USA Baseball Announces 2017 17U National Team Development Program Staff

May 2, 2017

DURHAM, N.C. - The coaching staff and evaluators for the 2017 17U National Team Development Program (NTDP) were announced by USA Baseball on Tuesday. 2010 USA Baseball Rod Dedeaux Coach of the Year, Eric Kibler, has been selected to lead the staff as the field coordinator for the second consecutive year and fourth time overall.

Current University of North Carolina head coach, Mike Fox, and former Clemson University head coach Jack Leggett will join Kibler on staff in 2017, and will serve as the managers of the Stars and Stripes teams, respectively.

Coaches and evaluators will assess 40 athletes during the NTDP week and are made up of former professional players, respected collegiate and high school coaches, and professional scouts.

Currently the head coach at Horizon High School (Scottsdale, Ariz.), Kibler is a six-time USA Baseball coaching alum and led the 2010 16U National Team to a gold medal at the Pan American "AA" Youth Championships after gaining his first coaching experience within the organization in 2009. He also helped lead the 18U National Team to a gold medal at the 2015 World Baseball Softball Confederation U-18 World Cup when he served as an assistant coach. Kibler has previously served as the 17U NTDP field coordinator in 2012, 2014 and 2016.

Jeff Kunkel and 2017 18U National Team assistant coach Gregg Ritchie will join Kibler as additional evaluators. Kunkel currently serves as a pro scout for the Detroit Tigers and will make his USA Baseball coaching debut in 2017. Ritchie is currently in his fifth season as the head coach at George Washington University. Six additional coaches will lead the NTDP's Stars and Stripes teams.

2008 Baseball America National Coach of the Year, Fox, will lead the Stars team in 2017. Former MLB veteran Ernie Young will back Fox, serving as the assistant coach. Young represented the United States at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games and on the 2003 Olympic qualifying team. Wes Johnson, who currently serves as the pitching coach at the University of Arkansas, will guide the team's pitching staff.

American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Famer Leggett will manage the 2017 Stripes team, and will be joined by Georgia Tech assistant coach Mike Nickeas and Cal State Fullerton pitching coach Blake Hawksworth.

USA Baseball will utilize a rolling invitation process for the 17U NTDP participants in 2017. The players will be selected from the 2016 USA Baseball National Team Identification Series (NTIS), the 2017 17U National Team Championships in Arizona and Florida, and through recommendations from scouts, coaches and the amateur baseball community.

The USA Baseball National Team Development Program offers athletes an opportunity to connect with USA Baseball staff to better prepare for future national team experience. The program includes skill development sessions, off-field education seminars, intrasquad Stars vs. Stripes games and exposure to professional scouts, college recruiters and the 18U National Team staff and task force.

The 2017 17U NTDP will take place July 22-28 in Chicago and will feature intrasquad scrimmages at Northwestern University and Wrigley Field.

The coaching staff and their bios are as follows:

Name, NTDP Position, Current/Former Position
Mike Fox, Stars Manager, University of North Carolina Head Coach
Blake Hawksworth, Stripes Pitching Coach, Cal State Fullerton Pitching Coach
Wes Johnson, Stars Pitching Coach, University of Arkansas Pitching Coach
Eric Kibler, Field Coordinator, Horizon (AZ) High School Head Coach
Jeff Kunkel, Pitching Evaluator, Detroit Tigers Scout
Jack Leggett, Stripes Manager, Former Clemson University Head Coach
Mike Nickeas, Stripes Assistant Coach, Georgia Tech Assistant Coach
Gregg Ritchie, Evaluator, George Washington University Head Coach
Ernie Young, Stars Assistant Coach, Former MLB and USA Baseball player

Mike Fox, now in his 19th season as the head coach at the University of North Carolina, has guided his alma mater to its most successful period in school history and firmly established the Tar Heels as one of the nation's preeminent college baseball programs. Under Fox, the Tar Heels have made six trips to the College World Series since 2006, have been to the postseason 15 times and have won more than 800 games in 19 seasons. Fox was named Baseball America's National Coach of the Year in 2008 and the American Baseball Coaches Association has selected him as the Atlantic Region Coach of the Year three times. Fox recorded his 1,300th career victory in 2015, and at the beginning of the 2017 season he earned his 800th career win as UNC's head coach. Thirty of his former players were on Major League Baseball rosters in 2016, 83 athletes that played under him have been drafted by MLB organizations and Tar Heels have earned 26 different All-America honors under his guidance.

Blake Hawksworth is currently in his second year as the pitching coach at Cal State Fullerton. Prior to starting his coaching career, Hawksworth played professional baseball for 10 years in both the Saint Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers organizations. Eight of those years came with the Cardinals who drafted him in 2001. He made his Major League debut with the team in 2009 and was a key contributor to the National League Central Division title, recording a 2.03 ERA over 40 innings. He later pitched for the Los Angeles Dodgers before injuries ended his playing career.

Wes Johnson is in his first year as the pitching coach at the University of Arkansas. Prior to joining the staff at Arkansas, Johnson served as the pitching coach at Mississippi State and Dallas Baptist University. In 2016, he helped Mississippi State win the SEC Regular Season Championship and advance to a Super Regional. Johnson is known nationally for his player development and this is highlighted by the fact that he has had 30 pitchers drafted or sign professional contracts over the last nine years.

Eric Kibler has been the head coach at Horizon High School in Scottsdale, Arizona, since 1981, and has led the program to six state titles during his tenure. In addition, Kibler has won 17 regionals and had three runner-up finishes in the state tournament. Kibler has tutored 28 players that were selected in the MLB Draft and has seen 150 of his players go on to play college baseball.

Jeff Kunkel is currently an area scout for the Detroit Tigers, covering the upper Midwest. Prior to his scouting role, Kunkel served as a bullpen catcher for the team and played six seasons (2006-11) in the organization's minor league system. He also played collegiately at the University of Michigan where he earned All-Big Ten Conference honors in 2006 as a senior. That year he hit .335 with 38 runs scored, 15 doubles and 28 RBI.

Jack Leggett served as Clemson University's head coach for 22 seasons. In that time he led the Tigers to 955 victories, 21 NCAA Tournament appearances and six College World Series berths. Clemson was the seventh-winningest program in the nation during his time as head coach, while his six trips to Omaha tied for ninth most in the nation during his tenure. Leggett was a three-time ACC Coach of the Year recipient and was inducted into the ABCA Hall of Fame in 2014.

Mike Nickeas is a three-time USA Baseball alum and currently serves as an assistant coach at Georgia Tech. Nickeas played for Team USA on the 1999 16U National Team, the 2001 18U National Team and the 2003 Collegiate National Team. Before starting his coaching career, he played professional baseball for 11 years, including four years in the Major Leagues. He spent three years as a catcher for the New York Mets and one year with the Toronto Blue Jays before retiring following the 2014 season.

Gregg Ritchie is in his fifth season as the head coach at George Washington University. He was named Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year in 2013 after the Colonials went 15-9 in his first year at the helm. Prior to his time at George Washington, Ritchie played professionally in the San Francisco Giants and Texas Rangers systems until 1995 before starting his coaching career with the Chicago White Sox. He served as a hitting coach in Chicago's system for 10 years, then spent five years as the minor league hitting coordinator for the Pittsburgh Pirates before being named the hitting coach for the big league club in 2010. Ritchie began working with USA Baseball in 2016 as an assistant coach at the 17U NTDP and the 18U National Team Trials.

Ernie Young is a former MLB veteran who played for the Oakland Athletics, Kansas City Royals, Arizona Diamondbacks, Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Indians for parts of eight seasons after being drafted in the 10th round of the 1990 MLB Draft. Young, who attended Lewis University, belted 27 home runs and drove in 90 runs during his 288-game career. He led Team USA to a gold medal at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, hitting .385 and leading the team in RBIs (8), and played once more for the red, white and blue, in the 2003 COPABE Olympic Qualifying Tournament. After his retirement in 2007, he became a hitting coach in the Chicago White Sox organization and managed the West Michigan Whitecaps, the single-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers, in 2012. In addition to his USA Baseball playing career he is a four-time coaching alumnus, highlighted by managing the 2011 Pan American Games Team and serving as the batting coach for the 2015 Pan American Games Team, both of which won silver medals.

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MLB and USA Baseball Create "PDP League" to Bolster High School Baseball Pipeline Ahead of 2020 MLB Draft

Expansion of the Existing Prospect Development Pipeline/Will Serve As the Premier Development Experience for 80 Top High School Prospects
November 13, 2018

Durham, N.C. - Major League Baseball and USA Baseball today announced the new "Prospect Development Pipeline (PDP) League," a premier development and showcase experience for dozens of high school baseball prospects based in the United States. The PDP League, which will be held from mid-June through early-July at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., is an invitation-based development opportunity for approximately 80 of the top high school baseball players ahead of the 2020 MLB Draft. It will include competitive game play, practice & training sessions with MLB Club representatives serving as on-field coaches, and evaluation using modern technologies tailoring individualized development curriculums for each player. The PDP League will serve as a primary identification opportunity for the USA Baseball 18U National Team, slated to compete in the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-18 Baseball World Cup in Busan, South Korea. Additionally, the League will serve as a feeder for a new All-Star Week showcase game for the best high school baseball players, designed in a similar style to the existing SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game.

 "We are thrilled to join USA Baseball in announcing the PDP League, which is the newest initiative in our ongoing commitment to improving the amateur levels of our game and connecting the next generation of stars to Major League Baseball," said Morgan Sword, MLB's Senior Vice President, League Economics & Operations. "The PDP League will provide these players, the majority of whom will be in consideration for the following year's MLB Draft, with the most dynamic, development-focused experience available to high school baseball athletes. Uniquely, the PDP League will also offer players the opportunity to prepare for life beyond baseball by prioritizing leadership and character development as well as personal health and well-being."

"The creation of the PDP League signifies a new, groundbreaking opportunity to cultivate excellence amongst athletes both on and off the field," said Rick Riccobono, USA Baseball's Chief Development Officer. "The development of the next generation of collegiate and professional stars has long been a core mission of USA Baseball, and we are proud to reinforce this commitment with the creation of this innovative program with the support of Major League Baseball and its Clubs. The PDP League will have an immediate and positive impact on the amateur landscape while fostering the continued success of Team USA on the international stage."

The 80 participants of the 2019 PDP League, all of whom will be invited by Major League Baseball, MLB Clubs and USA Baseball, will be broken down into four teams of about 20 players. Most of the on-field activity, including competitive play and training, will take place at the IMG Academy. The teams also will have an opportunity to play at Tropicana Field, the home of the Tampa Bay Rays.

A percentage of the highest performing players from the PDP League will be considered for additional premier opportunities. These include events connected to MLB All-Star Week, such as the new high school showcase game as well as the High School Home Run Derby, an annual national home run hitting contest held at the All-Star host ballpark. Four of the eight participants in the 2017 All-Star High School Home Run Derby were selected in the first round of the 2018 MLB Draft.

USA Baseball also will utilize the PDP League as the primary identification event for the USA Baseball 18U National Team. Approximately 40 players will be invited from the PDP League to attend the 2019 18U National Team Trials, which will be conducted in late August in Los Angeles. From there, the final 20-man national team roster will be selected for team training in Asia, followed by the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup in Busan, South Korea in early September. The 2019 18U Team will be managed by long time Clemson University head coach Jack Leggett.

Providing all participating athletes with an environment that prioritizes their health and well-being is one of the founding principles on which the PDP League was created. The League will focus on monitoring overall workload, ensuring the necessary amount of down time and rest, prioritizing recovery management and support, establishing routines for development, and monitoring heat exposure and hydration.

Personal development will be a focus in classroom settings during the League through a variety of important educational seminars applicable to the participants' potential collegiate and professional baseball careers. Classroom lessons will be led by MLB Club, USA Baseball, and other pertinent guest speakers and will include leadership sessions, diversity & inclusion training, proper use and importance of social media, nutritional tips, and more. Content, curriculum and expertise will be borrowed from existing initiatives, including MLB's Rookie Development Program and USA Baseball's National Team Development Program.

Additionally, the participants will have the opportunity to undergo unique athletic assessments, consisting of performance vision screening, swing and ball flight analysis and precise physical testing. These voluntary assessments have already helped establish an official identification and player assessment pathway to Major League Baseball and all 30 MLB Clubs for elite high school age baseball players. In the last two MLB Drafts (2017 & 2018), 212 players who participated in 2017-2018 PDP events were selected.

IMG Academy is one of the world's largest and most advanced multi-sport training and educational institutions. IMG Academy helps countless youth, adult, collegiate and professional athletes reach their full potential in and out of sport by providing world-class teaching and coaching, tailored programs and professional facilities. Based in Bradenton, Florida, IMG Academy also serves as a training and competition venue for amateur and professional teams, a host site for a variety of events, and a hub for sports performance research and innovation. Its nearly 600-acre campus includes a state-of-the-art baseball stadium, five development fields, indoor & outdoor batting cages and 16 practice mounds. It also houses the Gatorade Sports Science Institute, three dormitories, two 10,000 square foot weight rooms and a fieldhouse with professional locker rooms.


MLB and USA Baseball partner on a variety of different initiatives, including the PLAY BALL initiative (, diversity-focused amateur development camps (Breakthrough Series, DREAM Series & Hank Aaron Invitational), Fun At Bat program (, girls baseball initiatives (Trailblazer Series, Girls Baseball Breakthrough Series), Pitch Smart (, Hit and Run Baseball (, and many more. 

In August, MLB and USA Baseball announced "States Play," a new, annual high school baseball tournament to showcase some of the best rising seniors from states that historically produce a high volume of collegiate and professional players. 

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2018 18U National Team Training Begins Wednesday, Nov. 14

November 12, 2018

USA Baseball invites the local and national media to the 2018 USA Baseball 18U National Team Training.

The 18U National Team will compete in six exhibition games from November 14-20 in Florida to prepare for the COPABE U-18 Pan-American Championships. The 18U National Team Training roster is made up of 27 of the nation's best ballplayers that are international age-eligible for 18U National Team consideration (born in 2000 or later). Following the conclusion of the event on Tuesday, November 20, the 20-man 18U National Team roster will be announced.

  • WHAT: USA Baseball 18U National Team Training
  • WHEN: November 14-20, 2018
  • WHERE: Miami, Fla., Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., Miami Gardens, Fla., West Palm Beach, Fla., Port Charlotte, Fla.

The 18U National Team program started in 1987 as the USA Baseball Junior National Team competing in the World Youth Baseball Championships. Since then the 18U Team has been a perennial power on the international baseball scene. The team competes in two major events in bi-yearly cycles - the COPABE U-18 Pan-American Championships and the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-18 Baseball World Cup. In 2017, Team USA went undefeated to claim its fourth WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup title in a row and give the program its seventh consecutive gold medal in international competition dating back to 2011. The program has also won five straight COPABE U-18 Pan-American Championships titles and will look to add a sixth in 2018.

Credential Application

Members of the media can apply for a credential by visiting the USA Baseball Media Services page on the official website here.

18U Participants in the MLB Draft

Following a season in which the 18U National Team earned its fourth consecutive WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup title, ten members of the 20-man roster were selected in the first round in 2018. Jarred Kelenic (No. 6, New York Mets) was the first selected, followed by Ryan Weathers (No. 7, St. Louis Cardinals), Matt Liberatore (No. 16, Tampa Bay Rays), Brice Turang (No. 21, Milwaukee Brewers), Anthony Seigler (No. 23, New York Yankees), Triston Casas (No. 26, Boston Red Sox), Mason Denaburg (No. 27, Washington Nationals), JT Ginn (No. 30, Los Angeles Dodgers) and Ethan Hankins (No. 35, Cleveland Indians).

From the 18U National Team to the Major Leagues

Forty-six players representing 27 different teams in the Major Leagues have suited up for the red, white and blue as members of the 18U National Team. Notables include Albert Almora Jr. (2010-11), Alex Bregman (2011), Bryce Harper (2009), Clayton Kershaw (2005), Francisco Lindor (2010), Manny Machado (2009), Joe Mauer (1999-2000), Andrew McCutchen (2004), Buster Posey (2004) and 2018 World Series Champion Blake Swihart (2010). For a full list of 18U alums in the majors click here.

USA Baseball Coverage

Live stats: StatCrew
Social Media: @USABaseball18U (Twitter) and @USABaseball (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat)
Streaming/TV: None

Participating Players and Schedule

Twenty-seven of the nation's best ballplayers that are international age-eligible for 18U National Team consideration (born in 2000 or later) are participating in the 2018 event. For the full schedule, please visit the 18U National Team page on For the full National Team Training roster, click here.

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Online Education Center Under Construction

November 2, 2018

We apologize for the inconvenience; however, our Online Education Center at is currently under construction.

Check back on Tuesday, November 6, to see our brand new Sport Development website, complete with our usual offering of great FREE content, and some new content and features.

Thanks for your continued investment in Our Pastime's Future.

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USA Baseball Develops Coaching Manual for High School Baseball Programs

The manual aims to assist coaches in providing a positive, development-based experience to its student-athletes
October 10, 2018

DURHAM, N.C. - USA Baseball announced on Wednesday the development of its High School Baseball Program Manual. It aims to support the thousands of dedicated high school baseball coaches around the country by providing a positive, development-based experience to its student-athletes.

The manual provides coaches a fundamental framework to build an athlete-focused culture within their programs and is suited for both high schools with longstanding traditions of on-field excellence, as well as for schools and coaches that are building a program from the ground up. Importantly, the manual also provides a clear direction for player growth off the baseball field with respect to personal development and support for its players' participation in multiple sports.

The High School Baseball Program Manual is available to the public at no charge at and on the USA Baseball Online Education Center,

"To the tens of thousands of coaches who support the half a million student-athletes competing at the high school level, thank you. We recognize your selfless commitment to your players, and through works like this manual we aim to support your efforts in enriching your players lives," said Rick Riccobono, USA Baseball's Chief Development Officer. "USA Baseball has never been more committed to the well-being of the high school baseball community. Through this unique resource, coaches old and new will gain insights into how to optimize their high school baseball program. With an athlete-first approach, this manual's teachings will continue to position baseball as an athletic option that supports a comprehensive student-athlete experience within a healthy and positive sporting environment."

This initiative continues USA Baseball's reach into the amateur baseball landscape and specifically reinforces its commitment to the proliferation of prep baseball in the United States. The manual boosts the high school baseball experience and allows for the consistent development for any athlete, regardless of their skill level or the school for which they compete.

Key concepts from the High School Baseball Program Manual include:

- Importance of underscoring academic goals of the athletes and school
- Practice plan directives that enable maximum engagement, movement and physical activity
- Benefits of supporting athlete participation in multiple sports
- Management tools for interpersonal relationships within a baseball program, including conflict resolution techniques
- Keys to building a positive culture that transcends the student-athlete experience
- Best practices concerning a player's health and safety
- Keeping the game of baseball fun

"I think the High School Baseball Program Manual is by far the most comprehensive publication that I have ever seen. The attention to the specific needs of the player from understanding multi-sport athletes to nutrition and rest considerations is spot on. You can sense the intentional compassion in this document. It should be considered mandatory reading for any new baseball coach and a refresher for experienced coaches," said Elliot Hopkins, Director of Sports, Sanctioning and Student Services for the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS). "This manual along with the many other USA Baseball programs and resources is indicative of the support and commitment by USA Baseball to the interscholastic game. This is a quality manual that will assist anyone who is interested in maximizing practice time and improving their training sessions.

"We are so appreciative of USA Baseball for this work, but more importantly for a wonderful collaborative partnership for over a decade. We both value young people playing baseball and it is always good to share that excitement and drive with a like-minded organization. We are thrilled that they are our national governing body and represents the United States so proudly in international and domestic competitions."

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

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USA Baseball Announces 2018 National Team Identification Series Selections

A total of 68 athletes were selected for 2019 national team programming from the 2018 NTIS
September 10, 2018

DURHAM, N.C. - USA Baseball announced on Wednesday the 68 athletes that were selected from the 2018 National Team Identification Series (NTIS) to participate in 2019 national team programming. The tenth-annual NTIS was held at the National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina, from August 8-26 and for the tenth year in a row, the selection announcement was made through an online show.

Twenty-seven states and 16 regions from across the U.S. are represented by the 68 athletes chosen and fourteen states boast more than one selection.

Under the direction of USA Baseball task force, the 2018 NTIS featured over 1,200 of the nation's best players competing in 172 games, as well as skill testing and on-field evaluations. Twelve athletes were invited to compete at each of the 2019 12U National Team Trials, the 2019 14U, 16U and 17U National Team Development Programs (NTDP) and the 15U National Team Trials. In addition, eight players from the 17U NTIS were chosen to participate in the 2019 18U National Team selection process.

"Our task force had a difficult job selecting just 68 athletes out of the incredible pool of talent from across the U.S. that participated in this year's NTIS," Senior Director of Baseball Operations, Ashley Bratcher, said. "We are excited about the players chosen from the 2018 event and what they will bring to our 2019 national team programming."

The 2018 USA Baseball National Team Identification Series (NTIS) is the most comprehensive player identification program offered by Team USA. With tryouts in every region of the country, players now have greater access to USA Baseball National Team opportunities than ever before. The program includes six separate age groups - 11U, 13U, 14U, 15U, 15U and 17U.

The 2018 National Team Identification Series selections are as follows:

Name; Position; Hometown

2019 12U National Team Trials Invitees:
(from 11U NTIS)
Anthony Del Angel; OF/IF; Rio Rancho, N.M.
Parker Friend; C/RHP; Germantown, Md.
Gavin Hottle; IF/RHP; Irvine, Calif.
Bryant James; IF/RHP; Herndon, Va.
Elijah McNeal; Dublin, Calif.
Luis Mejia; IF/OF; Phoenix, Ariz.
Owen Robinson; LHP/IF; Greensboro, N.C.
C.J. Sampson; RHP/IF; Magnolia, Texas
Kruz Schoolcraft; IF/LHP; Aloha, Ore.
Jayden Stroman; IF/RHP; Medford, N.Y.
Eli Willits; IF/RHP; Fort Cobb, Okla.
Miles Young; IF; Cypress, Texas

2019 14U National Team Development Program invitees:
(from 13U NTIS)
Kai Caranto; IF/RHP; Castaic, Calif.
Angel Cepeda; OF/IF; Union City, N.J.
Carson Dean; OF/IF; Frisco, Texas
Ian Duarte; OF/RHP; Santa Clarita, Calif.
Terry Dunsford; IF/RHP; Grand Bay, Ala.
Keondre Fields; OF/RHP; Nesbit, Miss.
Gavin Grahovac; C/IF; Orange, Calif.
Houston Hirschkorn; IF/RHP; Kingsburg, Calif.
Andre Modugno; IF/Upper Saddle River, N.J.
Brandon Olivera; RHP; Hialeah, Fla.
Kellon Parnell; OF/IF; Pascagoula, Miss.
Brooks Wright; UT/RHP; Knoxville, Tenn.

2019 15U National Team Trials invitees:
(from 14U NTIS)
Mason Balsis; C; Bristow, Va.
Maxwell Clark; OF; Franklin, Ind.
Tyson Dewall; RHP; Folsom, Calif.
Demitri Diamant; OF/RHP; Las Vegas, Nev.
Termarr Johnson; IF; Atlanta, Ga.
Steven Milam; IF; Las Cruces, N.M.
Louis Rodriguez; RHP; Long Beach, Calif.
Logan Saloman; RHP/IF; Chandler, Ariz.
Christopher Scinta; LHP; Tamarac, Fla.
Tyrus Williams; OF; Oxford, Miss.
Jaxon Willits; IF; Fort Cobb, Okla.
Colton Wombles; C; Salem, Ala.

2019 16U National Team Development Program invitees:
(from 15U NTIS)
Jesse Bullard; IF/RHP; Riverside, Calif.
Korbyn Dickerson; OF/RHP; Jeffersonville, Ind.
Jake Geis; RHP; San Jose, Calif.
Rafael Gross; OF/IF; Pearland, Texas
Trevor Haskins; IF; San Jose, Calif.
David Horn; IF/RHP; Murrieta, Calif.
Kyndon Lovell; LHP; Fort Cobb, Okla.
Jaron Nevarez; LHP/IF; San Ramon, Calif.
Xavier Perez; RHP/OF; Corpus Christi, Texas
William Rogers; C/IF; Shoreview, Minn.
Chase Spencer; IF/RHP; Plano, Texas
Austin Young; RHP; Saint Peters, Mo.

2019 17U National Team Development Program invitees:
(from 16U NTIS)
Jackson Baumeister; C/RHP; Jacksonville, Fla.
Mark Black; C/OF; Pittsburgh, Pa.
Michael Davinni; IF/RHP; Laguna Niguel, Calif.
Kade Grundy; RHP/OF; Somerset, Ky.
Samuel Hunt; C/IF; Minneapolis, Minn.
Joseph Mack; C/IF; Williamsville, N.Y.
Michael Morales; RHP/IF; Enola, Pa.
Joshua Pearson; OF/IF; West Monroe, La.
Joseph Quick; RHP/IF; Lake Jackson, Texas
Kurtis Reid; IF/RHP; Hamilton, Ohio
Nate Savino; LHP/OF; Sterling, Va.
Tyler Wiederstein; RHP/IF; Greensburg, Pa.

2019 18U National Team selection process invitees:
(from 17U NTIS)
Jag Burden; OF/IF; Huntington Beach, Calif.
Colten Keith; IF/RHP; Biloxi, Miss.
Harold Coll; IF; Hyde Park, Mass.
Mac Guscette; C/IF; Nokomis, Fla.
Cayden Wallace; IF; Greenbrier, Ark.
Jonathan Vaughns; IF/RHP; Glendora, Calif.
Alex Urban; OF; Lexington, S.C.
Cameron Brown; RHP/IF; Flower Mound, Texas

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Team USA Captures First U-12 Pan Am Gold

USA completes perfect 9-0 tournament record with win over Mexico
September 2, 2018
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Mexico 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 2 4 2
USA 1 4 2 0 1 2 X 10 10 0
Win: Kibru Pam (1-0) Loss: Salvador Villegas Save: None
Box Score | Play-by-play | Team USA Tournament Stats


AGUASCALIENTES, Mexico - Team USA scored seven runs over the first three innings and the quick offensive start led to a 10-2 victory over Mexico to claim gold and win the 2018 COPABE U-12 Pan American Championships with a perfect 9-0 record. It marks the first time the USA has won the tournament after finishing runner-up in 2014 and 2016.

"I can't say enough about our guys," said a joyful USA 12U National Team head coach Todd Fine. "From start to finish, we continued to build everyday. We ran the table and went 9-0. These kids have given everything we have asked of them. It is a special group and they have a medal to show for it."

USA scored at least one run in the first inning of each game of the tournament and Sunday was no different. Leadoff batter Kameron Davis (Albany, Ga.) was hit by a pitch in the bottom of the first inning and eventually scored on an error for a 1-0 USA lead.

The stars and stripes were able to void out the overflow crowd of thousands at CECADI Stadium with a four-run second inning. With the bases loaded, Christian Hamilton (Lauderhill, Fla.) hit a ball booted by the third baseman, resulting in Julius Pfau (Tampa, Fla.) and Brock Thompson (Bakersfield, Calif.) scoring. Masato Chilcutt (San Antonio, Texas) followed with an RBI-single up the middle, and Hamilton completed the four-run inning by scoring on a wild pitch to take a 6-0 lead.

Dean Moss (Hillsborough, Calif.) struck out to leadoff the third inning, but was able to reach on a dropped third strike. Paul Dominguez (Anaheim, Calif.) made Mexico pay for the mistake, hitting a monstrous two-run home run well beyond the center field fence and into the parking lot. Dominguez's fifth home run of the tournament not only provided USA an 8-0 lead, but it also was USA's 38th home run of the tournament to set a USA single-tournament record.

The offense was clicking for USA, but so was Kibru Pam (Pasadena, Calif.) on the mound. The starting pitcher faced one batter over the minimum through his first four innings. He allowed two hits over the span and both were infield singles. He faced trouble in the fifth inning, allowing a runner to score from third base on a bases loaded ground out, but he prevented any further damage with a strikeout for the third out while two runners were in scoring position.

USA matched the Mexico run in the bottom of the fifth inning with a Thompson two-out infield single to score Kailand Halstead (Aberdeen, Wash.). They added insurance in the bottom of the sixth inning with a high arching two-run home run from Hamilton for his fourth home run of the tournament. The blast extended the USA lead to 10-1.

Hamilton, who moved from center field to the mound to start the sixth inning, allowed one hit over the final two innings of work. Mexico's Ricardo Orozco led off the seventh inning with a single and eventually scored on a passed ball. Hamilton was able to force Fernando Rubio into a double play to end the game and the on-field celebration began for the U.S.

Chilcutt (2-for-4), Davis (2-for-3), Moss (2-for-4) and Thompson (2-for-3) each had a multi-hit game for the U.S. Hamilton led the squad with a three-RBI performance. On the mound, Pam (1-0) claimed the victory with one run allowed off three hits and struck out four batters. Salvador Villegas was straddled with the loss for Mexico, allowing seven runs (six earned) off five hits in 3.1 innings.

The win moved USA to 5-2 all-time against Mexico, and they are 1-1 against them in U-12 Pan American championship games. USA went 9-0 in the tournament and their 10-2 win over Mexico was their smallest margin of victory. Their success in the tournament qualified them for the 2019 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-12 Baseball World Cup in Taiwan. The USA Baseball 12U National Team, winning their first gold at the U-12 Pan American Championships, are a three-time defending world champion at the WBSC U-12 Baseball World Cup.

Inside the Numbers
4 - Four members of the U.S. received all-tournament awards and honors. Kibru Pam (MVP), Kailand Halstead (Batting Champion), Dean Moss (RBI Champion, First Baseman) and Brock Thompson (Second Baseman) each received recognition at the conclusion of Sunday's game.

127-7 - The U.S. outscored their opponents 127-7 and they outhit them 122-20. USA's pitching staff pitched two no-hitters and four one-hitters in the tournament. Their prior single-tournament record for runs allowed was 81 (2015) and hits was 87 (2015).

41 - USA combined for 41 runs in the first inning (they did not allow a run in the first inning) during the tournament.

39 - The U.S. hit 39 home runs in the tournament which topped their prior single-tournament high of 37 from the 2016 tournament.

32 - In 38 innings of at-bats, USA scored at least 1 run in 32 of the innings.

12 - Twelve different USA players hit a home run in this season's tournament. Kailand Halstead led the team with six.

.557 - USA hit .557 in the tournament (single-tournament record). Dean Moss led the team hitting .727 (16-for-22).

.579 - The U.S. hit .579 (70/121) with runners on base. They held their opponents to 0-for-22 in the same category through the first five games of the tournament (opponents finished 6-for-62, .097). USA went 53-for-87, .609 with runners in scoring position.

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USA Shuts Out Nicaragua, Ready to Focus on Gold

Team USA gets their fourth one-hitter of the tournament
September 1, 2018
  1 2 3 4 5 6 R H E
Nicaragua 0 0 0 - - - 0 1 2
USA 9 1 5 - - - 15 16 0
Win: Brady Strohm (2-0)   Loss: Jose Cano  Save: None
Box ScorePlay-by-play | Team USA Tournament Stats


AGUASCALIENTES, Mexico - If there were any questions if Team USA is eager and ready to get to Sunday's gold medal game of the COPABE U-12 Pan American Championship, they were answered Saturday at CECADI Stadium. The U.S. used a nine-run first inning and Brady Strohm (Winchester, Calif.) pitched USA's second consecutive one-hitter (fourth of the tournament) to shutout Nicaragua 15-0 in a game shortened to three innings to close out Super Round play.

In the bottom of the first inning, USA sent 13 batters to the plate, with the first 11 batters reaching base safely. Dean Moss (Hillsborough, Calif.) added to his team-leading RBI totals with a two-run single, and three batters later, Brock Thompson (Bakersfield, Calif.) crushed a grand slam for the team's third slam and Thompson's fourth homer of the tournament. Kameron Davis (Albany, Ga.) and Michael Torres (Miami, Fla.) closed out the scoring in the frame with RBI-singles.

Moss hit a single to lead off the second inning and eventually scored on a wild pitch. The run was USA's lone run of the inning and they took a 10-0 lead into the third inning. Nicaragua was unable to record an out in the third inning, as five batters stepped into the batter's box and three hit home runs for USA. Torres and pinch hitter Gavin Garguilo (Coral Springs, Fla.) led off the third inning with back-to-back home runs, and Paul Dominguez (Anaheim, Calif.) ended the game with a three-run home run to activate the run-rule (15-run lead after three innings).

On the mound, Strohm allowed one hit in his three-inning complete game victory, which improved him to 2-0 in the tournament. Nicaragua's Erick Gomez had their lone hit of the game with a two-out single in the top of the second inning. Jose Cano suffered the loss for Nicaragua. He went 0.1 innings and allowed six runs off five hits.

USA produced 16 hits from a combined 11 different players. Dominguez, one of four U.S. players with at least two hits, led the team with a 3-for-3 performance at the dish. He and Thompson co-led the squad with four runs-batted-in.

USA improved their all-time mark to 4-2 against Nicaragua, with a 2-2 mark in games played in COPABE competition. The U.S. is now 8-0 overall in this season's tournament and they completed the Super Round with a 3-0 mark. Sunday, USA will go for their first ever gold medal in the tournament's history. The U.S. will face Mexico, who clinched their berth to the championship game Saturday with a win over Cuba. First pitch is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. (CT) at CECADI Stadium in Aguascalientes.

Inside the Numbers
117-5 - The U.S. has outscored their opponents 117-5 and they have outhit them 112-16. USA's pitching staff has pitched two no-hitters and four one-hitters in the tournament.

40 - USA has combined for 40 runs in the first inning (have not allowed a run), and they are averaging five runs per game in the first inning.

37 - The U.S. has hit 37 home runs in the tournament through eight games. The total matches their single-tournament high from the 2016 tournament. The 37 home runs in 2016 was at a pace of 4.1 per game (averaging 4.6 per game this tournament).

27 - In 32 innings of at-bats, USA has scored at least 1 run in 27 of the innings.

12 - Twelve different USA players have hit a home run in this season's tournament. Kailand Halstead leads the team with six.

.586 - USA is batting .586 in the tournament. Christian Hamilton leads the team hitting .800 (12-for-15).

.590 - The U.S. is hitting .590 (62/105) with runners on base. They held their opponents to 0-for-22 in the same category through the first five games of the tournament (opponents now 6-for-54, .111). USA is 48-for-75, .640 with runners in scoring position.

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USA Stamps Their Ticket To Gold Medal Game

USA defeats Mexico and holds them to one hit in game between unbeatens
September 1, 2018
  1 2 3 4 5 6 R H E
Mexico 0 3 0 1 0 - 0 1 0
USA 5 4 0 2 X - 11 7 0
Win: Paul Dominguez (2-0)   Loss: Victor Garcia  Save: None
Box ScorePlay-by-play | Team USA Tournament Stats


AGUASCALIENTES, Mexico - Team USA's Paul Dominguez (Anaheim, Calif.) and Gavin Gargiulo (Coral Springs, Fla.) combined to hold Mexico to one hit, while Dean Moss (Hillsborough, Calif.) went 3-for-3 with two home runs and six RBI, and the U.S. defeated Mexico 11-0 Friday in the Super Round at CECADI Stadium. Both teams entered the game 6-0 and USA's victory clinched a spot in Sunday's COPABE U-12 Pan American Championship gold medal game.

Dominguez, making his first start on the hill since pitching a no-hitter against Panama on August 26, went 3.2 innings and a single up the middle by Darey Flores to lead off the second inning was the only hit for Mexico. Dominguez, who struck out four batters, walked five batters, but he recovered to hold Mexico 0-for-11 with runners on base (they finished the game 0-for-12). Garguilo pitched the final 1.1 innings and retired all four batters he faced (two by strikeouts). Dominguez was credited with the win and improves to 2-0 in the tourney. The one-hit pitching performance marks the team's third one-hitter of the tournament for USA.

Kameron Davis (Albany, Ga.) opened the bottom of the first inning the same way he has the prior two games and that was with a leadoff home run. His fourth homer of the tournament jump-started a five-run inning for the U.S. The first six USA batters reached base safely and the inning's scoring was capped by a grand slam home run from Moss. The slam was USA's second of the tournament.

USA added to the 5-0 lead in the second inning. Masato Chilcutt (San Antonio, Texas) dumped a single into right field to plate Julius Pfau (Tampa, Fla.) before Kailand Halstead (Aberdeen, Wash.) blasted a three-run home run. Halstead's team-leading sixth home run of the tournament provided USA a 9-0 lead.

Halstead was hit by a pitch in the fourth inning and Moss followed with his second home run of the game to push USA's lead to 11-0. The game ended after the top of the fifth inning with USA leading by more than 10 runs after five innings.

USA finished the game with seven hits, which is their lowest mark in the tournament, but five were for extra bases (four home runs). Moss was responsible for three of the extra base hits, as two home runs and a double made up his 3-for-3 performance at the plate. His six runs-batted-in was the most by a USA member this season (he leads the team with 17 RBI in the tournament).

USA improved their all-time mark to 4-2 all-time against Mexico, with a 2-2 mark in games played in COPABE competition. It was the USA's first win over Mexico on their soil since July 14, 2014 (USA had lost the prior two).

The U.S. is now 7-0 overall in this season's tournament and their 2-0 Super Round record has them a berth into the gold medal game Sunday. Cuba and Mexico face each other Saturday and the winner will clinch the berth to play USA.

USA has one more Super Round contest before Sunday's championship. They face Nicaragua Saturday at 9 a.m. (CT) at CECADI Stadium in Aguascalientes.

Inside the Numbers
102-5 - The U.S. has outscored their opponents 102-5 and they have outhit them 96-15. USA's pitching staff has pitched two no-hitters and three one-hitters in the tournament.

33 - The U.S. has hit 33 home runs in the tournament through seven games. The single-tournament high for the U.S. is 37 from the 2016 tournament. The 37 home runs in 2016 was at a pace of 4.1 per game (averaging 4.7 per game this tournament).

24 - In 29 innings of at-bats, USA has scored at least 1 run in 24 of the innings.

12 - Twelve different USA players have hit a home run in this season's tournament. Kailand Halstead leads the team with six.

.568 - USA is batting .568 in the tournament. Christian Hamilton leads the team hitting .786 (11-for-14).

.584 - The U.S. is hitting .584 (52/89) with runners on base. They held their opponents to 0-for-22 in the same category through the first five games of the tournament (opponents now 5-for-49, .102). USA is 40-for-64, .625 with runners in scoring position.

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Team USA Drops Bronze Medal Game to Canada, 8-5

Megan Baltzell and Meggie Meidlinger honored with individual awards
August 31, 2018
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 R H E
Canada 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 5 8 10 3
Team USA 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 5 9 0
Win: A. Schroder Loss: S. Piagno Save: None
Box Score | Play-by-play | World Cup Stats

VIERA, FLA. - The USA Baseball Women's National Team ended its run at the 2018 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Women's Baseball World Cup with a heartbreaking 8-5 loss to Canada in the bronze medal game on Friday at the USSSA Space Coast Complex in Viera, Florida.

Despite getting out to an early lead and then forcing extra innings with a late rally, the U.S. couldn't hang on as Canada's bats caught fire in the tenth.

The U.S. took charge in the first inning as it put two runs on the board courtesy of a Michelle Cobb (Wenatchee, Wash.) single and a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch. That lead would hold until the fifth as the pitching locked in on both sides.

Team USA's Brittany Schutte (Gainesville, Fla.) put together a strong start, giving up just four hits in five innings and striking out two. All of the runs Schutte allowed came on one hit as Daphnee Gelinas hit a three-run home run in the top of fifth to give Canada a 3-2 lead.

A rally, sparked by a leadoff single from Jade Gortarez (Riverside, Calif.) and a sacrifice bunt by Amanda Gianelloni (Napoleonville, La.), got the momentum rolling back in the U.S.'s direction in the seventh inning. Malaika Underwood (San Diego, Calif.) came to the plate and the veteran came through once again, roping a double to left-center that tied the game at 3-3 and forced extra baseball.

Stacy Piagno (St. Augustine, Fla.) came took over on the mound in the seventh inning and shut Canada down in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings. But Team USA couldn't cash in on bases loaded situations in the eighth or ninth innings either, sending the contest to the tenth where Canada took control.

The U.S. had its work cut out for it in the bottom of the tenth after Canada put up five runs in the top half for a commanding 8-3 lead. The stars and stripes loaded the bases once again and an AJ Hamilton (Tallahassee, Fla.) single brought in two to cut the deficit to just three but a double play ended the inning and gave Canada the final 8-5 win.

Following the conclusion of the event on Friday night, it was announced by the WBSC that two U.S. players were named to the WBSC Women's Baseball World Cup All-World Team. Megan Baltzell (Stafford, Va.) was named the All-World Designated Hitter, while Meggie Meidlinger (Sterling, Va.) was named the All-World Relief Pitcher. In five appearances in the 2018 event, Meidlinger tallied a 0.00 ERA, while allowing just three hits and striking out three.

Baltzell hit a team-high .500 and also led the tournament in home runs with two. The lefty now owns the WBSC Women's Baseball World Cup home run record after hitting one in the 2016 World Cup and two this year. In addition to being named to the All-World Team, Baltzell won two individual awards for her stellar performance in the event. She took home the hardware for most home runs (2) and most RBI (10).

Team USA finished the World Cup 6-3 with a 1.98 team ERA and a collective .288 average.

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

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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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