Nat'l Team Champs

USA Baseball Announces Changes to National Team Championships, Addition of 16U NTDP

November 2, 2017

DURHAM, N.C. - USA Baseball announced on Thursday multiple changes to the National Team Championships, including the addition of a 16U age group at the annual event in Arizona, as well as the addition of a 16U National Team Development Program (NTDP) to the national team programming slate for 2018.

The 2018 National Team Championships in Arizona will start on June 15 and will now feature a 16U age group in addition to its 14U, 15U and 17U age groups. The 17U tournament will take place from June 15-22, followed by the 15U age group from June 22-29, and finally, the 14U and 16U tournaments will be played concurrently from June 30-July 7.

"We are excited to enhance the National Team Championships with the inclusion of the 16U age group starting in 2018," Senior Director of Baseball Operations Ashley Bratcher said, "Given USA Baseball's history with this age group, we know the talent is outstanding at this level, so we look forward to adding it to the already-elite National Team Championships player-pool."

USA Baseball had a long successful history at the 16U level through its 16U National Team, which competed from 1997-2011 before the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) changed its youth championships age discipline to 15U. In the fifteen-year history of the program, Team USA made it to the championship game of every international tournament it appeared in, taking home 11 gold medals - including nine in World Championships - and three silvers. In addition, eight of those teams went undefeated in international play.

In connection with the addition of a 16U age group at the National Team Championships, USA Baseball has also added a 16U discipline to its National Team Development Program for the 2018 season; providing national team-level opportunities to all youth players ages 14-18.

The 16U NTDP will feature athletes selected from the 15U National Team Identification Series (NTIS), the newly created 16U National Team Championships and through recommendations from professional scouts, USA Baseball task force members and collegiate, high school and youth coaches. Like the existing 14U and 17U NTDPs, the 16U program will invite 40 athletes to participate in skill development sessions, which include guest speakers/instructors and Stars vs. Stripes intrasquad games.

"The National Team Development Program provides an unparalleled national team-level experience and we're excited to expand that opportunity to players at the 16U age level," said Paul Seiler, Executive Director and CEO of USA Baseball. "This addition will also allow athletes to stay in touch with the USA Baseball organization between the national team age levels, developing their skills before possible consideration on a future national team.

"The exposure to future national team staffs, as well as college and professional scouts, the NTDP offers is invaluable for these athletes as they look to grow their game and compete internationally in the future."

At age levels where there are not international competitions, the National Team Development Program offers an unmatched developmental opportunity to better prepare athletes for potential future national teams and ingrain them in the USA Baseball organization. It also serves to help young players accelerate their maturation and readiness for the next step in their respective baseball careers.

Since the program's inception in 2012, 64 national team development program attendees have earned spots on national team rosters at the 15U, 18U and Collegiate national team levels. Additionally, in the five years that NTDP participants have been eligible, 21 players have been selected in the first five rounds of the MLB First Year Player Draft.

In addition to the changes at the National Team Championships in Arizona, the event in Florida will feature an enhanced schedule in 2018. The 14U, 15U and 17U tournaments will now be played in separate weeks, reducing the total number of days each age group will participate than in previous years however still providing teams the same amount of games.

The National Team Championships in Florida will also start on June 15 with its 15U tournament from June 15-20. The 17U age group will follow, competing from June 21-26, and the event will finish with the 14U age group, which will run from June 27-July 1.

For more information on the National Team Championships and the NTDP, check and follow @USABChamps_East, @USABChamps_West and @USABaseballNTDP on Twitter. Registration for the 2018 National Team Championships will open on Friday, November 10.

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17U Champs

Dallas Tigers Take Home the 17U East Gold Medal

July 1, 2017

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. - Dallas Tigers took home the Gold Medal after holding on to 7-5 victory against Texas Stix Baseball Club 2018 in the USA Baseball National Team Championships (East).

In the first inning, Texas Stix Baseball Club 2018 scored the first run by a double steal when James Crooks stole second and Ryan Hunt stole home. Dallas Tigers then responded in the bottom of the first by executing small ball to perfection when Brenden Dixon and Dillion Carter both walked to lead off the inning and Austin King singled off a bunt to load the bases.

Texas Stix Baseball Club 2018 pitcher Jake Ryan then struck out Chase Lummus, and allowed two runs after hitting the next two batters. The Dallas Tigers then widened their lead to 5-1 after scoring on a wild pitch, sacrifice bunt, and a single in succession. Dixon stepped back up to the plate bringing in two more runs after a triple to end the inning at 7-1.

With the score 7-1, each team's respective pitchers held the opposing lineups in check allowing no runs. Blake Empkey came in for Texas Stix Baseball Club 2018 shutting down the opposing lineup while striking out six to give his team a chance to rally in the top of the seventh.

In the seventh inning, Texas Stix Baseball Club 2018 started a comeback as Empkey singled on a line drive to center field allowing Hunt to score. The team scored two more runs after a double by Dean Lawler brought Crooks and Empkey home.

Lawler would put the last mark on the board for Texas Stix Baseball Club 2018 after an error by the shortstop making the would-be final score 7-5. The late push by Texas Stix Baseball Club 2018 would not be enough to overcome the early lead by the Dallas Tigers. The Dallas Tigers (18 seed) and Texas Stix Baseball Club 2018 (21 seed) both fought their way through playoff games as the underdog to knock off top ranked teams and guarantee their spot in the Gold Medal matchup.

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15U Champs

Top Tier Roos Americans wins USA Baseball 15U National Team Championships (East)

June 23, 2017
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Top Tier Roos Americans 1 0 2 0 1 2 0 6 7 0
MVP Banditos 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 2 4 3

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. - Top Tier Roos Americans held on to an early lead on the back of a strong pitching performance by Adam Fischel to capture their first USA Baseball 15U National Team Championships (East) title with a 6-2 victory over the MVP Banditos. Fischel pitched 5.2 shutout innings, while giving up only 3 hits and striking out 3 batters.

Top Tier Roos Americans got on the board early in the first inning when Jackson Miller scored off a single by Jordan Daphney. The scoring continued as Top Tier Roos Americans added two more runs in the third inning to extend their lead over the MVP Banditos after an error by the second baseman and Blake Wright's single to left.

Top Tier Roos Americans added a couple of insurance runs in the sixth inning when PJ Stoyan slammed a two-RBI double to left field bringing Tony Watson and Matthew Sullivan home and increasing its lead to 6-0.

The MVP Banditos tried to rally in the bottom of the seventh inning, scoring two runs off two passed balls. They continued to put pressure on the Top Tier Roos American and managed to bring the tying run to the plate, but their comeback effort fell short as Steven Hotinski closed out the game for Top Tier Roos Americans, securing the gold medal.

Both teams ended the tournament with a 6-1 record. The MVP Banditos finished the tournament with 46 hits and 63 RBIs, both of which ranked second in the tournament.

Top Tier Roos Americans pitching was dominant throughout the 15U National Team Championship (East) including a no-hitter by Hinchliffe. Additionally, Fischel, Stoyan, Sullivan and Trey Hinchliffe cumulatively held a 0.00 ERA.

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14U Champs

Team Citius USA - Roland Wins USA Baseball 14U National Team Championships (East)

June 22, 2017
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Florida Stealth 2021 0 1 0 2 2 0 0 4 6 6
Team Citius USA - Roland 0 2 1 0 0 2 X 5 5 3

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. - Team Citius USA - Roland rallied to score two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to overcome a late deficit and defeat Florida Stealth 2021, 5-4, at Roger Dean Stadium in the gold medal game of the USA Baseball 14U National Team Championships (East).

Florida Stealth 2021 was the first team on the board after Everette Cooper crossed the plate on an RBI-single by Jason L'Etoile, but Team Citius USA - Roland quickly followed with two runs of its own. Chris Bernal walked to begin the inning and advanced to second on a throwing error by the pitcher before back-to-back RBI-singles by Jorge Cuevas and Luke Smith put them in front, 2-1, after the second inning.

Florida Stealth 2021 tied the game at three in the fourth inning and added an a fourth run in the fifth inning to take a one-run lead into the final two frames. But for the second time, Team Citius USA - Roland would respond.

Emmanuel Garza, one of Team Citius USA - Roland's strongest hitters, sparked the comeback with a single to start the bottom of the sixth inning and a walk to Jose Valdez put runners on first and second with two outs. With the pressure mounting, Team Citius USA - Roland put the ball in play and tied the game on a fielding error by the shortstop. After a walk loaded the bases, Team Citius USA - Roland eventually scored the gold-medal winning run on a passed ball on the first pitch of the next at-bat.

With the one-run lead, Gerardo Cuevas shut down any chance of a comeback by Florida Stealth 2021, striking out two of the final three batters of the game, and won its first National Team Championship (East) title.

Team Citius USA - Roland finished the tournament with a 6-1 record. Leading up to the championship game, Team Citius USA - Roland outscored its opponents 37-0 and surrendered only 5 total hits in the three games following its only loss of the tournament.

The team hit .367 (65-177) and tallied a 1.019 OPS, meanwhile its pitching staff held a 0.89 ERA and limited its opponents to a .165 batting average for the entire tournament.

Both teams ended with accolades as they both led the tournament in runs scored and total hits. Florida Stealth 2021 made its mark at the top of the overall leaderboard with 30 walks and 21 stolen bases. Team Citius USA - Roland's pitching staff racked up 36 strikeouts to lead all teams.

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