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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12U

USA Baseball Announces 2019 12U National Team Staff

Five-time national team coach Todd Fine will reprise role as manager in 2019
January 16, 2019

DURHAM, N.C. - USA Baseball announced the 2019 12U National Team staff on Thursday, including the return of Todd Fine as the manager for the second year in a row. The rest of the 2018 staff will also return to the program in 2019 with Jason Sekany as the team's pitching coach and RJ Farrell and Marc Wiese once again serving as assistant coaches.

After leading the 2018 12U National Team to its first-ever COPABE U-12 Pan-American Championships gold medal, the staff will look to guide this year's team to the program's fourth-consecutive world championship title at the 2019 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-12 Baseball World Cup.

"We are honored to welcome back Todd and the rest of last year's staff to lead the 2019 12U National Team," USA Baseball Executive Director and CEO Paul Seiler said. "This is an extremely talented group of coaches and, after leading the team to its first-ever COPABE U-12 Pan-American Championships gold medal last year, we are excited to see what new heights these coaches will take our 12U National Team to in 2019."

Last year's team went undefeated under Fine's guidance, outscoring its opponents 127-7 and winning all nine of its games by a 13-run average margin of victory en route to the gold medal.

In addition to managing the 2018 squad, Fine also served as the 12U National Team pitching coach from 2014-2017. The program claimed two world championships and two silver medals while the pitching staffs held a cumulative ERA of 3.21 and an overall record of 30-5.

Fine has also coached at the USA Baseball Tournament of Stars and the 18U National Team Trials in his time with the organization. He is the founder and CEO of Top Tier Baseball based out of Chicago, Illinois. Under his guidance, Top Tier Baseball has had over 500 college baseball players, 63 Major League Baseball draft selections and nine MLB alums.

"It is a great honor to be the first back-to-back 12U manager," Fine said. "Anytime you are the three-time defending champions, having beaten the host country the last two times; there will be a huge target on our backs. The crowd intensity of 11,000 host fans chanting the entire game, the media coverage and the moment itself does not get bigger for an 11 or 12-year-old kid."

Sekany returns to the 12U National Team coaching staff in 2018 where he will serve as the team's pitching coach for the second year in a row. He was an assistant coach for the inaugural 2013 and 2015 12U National Teams that won a gold medal at the IBAF U-12 Baseball World Cups and has served on the task force at the USA Baseball National Team Identification Series (NTIS) and Tournament of Stars. A second-round selection by the Boston Red Sox in the 1996 MLB Amateur Draft, Sekany is the founder and lead pitching instructor at The Pitching Center in Pleasanton, California, and a varsity coach at Granada High School (Livermore, Calif.). In addition to his responsibilities at The Pitching Center and Granada High School, he is also the Northwest regional director for the NTIS.

2019 marks Farrell's third consecutive year serving as an assistant coach for the 12U National Team. He is in his seventh year as the head coach at Rancho Cucamonga High School (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) where 23 of his players have gone on to play collegiate baseball. Prior to coaching at Rancho Cucamonga High School, he was an associate head coach and recruiting coordinator at Patten University (Oakland, Calif.) from 2006-2008. He has worked with USA Baseball at the 11U NTIS, 12U National Open and the USA Baseball Futures Invitational, and also served as a 12U National Team Trials coach in 2016.

After making his national team coaching debut with the 12U National Team in 2018, Wiese returns to the staff for a second year. Previously, he served on coaching staffs at the 2016 and 2017 12U National Team Trials, and the 2015 17U National Team Development Program. He is the current head coach at Puyallup High School (Puyallup, Wash.) and has led the Vikings to 11 straight South Puget Sound League titles and two state championships (2014, 2017). Wiese, who was drafted in the 1987 MLB First Year Player Draft by the New York Mets, also led Puyallup High School to the 2015 USA Baseball National High School Invitational, finishing with a 3-1 record and outscoring its opponents 20-6.

"This is a testament to the strength of last year's staff and the continuity of a common goal," Fine said. "Having the comfort level with these coaches is as good as it gets. Being on the same wavelength and knowing what to expect from one another is something that doesn't happen overnight. I am extremely excited to continue what we started last year as we look toward bringing home the program's fourth world championship title in a row."

The 12U athlete identification process began with the 2018 11U NTIS and will continue with the 2019 11U Futures Invitational June 20-23 at Middle Creek Park in Cary, North Carolina, as well as the new 12U NTIS.

Held in various locations throughout the country, the 12U NTIS will offer athletes across the U.S. the opportunity to become involved with Team USA, while providing instruction, evaluation and fun. Players from the 12U NTIS will be recommended to USA Baseball officials and, from those recommendations, USA Baseball will invite 128 players to participate in the 12U National Open, which will take place July 13-15 in Santa Clarita, California.

The 12U National Team Trials will be held immediately after the 12U National Open from June 16-18, followed by training July 19-22 before the team travels to Tainan, Taiwan for the 2019 WBSC U-12 Baseball World Cup that will take place July 26-August 4.

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

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14U NTDP
15U
WNT
18U
CNT

2018 USA Baseball Award Winners Announced

Collegiate National Team member Adley Rutschman named Richard W. "Dick" Case Award winner
January 11, 2019

DURHAM, N.C. - USA Baseball announced the recipients of its annual organizational awards on Friday, recognizing the top athletes, coaches and performances from the 2018 USA Baseball national teams. Collegiate National Team member Adley Rutschman (Sherwood, Ore.) was named the Richard W. "Dick" Case Award winner, becoming the 12th Collegiate National Team member to earn athlete of the year honors. The award is given annually to USA Baseball's top player in honor of the organization's founding Executive Director and CEO.

Collegiate National Team manager Paul Mainieri earned the program's second award of the year when he was named the Rod Dedeaux Coach of the Year. USA Baseball also recognized the 15U National Team with two awards in 2018, including Team of the Year and naming Manager Jason Maxwell the Developmental Coach of the Year after the team won its first-ever world championship at the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-15 Baseball World Cup.

18U National Team member Bobby Witt Jr. (Colleyville, Texas) was honored with the International Performance of the Year Award for his strong showing in the COPABE U-18 Pan-American Championships gold medal game, while Women's National Team member Megan Baltzell (Stafford, Va.) took home the Sportswoman of the Year Award following an exceptional performance in the 2018 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Women's Baseball World Cup.

Lastly, Karsten Whitson was named the Volunteer Coach of the Year after serving as a pitching coach at the 2018 14U National Team Development Program.

"We are excited to celebrate the people and performances that made 2018 another outstanding year for USA Baseball," USA Baseball Executive Director and CEO Paul Seiler said. "It is an honor to be represented by coaches, athletes and staff that are such exceptional global ambassadors for our country and the game of baseball on the international stage. We are extremely proud to recognize their 2018 accomplishments with these awards."

USA Baseball continued its incredible success against international competition in 2018, finishing the year with gold medals at the COPABE U-12 Pan-American Championships, WBSC U-15 Baseball World Cup and the COPABE U-18 Pan-American Championships. After winning the WBSC U-15 World Cup, Team USA is now the defending world champions for all three youth age levels. The Collegiate National Team also built on its 2017 success when it once again won all three of its international friendship series against Chinese Taipei, Japan and Cuba in 2018

Rutschman was awarded the Richard W. "Dick" Case Award following a strong summer showing for the Collegiate National Team. He joined Team USA after winning the 2018 NCAA College World Series with Oregon State and was immediately a leader both on and off the field. He paced the team in batting average (.355), slugging percentage (.516) and on-base percentage (.432), and also finished the summer leading the squad in doubles with five in nine games.

In addition, Rutschman personified the off-field qualities that the Richard W. "Dick" Case Award honors. The catcher was the quintessential teammate and an undisputed leader in the clubhouse while also exemplifying sportsmanship and love of the game throughout the summer.

Mainieri was named the Rod Dedeaux Coach of the Year after leading the Collegiate National Team to series wins over Chinese Taipei, Japan and Cuba for the second year in a row. Under his guidance, Team USA started its summer undefeated against international competition with a five-game sweep of Chinese Taipei and finished with a 11-3 record. The series win against Cuba marked its fourth in a row in the annual series and was just the second time in Collegiate National Team history that Team USA has claimed a series win on Cuban soil.

USA Baseball's Team of the Year award was given to the 15U National Team after it won its first-ever world championship with a 7-1 gold medal-game victory over Panama at the 2018 WBSC U-15 Baseball World Cup. The team finished the tournament with an 8-1 record, a .323 batting average, 69 RBI, 17 doubles, five triples and three home runs while outscoring opponents 88-13 en route to the gold medal. In addition, the pitching staff tallied a collective team ERA of 1.24 over 58.0 innings and four players were named to the WBSC U-15 Baseball World Cup All-World Team. Maxwell's tutelage, leadership and guidance of the squad as this year's manager led to him being named the 2018 Developmental Coach of the Year.

"Jason Maxwell has been an asset to USA Baseball for many years and he brought an impressive amount of leadership and expertise to the 2018 15U National Team," Seiler said. "His ability to develop and guide these young players to new heights was evident and the team's journey to the program's first world championship was impressive to watch. We couldn't be happier to honor him and this year's team with these awards."

Witt Jr. earned the 2018 International Performance of the Year Award after hitting for a natural cycle in the COPABE U-18 Pan-American Championships gold medal game. The Colleyville, Texas, native hit a single in the second, an RBI-double in the third, a lead-off triple in the fourth and completed the cycle with a two-run home run in the fifth to lead the red, white and blue's offense in the 17-2 defeat of Panama. Following the game, Witt Jr. was named the tournament MVP and also picked up the best slugger and highest batting average awards after hitting .576 with three doubles, three triples, three home runs and 18 RBI in nine games.

Two-time Women's National Team alum Baltzell was named Sportswoman of the Year after hitting a team-high .500 in the 2018 WBSC Women's Baseball World Cup and leading 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 in 2018. In addition to being named to the All-World Team following the event's conclusion, Baltzell also won two individual awards for her stellar 2018 performance, taking home the hardware for most home runs (2) and most RBI (10).

Lastly, Karsten Whitson, who won a gold medal as a player on the 2009 18U National Team, was named the 2018 Volunteer Coach of the Year after serving as a pitching coach for the 14U National Team Development Program's Stars team. The pitching staff thrived under Whitson, combining for 16 strikeouts in the three-game series. Six of those pitchers were invited to the 15U National Team Trials and one - Karson Bowen - was named to the 2018 15U National Team.

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

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Scott Brosius Named Senior Director of Player Development

A three-time World Series champion, Brosius will lead the development of on-field player programming for national teams
January 3, 2019

DURHAM, N.C. - USA Baseball announced the hiring of Scott Brosius as its Senior Director of Player Development on Thursday. A three-time World Series champion and former World Series MVP with the New York Yankees, he will serve as the organizational lead in the development of on-field programming for its six national teams and three national team development programs, as well as producing curriculum related to player development that will be available as part of USA Baseball's educational resources.

Brosius will also serve as the Field Coordinator at the Prospect Development Pipeline League, the new premier development and showcase experience for high school draft prospects announced by Major League Baseball and USA Baseball in November.

"The creation of this new position within the organization marks a significant step in USA Baseball's commitment to player development," said Rick Riccobono, USA Baseball's Chief Development Officer. "We could not be more excited to be welcoming Scott back to the USA Baseball family. His resume of sustained success at the highest levels of our game will be impactful to our athletes and coaches alike. From the newly created PDP League to working with our national teams, Scott will be central in preparing our players for the next steps in their careers."

"I am extremely excited to join USA Baseball. The two years I spent as coach of the 18U team were unforgettable, and the opportunity to join the organization in this role was something I couldn't pass up," said Brosius. "Along with the amazing honor of representing our country, our players will be provided with the most advanced training and technology available to aid in their development. Beyond our goal of winning gold medals, we want to equip our players to be great collegians and professionals both on and off the field."

Brosius was most recently an assistant coach and the third base coach for the Seattle Mariners in 2017 and 2018, respectively. Prior to his tenure coaching at the Major League level, he spent one season as the hitting coach for the Tacoma Rainiers, the AAA-affiliate of the Mariners, and 15 years coaching at his alma mater, Linfield College (McMinnville, Ore.). He joined the Wildcats' coaching staff as an assistant coach in 2002 and was later named head coach in 2008. In his eight years at the helm of the program, he led Linfield to the 2013 NCAA Division III National Championship and held a 270-96 overall record.

Brosius was twice named the manager of the USA Baseball 18U National Team, where he managed Team USA to gold medals in 2011 and 2012, a world championship title and a combined 16-2 overall record. He was recognized as the 2011 and 2012 USA Baseball Rod Dedeaux Coach of the Year, presented annually to the coach who expects excellence out of their players and strives for them to better themselves on and off the field. Brosius joins Davey Johnson (2005, 2006, 2007) as one of only two former national team managers to earn multiple Coach of the Year honors from USA Baseball.

Drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 1987 Amateur Draft, Brosius spent 11 years in the Major Leagues with the A's and the New York Yankees. He was named an All-Star after his first season in the Bronx in 1998 and earned a Gold Glove (3B) in 1999. Brosius was a part of three consecutive World Series championship teams with the Yankees from 1998-2000 and earned MVP honors in the 1998 World Series where he hit .471 with six RBIs and two home runs.

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

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NTIS

USA Baseball Announces Modifications to National Team Identification Series

The National Team Identification Series will now feature six regions
December 12, 2018

USA Baseball National Team Identification Series Homepage

DURHAM, N.C. - USA Baseball announced modifications to its National Team Identification Series (NTIS) on Wednesday. Beginning in 2019, the NTIS will operate under a new infrastructure that features six total regions spanning the United States and the introduction of a 12-and-under age group to the program. Subsequently, the 17-and-under age group has been removed from the NTIS.

The NTIS continues to be the most comprehensive national team identification program offered by USA Baseball. Launched in 2009, the program was created to provide all athletes from across the United States an opportunity to compete for a spot on a USA Baseball national team.

Player identification in the NTIS begins at the local level, where athletes attend camps and tryouts in their designated region. Every region will name 32 athletes from each of the 11U, 12U and 13U age groups, and 36 athletes from each of the 14U, 15U and 16U age groups, to two All-Region teams that will participate in the NTIS Champions Cup at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina.

The culminating event will feature 12 teams per age group and athletes will participate in workouts and a championship-style tournament while being evaluated by national team coaches and scouts. Following the Champions Cup, USA Baseball will invite a minimum of 72 athletes to national team and National Team Development Program (NTDP) events in the subsequent calendar year.

"As participation in youth baseball continues to rise, it is our duty to adapt and modernize USA Baseball initiatives to fit the ever-changing youth baseball landscape," said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball's Executive Director and CEO. "Our National Team Identification Series continues to be our most inclusive athlete identification process and we are confident these modifications will continue to serve USA Baseball, its national teams and athletes with an unrivaled standard of excellence."

Formerly comprised of 16 regions, the NTIS will now utilize a six-region system for the initial player identification process. The six regions consist of the Midwest, Northeast, Northwest, South, Southeast and Southwest.

All six NTIS regions will be managed and operated by a USA Baseball-appointed Regional Director. Each Regional Director is responsible for the planning and execution of the player identification process for their assigned region(s), and will ultimately name the All-Region teams that will move on to the NTIS Champions Cup. The USA Baseball regional directors for 2019 are Rich Janor (Midwest), Andy Rojo (South, Southwest), Jeff Schaefer (Northeast, Southeast) and Jason Sekany (Northwest).

"USA Baseball Regional Directors play a vital role in the overall success of the National Team Identification Series and USA Baseball national teams," said Ashley Bratcher, Senior Director of Baseball Operations. "These individuals are responsible for finding the very best athletes from every corner of the country to represent Team USA in international competitions around the world. USA Baseball can attribute a great deal of its recent international successes to the contributions of our regional directors."

The 12-and-under age group will debut in the NTIS program in 2019 and will serve as an identification event for the present year's USA Baseball 12U National Team, in addition to being a once-in-a-lifetime development and scouting exposure opportunity for athletes at this age level. USA Baseball regional directors will select 15 12U internationally-age-eligible athletes from each region to compete in the USA Baseball National Open in California, where the 12U National Team coaching staff will invite a minimum of 15 athletes to participate in national team trials.

"We are excited to introduce the twelve-and-under age group to our National Team Identification Series program this year," continued Bratcher. "The twelve-and-under age group is afforded a truly unique experience as they are the only age group in the entire National Team Identification Series program that are eligible for an immediate national team opportunity in the current calendar year."

Lastly, the 17-and-under age group has been eliminated from the NTIS program going forward. For information on the identification process for the 18U National Team, please visit USABaseball.com.

The 2019 NTIS identification process will begin at various times across all six regions after the new year. Information on regional camps and tryouts, as well as contact information for the regional directors, can be found at USABaseballNTIS.com.

Athletes selected to their All-Region team will participate in the 2019 NTIS Champions Cup at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina, from August 7-25. The age group pairing and dates are as follows:

11U and 13U NTIS Champions Cup: August 7-11
12U and 14U NTIS Champions Cup: August 14-18
15U and 16U NTIS Champions Cup: August 21-25

For more information on the USA Baseball NTIS, open region camps and tryouts, and the most up-to-date news and information about the NTIS, follow @USABaseballNTIS on Twitter.

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18U

Team USA Captures Gold, Defeats Panama 17-2

December 3, 2018
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Panama 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 2 3 3
Team USA 0 1 9 2 2 3 0 0 X 17 191 1
Win: J. Leiter Loss: J. Callabero  
Box Score | Play-by-Play | Cumulative Stats

CHITRE, Panama - Bobby Witt Jr. (Colleyville, Texas) hit for the cycle and Jack Leiter (Summit, N.J.) was masterful on the mound as Team USA (9-0) defeated Panama 17-2 in the gold medal game of the 2018 COPABE U-18 Pan-American Championship on Sunday at Rico Cedeno Stadium.

The victory marked the fifth consecutive COPABE U-18 Pan-American championship for the stars and stripes and is the eighth-straight gold medal for the USA Baseball 18U National Team in international competitions dating back to 2011.

The U.S. also clinched its spot in the 2019 World Baseball Softball Confederation U-18 Baseball World Cup. Team USA is the four-time defending world champion.

Starting pitcher Leiter set the tone in the gold medal game from the very first pitch for the red, white and blue, striking out five of the first six batters he faced in the first two innings. Leiter (2-0) dominated on the mound, earning the victory and striking out nine batters in his four innings of work.

Offensively, Witt Jr. was the catalyst for the U.S. He kick-started the offense in the bottom of the second inning, collecting a single to centerfield and later scored the first run of the game on two Panama throwing errors.

The stars and stripes blew the game wide open in the third, scoring nine runs on nine hits to give the team a commanding 10-0 lead. Anthony Volpe (Watchung, N.J.) knocked in C.J. Abrams (Alpharetta, Ga.) with an RBI-single for first run of the frame and Riley Greene (Oviedo, Fla.) followed with one of his own in the very next at-bat, extending the lead to three and forcing a Panama pitching change.

Witt Jr. then roped an RBI-double to center to score Volpe from third base and Tyler Callihan (Neptune Beach, Fla.) and C.J. Abrams (Alpharetta, Ga.) both hit RBI-singles to put the U.S. ahead 7-0. Corbin Carroll (Seattle, Wash.) then delivered the big blow in the inning, hitting a two-out, three-run homer to right-centerfield to give Team USA a 10-run advantage.

The stars and stripes scored another two runs in the fourth and fifth innings. Witt Jr. once again got the offense started, leading off the fourth with a triple to left field, and later scored on a groundout by Callihan. Yohandy Morales (Miami, Fla.) then followed with his second home run of the tournament. Witt Jr. completed the cycle in the bottom of the fifth inning with a two-RBI home run to left field, giving the U.S. a 14-0 lead after five.

Team USA scored its last three runs of the game in the bottom of the sixth thanks to a two-RBI double by Pete Crow-Armstrong (Sherman Oaks, Calif.) and Carroll's fourth RBI of the day on a groundout to the first baseman for a 17-1 lead.

Panama scratched another run across the plate in the top of the ninth inning for the final score of 17-2. Collectively, the U.S. pitching staff struck out 14 batters on the day and surrendered just three hits and one earned run.

The U.S. squad was dominant offensively throughout the tournament, outscoring its opponents 131-27 in nine games. The 131 runs scored is the most an 18U National Team has ever scored in an international tournament.

Witt Jr. was named the tournament MVP and he also picked up the best slugger and highest batting average awards after hitting .576 with three doubles, three triples, three home runs and 18 RBI in nine games. In addition to Witt Jr.'s honors, six members of the stars and stripes brought home extra hardware. Carroll received the honor for most stolen bases, Greene received awards for the most RBI and home runs, while Volpe earned the award for most runs scored.

Abrams (CF), Callihan (1B), Drew Romo (The Woodlands, Texas) (C) and Volpe (2B) also earned spots on the all-tournament team.

Continue to follow @USABaseball18U on Twitter and visit USABaseball.com for the most up-to-date news about the 18U National Team.

QUOTES
USA Baseball 18U National Team Manager Jack Leggett
(On winning the U-18 Pan-American Championship)
"I'm really proud of the way we played. We did all of the things we needed to do to win. We pitched extremely well and had timely hits. We really swung the bats as well as I have ever seen. We played great defense and ran the bases extremely aggressively. I'm just proud to be their coach and we showed what USA Baseball is all about. We were head and shoulders above the others. Proud of how we finished out the tournament."

USA Baseball 18U National Team Director Matt Blood
(On winning the U-18 Pan-American Championship)
"I'm really proud of this team and what we accomplished this year. We overcame some hurdles to get where we are, but the guys played really hard and played the game the right way. We scored a lot of runs and they made a pretty strong statement this year. I am proud of what they accomplished."

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18U

Team USA Concludes Super Round With Win

December 1, 2018
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Nicaragua  0 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 3 9 1
Team USA 2 0 4 2 1 0 2 1 X 12 10 0
Win: B. Malone Loss: H. Carrasco 
Box Score | Play-by-play

CHITRE, Panama - Team USA used six home runs to power past Nicaragua 12-3 as the squad wrapped up Super Round play at the COPABE U-18 Pan-American Championships on Saturday at Rico Cedeno Stadium in Chitre, Panama.

With the win, the team improved to 8-0 overall in the tournament and 5-0 in Super Round play.

Team USA got off to a fast start as Riley Greene (Oviedo, Fla.) hit a two-RBI home run in the first inning to give the U.S. a 2-0 lead.

Nicaragua answered in the top of the third to cut the lead to one before the stars and stripes busted the game wide open in the bottom half. With runners on second and third, Corbin Carroll (Seattle, Wash.) hit the team's second homer of the game. Two batters later, Greene knocked his second dinger of the day to extend the lead to 6-1.

In the fourth, Dylan Crews (Longwood, Fla.) joined the action with a two-RBI homer of his own to give Team USA an 8-1 lead. Another solo shot, this time by Bobby Witt Jr. (Colleyville, Texas), gave the team its fifth home run of the day and a 9-1 advantage.

Nicaragua added its second run in the sixth inning before Tyler Callihan (Neptune Beach, Fla.) hit Team USA's sixth homer of the afternoon in the bottom of the seventh.

After Nicaragua plated a run in the eighth inning, Carroll hit an RBI-triple down the right field line for the final score of 12-3.

Starting pitcher Brennan Malone (Matthews, N.C.) earned his second win of the tournament after hurling three innings and punching out three. Jared Kelley (Refugio, Texas) pitched four innings in relief, striking out two before Sammy Faltine (Richmond, Texas) came in to close the game.

Up next, the United States (8-0; 5-0) will take on the host country, Panama (7-1; 4-1), in the gold medal game of the COPABE U-18 Pan-American Championships on Sunday, December 2. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. ET at Rico Cedeno Stadium in Chitre, Panama.

Continue to follow @USABaseball18U on Twitter and visit USABaseball.com for the most up-to-date news about the 18U National Team.

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18U

Team USA Clinches Place In Gold Medal Game With Win

November 30, 2018
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Venezuela 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 5 0
Team USA 3 2 1 1 5 0 X 12 14 1
Win: R. Cornelio Loss: A. Hernandez 
Box Score | Play-by-play

CHITRE, Panama - Starting pitcher Riley Cornelio's (Monument, Colo.) solid outing on the mound pushed Team USA past Venezuela 12-1 in game three of the Super Round at the COPABE U-18 Pan-American Championships on Friday at Rico Cedeno Stadium in Chitre, Panama. The stars and stripes are now 4-0 in Super Round play.

With the win, the U.S. clinched a spot in Sunday's gold medal game and qualified for the 2019 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-18 Baseball World Cup.

Venezuela got on the board first early in the game, scoring its lone run in the top of the first. Cornelio settled in after that though, pitching five shutout innings while only allowing three hits.

Venezuela's lead didn't last long as Team USA answered with three runs of its own in the bottom half of the first. RBI singles by Anthony Volpe (Watchung, N.J.), Riley Greene (Oviedo, Fla.) and Tyler Callihan (Neptune Beach, Fla.) gave the U.S. a 3-1 lead that it never relinquished.

Two more runs came across for Team USA in the second inning when Yohandy Morales (Miami, Fla.) scored on a groundout and Volpe singled through the right side to score Pete Crow-Armstrong (Sherman Oaks, Calif.). The stars and stripes added another a run in the third inning after an RBI single from Drew Romo (The Woodlands, Texas) to extend the lead to 6-1.

In the fourth frame, Greene recorded his second RBI of the day with a single that scored Carroll to give the U.S. a 7-1 advantage. The stars and stripes then plated five runs in the fifth when Volpe notched his third and fourth RBI with a single and Witt Jr. roped a two-RBI triple before Callihan plated Witt for the final score of 12-1.

Volpe led the way offensively with four RBI and three hits. Cornelio (2-0) earned the win for his efforts on the mound while allowing just five hits and striking out three. Max Rajcic (Fullerton, Calif.) entered the game in relief in the top of the seventh and final inning to close out the game, striking out one batter.

The United States (7-0; 4-0) will wrap up the Super Round of the COPABE U-18 Pan-American Championships against Nicaragua (4-3; 1-2) on Saturday, December 1. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. ET at Rico Cedeno Stadium in Chitre, Panama.

Continue to follow @USABaseball18U on Twitter and visit USABaseball.com for the most up-to-date news about the 18U National Team.

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18U

Team USA Improves to 3-0 in Super Round

November 30, 2018
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Canada 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 2 9 4
Team USA 2 4 0 0 0 4 0 1 X 11 13 0
Win: A. Short Loss: C. O'Halloran 
Box Score | Play-by-play

CHITRE, Panama - Starting pitcher Avery Short (Indianapolis, Ind.) opened the game with six shutout innings as Team USA bested Canada 11-2 to continue Super Round play in the COPABE U-18 Pan-American Championships on Thursday at Rico Cedeno Stadium in Chitre, Panama.

With the win, the stars and stripes improved to 3-0 in the Super Round and are the lone remaining undefeated team in the tournament.

Team USA jumped out to a hot start, scoring two runs in the first inning. With the bases loaded in the bottom of the frame, Riley Greene (Oviedo, Fla.) reached base on a fielder's choice that scored C.J. Abrams (Alpharetta, Ga.) for the first run of the contest. Corbin Carroll (Seattle, Wash.) then scored on a throwing error by Canada to give the red, white and blue a 2-0 lead.

The bats stayed hot for the U.S. in the second inning as Anthony Volpe (Watchung, N.J.) hit a two-RBI single up the middle to push the lead to 4-0. Greene then hit a double down the right-field line to score Volpe, before Bobby Witt Jr. (Colleyville, Texas) hit an RBI single through the middle to extend the lead to 6-0.

The score would stay the same until the bottom of the sixth inning when Team USA added four more runs for a 10-0 advantage. With men on second and third, Pete Crow-Armstrong (Sherman Oaks, Calif.) singled to center field to clear the bases. In the next at-bat, Drew Romo (The Woodlands, Texas) capped the scoring with a two-run homer to right-center field.

With six scoreless innings of work under his belt, Short stepped on the mound in the seventh, where he pitched one out, before giving up two runs to cut the lead to 10-2. Timmy Manning (Pompano Beach, Fla.) completed the final two outs of the inning before Tyler Callihan (Neptune Beach, Fla.) closed the game with three scoreless innings of relief.

Team USA added its final run of the game in the bottom of the eighth when Crow-Armstrong scored on a wild pitch to make the final score 11-2.

Witt Jr. led the team offensively with four hits in five plate appearances on the day. A trio of players scored three runs to pace the squad, while Greene led the team with three RBI. Short (2-0) earned the win on the mound, striking out four batters on the day.

The United States (6-0; 3-0) will continue the Super Round of the COPABE U-18 Pan-American Championships against Venezuela (3-1; 1-2) on Friday, November 20. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. ET at Rico Cedeno Stadium in Chitre, Panama.  

Continue to follow @USABaseball18U on Twitter and visit USABaseball.com for the most up-to-date news about the 18U National Team.

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18U

Team USA Wins Thriller Over Panama

November 29, 2018
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Panama  0 4 0 1 0 0 3 0 0 8 11 3
Team USA 2 0 3 3 1 0 0 0 X 9 13 0
Win: R. Hawks Loss: F. Dominguez 
Box Score | Play-by-play

CHITRE, Panama - After facing its first deficit of the tournament, Team USA rallied to drop the host country Panama, 9-8 to open Super Round play of the COPABE U-18 Pan-American Championships on Wednesday at Rico Cedeno Stadium in Chitre, Panama.

Riley Greene (Oviedo, Fla.) opened the scoring when he singled through the right side as Corbin Carroll (Seattle, Wash.) crossed the plate to give Team USA a 1-0 lead. Anthony Volpe (Watchung, N.J.) then added a run after an error by Panama as the stars and stripes jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first.

The lead did not last long, however, as Panama plated four in the top of the second, prompting the U.S. to go to Ryan Hawks (Bowling Green, Kent.) out of the bullpen. With a runner at first and still no outs in the inning, Hawks forced a double play and a grounder to end the inning.

With Team USA facing its first deficit of the tournament, it scored three runs in the bottom of the third to regain the lead 5-4. Bobby Witt Jr. (Colleyville, Texas) drove in the first run of the inning with an RBI-double to right field. In the next at-bat, Tyler Callihan (Neptune Beach, Fla.) reached on an error as Witt Jr. scored to even the game. Drew Romo (The Woodlands, Texas) followed with an RBI-single to right field to retake the lead. 

After Panama scored a run in the fourth to tie the game, Team USA added three runs in the home half of the inning to regain its advantage. Greene continued his hot streak with an RBI-double to the right side to plate Carroll. With the bases loaded, the stars and stripes scored two more runs on a hit by pitch and a walk to take the lead, 8-5.

The red, white and blue added its final run of the game when Carroll hit a no-doubt home run in the bottom of the fifth to extend the lead to 9-5. 

In the seventh, Panama trimmed the lead to 9-8 and forced a U.S. pitching change. Jacob Meador (Burleson, Texas) came into the game to relieve Hawks and was stellar in his three innings of relief, earning the save while striking out four. With the Panamanian crowd buzzing in the top of the ninth as the game-tying runner at the plate, Meador sat Panama down in order to end the game.

For his efforts, Hawks (1-0) earned the win on the mound, striking out two batters in five innings pitched. All nine batters earned a hit in the contest for Team USA, while four players led the team with two apiece. Carroll paced the team with three runs scored on the day. 

The United States (5-0) will continue the Super Round of the COPABE U-18 Pan-American Championships against Canada (4-1) on Thursday, November 29. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. ET at Rico Cedeno Stadium in Chitre, Panama.  

Continue to follow @USABaseball18U on Twitter and visit USABaseball.com for the most up-to-date news about the 18U National Team.

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18U

Team USA Earns Win to Stay Perfect In Pool Play

November 28, 2018
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Dominican Republic  0 0 0 0 0 4 0 1 1 6 5 2
Team USA 0 0 5 4 1 1 0 2 X 13 13 1
Win: B. Malone Loss: Chavez 
Box Score | Play-by-play

SANTIAGO DE VERAGUAS, Panama - Team USA used a 13-6 win over the Dominican Republic to clinch the No. 1 overall seed in the Super Round of the COPABE U-18 Pan-American Championships on Wednesday at Estadio Omar Torrijos Herrera in Santiago de Veraguas, Panama.

Brennan Malone (Matthews, N.C.) got the start on the mound for the U.S. and opened the game with four shutout innings, striking out four while allowing just three hits.

After a scoreless start to the contest for both teams, the stars and stripes exploded for five runs in the bottom of the third to take a commanding lead. The first run of the afternoon came on an RBI-double down the left field line by Anthony Volpe (Watchung, N.J.) that scored Drew Romo (The Woodlands, Texas). Riley Greene (Oviedo, Fla.) then stepped up to the plate with two runners on base and hit a three-run home run to deep left-center field to give the U.S. squad a 4-0 advantage. On the very next at-bat, Bobby Witt Jr. (Colleyville, Texas) got in on the fun, hitting a solo homer to right field to extend the lead to 5-0.

The bats stayed hot in the fourth as Team USA added four more runs in the bottom of the inning, highlighted by an RBI-double to right field by Romo. The four runs gave the U.S. squad a 9-0 lead going into the fifth before Romo continued his strong offensive day and pushed the lead to double digits with an RBI-single to right field in the sixth.

The Dominican Republic scored its first runs of the day in the top of the sixth, cutting the lead to 10-4 before Corbin Carroll (Seattle, Wash.) scored on a balk in the bottom half to get one back for the U.S. and make the score 11-4. After both teams went scoreless in the seventh, the Dominican Republic added another run in the top of the eighth to cut the deficit to six.

In the bottom of the inning, C.J. Abrams (Alpharetta, Ga.) hit a single up the middle and sped around the bases to score on a three-base error by the Dominican Republic center fielder. Two more runs in the inning for Team USA made the score 13-5 going into the final frame. Tyler Callihan (Neptune Beach, Fla.) took the mound to close the game out in the top of the ninth and, despite the Dominican Republic pushing one across on an error, secured the 13-6 win.

Volpe and Callihan each registered three hits to lead the team on the day. Greene paced the team with three RBI in the game. Malone (1-0) earned the win on the mound for the U.S. while Max Rajcic (Fullerton, Calif.) struck out five in 2.2 innings of relief.

The United States will begin the Super Round of the COPABE U-18 Pan-American Championships against the host country, Panama, on Wednesday, November 28. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. ET at Rico Cedeno Stadium in Chitre, Panama.

Continue to follow @USABaseball18U on Twitter and visit USABaseball.com for the most up-to-date news about the 18U National Team.

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