes Award Semifinalists

The 43rd Golden Spikes Award will be presented in July
June 8, 2021
CARY, N.C. – USA Baseball today announced the 25 semifinalists for its Golden Spikes Award, moving one step closer to naming the top amateur baseball player of the year. The winner of the 43rd Golden Spikes Award will be announced in July. Twenty-two different universities are represented by the 2021

CARY, N.C. – USA Baseball today announced the 25 semifinalists for its Golden Spikes Award, moving one step closer to naming the top amateur baseball player of the year. The winner of the 43rd Golden Spikes Award will be announced in July.

Twenty-two different universities are represented by the 2021 semifinalists, and the list includes 12 athletes who have played their way into consideration since the midseason list was announced on April 14. 

“We are thrilled to honor these twenty-five tremendously talented student-athletes as Golden Spikes Award semifinalists in 2021,” said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball’s Executive Director and CEO. “This group of players truly showcases the elite level of amateur baseball talent in the United States as they have excelled on and off the field this season, and we are privileged to recognize their contributions to their teams and schools.” 

The watch list is headlined by Henry Davis (Louisville), Sal Frelick (Boston College), Jack Leiter (Vanderbilt), Ty Madden (Texas), and Kumar Rocker (Vanderbilt), who all also earned spots on the Golden Spikes Award Preseason and Midseason Watch Lists in 2021.

Vanderbilt University is one of three schools that boasts multiple semifinalists in 2021, with East Carolina and Mississippi State also featuring two athletes on the list. In total, at least one athlete from 10 different NCAA conferences has earned semifinalist honors this year. The Southeastern Conference leads all conferences represented with six athletes named semifinalists, while five players represent the Atlantic Coast Conference, and three hail from both the Pac-12 and the Big 12.

Oregon State’s Adley Rutschman took home the prestigious award most recently in 2019, joining a group of recent winners that include Andrew Vaughn (2018), Brendan McKay (2017), Kyle Lewis (2016), Andrew Benintendi (2015), A.J. Reed (2014), Kris Bryant (2013), Mike Zunino (2012), Trevor Bauer (2011), Bryce Harper (2010), Stephen Strasburg (2009), Buster Posey (2008), and David Price (2007).

Beginning with the announcement of the semifinalists, a ballot will be sent to a voting body consisting of baseball media members, select professional baseball personnel, current USA Baseball staff and the previous winners of the award, representing a group of more than 200 voters. As part of this selection process, all voters will be asked to choose three players from the list of semifinalists. On June 24, USA Baseball will announce the finalists, and voting for the winner will begin that same day.

Fan voting will once again be a part of the Golden Spikes Award in 2021. Beginning with the semifinalist announcement and continuing through the finalist round voting deadline on Tuesday, June 15, fans from across the country will be able to vote for their favorite player on GoldenSpikesAward.com.

The winner of the 43rd Golden Spikes Award will be named in July. To stay up-to-date on the 2021 Golden Spikes Award visit GoldenSpikesAward.com and follow @USAGoldenSpikes on Twitter and Instagram.

    • The 2021 Golden Spikes Award timeline:
    • June 8: USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award semifinalists voting begins
    • June 15: USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award semifinalists voting ends
    • June 24: USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award finalists announced, voting begins
    • July 2: USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award finalists voting ends
    • July: USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award trophy presentation
    •  

A complete list of the Golden Spikes Award semifinalists is as follows:

    • Name, Position, School, Conference
    • Andrew Abbott; LHP; Virginia; Atlantic Coast
    • Tanner Allen; OF; Mississippi State; Southeastern
    • Jacob Berry; INF; Arizona; Pac-12
    • Colton Cowser; OF; Sam Houston; Southland
    • Henry Davis; C; Louisville; Atlantic Coast
    • Sal Frelick; UTL; Boston College; Atlantic Coast
    • Tyler Hardman; INF; Oklahoma; Big 12
    • Jace Jung; INF; Texas Tech; Big 12
    • Niko Kavadas; INF; Notre Dame; Atlantic Coast
    • Austin Knight; INF; Charlotte; C-USA
    • Kevin Kopps; RHP; Arkansas; Southeastern
    • Jack Leiter; RHP; Vanderbilt; Southeastern
    • Ethan Long; INF; Arizona State; Pac-12
    • Ty Madden; RHP; Texas; Big 12
    • Matt Mikulski; LHP; Fordham; Atlantic 10
    • Matheu Nelson; C; Florida State; Atlantic Coast
    • Doug Nikhazy; RHP; Ole Miss; Southeastern
    • Connor Norby; INF; ECU; American
    • Kumar Rocker; RHP; Vanderbilt; Southeastern
    • Spencer Schwellenbach; INF/RHP; Nebraska; Big Ten
    • Landon Sims; RHP; Mississippi State; Southeastern
    • Paul Skenes; C/RHP; Air Force; Mountain West
    • Trey Sweeney; 3B; Eastern Illinois; Ohio Valley
    • Gavin Williams; RHP; ECU; American
    • Aaron Zavala; OF; Oregon; Pac-12
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16x9 HORIZONTAL

MLB, USA Baseball, Appalachian League Announce 2021 Appalachian League All-Star Game Presented by Pennzoil

June 6, 2021
PULASKI, Va. -- Major League Baseball, USA Baseball and the Appalachian League today announced that the 2021 Appalachian League All-Star Game presented by Pennzoil will take place at historic Calfee Park, the home of the Pulaski River Turtles. This marquee event will be broadcast on MLB Network and will bring

PULASKI, Va. -- Major League Baseball, USA Baseball and the Appalachian League today announced that the 2021 Appalachian League All-Star Game presented by Pennzoil will take place at historic Calfee Park, the home of the Pulaski River Turtles. This marquee event will be broadcast on MLB Network and will bring together the Appalachian League’s top players in the first year of the league’s new format, featuring the nation’s top rising college freshmen and sophomores. First built in 1935 and recently renovated, Calfee Park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has been voted as one of the best ballparks in America by Ballpark Digest. Additional details about the game and related festivities will be revealed at a later date.

Morgan Sword, MLB’s Executive Vice President, Baseball Operations, said: “Pulaski has one of the best ballparks not just in the Appalachian League but across the entire country. This historic stadium is a great venue to demonstrate both the Appalachian League’s legacy and its future, and we can’t wait to see the league’s brightest stars shine in the first All-Star Game of this new format. The 2021 All-Star Game will be an exciting and memorable event for fans in Pulaski and across the region.”

Paul Seiler, Executive Director/CEO of USA Baseball, said: “Calfee Park and the people of Pulaski have proven themselves to be a first-rate facility and fan-base within the Appalachian League. We cannot think of a better introduction for the first All-Star Game ever to be played in the league’s history than to be featured in this historic venue. It will be a memorable event for the players and the Pulaski community.”

Dan Moushon, the President of the Appalachian League, said: “We are thrilled to welcome the Appalachian League’s best to Calfee Park this summer as we celebrate our first season under the new format. I cannot think of a better stage for our players or experience for our fans.”

JW Martin, General Manager of the Pulaski River Turtles, said: “We are honored to host the inaugural Appalachian League All-Star Game. To have Calfee Park and our baseball community in the national spotlight is an incredible opportunity, and we are eager to welcome the Appalachian League's best to Pulaski for what promises to be a great night of baseball.”

This news follows previous announcements on MLB and USA Baseball’s initiatives to support baseball in Appalachian League communities. As part of the MLB and USA Baseball Prospect Development Pipeline, the Appalachian League is a critical stop on the development pathway for amateur baseball players in the United States, and this summer and fall, MLB and USA Baseball will partner to bring Fun At Bat school programs and USA Baseball Community Coaching Clinics to across the region. Through these programs, MLB is creating new generations of fans and players, as well as demonstrating a model for other leagues and communities across the country. Top MLB executives recently concluded a tour of the Appalachian League to mark Opening Day. They met with Clubs, fans and local officials to celebrate Opening Day during official stops at TVA Credit Union Ballpark in Johnson City, Tennessee; Hunter Wright Stadium in Kingsport, Tennessee; Bowen Field in Bluefield, West Virginia; and Calfee Park in Pulaski, Virginia along with visits to Greeneville, Tennessee; Elizabethton, Tennessee; Bristol, Virginia; and Princeton, West Virginia.

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Next Stop, Tokyo: Team USA Captures WBSC Olympic Qualifier With 4-2 Win Over Venezuela

The U.S. claims AOQ crown, berth in Tokyo Olympic Games with fourth-straight victory
June 6, 2021
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E VEN 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 7 0 USA 0 0 0 2 1 0 1 0 x 4 10 2 Box Score // Plays // Overall Stats PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla.
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
VEN 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 7 0
USA 0 0 0 2 1 0 1 0 x 4 10 2

Box Score // Plays // Overall Stats

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. – The USA Baseball Professional National Team put the finishing touches on a perfect week at the 2021 World Baseball Softball Confederation Baseball Americas Qualifying Event with 4-2 victory over Venezuela Saturday evening at Clover Park, claiming one of the two remaining berths in the upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games.

Todd Frazier led the U.S. attack with a 4-for-4 effort at the plate, while Team USA's pitching staff logged another strong performance in limiting Venezuela to a pair of runs.

"This whole process over the last couple of weeks has been so intense," Team USA manager Mike Scioscia said. "You're really playing elimination games every day, and our guys rose to the occasion. But bigger than that, it was such a celebration of baseball, so I want to congratulate both teams. We had tough games every time out. You had to be ready to play every game, and fortunately, our guys played well."

Frazier played particularly well against Venezuela, sparking Team USA in the field and at the plate, starting a momentum-swinging 5-3 double-play that thwarted a first-inning Venezuela threat. He recorded hits in each of his four at-bats, including an RBI double in the fifth and a critical home run in the seventh to drive in the final two U.S. runs of the night.

The 11-year MLB veteran singled in the home half of the first, then kicked off U.S. fourth with a base hit, moments before Eric Filia lofted a towering drive that cleared the right-field wall for a 2-1 Team USA lead.

Starting pitcher Matthew Liberatore gave the U.S. another strong effort to open the contest, working out of a bases-loaded jam in the first, after Hernan Perez drove a single to center on the game's first pitch. Perez struck again in the third, driving Liberatore's second pitch of the inning deep to left-center for a solo shot that gave Venezuela a 1-0 lead.

But Liberatore was up to the early challenge, inducing rally-killing double plays in the first and the third frames to keep the stars and stripes close. After Ali Castillo followed Perez's homer with a base hit, Liberatore promptly dispatched the next seven Venezuela hitters before back-to-back hits by Perez and Castillo ended his night after 4 2/3 innings.

In all, Liberatore allowed just one run and scattered four hits with four strikeouts, before handing the ball off to his bullpen.

The U.S. engineered a two-out threat in the fifth, capitalizing on back-to-back singles by Luke Williams and Jarren Duran after Anibal Sanchez struck out the first two hitters of the inning.

Frazier tormented Venezuela yet again, this time bashing a line-drive just inside the third-base bag for a ground-rule double that chased home the third Team USA run of the game.

Team USA's bullpen registered a strong performance in relief of Liberatore, as the trio of Brandon Dickson, Edwin Jackson (1-0) and David Robertson combined to hold Venezuela to one run on three hits over the final 4.1 innings. Jackson blanked Venezuela over 2.0 frames, and Robertson locked up his second save of the AOQ with a scoreless ninth.

The U.S. finished a perfect 4-0 at the WBSC Baseball Americas Qualifier, led by a pitching staff that allowed just 10 total runs in the four contests and limited the opposition to a .209 batting average. Team USA got it done with defense as well, as the U.S. didn't commit its first error of the tournament until Saturday's finale and finished with a sparkling .987 team fielding percentage.

"Every game was intense. Our guys did a great job," Scioscia added. "They faced some tough pitchers this week, and some really good ball clubs. This is a tough environment. You're playing five elimination games, essentially, and I thought our guys were very consistent."

Team USA moves on to Tokyo, as the six-team Olympic baseball tournament will begin on Tuesday, July 27 at Fukushima Azuma Baseball Stadium and Yokohama Baseball Stadium. The U.S. joins Israel, Japan, Korea, and Mexico in the six-team field. The final spot in the Olympic baseball tournament will be decided following the WBSC Baseball Final Qualifier in Puebla, Mexico, from June 22-26.

Team USA has qualified for all but one of the Olympic Games since baseball has been included on the official Olympic Programme beginning in 1992. The U.S. won a bronze medal in the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games and a gold medal in the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. The stars and stripes did not qualify for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, but earned a spot in the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, where they won bronze. The U.S. also won a silver medal in 1984 (Los Angeles) and a gold medal in 1988 (Seoul) when baseball was a demonstration sport in the Olympics.

The magnitude of the opportunity to compete for Olympic Gold was apparent to Frazier, who finished the tournament with hits in his final five trips to the plate, including two critical late-inning home runs that helped seal wins over Canada and Venezuela.

"When you get an opportunity to play for the United States of America, you've got to take that opportunity and run with it," Frazier commented. "Because you're probably going to look back on your career and say that's the most fun I've ever had playing the game."

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USA Baseball Qualifies for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Team USA joins Israel, Japan, Korea, and Mexico in the six-team field
June 6, 2021
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. – Team USA clinched its berth in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on Saturday, following a 4-2 victory over Venezuela at the 2021 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Baseball Americas Qualification Event for the Games of the XXXII Olympiad Tokyo 2020 in Florida. The six-team Olympic baseball

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. – Team USA clinched its berth in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on Saturday, following a 4-2 victory over Venezuela at the 2021 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Baseball Americas Qualification Event for the Games of the XXXII Olympiad Tokyo 2020 in Florida.

The six-team Olympic baseball tournament will begin on Tuesday, July 27, 2021 at Fukushima Azuma Baseball Stadium and Yokohama Baseball Stadium.

The U.S. joins Israel, Japan, Korea, and Mexico in the six-team field. The final spot in the Olympic baseball tournament will be decided following the WBSC Baseball Final Qualifier in Puebla, Mexico, from June 22-26.

“It has been our goal from the moment baseball returned to the Olympic Programme to qualify for Tokyo 2020. I am incredibly proud of this group for coming together under the tremendous leadership of Mike Scioscia and his staff and securing the United States’ spot in the Olympic Games,” said USA Baseball Executive Director/CEO Paul Seiler. “We knew this was not going to be an easy road; however, this squad personified the unyielding American spirit with grit and resilience in this tournament. We are thrilled for them, we celebrate their achievement, and we look forward to representing Team USA in the Olympic Games.”

Team USA finished the WBSC Baseball Americas Qualifier tournament with a perfect 4-0 record, defeating Canada, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. The U.S. also faced Puerto Rico in the Opening Round, but the game was cancelled in the fourth inning due to inclement weather with the stars and stripes holding a 6-1 lead.

Team USA has qualified for all but one of the Olympic Games since baseball has been included on the official Olympic Programme beginning in 1992. The U.S. won a bronze medal in the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games and a gold medal in the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. The stars and stripes did not qualify for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games but earned a spot in the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, where they won bronze.

Team USA also won a silver medal in 1984 (Los Angeles) and a gold medal in 1988 (Seoul) when baseball was a demonstration sport in the Olympics.

An official game recap of the clinching game against Venezuela will follow this announcement.

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