USA BASEBALL NEWS

Pro Team

USA Baseball Names Premier12 Roster

The Premier12 tournament is the first opportunity for Team USA to qualify for Tokyo 2020
October 10, 2019

DURHAM, N.C. - USA Baseball named its roster for the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Premier12™ on Thursday. The 28-man roster is made up of 15 pitchers and 13 position players currently not on an MLB 40-man roster, and features six former national team alumni and seven of the MLB Pipeline top-100 prospects.

The U.S. will begin the WBSC Premier12™ in Guadalajara, Mexico, from November 2-4 as a member of Group A with the Dominican Republic, Mexico and the Netherlands. The top two nations from Group A will advance to the Super Round in Tokyo from November 11-16.

The tournament is the first opportunity for Team USA to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. The top finisher from both the Americas territory and Asia/Oceania territory (excluding Japan) will join host-country Japan and WBSC Baseball Europe/Africa Olympic Qualifier champion Israel in the six-team Olympic tournament. The final two Olympic berths will be decided in March 2020.

"It is an honor to welcome a group of immensely talented athletes to Team USA as we begin the qualification process for Tokyo 2020," said USA Baseball Executive Director and CEO Paul Seiler. "Our goal during the selection process was to identify and piece together a roster that included a combination of both young and veteran baseball players that complement each other on and off the field. These 28 men are exemplary talents and individuals, and we are confident they will represent the United States proudly on the international stage."

Brooks Pounders (RHP, New York Mets) is one of six Team USA alumni on the roster and is the lone returning member from the inaugural Premier12™ roster that won the silver medal in 2015. Also returning to a USA Baseball national team is Erik Kratz (C, New York Yankees) and Andrew Vaughn (INF, Chicago White Sox), as well as Tanner Houck (RHP, Boston Red Sox) and his Collegiate National Team teammates Bobby Dalbec (INF, Boston Red Sox) and Tyler Johnson (RHP, Chicago White Sox).

Jo Adell (OF, Los Angeles Angels) is the top-rated prospect on the roster, ranking fifth out of the top-100 by MLB Pipeline. Also on the list is No. 21 Vaughn, No. 23 Drew Waters (OF, Atlanta Braves), No. 34 Alec Bohm (INF, Philadelphia Phillies), No. 72 Xavier Edwards (INF, San Diego Padres), No. 88 Spencer Howard (RHP, Philadelphia Phillies) and No. 100 Daulton Varsho (C, Arizona Diamondbacks).

The Boston Red Sox lead all Major League clubs with four players from its farm system on the roster in C.J. Chatham (INF), Dalbec, Houck and Noah Song (RHP). The Philadelphia Phillies have three prospects on the roster while the Atlanta Braves, Chicago White Sox, Kansas City Royals, Milwaukee Brewers and Oakland Athletics all boast a pair of prospects on the roster as well. The remaining players are a part of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Los Angeles Angels, Minnesota Twins, New York Mets, New York Yankees, San Diego Padres, Seattle Mariners, Tampa Bay Rays, Toronto Blue Jays and Washington Nationals systems, and Brandon Dickson (RHP) joins the roster as a member of the Orix Buffaloes in Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball league.

Four-time World Series Champion Joe Girardi was named the manager of the Premier12™ roster in August and is joined by a coaching staff laden with international experience. Bench Coach Scott Brosius, Bullpen Coach Roly de Armas, Hitting Coach Phil Plantier, Pitching Coach Bryan Price, Third Base Coach Willie Randolph and First Base Coach Ernie Young collectively have 21 years of playing and coaching experience with Team USA, winning seven gold medals.

The team will train in Surprise, Arizona, from October 21-28 at the Kansas City Royals Spring Training facility before traveling to Mexico for the opening round of the Premier12™.

For more information on USA Baseball and the WBSC Premier12™, follow @USABaseball on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The full roster, including coaching and administrative staffs, can be found here.

USA Baseball Premier12™ Roster
(Name; Position; Hometown; 2019 Organization)

Jo Adell; OF; Louisville, Ky.; Los Angeles Angels
Clayton Andrews; LHP; Petaluma, Calif.; Milwaukee Brewers
Alec Bohm; INF; Omaha, Neb.; Philadelphia Phillies
C.J. Chatham; INF; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Boston Red Sox
Jake Cronenworth; INF; St. Clair, Mich.; Tampa Bay Rays
*^Bobby Dalbec; INF; Seattle, Wash.; Boston Red Sox
Brandon Dickson; RHP; Montgomery, Ala.; Orix Buffaloes
Parker Dunshee; RHP; Zionsville, Ind.; Oakland Athletics
Xavier Edwards; INF; Mineola, N.Y.; San Diego Padres
J.P Feyereisen; RHP; River Falls, Wis.; Milwaukee Brewers
Brian Flynn; LHP; Tulsa, Okla.; Kansas City Royals
Taylor Gushue; C; Boca Raton, Fla.; Washington Nationals
*Tanner Houck; RHP; Collinsville, Ill.; Boston Red Sox
Spencer Howard; RHP; San Luis Obispo, Calif.; Philadelphia Phillies
*Tyler Johnson; RHP; Midlothian, Va.; Chicago White Sox
*Erik Kratz; C; Telford, Pa.; New York Yankees
Wyatt Mills; RHP; Spokane, Wash.; Seattle Mariners
Mark Payton; OF; Orland Park, Ill.; Oakland Athletics
*Brooks Pounders; RHP; Riverside, Calif.; New York Mets
Clayton Richard; LHP; Lafayette, Ind.; Toronto Blue Jays
Brent Rooker; OF; Germantown, Tenn.; Minnesota Twins
Connor Seabold; RHP; Laguna Hills, Calif.; Philadelphia Phillies
Noah Song; RHP; Pomona, Calif.; Boston Red Sox
Caleb Thielbar; LHP; Northfield, Minn.; Atlanta Braves
Daniel Tillo; LHP; Sioux City, Iowa; Kansas City Royals
Daulton Varsho; C/OF; Chili, Wisc.; Arizona Diamondbacks
*^Andrew Vaughn; IF; Santa Rosa, Calif.; Chicago White Sox
Drew Waters; OF; Woodstock, Ga.; Atlanta Braves

*Denotes National Team alumnus
^Denotes National Team development Program participant

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U.S. Drops 2-1 Decision to Australia

Mark Payton hit his second home run of the tournament in the eighth inning
November 12, 2019
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
AUS 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 5 0
USA 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 4 1
Win: Tim Atherton (1-1) Save: Jon Kennedy (1) Loss: Tanner Houck (0-2)
Box  /  Plays  /  Game Notes  /  Media Guide

TOKYO -- Mark Payton hit his second home run of the tournament in the eighth inning but it was not enough as the U.S. dropped a 2-1 decision to Australia at the Tokyo Dome in the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Premier12 Super Round. With the loss, the stars and stripes move to 3-3 overall in the tournament and holds a 1-3 record in the Super Round standings.

The loss officially eliminates Team USA from gold medal-game contention at the 2019 Premier12. The red, white and blue is still mathematically in the hunt for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games berth from the tournament, but does not control its own destiny.

U.S. starting pitcher Tanner Houck struggled out of the gate, giving up a two-RBI single up the middle in the top of the first to face an early 2-0 deficit. After that, however, Houck was outstanding on the mound, retiring the next 13 consecutive batters before Daniel Tillo came on in relief in the sixth.

Erik Kratz picked up the team's first hit with two outs in the fifth inning on a single through the right side, but the stars and stripes' offense was held at bay throughout the game by strong Australia pitching and defense.

Still trailing 2-0 after seven, Payton put the U.S. on the board in the eighth inning when he lifted a 2-1 pitch over the right field wall, cutting the deficit in half. Jo Adell followed with a single up the middle and stole second base to put a runner in scoring position for the first time on the night, but a strikeout by Alec Bohm ended the inning.

Wyatt Mills came on in the top of the ninth to keep the lead at one and got one out before surrendering three straight singles to load the bases. The U.S. then called on Brandon Dickson out of the bullpen and he struck out the final two batters of the inning looking to get out of the jam.

Andrew Vaughn tried to start a rally for Team USA in the bottom of the ninth after legging out a leadoff infield single but a pop out and two fly outs ended the game 2-1 in favor of Australia.

Houck (0-2) suffered the loss for Team USA, giving up the two runs in the first inning. He finished the day with five strikeouts in five innings. Tillo and Noah Song combined to pitch three innings of hitless relief, striking out four batters and facing just one over the minimum collectively. Australia starter Tim Atherton (1-1) picked up the win and Jon Kennedy (1) got the save.

The U.S. will close out Premier12 Super Round play on Thursday, November 14 as Team USA faces Chinese Taipei at 10 p.m. ET (November 15, 12 p.m. local). Starting pitchers will be announced tomorrow and the game will be streamed live on the WBSC's Facebook page.

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Team USA Responds With 4-3 Victory Over Japan

The stars and stripes pick up its first win of the Premier12 Super Round
November 11, 2019
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
USA 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 4 11 1
JPN 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 3 7 0
Win: Clayton Richard  Loss: Rei Takahashi Save: Brandon Dickson
Box Score  /  Play by Play  /  Game Notes  /  Media Guide

TOKYO -- The U.S. jumped out to an early lead and held on for a 4-3 victory over Japan at the Tokyo Dome in its second game of the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Premier12 Super Round. With the win, the stars and stripes move to 3-2 overall in the tournament and holds a 1-2 record in the Super Round standings.

Team USA got on the board first in the top of the second inning to put pressure on Japan starter Rei Takahashi. Alec Bohm led off the inning with a double down the right field line and moved over to third on a groundout to second base. Jake Cronenworth then laced a ball to an extended first baseman who got the out at first but allowed Bohm to score, giving the red, white and blue the early advantage.

CJ Chatham led off the top of the third inning with a double of his own to the left-centerfield wall and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Mark Payton. Jo Adell would walk to put runners on the corners before Bobby Dalbec hit a double down the left field line to score Chatham and extend the U.S. lead to two after three innings.

Japan got one back in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI-single to right field by Hideto Asamura but Team USA responded immediately with a run of its own in the top of the fifth. Another leadoff double - this time by Payton - put a runner in scoring position with no outs. He would then come around to score on a Bohm RBI-single to regain the two-run lead, 3-1.

Japan picked up another run in the bottom of the sixth but the U.S. would respond once again in the very next inning, this time with an Adell solo homer to right field to bring the score to 4-2.

In front of a spirited home crowd of over 28,000, Japan continued to threaten throughout the rest of the game, scoring another run in the top of the eighth to get within one; but the relievers and defense stood tough, securing the win courtesy of a Brandon Dickson save for the final score of 4-3.

Starting pitcher Penn Murfee was strong on the mound in a no-decision for Team USA, giving up no hits in three innings of work and striking out two batters. Clayton Richard came out of the pen and pitched a solid outing in relief, giving up just one unearned run in 2.2 innings. JP Feyereisen and Spencer Jones both pitched an inning of scoreless relief for the stars and stripes while Caleb Thielbar gave up one run in his 0.1 innings pitched.

Dickson (2), who plays with the Orix Buffaloes in Nippon Professional Baseball, came in and pitched a perfect ninth inning, striking out two batters for the save. Richard (1-0) got the win for the red, white and blue and Takahashi (1-1) suffered the loss for Japan.

Adell (2-for-3, RBI), Bohm (2-for-5, RBI), Brent Rooker (2-for-3) and Chatham (2-for-4, two doubles) paced the offense for the U.S. on the night, combining for eight of the 11 hits in the game.

Team USA will face Australia (1-4, 0-3) in the Tokyo Dome on Tuesday, November 12 at 10 p.m. ET (November 13, 12 p.m. local). The game will be streamed live on the WBSC's Facebook page.

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USA Drops Super Round Opener to Korea 5-1

Brent Rooker hits his second homer of the tournament in the top of the sixth inning
November 10, 2019
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
USA 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 13 0
KOR 3 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 X 5 9 1
WP: Yang Hyeonjong LP: Cody Ponce
Box Score  /  Play by Play  /  Game Notes  /  Media Guide

TOKYO -- Brent Rooker hit a solo home run in the top of the sixth inning but it was all the offense Team USA could piece together as the red, white and blue fell to Korea, 5-1, at the Tokyo Dome in its opening game of the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Premier12 Super Round.

With the loss, the U.S. moves to 2-2 overall in the Premier12 and holds an 0-2 record in the Super Round.

The U.S. loaded the bases in the first inning with one out thanks to a double by Alec Bohm, a walk to Bobby Dalbec and a single by Andrew Vaughn, but two strikeouts from Korea starting pitcher Heonjong Yang ended the early threat. This would be the story of the night for Team USA as they outhit Korea in the game - holding an 13-9 advantage - but could not come up with the clutch hit with runners on base.

The stars and stripes put runners in scoring position again in the third, fourth, fifth, eighth and ninth innings, but Rooker's solo home run in the top of the sixth inning was all the scoring for the red, white and blue on the night. In total, the U.S. left 14 runners on base.

Team USA gave up three runs in the first inning on a three-run home run by Jaehwan Kim to fall behind 3-0 after one complete and Korea picked up two insurance runs on back-to-back RBI-doubles in the bottom of the seventh inning.

U.S. starter Cody Ponce (1-1) gave up three runs in his 3.1 innings of work on the mound and suffered the loss. Clayton Andrews was the first arm out of the pen and shut down the Korea offense in the bottom of the fourth and fifth innings, striking out two batters.

Brian Flynn pitched an inning of scoreless relief before Wyatt Mills came in and surrendered a pair of runs in 0.2 innings of work. Caleb Thielbar and Brooks Pounders also pitched in relief for Team USA, giving up just one hit and striking out two collectively. Korea's starter, Yang, got the win (2-0).

Jo Adell and Vaughn both tallied three hits on the day for the offense, finishing 3-for-5 and 3-for-4, respectively. CJ Chatham also contributed multiple hits in the game, finishing 2-for-4 in the nine-spot.

Team USA will face Japan (4-0; 2-0) in the Tokyo Dome on Tuesday, November 12 at 5 a.m. ET (7 p.m. local). Tanner Houck will get the start on the mound for the stars and stripes.

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USA Downs Dominican Republic, Advances to Premier12 Super Round

November 4, 2019
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
USA 1 3 3 1 1 0 0 1 0 10 12 2
DR 0 2 0 1 4 0 0 0 1 8 8 1
WP: Wyatt Mills  LP: Carlos Sano  S: Brandon Dickson
Box Score  /  Play by Play  /  Game Notes  /  Media Guide

GUADALAJARA, Jalisco, Mexico -- Team USA hit four home runs for the second time in the tournament and survived a late push by the Dominican Republic in a 10-8 victory on Monday night at Estadio de Béisbol Charros de Jalisco. The U.S. finished Group A with a 2-1 record and earned a spot in the Super Round of the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Premier12 in Tokyo.

Through its first three games, eight Team USA batters have combined to hit 10 home runs, led by Bobby Dalbec and Erik Kratz, who have two homers apiece. The 10 homers are a team record for the red, white and blue in the Premier12, besting the 2015 squad who finished the inaugural tournament with three.

Mark Payton set the tone for the offense in the winner-take-all matchup, leading off the game with a solo bomb over the right field wall for an early 1-0 lead. It was the fourth leadoff home run for the U.S. in the tournament.

Jake Cronenworth followed suit in the top of the second with a solo shot of his own before Alex Bohm doubled to right-center and came home on an RBI-single by Kratz. Jo Adell would tack on one more run for the stars and stripes in the second inning with an RBI-single up the middle to give Team USA a 4-0 lead.

The Dominican Republic plated two runs in the bottom of the second but the red, white and blue responded immediately with a three-run blast by Bohm to extend the U.S. lead to 7-2 in the top of the third inning.

Both teams exchanged runs in the fourth inning and a solo bomb by Kratz in the top of the fifth put the score at 9-3. The Dominican Republic would not go silently, however, as they put up four runs in the bottom half of the fifth on an RBI-groundout and a three-run home run to pull within two at 9-7.

Wyatt Mills came in out of the bullpen for Team USA in the sixth and pitched two innings of stellar relief, facing the minimum and striking out two batters to stymie the Dominican Republic offense. Another Adell RBI-single plated a critical insurance run in the top of the eighth and Noah Song came in and struck out the side in the bottom half of the inning to set up a save opportunity for Brandon Dickson.

Dickson (1) gave up one run with two outs in the ninth but closed out the game for the stars and stripes, earning the save after striking out the final batter to end the game.

Bohm (3 RBIs) and Kratz (2 RBIs) both finished the game 3-for-4 with two runs scored to lead the U.S. offense. Adell also tallied multiple hits and RBIs on the night, finishing 2-for-5 with two RBIs. Kratz currently leads the team with a .625 batting average through three games.

Starting pitch Parker Dunshee struck out three batters in 2.1 innings for Team USA, surrendering two unearned runs in a no-decision. Penn Murfee and Brian Flynn combined to give up five runs in 1.2 innings of relief before Mills, Song and Dickson closed out the game. Mills (1-0) earned the victory while Dominican Republic starter Carlos Sano (0-1) suffered the loss.

Team USA will now travel to Tokyo, Japan, as the No. 2 seed from Group A in the Super Round of the Premier12. Super Round games will begin on Monday, November 11 at the Tokyo Dome and ZOZO Marine Stadium. Stay tuned to USABaseball.com and @USABaseball on social media for schedule updates.

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USA Falls to Mexico 8-2 in Group A Action

November 3, 2019
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
MEX 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 5 0 8 10 0
USA 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 2 6 0
WP: Felipe Gonzalez  LP: Tanner Houck
Box Score  /  Play by Play  /  Game Notes  /  Media Guide

GUADALAJARA, Jalisco, Mexico -- Team USA got behind early in the first inning and eventually gave up six unanswered runs in an 8-2 loss to Mexico on Sunday in Group A action of the World Baseball Softball Confederation Premier12 at Estadio de Béisbol Charros de Jalisco.

The loss forces the U.S. (1-1) into a must-win game against the Dominican Republic (1-1) on Monday at 8 p.m. ET. The winner will advance to the Super Round in Tokyo. 

Mexico jumped out to a 2-0 lead with a two-RBI single to left-centerfield in the first inning to put pressure on the red, white and blue early. The U.S. would eventually respond and tie the game at two-apiece with back-to-back leadoff home runs in the bottom of the third and fourth innings from Erik Kratz and Bobby Dalbec, respectively, but Mexico reclaimed its lead on a passed ball with two outs in the top of the fifth.

Mexico scored five more runs in the top of the eighth inning to break the game open and put it out of reach for the stars and stripes.

Starting pitcher Tanner Houck (0-1) suffered the loss for Team USA, giving up three runs (two earned) and five hits, and struck out six batters in 4.1 innings. Daniel Tillo was the first out of the bullpen and struck out three batters in 1.2 innings of hitless relief. Caleb Thielbar struck out two batters in his relief appearance but gave up two runs in one inning and JP Feyereisen gave up three runs in his 0.2 innings on the mound. Spencer Jones finished the game on the bump for the U.S., striking out three batters and giving up no hits.

Six different Team USA batters collected hits in the game, led by Kratz and Dalbec's solo home runs. Dalbec has now hit two home runs in two games in the Premier12 tournament.

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Four Homers Lift USA Past Netherlands in Premier12 Opener

Bobby Dalbec's grand slam in the fifth inning breaks U.S. Premier12 record
November 2, 2019
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
NED 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
USA 1 1 1 0 4 0 0 2 X 9 11 1
WP: Cody Ponce (1-0); LP: Rob Cordemans (0-1)
Box Score  /  Play-by-Play  /  Cumulative Stats  /  Game Notes  /  Media Guide

GUADALAJARA, Jalisco, Mexico -- Team USA hit four home runs in a 9-0 opening-round victory over the Netherlands in its first game of the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Premier12 at Estadio de Béisbol Charros de Jalisco on Saturday. Bobby Dalbec led the U.S. offense on the day, setting a U.S. Premier12 record with four RBIs in a single game after hitting a grand slam in the fifth inning.

The four home runs hit today surpassed the U.S. team record for homers in a Premier12 game (previously: 1) and is more than Team USA hit in the entire 2015 tournament (previously: 3). In total, the red, white and blue set or tied nine USA Baseball Premier12 records against the Netherlands.

Drew Waters led off the home half of the first inning with a first-pitch home run to right-field to give Team USA an early 1-0 lead and Jake Cronenworth scored on a sacrifice fly by Mark Payton in the bottom of the second to double the lead after two complete. With two outs in the bottom of the third, Jo Adell launched the second home run of the game over the left-field wall for a three-run U.S. advantage.

Back-to-back singles by Erik Kratz and CJ Chatham, and an intentional walk to Daulton Varsho loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the fifth for Dalbec. On the seventh pitch of his at-bat, Dalbec launched a grand slam over the left field fence to break the game wide open and give the stars and stripes a 7-0 lead.

Team USA capped its scoring in the bottom of the eighth on another home run after Brent Rooker sent one out to left for the final score of 9-0.

Cody Ponce (1-0) was strong on the mound for the U.S., giving up two hits and striking out five batters in his five innings of work to get the win. Noah Song, Clayton Andrews, Brooks Pounders and Clayton Richard combined in relief to secure the shutout, giving up no hits, striking out two batters and combining to face just one batter over the minimum over the final four innings. Netherlands starting pitcher Rob Cordemans (0-1) suffered the loss.

Nine different U.S. batters recorded a hit on the day, led by Dalbec (2-for-4) and Rooker (2-for-2), who recorded the only multi-hit performances of the game.

Team USA (1-0) will face Mexico in its second game of Group A on Sunday, November 3, at 8 p.m. ET. The game will be streamed live on Facebook. The starting pitcher will be announced following the game between Mexico and Dominican Republic this evening.

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USA Baseball Announces Premier12 Staff Changes

Three-time World Series champion Scott Brosius will now serve as the team's manager
October 16, 2019

DURHAM, N.C. -- USA Baseball announced changes to its World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Premier12™ coaching staff on Wednesday. Joe Girardi, who was named the manager of Team USA in August, has stepped down from his role with Team USA as he pursues open managerial opportunities in Major League Baseball. Three-time World Series champion, two-time USA Baseball Rod Dedeaux Coach of the Year and current USA Baseball Senior Director of Player Development Scott Brosius will now serve as the team's manager.

"We are grateful that Joe was a part of Team USA and we appreciate the time and preparation he dedicated to our endeavor of qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games," said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball's Executive Director and CEO. "On behalf of the organization, we wish him the best of luck as he seeks a manager position in Major League Baseball.

"Scott Brosius is respected across the baseball industry for his time as both a player and a coach. He possesses a tremendous resume and we are proud to have him step in and lead us in the Premier12 tournament. From top to bottom, the coaching staff we assembled boasts a wealth of international playing and coaching experience, and we are confident in their ability to help us achieve the goals we have collectively set for this team."

With Brosius taking the reins as manager, Willie Randolph will now serve as the bench coach for the team and Ernie Young will move from coaching first base to third base.

"It is a tremendous honor to be named the manager for the USA Baseball Premier12 team and I am pleased that my first act in this role is to welcome Anthony Sanders to our coaching staff," said Brosius. "Anthony comes highly recommended by his peers and we are thrilled to have him join the team. He will provide a unique perspective to this team having won a gold medal as a player with Team USA at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, as well as having coached at the international level in this very event four years ago."

Sydney 2000 Olympic Games gold medalist Anthony Sanders (pictured) will join the staff and take over the coaching duties at first base. Sanders, who served as an assistant coach for Team USA during the 2015 WBSC Premier12™, is currently the outfield and baserunning coordinator for the Colorado Rockies' minor league staff. He spent parts of three seasons in the majors as an outfielder with the Toronto Blue Jays and the Seattle Mariners before making his coaching debut as a hitting coach with the Tri-City Dust Devils in the Rockies' farm system in 2007. After four seasons as a hitting coach, Sanders was named the manager of the Grand Junction Rockies in 2013, where he spent three seasons and was named the 2014 Pioneer League Manager of the Year.

USA Baseball announced its 28-man roster last week that will begin the WBSC Premier12™ in Guadalajara, Mexico, from November 2-4 as a member of Group A with the Dominican Republic, Mexico and the Netherlands. The top two nations from Group A will advance to the Super Round in Tokyo from November 11-16.

The tournament is the first opportunity for Team USA to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. The top finisher from both the Americas territory and Asia/Oceania territory (excluding Japan) will join host-country Japan and WBSC Baseball Europe/Africa Olympic Qualifier champion Israel in the six-team Olympic tournament. The final two Olympic berths will be decided in March 2020.

The team will train in Surprise, Arizona, from October 21-28 at the Kansas City Royals Spring Training facility before traveling to Mexico for the opening round of the Premier12™.

For more information on USA Baseball and the WBSC Premier12™, follow @USABaseball on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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Gritty Film Productions Acquire Rights to Sydney 2000 Olympic Gold Story, Miracle on Grass

September 25, 2019

Los Angeles- CA: Ted Collins - the 2018 Slamdance Award-Winning Producer and principal of Gritty Film Productions (MR. FISH CARTOONING FROM THE DEEP END and the upcoming 2 MEN AND A PIG starring Dermot Mulroney), has acquired the exclusive rights to develop author David Fanucchi's book MIRACLE ON GRASS.

Fanucchi was the Press Officer for the 2000 USA Baseball Olympic Team. Led by Hall-of-Fame manager Tommy Lasorda - who came out of retirement to lead the charge for his country - they pulled off the greatest upset in Olympic baseball history to win the gold medal at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. Their triumph was remarkable, but the story of their coming together is even harder to imagine. "As arguably the greatest underdog story in American baseball history, I couldn't be more excited to begin working with Ted on a chance to develop this on film," said Fanucchi. "Ted is exactly the type of producer that I was hoping would take our story and run with it. He's passionate, tenacious, and determined, and I believe in his vision for this project."

Lasorda - reached in his office at Dodger Stadium - was equally thrilled. "Managing the USA Baseball Team to an Olympic Gold Medal was the greatest achievement and proudest moment of my life," the Hall of Fame, legendary Dodgers manager said. "I am thrilled to hear that Ted Collins has acquired the rights to turn David Fanucchi's book into a movie. I will do whatever I can to lend a hand, and assist them in creating an outstanding and inspirational film."

Of the deal, Ted Collins said "I love underdog stories, especially ones involving sports. I'm a big fan of baseball and Tommy Lasorda. He's a living legend. It's surprising to me that not too many people know about this amazing accomplishment -- how Lasorda assembled a rag tag bunch of baseball players, brought them to Sydney and beat the heavily favored, Cuba. All to minimal fanfare. While most of America was asleep, (this happened in the middle of the night in USA time), Lasorda led the Americans to gold in Sydney. In fact, it's the only time the Americans won gold. David Fanucchi was there and lucky for us he captured the glory in riveting detail in his book "Miracle on Grass." Tommy considers this his greatest accomplishment and did it for his beloved country. Tommy wants to leave something behind to inspire kids. He came from humble beginnings, but always believed he could accomplish anything he set his mind to. That's the message and we're going to make this movie for Tommy!"

MIRACLE ON GRASS tells the true story of how this unknown squad of American minor leaguers stunned the international baseball powerhouse from Cuba. In his account of this incredible true story, Fanucchi gives readers a behind the scenes look at how Lasorda persuaded management into giving him the opportunity to coach the team; how the Major League Baseball executives in charge of this operation for the United States went about selecting the players; how the Americans narrowly qualified for the Olympics during a gut-wrenching game; and how capturing the gold medal in Sydney changed the lives of every player, coach and administrator involved.

Told with warmth and an uncanny eye for detail, MIRACLE ON GRASS is an intimate, perceptive portrayal of three incredible weeks in Australia and a story that appeals to American pride. It features the wisdom and determination of one legendary manager, and the heart, guts, and passion of several young baseball players on their attempt to win an Olympic gold medal, as they harness the power of the passion in your heart for family and country.

The USA Baseball organization is currently in the process of selecting the players that will come together in November, and compete in the qualifying tournament of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. "Our triumph in 2000 to win the Olympic Gold Medal remains the ultimate moment in the history of this organization," said USA Baseball Executive Director/CEO Paul Seiler. "So to have the opportunity to work with Ted and Gritty Productions on telling that story to the world, is exciting. We look forward to assisting with a feature film production in any way that we can."

Fanucchi currently teaches Journalism at M.L. Wisdom High School in Houston, Texas.

For press inquiries and interview requests contact:
Ry Levey
Ryan Bruce Levey Film Distribution and PR Services
647-781-0818
rylevey@gmail.com

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USA Baseball Finalizes Premier12 Coaching Staff

Scott Brosius, Roly de Armas, Phil Plantier, Bryan Price, Willie Randolph and Ernie Young round out the staff
August 13, 2019

USA Baseball Premier12™ Manager Joe Girardi finalized the coaching staff for the 2019 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Premier12™, the organization announced on Tuesday. Joining Girardi on the staff will be Scott Brosius (Bench Coach), Roly de Armas (Bullpen Coach), Phil Plantier (Hitting Coach), Bryan Price (Pitching Coach), Willie Randolph (Third Base Coach) and Ernie Young (First Base Coach).

The 2019 coaching staff is laden with international experience. Collectively, the staff boasts 21 years of playing and coaching experience with Team USA, winning seven gold medals. Additionally, Brosius and Randolph have previously been recognized by USA Baseball as its 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.

The 2019 Premier12™ kick-starts the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games qualifying process for Team USA, who will also look to win its first-ever gold medal at the global baseball tournament after winning a silver medal in the inaugural event in 2015.

"I am pleased to introduce a tremendously talented group of coaches as our national team staff for the 2019 WBSC Premier12," said Girardi. "Each and every one of these coaches' reputations is first-class. They bring a foundation of knowledge to this staff that is unparalleled in its depth and experience, both domestically and internationally. More important than their individual successes, this is a collection of truly exemplary people who have dedicated their lives to the game of baseball and I am confident they will represent this team and our country proudly."

Brosius was named the USA Baseball Senior Director of Baseball Development earlier this year and will add another title as the bench coach for the 2019 squad. He is no stranger to coaching internationally after he served as the manager of the USA Baseball 18U National Team in both 2011 and 2012, where he managed Team USA to gold medals in both seasons, 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, joining Davey Johnson (2005, 2006, 2007) as the only two 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. 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.

Returning as an assistant coach for the 10th time, de Armas will once again serve as the bullpen coach for Team USA this fall. His first experience with Team USA came in 2006 as an assistant coach for the Olympic Qualifying Team that finished its tournament with a 6-1 overall record and secured Team USA a spot in the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. de Armas would return as a coach with USA Baseball again in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2015, winning two World Cup gold medals (2007, 2009), two Pan-American Games silver medals (2011, 2015), one Premier12™ silver medal (2015) and an Olympic bronze medal (2008).

de Armas also spent time as a coach in the Major Leagues with the Chicago White Sox (1995-96) and Toronto Blue Jays (2000). In total, he has spent 31 seasons as a coach for several Major League Baseball organizations, including the Philadelphia Phillies, where he is currently the manager of the Gulf Coast League Phillies.

The current Scranton/Wilkes-Barr RailRiders hitting coach, Plantier, joins the USA Baseball national team staff in the same role for the first time in his career in 2019. Following a playing career that spanned eight seasons, he began his coaching career as a manager for the former Macon Music in 2007 and then spent the following four seasons as a hitting coach and manager in the Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres Minor League systems. Plantier was later named the hitting coach for the Padres in 2012 and served in that position for three seasons.

Price will also make his international coaching debut with USA Baseball this fall as the pitching coach for the 2019 Premier12 Team. His Major Leauge coaching career began in 2001 when he was named the pitching coach for the Seattle Mariners and would later be named the USA Today Baseball Weekly's Pitching Coach of the Year after leading the pitching staff to a 3.54 cumulative ERA. Price stayed in Seattle for six seasons before stops with the Arizona Diamondbacks (2007-2009) and Cincinnati Reds (2010-2013). In 2013, he was named the 61st manager in Reds history and managed the club in five Major League seasons from 2014-2018.

Manning the third base coach's box, Randolph returns to the Team USA coaching staff for the fourth time in his career and the first time since helping lead the U.S. to its first-ever gold medal at the World Baseball Classic in 2017. After first serving as an assistant coach in the 2013 World Baseball Classic, he was named the manager for the inaugural Premier12 tournament in 2015 and led the red, white and blue to a silver medal and earned USA Baseball Rod Dedeaux Coach of the Year honors. Randolph is a baseball veteran with 18 years of playing experience and 16 years of coaching and managerial experience. A six-time All-Star, he won back-to-back World Series titles as a second baseman in 1977 and 1978 for the New York Yankees and managed the New York Mets to a National League East division title in 2006.

Olympic gold medalist Young has been named the first base coach for the 2019 Premier12 Team following an accomplished playing, coaching and professional career with Team USA spanning the last 20 years. A member of the gold medal-winning Sydney 2000 Olympic Games team, he also played on the Professional National Team again in 2003 before joining the USA Baseball Board of Directors. Young also served as a hitting coach for three national teams and managed the 2010 and 2011 Professional National Teams. While on a Team USA coaching staff, the red, white and blue amassed an overall record of 43-11-2 and won a world championship in 2009.

Team USA will open the 2019 WBSC Premier12™ against the Netherlands on Saturday, November 2, at 12 p.m. (CT) at Estadio de Beisbol Charros de Jalisco in Guadalajara, Mexico. The U.S. will then face Mexico and the Dominican Republic on Sunday, November 3 (7 p.m. CT) and Monday, November 4 (7 p.m. CT), respectively.

The top two teams from each group will advance to the six-team Super Round in Japan, which will be hosted by Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) at Chiba's ZOZO Marine Stadium and the Tokyo Dome.

The top finisher from both the Americas territory and Asia/Oceania territory (excluding Japan) will automatically qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, joining host-country Japan in the six-team Olympic tournament.

Team USA won a silver medal in the inaugural WBSC Premier12™ in 2015, finishing with a 5-3 overall record.

For more information on USA Baseball and the 2019 Premier12™ Team, follow @USABaseball on social media or visit USABaseball.com.

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