USA BASEBALL NEWS

WNT

U.S. Beats Dominican Republic, Will Play for World Cup Bronze

Kelsie Whitmore gives up just three hits and no earned runs in start
August 31, 2018
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Dominican Republic 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 2
Team USA 6 0 1 0 1 0 X 8 7 2
Win: K. Whitmore Loss: M. Quero Save: None
Box Score | Play-by-play | World Cup Stats
 

VIERA, FLA. - The USA Baseball Women's National Team finished off Super Round play in the 2018 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Women's Baseball World Cup with an 8-1 defeat of Dominican Republic at the USSSA Space Coast Complex in Viera, Florida, on Thursday night.

Having already secured a spot in the World Cup bronze medal game with Canada's loss to Chinese Taipei earlier in the day, the U.S. still came out swinging.

The Dominican Republic opened the scoring with a run in the top of the first but that was all the team would get in the contest as three U.S. pitchers combined for six subsequent innings.

Kelsie Whitmore (Temecula, Calif.) got her second start of the World Cup on Thursday and set the tone early on the mound for Team USA. She allowed just three hits, one walk and no earned runs in four solid innings before handing the ball to Laura Collins (Hollywood, Fla.) and Emily Tsujikawa (Redmond, Wash.) to finish off the win. Neither relief pitcher gave up a hit in the final three innings.

On the offensive side, the red, white and blue responded to the Dominican Republic's run in the top of the first with a six-run bottom half to put the game away early. The inning was highlighted by clutch hitting as all six runs came with two outs.

Megan Baltzell (Stafford, Va.), Michelle Cobb (Wenatchee, Wash.), Kylee Lahners (Laguna Hills, Calif.) and Anna Kimbrell (Fort Mill, S.C.) collected hits and the squad also took advantage of walks and hit-by-pitches to take a 6-1 lead to the second inning.

Team USA added to its lead with one run each in the third and fifth innings for the final score of 8-1 to claim the win. Baltzell finished the contest 2-for-4 with a run scored and Kimbrell went 1-for-2 with two RBI and a run scored.

The U.S. will play Canada for the 2018 WBSC Women's Baseball World Cup bronze medal at 1 p.m. ET on Friday, August 31, at the USSSA Space Coast Complex in Viera, Fla. This will be the second game in the 2018 tournament between the two teams as they matched up against each other in the Super Round on Wednesday. Team USA came out on top in that game with a 5-1 win. Friday's bronze medal game will be streamed live on the WBSC YouTube channel.

Continue to follow @USABaseballWNT on Twitter for the most up-to-date news about the Women's National Team.

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USA Baseball Modifies On-Field Programming Schedule

All events continue to be subject to cancellation or postponement
May 18, 2020

CARY, N.C. - USA Baseball announced today a modified schedule of events for its 2020 summer season due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Created in adherence to the regulations set forth by the appropriate federal, state and local governments, the updated schedule is tentatively set to begin with the 14U Cup from July 24-26 at the National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina.

All of these events continue to be subject to cancellation or postponement based on the future state of the evolving coronavirus situation. The organization will monitor the guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC), as well as consult its Medical/Safety Advisory Committee in order to evaluate the status of its upcoming tournaments.

All further decisions will be made in as timely a manner as possible with respect to the safety and well-being of all the participating athletes, coaches and fans. If these tournaments run as scheduled, teams and fans will be required to follow a series of return to play guidelines developed by USA Baseball. These guidelines will be shared with all participants within an appropriate timeframe leading up to the event.

"As the national governing body for baseball in the United States, we feel it is in the best interest of the thousands of baseball athletes in our country to postpone our return to the field due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic," said USA Baseball Executive Director/CEO Paul Seiler. "We share in the longing for baseball's return, but we believe it is prudent to continue assessing the situation and finalizing a course of action that prioritizes the overall health and safety of our participants and their families in light of the continued transmission of this disease.

"This schedule was structured in an effort to secure as many opportunities as possible for athletes who hope to one day play for Team USA. We will remain steadfast in our commitment to this charge; however, we will continue to evaluate the situation on a daily basis and monitor the guidelines set forth by the CDC and the USOPC in case additional modifications need to be made."

The following events have been tentatively rescheduled on the 2020 calendar:

• 17U National Team Championships North Carolina (July 27-30)
• 14U and 15U National Team Championships Arizona (July 27-30)
• 16U and 17U National Team Championships Arizona (July 31-August 3)
• 15U National Team Championships North Carolina (August 4-9)
• 10U Futures Invitational (August 6-9)
• 16U National Team Championships North Carolina (August 11-16)
• 11U, 12U, 13U and 14U NTIS Champions Cup (August 19-23)
• 15U and 16U NTIS Champions Cup (August 26-30)

The following events and national team programming have been cancelled:

• 11U Futures Invitational
• 13U/14U Athlete Development Program (ADP)
• 16U/17U National Team Development Program (NTDP)
• National Team Championships Florida

The 14U Cup (July 24-26) and 11U/13U Futures Series Irvine (August 28-30) are set to take place as originally scheduled.

Additionally, USA Baseball continues to work closely with the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) with respect to the international baseball calendar. To date, the WBSC has postponed the Americas Baseball Olympic Qualifier, U-15 Baseball World Cup and the Women's Baseball World Cup until further notice. The U-12 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier has also been postponed but will not take place this year.

"USA Baseball fully supports the WBSC and its decision to indefinitely postpone the events on the baseball calendar in an effort to protect our national team athletes at this time," continued Seiler. "When the time comes for Team USA to return to the field, we will be ready to continue our longstanding tradition of excellence on the international stage."

Corresponding to the status of the international baseball calendar, USA Baseball has cancelled all 12U National Team programming events for 2020, meanwhile any future events planned for the 15U National Team, 18U National Team, Collegiate National Team and Women's National Team this year will be announced as necessary.

The Medical/Safety Advisory Committee has published a free Athlete Preparation Plan that provides a series of at-home exercises aimed to prepare young athletes for their return to the diamond following a prolonged disruption from on-field activity. To access this plan and to read its recommendations for baseball players during the COVID-19 pandemic, click here.

Further information on USA Baseball updates relating to COVID-19 can be found here. For up-to-the-minute updates on the organization and its events, follow @USABaseball on social media.

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WNT

3 Up, 3 Down With Veronica Alvarez

The five-time Team USA alum and 2019 Rod Dedeaux Coach of the Year checked in with USA Baseball on Instagram Live
May 7, 2020

Veronica Alvarez became the first woman to be named the USA Baseball Rod Dedeaux Coach of the Year for her work at the helm of the 2019 Women's National Team. Under her direction, Team USA finished its tournament with a perfect 7-0 record and the program's first gold medal since the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games. The U.S. outscored its opponents 124-20, held a cumulative .500 batting average and hit a record 11 home runs. The team was also named USA Baseball's Team of the Year after its dominating performance last summer.

In addition to making her managerial debut with the Women's National Team in 2019, Alvarez also served as an assistant coach on the 2018 staff and played for Team USA five times in her career as a catcher. Her time with the red, white and blue started in 2008 and every team she participated on medaled in international competition.

Since finishing her playing career in 2016, Alvarez has continued to help grow the next generation of female baseball players as a coach at the Trailblazer Series from 2017-2019 and the Girls Baseball Breakthrough Series Showcase & Development Camp in 2018 and 2019, joining the collaboration between Major League Baseball and USA Baseball to foster the next generation of female baseball players in the United States.

Additionally, Alvarez will serve as a coach with the Oakland Athletics at Major League Baseball Spring Training for the second consecutive year in 2020 and she has previously coached at the USA Baseball Women's National Team Identification Series and the 2019 12U National Open.


USA Baseball (USAB): How are you staying active and sane while we all stay home right now?
Veronica Alvarez (VA): Well I live in Miami - Miami Beach, specifically - so we're definitely outdoors people, which makes it hard to stay inside. But we really love the outdoors so I have done a few paddle boarding trips. Not sure if that's illegal or not (laughs) but social-distancing paddle board trips for fun, and then walking the dog is always a fun adventure for me. I have a great dane and we go on really long walks with him. So that's non-baseball stuff and then I've just been staying busy with lessons and just contining to learn as much as possible.

USAB: Have you developed and new hobbies or tried and new activities?
VA:
No, just our walks have gotten longer, that's for sure and just enjoying being outside. But my schedule for the most part feels normal because I'm still working. So, every third day, I'm a firefighter paramedic and in between is kind of setting myself up with the laundry, the housework and things like that. Then with any free time, just being outside if possible to get some fresh air.

USAB: Can you explain the Zoom meetings you and other Women's National Team alums and staff members have been having with MLB scouts and officials over the last couple of weeks?
VA:
Yep, with the whole idea to try and make ourselves better, USA Baseball and MLB have hosted a few of them for us. So, it's been any alumni of the Women's National Team or current players or coaches or anything like that and we've been able to hear from scouts. One of the oldest scouts in the game where he had a more old-school mentality (doesn't even use a radar gun when he scouts players, which was fun to hear) - a man with a very strong mustache. I loved hearing his angle on things, it was just great to hear that kind of old-school mentality. And then a second meeting was more new-school, where we saw all the analytics in baseball and how they're able to evaluate players and scout them or just work on current players and improve their skills based on using their analytics and their systems, which was cool to hear.

Being with the A's last year in Spring Training and this year as well, I was able to work with that and see it. I love telling the woman about it because it blows our minds the capabilities of the system. It's such a fun tool to have but it was great to hear so much more that they could do with it. I just got the bare bones on it, I used it for a few hours on catching and analyzing our catchers in the system and how we could work with that, but hearing everything else - that they get to evaluate the speed at which a player accelerates, then based on that, see how many bases he's going to steal - it was fun to see.

USAB: So, you got to see the older and newer mentalities but were there any other favorite takeaways from the people you guys have interacted with via Zoom?
VA:
Well it just opens your mind that there's so much out there and that's something fun that we've always known about baseball is you'll never learn everything. But now there's just this whole other world of it where technology is involved. It just opens our minds to learning more and being open to more but still being able to balance it. So, mixing the two is a great tool of having that old-school mentality where we're still using our eyes and our judgment but then using the numbers as well. It's fun to mix the two and see how they can be beneficial to us in the future.

USAB: Let's go back to the beginning, what got you started in baseball to begin with?
VA:
I always say I was born to play this; I came out wanting to play. I'm Cuban-American and in our Cuban culture, girls and women aren't really supposed to play sports - or at least they weren't when I was growing up - but I was lucky to have parents that allowed me. One of the first moments was my mom took me to go do ballet or something and she tells the story of I ran away waving my arms and screaming 'no!' and screaming that I wanted to go play baseball so I always loved it (laughs). My brother played, he was a little bit older than me and I was in the stands with him kind of waiting to be put into the game.

USAB: So some of the Women's National Team players adopt baseball at a later point in their lives, so what percentage of women do you think truly play baseball from a young age and kept it with them throughout their lives to build a career out of it like you have?
VA:
I actually think [the number is] higher than you think of the woman on the national team that played baseball. The norm - obviously because there's more opportunity in softball - is that you think most of them went to softball. I actually did go to softball, I played softball in college and was lucky enough to come back to baseball and find the game again. But we're a mix of players. We have some that never switched to softball; we have some that played baseball through senior year of high school and switched to softball just for college opportunities and then came back to the sport; and then we have the ones that have played baseball before and were just more baseball-style players and were able to make the adjustment - like Alex Hugo. She's one that never played baseball but if you saw her play softball, you would think she had. So, she's made some great adjustments and been able to [transition to baseball]. But I almost think we have more non-softball players and true baseball players than softball players.

USAB: Besides running away from ballet class, do you have a favorite early baseball memory?
VA:
I would say my memory probably comes from the fact that I always wanted to play and I was eager to be involved and it was fun to blow the minds of people who didn't expect me to be good at it from a young age. If was fun to blow people's minds in the sense that I was just the little sister that wanted to play then all of a sudden, I had a heck of an arm and I did it better than the guys that were on my brother's team. So, I think those were my earliest memories, just being involved and then seeing people's appreciation for me based on my appreciation for the game.

USAB: You've been a part of the USA Baseball family for quite a while now. What has USA Baseball meant to you throughout your career, both playing and working your way into coaching?
VA:
It's meant a lot. Most women in sport, their collegiate career is the end of their sports career, so I was lucky that I was able to continue playing and had an outlet for it. And then it wasn't just a place to play, it became so much more. My dream as a kid was to be an Olympian and, I'm technically not an Olympian, but I was in a Pan American Games and that's the highest that the sport has gone. I was able to represent the U.S. on that international stage and that was almost a dream come true in a sense. I didn't accomplish it all the way, but I accomplished it at the highest [level] possible for the sport I played. Now, the goal is maybe I'll be an Olympian as a coach one day and help somebody else achieve that dream.

USAB: What would you say is your favorite thing about coaching?
VA:
Well I really love helping somebody accomplish a dream. I was that person as a player in just the way I was a supporter of my teammates and I'm there as a coach. I like to help somebody achieve what they're trying to achieve and see the adjustments that they've made and how much better they've gotten through time. I love that, that drives me to do what I do. I love coaching young players because it helps me communicate better the skills that maybe an older person would understand but you have to really simplify it for a young player - you have to use different words, you have to use a different explanation because you're going to have to help them understand it. So, I love coaching young players and that just makes me better for when it's time to coach more developed, more mature players.

USAB: Do you have a favorite Team USA memory? One that sticks out above the rest?
VA:
There are a lot. My first year playing, we played in Japan - which is a country that loves baseball, so that was an amazing experience. It was the first time I played for USA, so it was spectacular. And then the second year, I played in 2010 we played in Venezuela, which was another country that absolutely loves baseball but a different country, so it was a different experience. In our game against Venezuela, we had close to 16,000 fans and just to play in front of that crows was incredible. We ended up losing that game because of the crowd and it's still one of my favorite memories - and I hate losing. But it was just a cool place to be and especially experience that with the teammates and the team we had was an incredible one so that was fun.

USAB: What about a coaching memory? Does anything beat winning the gold in 2019?
VA:
Well, no and obviously, we want to win and that's the goal, but the team dynamic that we had last year was the dream. It was a family. Everyone was in it for the end goal and everyone made adjustments - really, really good adjustments - and trusted the coaching staff and trusted each other and really performed well on the field. So, I would say my favorite part about last year was the team dynamic.

USAB: What kind of advice would you give to a young athlete that wants to stay active and stay sharp in these less certain times for when baseball does come back?
VA:
I'm big on goal setting and writing down your goal and then steps that need to be take to get there. These times are perfect examples that we can kind of get lulled into this zone where we're not working on things or we're not really addressing our goals. So, I'm big on putting it down on paper. What is your goal? And then how am I going to get there? Because we're not going to accomplish this goal in a day or a week or a month, it's going to take some time. But seeing it, I think, is helpful when you don't see the end. Especially right now we don't see the end to this so it would be nice to put something down on paper and how you can accomplish things.

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WNT

3 Up, 3 Down with Alex Hugo

USA Baseball caught up with the 2019 Sportswoman of the Year on Instagram Live
April 20, 2020

Alex Hugo is a two-time USA Baseball Women's National Team alum, having played for Team USA in both 2018 and 2019. She helped lead the 2019 Women's National Team to a gold medal at the 2019 COPABE Women's Pan-American Championships. She earned MVP honors and was named the 2019 USA Baseball Sportswoman of the Year for her performance in the tournament. Additionally, Hugo currently holds the Women's National Team records for runs scored (20), RBIs (18) and home runs (4) in a single season.

USA Baseball: What is your most fond baseball memory?
Alex Hugo: I'd have to say, just because I haven't played baseball my whole life, that it was when we won gold in Mexico. It was an amazing experience and it was really awesome to see the team come together and just play free baseball, with no stress. It was really fun!

USAB: What are you doing at home right now to stay in shape?
AH: Well we've been going on a lot of walks, so we don't get too bored in the house. Also, I've been running every day and we tried some boxing workouts, so that's been fun for us!

USAB: Can you describe the relationship that the Women's National Team alums have?
AH: We all have a good connection! You're able to text anyone at any time and catch up. If we live close to each other, we set up training sessions and then go to dinner and all that, it's nice to be able to do that. Even if you're going other places for work or vacation you can usually find another teammate to visit.

USAB: What have the last couple of years representing your country with the Women's National Team meant to you?
AH: It's been a really amazing experience being able to play for something that's bigger than yourself. I'm a very patriotic person, with my brother and other family members having been in the military. It's an honor to be able to represent my country.

USAB: You've played sports at every level (youth, collegiate, pro) but what makes playing for Team USA different from anything else?
AH: It's just humbling to play for something bigger than you. Playing at a university, you play for the name on the front and I'm really big on that. Playing for my country is like that but on a different level, and you almost feel like when you get to play and travel you're representing how proud we are of our country.

USAB: What is your favorite baseball movie that you think everyone should watch while they're staying home?
AH: I really like A League Of Their Own - you can't be on the Women's National Team and not be a fan! It's funny and teaches some good lessons. I also like The Sandlot - I grew up watching that with me brother - but I'd have to go with A League Of Their Own!

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WNT

USA Baseball Announces 2020 Women's National Team Staff

2019 Rod Dedeaux Coach of the Year Veronica Alvarez returns as manager in 2020
February 4, 2020

DURHAM, N.C. - USA Baseball announced the coaching staff for the 2020 Women's National Team on Tuesday, highlighted by the return of 2019 USA Baseball Rod Dedeaux Coach of the Year and five-time Team USA alum, Veronica Alvarez, as the manager. The remaining members of the coaching staff from 2019 will also return to lead the program in 2020 with Reynol Mendoza serving as the team's pitching coach and Manny Crespo, Sr. and Alex Oglesby as assistant coaches.

Following an undefeated run to a gold medal at the 2019 COBAPE Women's Pan-American Championships, the staff will look to guide this year's team to the program's first world championship title since 2006-and third overall-at the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Women's Baseball World Cup in Monterrey, Mexico, from September 11-20.

"Veronica and her staff did an outstanding job guiding, teaching and helping our athletes to grow both on and off the field last year," said USA Baseball Executive Director/CEO, Paul Seiler. "We could not be more excited to have this incredibly talented staff back in 2020 and we look forward to watching them develop a team that will look to compete for another world championship."

Alvarez became the first woman to be named the organization's Rod Dedeaux Coach of the Year for her work at the helm of the 2019 Women's National Team. Under her direction, Team USA finished its tournament with a perfect 7-0 record and the program's first gold medal since the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games. The U.S. outscored its opponents 124-20, held a cumulative .500 batting average and hit a record 11 home runs. The team was also named USA Baseball's Team of the Year after its dominating performance last summer.

In addition to making her managerial debut with the Women's National Team in 2019, Alvarez also served as an assistant coach on the 2018 staff and played for Team USA five times in her career as a catcher. Her time with the red, white and blue started in 2008 and every team she participated on medaled in international competition.

"Coaching together in 2019 allowed us the opportunity to build a foundation of trust, understanding and respect, and I am extremely excited to work with this group once again in 2020," Alvarez said. "That foundation, combined with the knowledge and passion that these coaches have, will bring the best out in each of our players and that will ultimately lead to a world championship."

Since finishing her playing career in 2016, Alvarez has continued to help grow the next generation of female baseball players as a coach at the Trailblazer Series from 2017-2019 and the Girls Baseball Breakthrough Series Showcase & Development Camp in 2018 and 2019, joining the collaboration between Major League Baseball and USA Baseball to foster the next generation of female baseball players in the United States.

Additionally, Alvarez will serve as a coach with the Oakland Athletics at Major League Baseball Spring Training for the second consecutive year in 2020 and she has previously coached at the USA Baseball Women's National Team Identification Series and the 2019 12U National Open.

Crespo returns to the Women's National Team staff in 2020 as an assistant coach. Most recently, he spent 14 seasons as the Director of Latin American Player Development for the Detroit Tigers and has also worked in the San Diego Padres, New York Yankees and Miami Marlins organizations. Crespo was selected in the third round of the 1968 MLB Draft by the Boston Red Sox and spent nine years playing professionally before his retirement in 1978. In addition, Crespo served as a bench coach during the 2013 World Baseball Classic and was a manager during the 2017 event.

Also rejoining the Women's National Team coaching staff is Mendoza, who will once again serve as the team's pitching coach in 2020. Under his leadership, the 2019 pitching staff finished with a collective 3.16 ERA and 33 strikeouts in 37 innings of work. He is currently the head coach at Eagle Pass High School (Eagle Pass, Texas), where the Eagles have made playoff appearances in each of the last thirteen seasons and played in the regional finals in both 2013 and 2014. The Miami Marlins selected Mendoza in the seventh round of the 1992 MLB Draft and he spent seven years in the Marlins system, including three seasons at the Triple-A level.

Rounding out the staff is Women's National Team alum Alex Oglesby, who also returns to her role as assistant coach after serving in the same capacity in 2019. Oglesby was a member of the inaugural Women's National Team that won a gold medal at the IBAF Women's Baseball World Cup in 2004 and was named to the All-Tournament Team. Prior to representing the U.S., she played in the Ladies Professional Baseball League and was the youngest player when the league began in 1997. At just 17 years old, Oglesby led the San Jose Spitfires to the league's first World Series Championship and was named both Rookie of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year for her efforts. She also helped form the California Women's Baseball League in 2002, where she earned MVP honors twice.

Most recently, Oglesby has served as a coach at the Trailblazer Series from 2017-2019, as well as at the first-ever Major League Baseball and USA Baseball GRIT in 2019. In addition, she was a member of the coaching staff at the 2018 Women's National Open and the 2018 Women's National Team Trials.

The 2020 Women's National Team identification process will begin with the Women's National Open from July 3-5 at The First Academy in Orlando, Florida. Forty athletes will then be selected from the event and remain in Orlando to compete at Women's National Team Trials from July 6-9 for a spot on the 2020 Women's National Team roster. The final 20-player roster will be announced following the conclusion of Trials.

The 2020 Women's National Team will train from September 4-8 before traveling to Monterrey, Mexico, for the 2020 WBSC Women's Baseball World Cup, taking place from September 11-20.

For the most up-to-date information on the Women's National Team, follow @USABaseballWNT on Twitter.

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USA Baseball Elects Alvarez, Hopkins to Board of Directors

Elliot Hopkins to also serve as an officer on the Board of Directors
December 20, 2019

DURHAM, N.C. - USA Baseball announced on Friday the election of four-time Women's National Team alumna Veronica Alvarez and National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Director of Sports, Sanctioning and Student Services Elliot Hopkins to its Board of Directors. Their selections were finalized at the annual Board of Directors meeting at the MLB Winter Meetings in San Diego.

Alvarez and Hopkins replace long-time board members Jenny Dalton-Hill and Davis Whitfield, who collectively served 14 years on the USA Baseball Board of Directors.

"Veronica and Elliot are long-time associates of the United States Baseball Federation and devoted supporters of our events, initiatives and national team programs," said USA Baseball President Mike Gaski. "We are honored to welcome them to our Board of Directors and look forward to witnessing their influence on our organization as USA Baseball continues to develop and impact the amateur sports landscape in the United States."

Alvarez is a four-time alumnus of the Women's National Team (2008, 2010, 2012, 2015) and has most-recently served as the team's manager in 2019. She managed the red, white and blue to an undefeated record and a gold medal at the COPABE Women's Pan-American Championships in Mexico and was recently honored by USA Baseball by becoming the first woman to be named its Rod Dedeaux Coach of the Year. Alvarez has also continued to help grow the next generation of female baseball players as a coach at the Trailblazer Series from 2017-2019 and the Girls Baseball Breakthrough Series Showcase & Development Camp in both of the last two years. Additionally, she served as a coach with the Oakland Athletics at Major League Baseball Spring Training in 2019 and has previously coached at the USA Baseball Women's National Team Identification Series.

"I take a lot of pride in what it means to be a USA Baseball player," said Alvarez. "I aim to represent the athletes to the best of my ability so that their experience with USA Baseball continues to be nothing but the best."

Hopkins is currently the Director of Sports, Sanctioning and Student Services for the NFHS and this marks his second tenure on the organization's Board of Directors. At the NFHS, his responsibilities include being the staff liaison to the NFHS Student Services Committee, serving as the NFHS Baseball and Wrestling Rules Editor, supervising the NFHS Resource Center and directing the NFHS Student Leadership Summit. Hopkins also serves on the USA Baseball Medical/Safety Advisory Committee and is a former executive of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Inc. and sales representative for multiple Fortune 500 countries.

"I am thrilled to serve the baseball community on USA Baseball's Board of Directors. I feel that the voice of interscholastic baseball players is important in crafting the future of our national teams and representing our country," said Hopkins.

Additionally, Mike Gaski and Jason Dobis were also reelected as officers on the USA Baseball Board of Directors during the annual meeting, serving as president and treasurer, respectively.

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

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WNT

2019 Organizational Award Winners Announced

18U National Team member Robert Hassell named Richard W. "Dick" Case Award winner
December 17, 2019

DURHAM, N.C. - USA Baseball announced the recipients of its annual organizational awards on Tuesday, recognizing the top athletes, coaches and performances from its 2019 USA Baseball national teams. 18U National Team member Robert Hassell was named the Richard W. "Dick" Case Award winner, becoming the fourth 18U team alumnus to earn athlete of the year honors. The award is given annually to USA Baseball's top player in honor of the organization's founding Executive Director and CEO.

Women's National Team Manager Veronica Alvarez was named the Rod Dedeaux Coach of the Year, becoming the first woman to earn the award in USA Baseball's history. The organization also recognized the Women's National Team as its Team of the Year and infielder Alex Hugo was named the Sportswoman of the Year after she earned MVP honors at the COPABE Women's Pan-American Championships.

Alec Burleson's late-game heroics against Japan in Game 2 of the 43rd USA vs. Japan Collegiate All-Star Series garnered the International Performance of the Year honors, meanwhile Collegiate National Team Bullpen Coach Xan Barksdale was named the organization's first-ever Service Provider of the Year.

Rounding out the USA Baseball 2019 award winners is 15U National Team Manager Troy Cameron, who was named the Developmental Coach of the Year, as well as Volunteer Coach of the Year Andy Pettitte and the inaugural Coach Educator of the Year Darren Fenster.

"USA Baseball is pleased to recognize these outstanding individuals and their successes from our 2019 national teams," said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball's Executive Director/CEO. "Not only did each and every award winner excel in the field of play or as a coach, they all served as outstanding ambassadors on behalf of the United States. It was an honor to have them represent our organization and the game of baseball with class on the international stage."

USA Baseball finished the year winning gold medals at the COPABE Women's Pan-American Championships and the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-15 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier. The Collegiate National Team also won two of its three international friendship series against Chinese Taipei, Cuba and Japan in 2019.

The complete list of the 2019 USA Baseball organizational award winners is as follows:

Richard W. "Dick" Case Award: Robert Hassell, 18U National Team
Rod Dedeaux Coach of the Year: Veronica Alvarez, Women's National Team
Team of the Year: Women's National Team
Sportswoman of the Year: Alex Hugo, Women's National Team
International Performance of the Year: Alec Burleson, Collegiate National Team
Service Provider of the Year: Xan Barksdale, Collegiate National Team
Developmental Coach of the Year: Troy Cameron, 15U National Team
Volunteer Coach of the Year: Andy Pettitte, Prospect Development Pipeline League
Coach Educator of the Year: Darren Fenster, Sport Development Blog

Hassell was awarded the Richard W. "Dick" Case Award following a summer where he was named to the All-World Team at the 2019 WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup in South Korea. He led the 18U National Team in 10 offensive categories in 2019, including batting average (.514), hits (18), doubles (5), home runs (2), RBIs (14), total bases (31), slugging percentage (.886) and on-base percentage (.548), among others. Hassell was a mainstay in the U.S. lineup, starting all nine games of the World Cup in the outfield, and helped lead the red, white and blue to a silver medal. He was also recognized by the WBSC as its International Baseball Player of the Year.

Just the second female manager in USA Baseball history, Alvarez became the first woman to be named the Rod Dedeaux Coach of the Year. Under her leadership, the Women's National Team finished the COPABE Women's Pan-American Championships with a perfect 7-0 record and a gold medal. The U.S. outscored its opponents 124-20 in the tournament, held a cumulative .500 batting average and hit a record 11 home runs. Their dominating performance also earned the Women's National Team the USA Baseball Team of the Year award.

Two-time Women's National Team alum Hugo was named the 2019 Sportswoman of the Year. She earned tournament MVP honors at the COPABE Women's Pan-American Championships after leading Team USA in six offensive categories en route to a gold medal. In the tournament, she hit .652 (15-for-23) with five doubles and four home runs, tallied 18 RBIs, scored 20 runs, stole six bases, and amassed an astounding 1.391 slugging percentage in seven games.

ECU's Burleson earned the 2019 International Performance of the Year award after hitting his first-career walk-off home run in the 43rd USA vs. Japan Collegiate All-Star Series. With the score tied at 2-2 in the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 2 in Imabari City, Japan, Burleson lifted a 2-0 fastball over the right field fence to give the visiting U.S. a 3-2 walk-off win. His home run was the first one hit of the series and the victory tied the best-of-five-game series at one apiece for the red, white and blue.

The Collegiate National Team's Barksdale was a vital part of the team in 2019 after serving as a bullpen catcher and coach for the national team, and his efforts were rewarded with the first-ever USA Baseball Service Provider of the Year award. Barksdale provided unparalleled service to the athletes by offering creative and engaging training, bullpen and catching sessions that not only allowed the national team to prepare and excel on the field, but also promoted and protected their overall long-term athletic development.

Cameron earned the Developmental Coach of the Year award in 2019 after he led Team USA to its fourth consecutive U-15 Baseball World Cup Qualifier gold medal for the red, white and blue (2013, 2015, 2017, 2019), and the third straight international title for the 15U National Team. The U.S. finished the tournament with an 8-1 record and outscored its opponents 66-33 under his leadership.

Five-time World Series champion and three-time MLB All-Star Pettitte was named the 2019 Volunteer Coach of the Year by USA Baseball after working on the coaching staff for the inaugural joint MLB and USA Baseball Prospect Development Pipeline League. Every day, he used his experience to help players create comprehensive processes for their pitching routines and schedules, and assisted in developing pitch philosophies while fine-tuning pitcher deliveries and mechanics. Pettitte also incorporated advanced, progressive methods to the participants that resulted in significant developmental growth in an abbreviated timeframe.

Lastly, Fenster was named the first Coach Educator of the Year in USA Baseball history due to his continued contribution to the USA Baseball Sport Development department. While simultaneously serving as the Minor League Outfield and Baserunning Coordinator for the Boston Red Sox, Fenster draws upon his professional baseball career as a player and coach to provide unique and insightful educational content for the for the Sport Development Blog. Titled FUNdamental Skills Friday, his contributions assist coaches, parents and leagues in developing young players and improving their experience within the game of baseball.

The United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC) annually honors one Sportsman, Sportswoman and Team of the Year based on nominations from its national governing bodies, as well as Olympic, Developmental and Volunteer Coach of the Year awards. USA Baseball's award winners serve as the organization's nominees in their respective categories with the USOC.

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Team USA Wins Gold at COPABE Pan-American Championships

Alex Hugo was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player
August 25, 2019
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
VEN 0 0 3 0 2 0 0 5 8 4
USA 0 2 5 0 0 1 x 8 12 2
Win: J. MacKay Loss: K. Vizcaya Save: None
Box Score | Play-by-Play | COPABE Stats
 

AGUASCALIENTES, Mex - The USA Baseball Women's National Team won gold at the 2019 COPABE Women's Pan-American Championships with an 8-5 victory over Venezuela at Estadio de Beisbol Alberto Romo Chavez in Aguascalientes, Mexico. Alex Hugo (Olathe, Kan.) was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player. 

The U.S. went undefeated in the tournament, finishing with a 7-0 record and outscoring its opponents 124-20, and earned a berth to the 2020 World Baseball Softball Confederation Women's Baseball World Cup.

Four U.S. batters finished the day with multi-hit performances, led by Brittany Schutte (Fountain Valley, Calif.), who hit her second home run of the tournament to kickstart Team USA's offense in the second inning. 

Mackay came in as relief for the red, white, and blue, and allowed two runs on three hits and struck out two batters to earn the victory. Marti Sementelli (West Newton, Mass.) started on the bump and gave up three runs on five hits while striking out one batter. Meggie Meidlinger (Sterling, Va.) picked up the save as she struck out one batter for Team USA. Krisbel Vizcaya suffered the loss for Venezuela. 

Hugo went 15-for-23 (.652) in the tournament, hitting six singles, five doubles, four home runs and 18 RBIs to be named MVP of the tournament. She also earned awards for best batter, most home runs (four) and was named to the all-tournament team for her work at second base. 

Kylee Lahners (Laguna Hills, Calif.), Megan Baltzell (Stafford, Va.) and Jamie Mackay (Newport Beach, Calif.) were also named to the all-tournament team at third base, outfield, and relief pitcher, respectively. Lahners was given the award for most runs produced in the tournament, scoring 15 in the tournament and knocking in 17 RBIs. 

Key Moments

• Schutte led off the bottom of the second inning with her second home run of the tournament, giving the U.S. a 1-0 lead.
• Jade Gortarez (Riverside, Calif.) hit an RBI-single up the middle to give the U.S. a 2-0 advantage in the bottom of the second inning.
• An RBI-single and RBI-double gave Venezuela a 3-2 lead in the top of the third inning, marking just the third time the U.S. had trailed in the tournament.
• Baltzell led-off the bottom of the third inning with a solo home run over the right field wall to tie the game at 3-3.
• Ashton Lansdell (Marietta, Ga.) hit a two-RBI double to center field in the bottom of the third inning to give the U.S. a 5-3 lead.
• RBI-singles by Hugo and Gortarez in the bottom of the third inning extended Team USA's lead to 7-3.
• Venezuela gained ground on the U.S. in the top of the fourth inning when an error and a fielder's choice brought the score to 7-5.
• Lansdell capped the scoring for Team USA when she scored on a passed ball in the bottom of the sixth inning, ending the game with a final score of 8-5.
• Meidlinger came on in the top of the seventh and pitched a perfect inning in relief to pick up the save and secure the gold for Team USA.

Notable Information

• Four U.S. batters finished the day with multi-hit performances, including Alex Hugo (3-for-5), Jade Gortarez (2-for-2), Brittany Schutte (2-for-4) and Ashton Lansdell (2-for-4).
• The U.S. has qualified for the 2020 World Baseball Softball Confederation Women's Baseball World Cup and is joined by Canada, Mexico and Venezuela.
• This is the Women's National Team's fifth gold medal in its history and the first since defeating Canada in the Toronto 2015 Pan-Am Games.
• The U.S. outscored its opponents 124-20 during tournament action.
• Alex Hugo was named tournament MVP, going 15-for-23 (.652) at the plate and hitting six singles, five doubles, four home runs and tallying 18 RBIs.
• Alex Hugo, Kylee Lahners, Megan Baltzell, and Jamie Mackay were named to the all-tournament team for their work at second base, third base, right field and relief pitcher, respectively.
• Kylee Lahners was given the award for most runs produced in the tournament, scoring 15 in the tournament and knocking in 17 RBIs.

Social
Stay tuned to @USABaseballWNT on Twitter, @usabaseball on Instagram and visit USABaseball.com for the most up-to-date news about the Women's National Team.

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WNT

Team USA Rained Out in Mexico on Saturday

The Women's National Team will play in the gold medal game on Sunday
August 24, 2019

AGUASCALIENTES, Mexico - Due to heavy rains in Aguascalientes on Friday night, the USA Baseball Women's National Team's game against Puerto Rico at the 2019 COPABE Pan-American Championships has been cancelled. A makeup game will not be scheduled as the U.S. has already clinched a spot in the gold medal game on Sunday. 

Team USA's gold medal game will take place on Sunday at Estadio de Beisbol Alberto Romo Chavez at a time to be announced later. The U.S. will face either Canada (4-2) or Venezuela (4-2), who will finish pool play this evening to determine who will advance. 

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

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WNT

Two Home Runs Help Team USA Defeat Mexico 17-2

Team USA clinches a spot in the Pan-American Championship gold medal game with the win
August 23, 2019
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
MEX 1 0 1 0 x x x 2 4 3
USA 3 11 1 2 x x x 17 17 4
Win: B. Schutte Loss: Y. Figueroa Save: None
Box Score| Play-by-Play | COPABE Stats
 

AGUASCALIENTES, Mexico - The USA Baseball Women's National Team used two home runs to clinch a spot in the 2019 COPABE Women's Pan-American Championships gold medal game, defeating Mexico 17-2 on Friday at Estadio de Beisbol Alberto Romo Chavez in Aguascalientes, Mexico. 

The U.S. moved to 6-0 in the tournament and also secured its berth in the 2020 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Women's Baseball World Cup. 

Six U.S. batters finished the day with multi-hit performances, led by Ashton Lansdell (Marietta, Ga.) and Alex Hugo (Olathe Kan.), who hit their second and fourth home runs of the tournament, respectively. 

Brittany Schutte (Fountain Valley, Calif.) started on the bump for the red, white, and blue, giving up two runs on three hits and striking out one batter to earn the victory. Jamie Mackay (Newport Beach, Calif.) and Meggie Meidlinger (Sterling, Va.) came on in relief, scattering one hit and striking out three batters. Yiselle Figueroa suffered the loss for Mexico.

Key Moments

• Mexico jumped out to an early lead in the first, using a leadoff single, a sac-bunt and a U.S. error to take a 1-0 lead.
• Team USA used RBI-singles by Malaika Underwood (San Diego, Calif.) and Brittany Womack (Escondido, Calif.) to give the U.S. a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the first inning.
• Hugo's fourth home run of the tournament scored Lansdell in the bottom of the second inning to give Team USA a 5-1 lead.
• Megan Baltzell (Stafford, Va.) hit a two-RBI triple to right center and scored on a passed ball to extend the U.S. lead to 8-1 in the bottom of the second inning.
• The U.S. scored three more runs in the second on Lansdell's second home run of the tournament, pushing the red, white and blue ahead 11-1.
• Kylee Lahners (Laguna Hills, Calif.), Jade Gortarez (Riverside, Calif.) and Underwood hit back-to-back-to-back RBI-singles to push three more runs across for a 14-1 Team USA lead in the bottom of the second inning.
• Mexico capitalized on an RBI-single in the third inning to make the score 14-2.
• Womack hit a single to center field and scored on an error to in the bottom of the third inning, making it 15-2 in favor of Team USA.
• A pair of RBI-singles by Kelsie Whitmore (Temecula, Calif.) and Womack capped the scoring for Team USA, ending the game with a final score of 17-2.

Notable Information

• With the win, Team USA has secured a spot in the gold medal game on Sunday, August 25, and clinched a berth in the WBSC Women's Baseball World Cup in 2020.
• The U.S. has outscored its opponents 116-15 in its six games in the tournament.
• Six U.S. batters finished the day with multi-hit performances, including Alex Hugo (2-for-3), Kylee Lahners (2-for-4), Malaika Underwood (3-for-4), Megan Baltzell (2-for-3), Brittany Womack (4-for-4) and Ashton Lansdell (2-for-2).
• Brittany Schutte earned the win for the U.S., giving up two runs on three hits and striking out one batter.
• Alex Hugo leads Team USA with four home runs in tournament action.
• Kylee Lahners leads the U.S. offensively through five games, hitting .682 (15-for-22) with eight singles, six doubles, a home run and 16 RBIs in the tournament.

Up Next

• The USA Baseball Women's National Team will finish pool play at the 2019 COPABE Women's Pan-American Championships on Saturday, August 24 against Puerto Rico at 12 p.m. CT at Parque Deportivo Ferrocarrilero in Aguascalientes, Mexico.

Social Media

• Stay tuned to @USABaseballWNT on Twitter, @usabaseball on Instagram and visit USABaseball.com for the most up-to-date news about the Women's National Team.

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Lansdell's Cycle Leads Team USA in Win Over Cuba

Ashton Lansdell hit for the cycle for the first time in her career against Cuba
August 22, 2019
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
USA 2 5 3 5 5 x x 23 16 1
CUBA 0 0 0 1 0 x x 1 2 5
Win: K. Whitmore Loss: M. Perez Save: None
Box Score | Play-by-Play | COPABE Stats
 

AGUASCALIENTES, Mexico - Ashton Lansdell hit for the cycle for the first time in her career and the USA Baseball Women's National Team defeated Cuba 23-1 on Thursday at the 2019 COPABE Women's Pan-American Championships at Estadio de Beisbol Alberto Romo Chavez in Aguascalientes, Mexico. 

The U.S. moved to 5-0 in the tournament and is the only undefeated team remaining in pool play. 

Three U.S. batters finished the day with multi-hit performances, led by Lansdell (Marietta, Ga.), who finished 4-for-5 with five RBIs, including a 400-foot home run directly over the center field wall to complete the cycle.

Kelsie Whitmore (Temecula, Calif.) started on the bump for the red, white, and blue, scattering one hit and striking out four batters to earn the victory. Alexia Jorge (Lyndhurst, N.J.) and Kate Blunt (Ladera Ranch, Calif.) came on in relief, giving up one run on one hit and striking out two batters. Maisy Perez suffered the loss for Cuba.

Key Moments

• Alex Hugo (Olathe, Kan.) led off the game with her third home run of the tournament, giving the U.S. an early 1-0 lead. 
• Megan Baltzell (Stafford, Va.) hit a sac-fly to left field to extend the U.S. lead to 2-0 in the top of the first inning.
• Lansdell and Anna Kimbrell (Fort Mill, S.C.) scored on a Cuba error in the top of the second inning, making it 4-0 in favor of Team USA. 
• A sac-fly by Jade Gortarez (Riverside, Calif.) and a two-RBI single by Baltzell gave the U.S. a 7-0 lead in the top of the second inning. 
• Kylee Lahners (Laguna Hills, Calif.) hit a three-RBI double to center field in the top of the third inning to give the U.S. a 10-0 lead.
• Brittany Womack (Escondido, Calif.) led off the top of the fourth inning with a single to center field and scored on a Cuba error to give Team USA an 11-0 lead. 
• Lansdell hit a two RBI-triple to right center and gave the U.S. a 13-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning.
• A Hugo double and a Lahners single pushed two more runs across the plate in the top of the fourth inning to keep Team USA ahead 15-0. 
• A single and an RBI groundout put Cuba on the board in the fourth inning, but trailed the U.S. 15-1.
• Lansdell capped a career day with a three-run home run over the center field wall in the top of the fifth inning to extend Team USA's lead to 18-1.
• Denae Benites (Las Vegas, Nev.) and Lahners scored on an RBI-single off the bat of Malaika Underwood (San Diego, Calif.) to make the score 20-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning.
• A pair of RBI-singles by Michelle Cobb (Wenatchee, Wash.) and AJ Hamilton (Tallahassee, Fla.) wrapped up the scoring for Team USA, ending the game with a final score of 23-1.

Notable Information

• The U.S. has outscored its opponents 99-13 in its five games in the tournament. 
• Lansdell hit a double in the second inning, a single in the third, a triple in the fourth and a 400-foot home run in the fifth inning to hit for the cycle for the first time in her career. 
• Three U.S. batters finished the day with multi-hit performances, including Alex Hugo (3-for-4), Kylee Lahners (3-for-5) and Lansdell (4-for-5).
• Kelsie Whitmore earned the win for the U.S., scattering one hit and striking out four batters in three innings of work.
• Alex Hugo leads Team USA with three home runs in tournament action.
• Kylee Lahners leads the U.S. offensively through five games, hitting .722 (13-for-18) with six singles, six doubles, a home run and 16 RBIs in the tournament.

Up Next

• The USA Baseball Women's National Team will continue action at the 2019 COPABE Women's Pan-American Championships on Friday, August 23 against host-country Mexico at 9 a.m. CT at Estadio de Beisbol Alberto Romo Chavez in Aguascalientes, Mexico.

Social

• Stay tuned to @USABaseballWNT on Twitter, @usabaseball on Instagram and visit USABaseball.com for the most up-to-date news about the Women's National Team.

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