USA BASEBALL NEWS

USA Baseball Announces 2018 Tournament of Stars Staff

Coaches and task force will lead 80 athletes through week of games and workouts
April 25, 2018

DURHAM, N.C. - USA Baseball announced the coaching staff and task force that will lead 80 of the nation's best 18-and-under players in the 2018 Tournament of Stars presented by Major League Baseball on Wednesday. The staff, which is made up of former professional players, respected collegiate and high school coaches, as well as Major League scouts, will guide and evaluate this year's athlete in the event at the USA Baseball National Training Complex June 18-23 in Cary, North Carolina.

The coaching staff and task force will assist the 18U National Team staff in identifying athletes to be invited to the USA Baseball 18U National Team Trials. The 2018 Trials will be held immediately following the Tournament of Stars June 25-28.

American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) Hall of Famer and former Clemson head coach Jack Leggett has been tapped to lead the 2018 18U National Team as it looks for its fifth consecutive gold medal at the COPABE Pan American "AAA" Championships.

Joining Leggett on the 2018 staff will be Scott Bankhead (North Carolina Baseball Academy), Joe Almaraz (St. Louis Cardinals) and Gregg Ritchie (George Washington).

This year's Tournament of Stars participants will be divided into four teams of 20 players (Brave, Free, Pride, and United), and each team staff will be comprised of a manager, assistant coach and pitching coach.

Atlanta Braves' Special Assistant to Baseball Operations, and 19-year MLB veteran, Fred McGriff, will manage the Free team. Trip Couch will join McGriff as the team's assistant coach, while Robert Woodard will serve as pitching coach.

Royce Clayton, who played on the 18U National Team in 1987 and is currently the head coach at Oaks Christian School (Westlake, Calif.), will take the helm of the Pride team. Mark Ross and Steve Stone will join Clayton on staff.

Former East Carolina University head coach and current New York Yankees scout, Billy Godwin, has been named the manager of the Brave team. Eric DuBose and Chris Carter will serve on the Brave staff as the pitching and assistant coaches, respectively.

Finally, Marc Rardin, who is currently the head coach at Iowa Western Community College (Council Bluffs, Iowa), will guide the United team as the manager. He will be joined by Tyler Kincaid as the pitching coach and former MLB All-Star Tony Womack will round out the staff as the assistant coach.

A four-person task force and two rovers will also assist the national team and Tournament of Stars coaching staffs in overseeing the event. Detroit Tigers scout Taylor Black will lead the task force, with Travis Coleman, Ryan Goll and Matt Williams assisting him. John Hendricks will serve as the pitching rover for the event, while Jeff Kunkel will be the 2018 position rover, assisting the task force and staff with evaluating and identifying players for consideration.

The Tournament of Stars is made up of 80 of the best baseball players in the country that are international age-eligible (Born January 1, 2000 or 2001) for 18U National Team consideration. The event serves as the primary pool of talent from which USA Baseball will select its team to compete in the 2018 COPABE Pan American "AAA" Championships in Panama City, Panama, November 23-December 2. Team USA is the four-time defending champions in the event.

For the most up-to-date information on the 18U National Team, follow @USABaseball18U and @USABaseball on Twitter.

The complete list of Tournament of Stars staff and task force, as well as their bios, is as follows:

Name, Coaching Position:
Taylor Black, Task Force
Chris Carter, Brave Assistant Coach
Royce Clayton, Pride Manager
Travis Coleman, Task Force
Trip Couch, Free Assistant Coach
Eric DuBose, Brave Pitching Coach
Billy Godwin, Brave Manager
Ryan Goll, Task Force
John Hendricks, Pitching Rover
Tyler Kincaid, United Pitching Coach
Jeff Kunkel, Position Rover
Fred McGriff, Free Manager
Scott Meaney, Cross Checker
Marc Rardin, United Manager
Mark Ross, Pride Pitching Coach
Steve Stone, Pride Assistant Coach
Matt Williams, Task Force
Tony Womack, United Assistant Coach
Robert Woodard, Free Pitching Coach

Taylor Black is currently a scout for the Detroit Tigers. Prior to that role, he served as an assistant coach at North Carolina State University. He is returning to the Tournament of Stars task force in 2018 after serving in this role for the 2017 and 2016 tournaments. Before he started coaching, Black played collegiately at the University of Kentucky and professionally in the minor leagues until 2013.

This is Chris Carter's third year as a coach at the Tournament of Stars, as he served in the same role in both 2017 and 2016. He was also a member of the coaching staff for the 2017 18U National Team that won the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-18 Baseball World Cup gold medal. In addition, he was an assistant coach for the 17U National Team Development Program (NTDP) in 2016 and 2017. Carter is the athletic director at Woodmont High School in Piedmont, South Carolina, and held the same position at nearby Easley High School from 2009-2013. Carter was a catcher at Clemson University in the 1990s and formerly served as the head baseball coach at Easley and Byrnes high schools from 1998-2008, prior to transitioning into an administrative role.

Royce Clayton will coach at the Tournament of Stars for the second year in a row in 2018 but his first experience with USA Baseball came in 1987 when he played for the 18U National Team. He played for 17 years in the Major Leagues from 1991-2007 after being selected in the first round of the MLB draft by the San Francisco Giants in 1988. He currently serves as the head coach at Oaks Christian School (Westlake, Calif.).

Travis Coleman is currently a scout for the reigning World Series champion Houston Astros. He played collegiate baseball for Auburn University before starting his scouting career in 2014 with the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Major League Baseball Scouting Bureau. Coleman is also the owner of the Pro Elite Academy, a baseball and athlete development company.

Trip Couch returns to the USA Baseball coaching ranks after previously serving as a coach at the Tournament of Stars. He also held an administrion role with the 1999 Collegiate National Team as he was the team's Delegation Head/Business Manager. Currently the director of baseball player development at the University of South Carolina, Couch has spent time coaching at University of Lousiana-Lafayette, University of Houston and University of Texas, as well as serving as a scout for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Most recently, he was an assistant coach at Houston where he helped lead the Cougars to four straight American Athletic Conference championship games and the tournament title in 2017.

Eric DuBose is no stranger to USA Baseball, having played for the 1994 18U National Team and the 1995 and 1996 Collegiate National Teams. DuBose was an All-American at Mississippi State University before being selected with the 21st overall pick in the 1997 MLB draft. He made his Major League debut in 2002 for the Baltimore Orioles and was with the organization until his retirement in 2007. He is currently a pitching coach for the East Coast Sox organization.

Billy Godwin is a former college head coach who led Louisburg College from 1999-2005 and East Carolina University from 2006-2014. He was named Coach of the Year by the North Carolina Baseball Coaches Association in 2002 and 2007, and guided East Carolina to a Conference USA title and NCAA Super Regional appearance in 2009. Godwin played collegiately at Atlantic Christian College, now Barton College, and is currently an area scout for the New York Yankees. 2018 marks Godwin's second time coaching at the Tournament of Stars, having also appeared on the staff in 2016.

Ryan Goll will serve as a member of the 2018 Tournament of Stars Task Force and will be the bullpen catcher at the event. In 2017, he also served on the task force and as a bullpen catcher for the 18U National Team Trials. Goll is currently a student manager at the University of Minnesota.

John Hendricks previously coached in the Tournament of Stars in 2015 and 2016. He is currently a scout for the New York Mets. The Winston-Salem, North Carolina, native, played collegiately at Wake Forest University and was drafted by the New York Mets in the 14th round of the 1999 MLB Draft. Hendricks, who pitched in the Mets organization for two years, is the Demon Deacons' program leader in career innings pitched, career strikeouts and career victories.

Currently in his third year as the pitching coach at Kansas State University, Tyler Kincaid started his coaching career 17 years ago. In that time, he has worked at the high school and collegiate levels. In his first year with the Wildcats, the pitching staff finished the season third in program history for total strikeouts in a single season with 440. He served as an assistant coach at University of San Diego prior to his time with Kansas State and 21 of his pitchers were selected in the MLB draft during his six seasons.

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, while leading the team to Big Ten regular season and tournament championships. He also served as a coach at the 2017 USA Baseball 17U National Team Development Program (NTDP).

For the second year in a row, five-time All-Star Fred McGriff will coach at the Tournament of Stars. McGriff played 19 seasons in MLB from 1986-2004. He spent five of those seasons with the Atlanta Braves, where he helped the team to a World Series Championship in 1995. He also won three Silver Slugger Awards throughout his time in the big leagues and finished his career with 493 home runs. Following his playing career, he returned to Atlanta where the Braves hired him as a Special Assistant to Baseball Operations in 2015.

Scott Meaney will serve as the cross-checking scout at the 2018 Tournament of Stars. Meaney spent four years on the baseball team at the University of Massachusetts before graduating and joining the staff as the team's pitching coach. He is currently serving as a scout for the Cleveland Indians.

Rardin is in his 14th season as the head coach at Iowa Western Community College (Council Bluffs, Iowa). During his tenure, the IWCC Reivers won two Junior College World Series titles in three years (2010 and 2012). They have tallied 18 post-season titles in 11 seasons under Rardin, which is better than any other Division I junior college program in the U.S. over the last 10 years. Rardin re-joins the Tournament of Stars coaching staff after working at the event in 2014 and 2015.

Currently a scout for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Mark Ross will coach at the Tournament of Stars for the second consecutive year. Ross played in the Major Leagues for six years with the Astros, the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Toronto Blue Jays. He finished his professional career with a 3.83 ERA. Prior to his time in MLB, Ross played at Texas A&M and was a member of the 1978 USA Baseball National Team that won a silver medal at the XXIV Baseball World Cup.

Steve Stone returns to the Tournament of Stars coaching ranks in 2018 after coaching in the event in 2017 and 2016. He is in his 19th year as the head baseball coach at Hebron High School in Carrollton, Texas. In total, Stone has 23 years of coaching experience, previously spending time at Rider and Euless Trinity high schools. He is a former standout catcher at Texas Christian University, where he was named team MVP in 1988.

Matt Williams is a scout for the Minnesota Twins. He spent seven years in the minor leagues, playing for the St. Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Angels and Philadelphia Phillies organizations. He played collegiately at Liberty University before being drafted in the 15th round of the 2011 MLB Draft by the Cardinals.

Tony Womack spent 13 seasons in the Major Leagues after being selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 7th round of the 1991 MLB Draft. In that time, he played for the Pirates, Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies, Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals, New York Yankees and Cincinnati Reds. He was a member of the Diamondbacks team that won the World Series in 2001 and was an All-Star for the Pirates in 1997. Womack also led the league in stolen bases from 1997-1999 and was the MLB leader in triples in 2000. He finished his career with a .273 average and 363 stolen bases.

Robert Woodard is in his second year as the pitching coach at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) after serving as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Virginia Tech. Prior to joining the Hokies staff in 2013, Woodard coached at UNC, his alma mater, and the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Woodard is the Tar Heels' all-time winningest pitcher with a record of 34-5 and spent three years in the San Diego Padres' farm system after being selected in the 20th round of the 2007 MLB Draft. The Charlotte, North Carolina, native has also coached for the Orleans Cardinals of the Cape Cod League. In 2016, Woodard made his Tournament of Stars debut as a pitching rover at the event and returned to the event in 2017 as a coach. He also served as a coach at the 2016 17U NTDP.

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WNT

Team USA Plays Cuba in Game Five

August 22, 2019
GAME USA at Cuba
TIME Thursday, 12:00 p.m. CT 
LOCATION Aguascalientes, Mexico
Starting Pitcher
Kelsie Whitmore

AGUASCALIENTES, Mexico - The USA Baseball Women's National Team will continue action at the 2019 COPABE Women's Pan-American Championships on Thursday, August 22 against Cuba at 12 p.m. CT at Estadio de Beisbol Alberto Romo Chavez in Aguascalientes, Mexico.

The U.S. moved to 4-0 in the tournament after defeating Canada 21-4 on Wedensday and is currently the only undefeated team remaining.

Notable Information
• Team USA has outscored opponents 76-12 so far in the tournament.
• Megan Baltzell finished 4-for-6 with five RBIs, a double and three runs scored against Canada.
• Kylee Lahners leads the U.S. offensively through four games, hitting .769 (10-for-13) with four singles, five doubles, a home run and 12 RBIs in the tournament.

Final Scores
• vs. Venezuela: W, 15-5
• vs. Domnican Republic, W, 19-2
• vs. Nicaragua, W, 21-1
• vs. Canada, W, 21-4

On Deck
• August 23 vs. Mexico (9 a.m. CT; Aguascalientes, Mexico; Parque Deportivo Ferrocarrilero)

Live Stats
• Follow along: live stats
• Watch online: live stream

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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18U

U.S. Claims Second Exhibition Game

Hunter Haas went 3-for-4 with one RBI and two runs scored for Team USA
August 21, 2019
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Brewers SoCal Scout Team 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 3 7 2
USA 1 1 2 2 0 3 2 0 X 11 13 2
Win: M. Rajcic Loss: M. Paralles Save: None
Box Score | Play-by-play | Cumulative Stats

FULLERTON, Calif. - Hunter Haas (Phoenix, Ariz.) collected three hits, one RBI and two runs scored as the 18U National Team finished its time in the United States with an 11-3 defeat of the Brewers SoCal Scout Team in its second training game on Wednesday at Fullerton Junior College in Fullerton, Calif.

Team USA recorded thirteen hits in the win and four players finished with multi-hit games, including Haas, Jack Bulger (Bowie, Md.), Robert Hassell (Franklin, Tenn.) and Milan Tolentino (Mission Viejo, Calif.). Hassell and Drew Romo (The Woodlands, Texas) led the game in RBIs with two each.

Nolan McLean (Willow Spring, N.C.) got the start for the U.S. and gave up one hit, one run and one walk in his inning of work. Max Rajcic (Fullerton, Calif.) was credited with the win after allowing just two hits and one run in two innings of relief, while striking out a team-high five batters.

 

KEY MOMENTS

  • After the Brewers SoCal Scout Team plated a run in the top of the first inning, Team USA tied it up at 1-1 in the bottom half when Pete Crow-Armstrong (Sherman Oaks, Calif.) drew a walk and took advantage of three wild pitches to advance to third and score.
  • The stars and stripes took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the second on a Haas RBI-single that scored Colby Halter (Jacksonville, Fla.).
  • The Brewers SoCal Scout Team tied the game once again with a solo home run in the top of the third.
  • Romo broke the tie in the bottom of the third with a triple down the right field line that plated two and made it 4-2 in Team USA's favor.
  • The U.S. added two runs in the bottom of the fourth when Haas knocked a leadoff triple to center and Tolentino brought him home with a single before an Austin Hendrick (Oakdale, Pa.) sac-fly brought the Team USA lead to 6-2.
  • The Brewers SoCal Scout Team got one back in the top of the fifth with an RBI-double.
  • Team USA added three runs in the bottom of the sixth on four hits, including a Tolentino leadoff double and RBI-singles from Hassell and AJ Vukovich (Mukwonago, Wisc.) to extend the lead to 9-3.
  • A Crow-Armstrong single that plated Haas, who led off the inning with a single of his own, and a ground-rule RBI-double from Hassell scored the final two runs of the game to secure the 11-3 victory for Team USA.

 

NOTABLE INFORMATION

  • Team USA improves to 2-0 in 18U National Team Training with the victory.
  • Rajcic earned the win in the contest as he struck out five batters in two innings of relief, while allowing just two hits and one run.

 

DUE UP

  • The team will travel to Taiwan on Thursday, August 22, and compete in three training games against Chinese Taipei August 24-26.

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

  • Follow @USABaseball18U on Twitter for the most up-to-date information on the 18U National Team and 18U National Team Trials.
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WNT

Team USA Wins 21-4 Over Canada

Two eight-run innings led Team USA to victory
August 21, 2019
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
USA 3 0 1 8 1 0 8 21 23 0
CAN 0 0 0 3 1 0 0 4 8 3
Win: M. Sementelli Loss: A. Asay Save: None
Box Score | Play-by-Play | COPABE Stats
 

AGUASCALIENTES, Mexico - The USA Baseball Women's National Team used to eight0run innings to defeat Canada 21-4 on Wednesday at the 2019 COPABE Women's Pan-American Championships at Parque Deportivo Ferrocarrilero in Aguascalientes, Mexico. 

The U.S. moved to 4-0 in the tournament and is currently the only undefeated team remaining. 

All nine U.S. batters in the starting lineup finished the day with multi-hit performances, led by Megan Baltzell (Stafford, Va.), who finished 4-for-6 with five RBIs, a double and three runs scored, and Alex Hugo (Olathe, Kan.), who hit her second home run of the tournament in the fourth inning.

Marti Sementelli (West Newton, Mass.) started on the bump for the red, white, and blue, allowing one run and striking out two batters to earn the victory. Jamie Mackay (Newport Beach, Calif.), Meggie Meidlinger (Sterling, Va.) and Ashton Lansdell (Marietta, Ga.) came in as relief, combining to allow four runs on seven hits and striking out three batters. Amanda Asay suffered the loss for Canada.

Key Moments

• A pair of walks to Hugo and Jade Gortarez (Riverside, Calif.) put runners on base for Baltzell, who put the U.S. up 2-0 in the top of the first inning with an RBI-double to center field.
• Kelsie Whitmore (Temecula, Calif.) hit a sac-fly to left field to make the score 3-0.
• Baltzell led off the top of the third inning with a single to right field and scored on a Brittany Schutte (Fountain Valley, Calif.) double to center field to give the U.S. a 4-0 lead.
• In the top of the fourth inning, Malaika Underwood (San Diego, Calif.) knocked a single into center field to push Hugo and Lahners across the plate to extend the U.S. lead to 6-0.
• Baltzell's third RBI of the game came in the top of the fourth inning when she sent an RBI-single up the middle to give the U.S. a 7-0 lead.
• An RBI-single up the middle by Whitmore and a Schutte sac-fly pushed the U.S. lead to 9-0 in the top of the fourth inning.
• A three-run homerun by Hugo capped an eight-run fourth inning, giving the U.S. a commanding 12-0 lead.
• Canada used two hits and a walk to bring the score to 12-3 in the bottom of the fourth inning.
• Anna Kimbrell (Fort Mill, S.C.) singled to left field to score another run for Team USA, making the score 13-3 in the top of the fifth inning.
• Canada added a run in the bottom half of the fifth inning to make it a 13-4 ballgame.
• A Michelle Cobb (Wenatchee, Wash.) RBI-single put another run on the board for Team USA and Lansdell followed with a two-run double to center field to extend the U.S. lead to 16-4 in the top of the seventh inning.
• An RBI-single from Hugo and RBI doubles by Baltzell and Schutte capped the scoring for Team USA, ending the game a final score of 21-4.

Notable Information

• Nine U.S. batters finished the day with multi-hit performances, including Alex Hugo (2-for-4), Kylee Lahners (2-for-4), Jade Gortarez (2-for-4), Malaika Underwood (3-for-6), Megan Baltzell (4-for-6), Keslie Whitmore (3-for-5), Brittany Schutte (3-for-6), Anna Kimbrell (2-for-6) and Ashton Lansdell (2-for-5).
• Marti Sementelli earned the win for the U.S., allowing one run and striking out two batters in her second start of the tournament.
• Alex Hugo hit her second home run of the tournament over the right field wall in the fourth inning against Canada.
• Kylee Lahners leads the U.S. offensively through four games, hitting .769 (10-for-13) with four singles, five doubles, a home run and 12 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 Thursday, August 22 against Cuba at 12 p.m. CT at Estadio de Beisbol Alberto Romo Chavez in Aguascalientes, Mexico.

Key Moments/Notable Information/Up Next/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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WNT

Team USA Defeats Nicaragua 21-1

Brittany Schutte launched a grand-slam in the fourth inning
August 20, 2019
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
USA 9 6 0 6 x x x 21 19 1
NIC 1 0 0 0 x x x 1 1 2
Win: S. Tobias Loss: M. Sanchez Save: None
Box Score | Play-by-Play | COPABE Stats
 

AGUASCALIENTES, Mexico - The USA Baseball Women's National Team defeated Nicaragua 21-1 with the help of a Brittany Schutte grand-slam on Tuesday at the 2019 COPABE Women's Pan-American Championships at Estadio de Beisbol Alberto Romo Chavez in Aguascalientes, Mexico. 

The U.S. jumped ahead early in the top of the first inning courtesy five singles, two doubles and a triple, giving the team a 9-0 lead. Team USA extended its lead in the top of the second with six runs scored on five hits and followed with runs in the fourth inning to give the U.S. its biggest win of the tournament. 

Six U.S. batters finished the day with multi-hit performances, including Denae Benites (Las Vegas, Nev), Kylee Lahners (Laguna Hills, Calif.), Malaika Underwood (San Diego, Calif.), Brittany Womack (Escondido, Calif.), Michelle Cobb (Wenatchee, Wash.) and Ashton Lansdell (Marietta, Ga.). 

Sara Tobias (New York, N.Y.) started on the bump for the red, white, and blue, allowing one run and striking out four batters in the winning performance. Alexia Jorge (Lyndhurst, N.J.) and Kate Blunt (Ladera Ranch, Calif.) each spent an inning on the mound, scattering one hit and striking out two batters. Mabel Sanchez suffered the loss for Nicaragua.

Key Moments

• A pair of singles by Alex Hugo (Olathe, Kan.) and Lahners put runners on base for Underwood, who put the U.S. up 2-0 in the top of the first inning with a double to center field.
• With a runner in scoring position, Kelsie Whitmore (Temecula, Calif.) singled up the middle to make the score 3-0 in the top of the first inning.
• Underwood scored from third on a Nicaragua error, making it 4-0 in the top of the first inning.
• Womack knocked a double into right field to push Whitmore across the plate and put the score at 5-0 in the top of the first inning.
• A Cobb single put two more runs on the board for Team USA in the top of the first inning, making the score 7-0.
• Lansdell sent a run home with an RBI triple to deep right center to put the score at 8-0 in the top of the first inning.
• A Hugo sac-fly capped a nine run inning for Team USA.
• Nicaragua used a sac-fly to put one run on the board in the bottom of the first inning to make the score 9-1.
• Cobb's two-run double to left center put the U.S. ahead 11-1 in the top of the second inning.
• Lahners hit a three RBI double to center field in the top of the second inning to extend the U.S. lead to 14-1.
• Underwood knocked an RBI single up the middle for a 15-1 Team USA lead in the top of the second inning.
• Lansdell and Benites led off the top of the fourth inning with a single and double, respectively, and both scored when Jorge collected her first hit of the tournament to make the score 16-1.
• In Schutte's first at-bat of the tournament, she knocked a 1-0 pitch over the right field wall for her first career grand slam in the top of the fourth inning, giving the U.S. a 20-1 lead.
• A Womack sac-fly allowed Jamie Mackay (Newport Beach, Calif.) to score her first run of the tournament and give Team USA a final score of 21-1 in the fourth inning.

Notable Information

• Six U.S. batters finished the day with multi-hit performances, including Denae Benites (2-for-3), Kylee Lahners (3-for-3), Malaika Underwood (2-for-3), Brittany Womack (2-for-4), Michelle Cobb (2-for-3) and Ashton Lansdell (3-for-4).
• Sara Tobias earned the win for the U.S., allowing one run and striking out four batters in her first start of the tournament.
• In her first at-bat of the tournament, Schutte cleared the bases with a grand-slam over the right field wall in the top of the fourth inning.
• Kylee Lahners leads the U.S. offensively through three games, hitting .889 (8-for-9) with three singles, four doubles, a home run and 12 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 Wednesday, August 21 against Canada at 9 a.m. CT at Parque Deportivo Ferrocarrilero 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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18U

Team USA Kicks of Training with 21-6 Win

Ed Howard homered and AJ Vukovich drove in four runs to lead Team USA's offensive onslaught
August 20, 2019
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Brewers SoCal Scout Team 0 0 0 2 0 0 1 0 3 6 9 1
USA 2 0 0 7 0 0 2 6 4 21 14 2
Win: M. Abel Loss: N. Bautista Save: None
Box Score | Play-by-play | Cumulative Stats

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, Calif. - A four-RBI performance from AJ Vukovich (Mukwonago, Wisc.) and a two-run home run from Ed Howard (Chicago, Ill.) highlighted a 21-6 win for over the Brewers SoCal Scout Team in the first game of 2019 18U National Team Training on Tuesday, August 20, at JSerra Catholic High School in San Juan Capistrano, California.

The contest was close in the early innings with Team USA jumping out to an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first and the Brewers Scout Team evening things up at 2-2 in the top of the fourth. The U.S. broke the game wide open in the bottom half of the inning, though, scoring seven runs to take a dominant lead that it would not relinquish. The Brewers Scout Team plated runs in the seventh and ninth innings but Team USA did not let up, adding multiple runs in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings to secure the 21-6 victory.

Five members of Team USA recorded multi-hit games in the contest, led by Vukovich, who finished 2-for-3 with four RBIs and a run scored, as well as Robert Hassell (Franklin, Tenn.), who recorded two hits, three RBIs and three runs scored. Additionally, Pete Crow-Armstrong (Sherman Oaks, Calif.) and Hunter Haas (Phoenix, Ariz.) both collected three RBIs each.

Ben Hernandez (Chicago, Ill.) got the start for Team USA on Tuesday and put up two scoreless innings, allowing just two hits and a walk while striking out two. The win was attributed to Mick Abel (Portland, Ore.) who threw two innings of relief without allowing an earned run.

 

KEY MOMENTS

  • The U.S. took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning when Hassell scored on a wild pitch after reaching base on a walk, advancing to second on a wild pitch and stealing third.
  • WVukovich gave Team USA a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first when he doubled to score Jack Bulger (Bowie, Md.).
  • The Brewers SoCal Scout Team evened the score at 2-2 in the top of the fourth with a two-RBI single.
  • In the bottom half of the fourth, a leadoff walk to Colby Halter (Jacksonville, Fla.) and a double by Ed Howard (Chicago, Ill.) put runners on second and third for Crow-Armstrong who crushed a triple to the left-center gap that plated both before he scored on an error to make it 5-2.
  • Two walks and a hit-by-pitch loaded the bases with two outs in the home half of the fourth to bring up Vukovich, who cleared them with a triple that gave the stars and stripes an 8-2 lead.
  • Team USA capped off a seven-run fourth with a Drew Romo (The Woodlands, Texas) RBI single.
  • The Brewers SoCal Scout team got one back in the top of the seventh inning with an RBI double to make it a 9-3 game.
  • A Crow-Armstrong sac-fly and an RBI triple by Hassell brought the score to 11-3 in Team USA's favor in the bottom of the seventh.
  • The U.S. added six runs in the bottom of the eighth on three hits, including a two-RBI double by Halter and a three-RBI triple by Hassell.
  • Two doubles plated three runs for the Brewers SoCal Scout Team in the top of the ninth inning to cut Team USA's lead to 17-6.
  • A Bulger single loaded the bases for Team USA in the bottom of the ninth when Haas hit a three-RBI triple before scoring on a wild pitch to secure the final 21-6 victory for the U.S.

 

NOTABLE INFORMATION

  • With the win, Team USA improves to 1-0 in training.
  • Abel (1-0) earned the win in the contest after tossing two innings of relief without allowing an earned run and striking out two.

 

DUE UP

  • Team USA will play its second training game against the Brewers SoCal Scout Team on Wednesday, August 21, at Fullerton Junior College at 4 p.m. PT.
  • The team will then travel to Taiwan on August 22 and compete in three training games against Chinese Taipei August 24-26.

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

  • Follow @USABaseball18U on Twitter for the most up-to-date information on the 18U National Team and 18U National Team Trials.
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WNT

Team USA Crushes Dominican Republic 19-2 in Four Innings

A 12-run second inning catapulted Team USA to victory
August 19, 2019
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
DOM REP 0 0 2 0 x x x 2 6 1
USA 3 12 4 x x x x 19 9 0
Win: B. Schutte Loss: Y. Kim Save: None
Box Score | Play-by-Play | COPABE Stats
 

AGUASCALIENTES, Mexico - The USA Baseball Women's National Team dominated the Dominican Republic 19-2 in game two of the 2019 COPABE Women's Pan-American Championships with the help of a 12-run second inning on Monday at Parque Deportivo Ferrocarrilero in Aguascalientes, Mexico. 

The U.S. jumped out to an early lead in the bottom of the first inning courtesy of a bases-loaded single to right field by Malaika Underwood (San Diego, Calif.) that scored three runs. Team USA extended its lead in the bottom of the second with 12 runs scored on five hits. 

Kylee Lahners (Laguna Hills, Calif.) and Underwood both had multi-hit games, including Underwood's single in the first inning to give Team USA the lead and Lahners' first home run of the tournament that gave the U.S. its final three runs of the game.

Brittany Schutte (Fountain Valley, Calif.) was the starting pitcher for Team USA in game two and collected the win, scattering three hits and striking out three batters. Meggie Meidlinger (Sterling, Va.), Kate Blunt (Ladera Ranch, Calif.), Kelsie Whitmore (Temecula, Calif.) and Ashton Lansdell (Mariette, Ga.) all tossed the ball in relief. They combined for two runs on three hits and each struck out one batter. 

Key Moments

• Alex Hugo (Olathe, Kan.) led off the bottom of the first with a double to right and Lahners and Jade Gortarez (Riverside, Calif.) followed with walks to load the bases for Underwood, whose single to right scored three runs for Team USA, making it 3-0.
• Three walks loaded the bases in the bottom of the second for Lahners, whose double to centerfield extended the lead to 5-0.
• Gortarez hit a double to center field to score Hugo, who reached base on a walk, for a 6-0 lead.
• Gortarez and Lahners scored on an RBI-single off the bat of Underwood to make the score 8-0 in the bottom of the second.
• Whitmore made it 9-0 when she sent Underwood home on a double to center field in the second inning.
• Megan Baltzell (Stafford, Va) and Whitmore extend the U.S. lead to 11-0 in the second inning when they scored on a bases-loaded walk and a hit-by-pitch, respectively.
• Lahners doubled in the second inning and gave the red, white, and blue a 13-0 lead, sending Lansdell and AJ Hamilton (Tallahasee, Fla.)
• Two more runs scored for Team USA in the second inning courtesy of a bases-loaded walk and a hit-by-pitch, ending the inning at 15-0.
• The Dominican Republic put up two runs in the top of the third inning to make a 15-2 game.
• Hamilton reached base on an error by the first baseman to lead off the bottom of the third inning and scored on a fielder's choice by Hugo, making the score 16-2.
• A fielders choice and a single by Hugo and Landsell put runners on first and second for Lahners, who cleared the bases with a three-run homer over the left field wall in the bottom fo the third, allowing Team USA to end the game due to the run rule.

Notables

• Kylee Lahners (3-for-3) and Malaika Underwood (2-for-3) both had multi-hit games, including Underwood's single in the first inning to give Team USA the lead and Lahners' first home run of the tournament that gave the U.S. its final three runs of the game.
• Brittany Schutte was the winning pitcher for Team USA, starting on the bump and scattering three hits while striking out three batters.
• Kylee Lahners leads the U.S. offensively through the first two games, hitting .833 (5-for-6) with a single, three doubles, a home run and nine 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 Tuesday, August 20 against Nicaragua at 12 p.m. CT at the Estadio de Beisbol Alberto Romo Chavez in Aguascalientes, Mexico. 

Social Media

• Stay tuned to @USABaseballWNT on Twitter and visit USABaseball.com for the most up-to-date news about the 2019 USA Baseball Women's National Team.

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NTIS

Southwest Stars Defeat Southwest Stripes 2-1, Win 12U NTIS Champions Cup Gold Medal Game

Petrossi leads Stars to victory with two-run RBI-double
August 18, 2019

CARY, N.C. - The Southwest Stars' Patrick Petrossi hit a two-run RBI-double in the top of the third to give his team a lead they would not relinquish, as they defeated the Southwest Stripes 2-1 on Sunday at Thomas Brooks Park in Cary, North Carolina. 

John Short (Anaheim, Calif.) was impressive on the mound Southwest Stars, going the distance and giving up just one run in the seventh inning. 

"With John [Short] on the mound, he really kept us in the game. He threw phenomenally. He really just had a great tournament," said Southwest Stars head coach Shane Schumaker. 

Both teams struggled at the plate for most of the game. Petrossi attributed his success on offense to putting in extra practice before the game.

"It felt great to hit that double. I was working on my hitting before the game and I think that is what helped me today," said Petrossi. "We all believed in ourselves. We played really well together and I hope I can play with these guys again someday."

In the bottom of the seventh and with one out recorded, Isaac Rojas (Riverside, Calif.) came up big for the Southwest Stripes with a clutch RBI-double to score his teams only run of the game. 

The Southwest Stars third baseman, Miles Layton (Sandy, Utah), would respond with two back-to-back spectacular plays on the corner to close out the game.

"The only thing going through my head was to knock the ball down and stop that run from reaching home, and get the ball to first as quickly as I could," said Layton. "It feels amazing [to win a gold medal] and so cool to even be here. But to make it to this point and then to win, it is just a really cool feeling."

Coach Schumaker was proud of his teams effort in the gold medal game and believes that the bond they built together is what helped them become champions. 

"The comradery between our team was what helped us the most. We were having a good time. The players were always smiling and having fun. Win or lose, we were going to have that experience together. Baseball is such a small world and I think they will continue to have these close relationships. That is what USA Baseball gave to these players."

Key Moments:

• In the top of the second and with two runners on, Southwest Stars' Patrick Petrossi hit a two-run RBI-double down the first baseline to score the first runs of the game.
• In the bottom of the third, Southwest Stars center fielder, Bo Lowrance (Salt Lake City, Utah), fielded a line-drive and made the throw to first to get the out.
• In the bottom of the seventh, Southwest Stripes' Isaac Rojas hit an RBI-double to bring his team within one run, making the score 2-1.
• With the game-tying run on third base in the bottom of the seventh, Southwest Stars third basemen Miles Layton made back-to-back impressive defensive plays that would hold the runner and secure a victory.

Up Next:

The National Team Identification Series Champions Cup will continue next weekend, August 23-25, as the 15U and 16U age groups come to town.

Social Media:

Continue to follow @USABaseballNTIS on Twitter and visit USABaseball.com for the most up-to-date news about the National Team Identification Series.

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NTIS

Dritz Leads Southwest Stars to 14U NTIS Champions Cup Gold Medal After 1-0 Win Over Southeast Stars

Dritz allowed just three hits in the complete game effort
August 18, 2019

CARY, N.C. - Braylen Dritz threw a complete game shutout to lead the Southwest Stars to the 14U National Team Identification Series Champions cup gold medal Sunday morning after defeating Southeast Stars 1-0 at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina.

Dritz was dominant on the mound in the gold medal game, allowing just one hit through the first five innings. He allowed just four base runners in total while striking out three in the complete game effort.

"[Dritz] went out there and dealt," said Southwest Stars head coach Kerry Kincaid. "He experienced very little trouble all game… I am proud of that kid. Today, he was outstanding."

Osnel Rojas was called on to start for the Southeast Stars, tossing 3.1 scoreless innings while striking out six. He was relieved out of the bullpen by Christian Rodriguez, who threw 3.2 innings, striking out four and allowing the only run of the ballgame. Rodriguez (0-1) was the losing pitcher while Dritz (1-0) earned the win.

Both teams were scoreless heading into the sixth, but Logan de Groot hit a single to right to drive in Jaydon Kea in the bottom of the sixth, scoring the only run of the ballgame and giving the Southwest Stars a 1-0 lead. With the lead, Dritz came back out in the seventh to finish the game and did just that, securing the gold medal for the Southwest Stars.

"They all played hard," said Kincaid. "They gave me one hundred percent the entire time. It has just been such an amazing and incredible opportunity to meet kids from the west that I have never met before. It was a fun experience." 

Continue to follow @USABaseballNTIS on Twitter and visit USABaseball.com for the most up-to-date news about the National Team Identification Series.

Key Moments:

• Southwest Stars threatened with the bases loaded in the first, but Southeast Stars starting pitcher Osnel Rojas recorded a strikeout to end the inning and keep the game tied at zero.
• With Southwest runners on first and second and one away, Rojas forced a groundball to the third baseman who stepped on third and threw to first to record the double-play, keeping the score at 0-0 in the third.
• Logan de Groot hit a single to right to drive in Jaydon Kea in the sixth inning, scoring the only run of the ballgame and giving the Southwest Stars a 1-0 lead.
• With the Southeast Stars batting and the tying run on third with just one away, a fly-ball was hit to Southwest Stars' right fielder Ricky Smith, who caught the ball and proceeded to gun the runner at the plate, securing the 1-0 victory for the Southwest Stars.

Up Next:

The National Team Identification Series Champions Cup will continue next weekend, August 23-25, as the 15U and 16U age groups come to town.

Social Media:

Continue to follow @USABaseballNTIS on Twitter and visit USABaseball.com for the most up-to-date news about the National Team Identification Series.

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18U

USA Baseball Announces 2019 18U National Team Roster

Twenty-man roster will compete in WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup August 30-September 8
August 18, 2019

FULLERTON, Calif. - USA Baseball announced the 2019 18U National Team on Saturday, following the conclusion of the 2019 18U National Team Trials. The final 20-man roster will compete in the 2019 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-18 Baseball World Cup in Gijang, South Korea, August 30-September 8.

The 18U National Team will be playing for a record-fifth consecutive WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup gold medal after winning the last four events in 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2017. The program has won eight straight international tournament titles dating back to 2011.

"We are really excited about the twenty players that we have just chosen for this year's 18U National Team," said 2019 18U National Team Manager Jack Leggett. "It's been a great trial period with a great group of kids that has worked extremely hard. The decisions were really tough, but we feel like the twenty that we have now show us a lot of versatility, a lot of talent and a lot of really good attitudes, so we are really looking forward to competing for a world championship."

Five members of the 2019 18U National Team have suited up for the red, white and blue previously, including Pete Crow-Armstrong (Sherman Oaks, Calif.) who has been named to his fourth national team. Crow-Armstrong, Max Rajcic (Fullerton, Calif.) and Drew Romo (Spring, Texas) return to the 18U National Team for the second consecutive year after winning a gold medal with the program at the 2018 COPABE U-18 Pan-American Championships.

Additionally, Crow-Armstrong, Lucas Gordon (Los Angeles, Calif.) and Alejandro Rosario (Miami, Fla.) were teammates on the 2017 15U National Team that won a gold medal at the COPABE Pan Am "AA" Championships in Cartegena, Colombia.

The 20-man roster also features 10 athletes that have participated in the National Team Development Program (NTDP), including seven members of the 2018 17U NTDP.

Eleven members of this year's 18U National Team are new to USA Baseball national team programming in 2019 and were identified by participating in the inaugural 2019 Prospect Development Pipeline League (PDP) League, which serves as the primary identification event for the 18U National Team. In total, 18 members of the final roster participated in the PDP League this summer at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.

American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) Hall of Famer Jack Leggett, who guided the 18U National Team to the program's eighth consecutive gold medal in 2018, returns to lead Team USA in 2019. He is joined on staff by the pitching coach, Scott Bankhead, and assistant coaches Gerald Laird and Gregg Ritchie.

The 2019 18U National Team will begin training in Fullerton, California, from August 18-21 before traveling to Taichung, Taiwan, to continue training with three friendlies against Chinese Taipei from August 24-27. Team USA will then open play in the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup against South Africa on Friday, August 30, at 6 a.m. ET in Gijang, South Korea.

For more information on the 18U National Team, follow on Twitter at @USABaseball18U.

2019 18U National Team
(Name; Position; Hometown)

^Mick Abel; RHP; Portland, Ore.
^Jack Bulger; C/OF; Bowie, Md.
*^Pete Crow-Armstrong; OF; Sherman Oaks, Calif.
*^Lucas Gordon; LHP; Los Angeles, Calif.
^Hunter Haas; IF; Phoenix, Ariz.
Colby Halter; UTL; Jacksonville, Fla.
Kyle Harrison; LHP; Danville, Calif.
Robert Hassell; OF/LHP; Franklin, Tenn.
^Austin Hendrick; OF; Pittsburgh, Pa.
Ben Hernandez; RHP; Chicago, Ill.
Ed Howard; IF; Chicago, Ill.
^Nolan McLean; UTL/RHP; Willow Spring, N.C.
*^Max Rajcic; RHP; Fullerton, Calif.
*^Drew Romo; C; Spring, Texas
*^Alejandro Rosario; RHP; Miami, Fla.
Jason Savacool; RHP; Syracuse, N.Y.
Nate Savino; LHP; Sterling, Va.
Tyler Soderstrom; C; Turlock, Calif.
Milan Tolentino; IF; Mission Viejo, Calif.
AJ Vukovich; IF/OF; Mukwonago, Wis.

*Denotes National Team alum
^Denotes National Team Development Program participant

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WNT

Team USA Dominates Venezuela 15-5

Two home runs aided Team USA in the Sunday morning victory
August 18, 2019
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
VEN 2 0 1 0 2 0 x 5 9 0
USA 0 1 0 1 1 11 1 15 13 2
Win: J. Mackay Loss: A. Jedemeza Save: None
Box Score | Play-by-Play | COPABE Stats
 

AGUASCALIENTES, Mexico - The USA Baseball Women's National Team opened up the 2019 COPABE Women's Pan-American Championships in a 15-5 walk-off victory over Venezuela with the help of two home runs on Sunday at Parque Deportivo Ferrocarrilero in Aguascalientes, Mexico. 

The U.S. trailed 5-4 when the team pushed 11 runs across in the bottom of the sixth inning to catapult them to a game one win. The final run was scored by Kylee Lahners (Laguna Hills, Calif.) who reached home on a walk-off single by Malaika Underwood (San Diego, Calif). 

Five U.S. batters finished the day with multi-hit performances, including Alex Hugo (Olathe, Kan.), Lahners, Jade Gortarez (Riverside, Calif.), Underwood and Kelsie Whitmore (Temecula, Calif.).

Megan Baltzell (Stafford, Va.) and Hugo sent Team USA's first two home runs of the tournament over the right field and left field walls, respectively. Baltzell's blast put the U.S. on the board in the second inning and Hugo's homer was a two-run shot that gave the team its first lead of the game. 

Marti Semetelli (West Newton, Mass.) started on the bump for the red, white, and blue, allowing five runs on eight hits while striking out one batter. Jamie Mackay (Newport Beach, Calif) came in as relief and notched the win, giving up just one hit and no runs in her one inning of action. Angelina Jedemeza suffered the loss for Venezuela. 

Key Moments

• Venezuela took an early lead in the top of the first inning, scoring two runs on three hits.
• Baltzell sent Team USA's first home run over the right field wall to cut the deficit in half 2-1 in the second inning.
• Venezuela put up one more run in the top of the third, extending its lead to 3-1.
• Underwood led off the bottom of the fourth with a single to right field and reached third base on a double steal before scoring on a Whitmore singled through the right side making the score 3-2.
• Venezuela continued to score against the U.S. pitching staff, taking a 5-2 lead in the top of the fifth.
• Hugo and Lahners led of the bottom of the fifth with a walk and a double, respectively, and scored on a Gortarez single, putting the game at 5-4.
• Anna Kimbrell (Fort Mill, S.C.) hit a lead-off single to left in the bottom of the sixth and Hugo followed with a two-run shot over the left field wall to give Team USA its first lead of the game, 6-5.
• Lahners reached on a hit-by-pitch, Gortarez followed with a double to left field, and Underwood was walked to load the bases for Baltzell. Lahners scored when Venezuela chose to intentionally walk Baltzell, giving the U.S. a 7-5 lead in the bottom of the sixth.
• Whitmore stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and sent Gortarez home with a single to center field for an 8-5 in the bottom of the sixth.
• Kimbrell was walked with the bases loaded, allowing Underwood to cross the plate and give Team USA a 9-5 lead in the bottom of the sixth, and Lansdell also picked up an RBI-walk to score Baltzell, extending the U.S. lead to 10-5.
• Hugo collected her third hit of the game with a single up the middle that moved Kimbrell and Whitmore across the plate, putting Team USA up 12-5 in the bottom of the sixth.
• Lahners doubled to left center field in her second at-bat of the sixth inning, scoring Hugo and Lansdell to make it a 14-5 ball-game.
• Underwood ended the game with a walk-off single to right field that scored Lahners and gave Team USA a 15-5 run-rule victory in the sixth inning.

Notable Information

• Five U.S. batters finished the day with multi-hit performances, including Alex Hugo (3-for-4), Kylee Lahners (2-for-3), Jade Gortarez (2-for-4), Malaika Underwood (2-for-4) and Kelsie Whitmore (2-for-4).
• Jamie Mackay collected the win for the U.S., scattering one hit in her one inning of relief.
• Megan Baltzell and Alex Hugo each hit home runs on the contest. Baltzell's solo shot gave Team USA its first run of the game and Hugo's two-run blast gave the team its first lead at 6-5.
• Alex Hugo led the red, white, and blue offensively in game one, hitting .750 (3-for-4) with a single, a double, a home run and four RBIs in the contest.

Up Next

• The USA Baseball Women's National Team will continues action at the 2019 COPABE Women's Pan-American Championships on Monday, August 19 against the Dominican Republic immediately following the completion of the opening ceremony at the Parque Deportivo Ferrocarrilero in Aguascalientes, Mexico. Stay tuned to social media for an updated start time.

Social Media

• Stay tuned to @USABaseballWNT on Twitter and visit USABaseball.com for the most up-to-date news about the 2019 USA Baseball Women's National Team.

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