Two Yellow Jackets On 2009 USA Baseball National Team Trials Invitee List

April 22, 2009

ATLANTA – USA Baseball announced an initial invitee list for the 2009 USA Baseball National Team Trials, and Yellow Jacket sophomores Deck McGuire and Derek Dietrich were among the list of 17 college baseball players to receive invites.

The National Team Trials, held at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary. N.C., June 15-24, will be comprised of 36 players vying for 22 spots on the final roster, which will be announced June 24.

Included in the list are five members of the 2008 National Team that went unbeaten last summer (24-0) and won gold medals at the FISU World University Championships in the Czech Republic and the Honkbal Tournament in the Netherlands. Returning members include Dietrich, Chris Hernandez (Miami), Hunter Morris (Auburn), Micah Gibbs (LSU) and Christian Colon (Cal State Fullerton).

Dietrich was named the 2008 National Freshman of the Year (Rivals.com) and National Freshman Hitter of the Year (NCBWA) while receiving first-team Freshman All-America honors from the NCBWA, Collegiate Baseball and Rivals.com. He’s currently batting .331 with five home runs and 34 RBI for the Yellow Jackets, who are 27-8-1 in 2009.

“USA Baseball is looking forward to kicking off the 2009 National Team Trials,” National Team General Manager Eric Campbell said. “We look forward to building off the momentum of 2008’s undefeated season, and with five players from last summer leading our first group of invitees, we’re well on our way.”

Other sophomores on the list of initial invitees include McGuire, Michael Choice (UT Arlington), Blake Forsythe (Tennessee), Yasmani Grandal (Miami), Rick Hague (Rice), Drew Pomeranz (Mississippi) and Anthony Ranaudo (LSU).

McGuire is the top starting pitcher for the Yellow Jackets, with a 6-0 record and team-best 2.56 ERA in his second season on the Flats. Over the last two years, the Richamond, Va., native has posted a career 14-1 record and currently stands atop Tech’s record books with his .933 career winning percentage.

The The 2009 National Team will compete in several exhibition games in the Triangle-area of North Carolina, including a friendly series against the Canadian National Team, June 25- 29, which will be played across both the Durham Bulls Athletic Park and the USA Baseball National Training Complex. Following its domestic exhibition schedule, the U.S. will travel to Japan to compete in the 37th Annual Japan vs. USA Collegiate Championships before closing out its summer in Canada at the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline World Baseball Challenge in Prince George, British Columbia.

The 2009 team will be coached by Tulane University head coach Rick Jones, who previously served as an assistant coach for the red, white and blue on the 1989 Presidential Cup Team and 1990 National Team. Jones is joined by pitching coach Mike Kennedy (head coach, Elon University) and assistant coaches Dan McDonnell (head coach, Louisville University) and Rob Cooper (head coach, Wright State University; 2007 USA Baseball National Team assistant coach).

“We have both a very tough and exciting schedule facing us this season,” Campbell said. “The Japan series is the highlight of our summer tour, and the National Team will be built to compete in those games.”

2009 USA Baseball National Team Trials Invitees (through April 21, 2009)

Name                    Pos.    B/T     Ht.     Wt.     Hometown                 College

Choice, Michael OF R/R 6-0 215 Mansfield, Texas UT Arlington Cole, Gerrit RHP R/R 6-4 215 Santa Ana, Calif. UCLA Colon, Christian IF R/R 6-0 185 Corona, Calif. Cal State Fullerton Dietrich, Derek IF L/R 6-1 195 Parma, Ohio Georgia Tech Forsythe, Blake C R/R 6-2 220 Memphis, Tenn. Tennessee Gibbs, Micah C S/R 5-11 214 Pflugerville, Texas LSU Gray, Sonny RHP R/R 5-11 180 Smyrna, Tenn. Vanderbilt Grandal, Yasmani C S/R 6-2 210 Miami, Fla. Miami Hague, Rick IF R/R 6-2 190 Spring, Texas Rice Hernandez, Chris LHP L/L 6-1 195 Miami, Fla. Miami McGuire, Deck RHP R/R 6-6 223 Richmond, Va. Georgia Tech Morris, Hunter 1B L/R 6-2 220 Huntsville, Ala. Auburn Pomeranz, Drew LHP L/L 6-5 231 Collierville, Tenn. Mississippi Ranaudo, Anthony RHP R/R 6-7 231 Jackson, N.J. LSU Rendon, Anthony IF R/R 5-11 180 Houston, Texas Rice Verrett, Logan RHP R/R 6-2 170 Corpus Christi, Texas Baylor Zych, Tony RHP R/R 6-3 180 Chicago, Ill. Louisville

About USA Baseball

USA Baseball is the National Governing Body of amateur baseball in the United States and is a member of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC). The organization selects and trains the World Baseball Classic Team and the United States Olympic Baseball Team (and all other USA Baseball Professional Teams); the USA Baseball National Team (Collegiate); the USA Baseball 18U, 16U and 14U National Teams; and the USA Baseball Women’s National Team, all of which participate in various international competitions each year. The organization also presents the Golden Spikes Award annually to the top collegiate player in the country. For more information, please visit USABaseball.com and GoldenSpikesAward.com.

–Ramblinwreck.com.

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