USA BASEBALL YOUTH NATIONAL TEAM
CARY, N.C. - USA Baseball opened its 2007 Youth National Team (YNT) Trials with a light workout on Saturday night at the brand new USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary. The 36 players invited for team trials were selected from a pool of more than 2500 players competing at the two Junior Olympic Championship tournaments in Peoria and Surprise, Arizona and Palm Beach County, Florida in June.
Youth National Team Trials Preview
The YNT Trials will be held August 4-10. The 36 invitees have been divided into two teams and will participate in workouts and scrimmages throughout the week. At the completion of the week, the coaching staff will name the final 18-man roster that will remain in Cary for four days of training before departing for Barquisimeto, Venezuela to compete in the IBAF World Youth Championships August 17-26.
The YNT Trials will begin with three practices on Saturday and Sunday followed by four 10-inning trials games on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
Monday and Tuesday's trials games begin at 11:15 a.m. followed by team workouts in the evening. Wednesday will see a controlled scrimmage that will allow five position players a chance to pitch and will also give the invitees a chance to work on situational hitting, which will be crucial in order for the team to succeed in international play.
Thursday and Friday will see team workouts in the mornings with trials games three and four scheduled for 6:35 p.m. on Thursday and 6:05 p.m. on Friday.
Pitchers participating in the YNT Trials will get two appearances apiece and will be limited to a pre-determined pitch count.
Following Friday night's trials game, the coaching staff will name the final 18-man roster.
Team USA Training Preview
The 18 players selected to represent Team USA at the IBAF World Youth Championships will remain in Cary for four days of training, highlighted by three practice games.
Saturday will be an exciting day for the squad with team pictures and a baseball card photo shoot scheduled for the early afternoon. The team will then practice for the first time as a group of 18 Saturday night.
Team USA will then have a pair of training games on Sunday. Game one will see Team USA take on the Davidson Copperheads at 1:05 p.m., while game two will be played against the Dirtbags at 5:05 p.m.
Monday brings the final training game as Team USA will face the Cary Bulls at 6:35 p.m. in their final tune-up before the IBAF World Youth Championships.
Team USA will have their final practice on Tuesday morning before packing their bags in preparation for the trip to Venezuela. The team will also take in a Durham Bulls-Charlotte Knights game at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park on Tuesday night at 7 p.m.
The YNT will then fly to Venezuela early Wednesday morning.
Head Coach Gary Hatch
Team USA will be led by head coach Gary Hatch, who was an assistant coach on the 2006 gold medal-winning Youth National Team. He is the head coach at Sehome High School in Bellingham, Wash., and his team captured the Washington state championship title this past spring.
2006 Recap: Youth National Team Captures Gold
The Youth National Team went undefeated in nine games on their way to capturing the gold medal at last year's COPABE Pan-American Championship in Barquisimeto, Venezuela. Team USA outscored its opponents a combined 119-13 in tournament play and the title marked the first Team USA Pan-American Championship since 2000 and the first World Championship since 2003.
Seven of the nine games ended early as the 10-run rule and 15-run rule - a lead of at least 10 runs after seven innings and a lead of 15 runs after five innings - were enforced due to Team USA's dominating performance.
Team USA captured the gold medal with a 13-3 win over Venezuela at last year's Pan-American Championships.
Max Stassi (Yuba City, CA) and Colton Cain (Waxahachie, TX) return for their second YNT Trials after competing in last year's event. Stassi is the lone returning member of the 2006 COPABE Youth Pan-American Championship team at this year's YNT Trials. Stassi played in eight of the nine games in the Pan-Am Championship last year and batted .310 with one home run, two doubles, nine RBI and 10 runs scored.
Moving On Up
Nine members of last year's Pan-American Championship team were named to the Junior National Team Trials (18-and-under) roster on June 24. Dimitri DeLa Fuente (West Covina, CA), Mychal Givens (Tampa, FL), Tyler Hibbs (Odenton, MD), L.J. Hoes (Bowie, MD), Harold Martinez (Miami, FL), Matthew Purke (Spring, TX), Kyle Skipworth (Riverside, CA) and Ryan Weber (St. Petersburg, FL) were named to the JNT Trials roster, while Jaff Decker (Peoria, AZ) was named as an alternate.
USA Baseball National Training Complex
The USA Baseball National Training Complex, located in Cary, N.C., will serve as the host stadium for the 2007 Youth National Team Trials. The training complex opened on June 19, 2007.
The National Training Complex has four baseball fields (one stadium field and three training fields) with dimensions of 330 feet down the lines and 400 feet in center and all four fields are maintained at Major League Baseball standards.
The training fields each have an individual scorekeeper/announcer shelter and spectator seating for 120 people.
The stadium field has a press box that includes two suites, an official scorer's room, a sound room and press row. The stadium has spectator seating for 1,754 people, including handicapped accessible seating, and additional grass seating for approximately 250 people is also available.
The USA Baseball National Training Complex was built in a partnership between the Town of Cary and USA Baseball. USA Baseball has been located at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park since moving from Tucson, Arizona. In January 2003, the Town of Cary reached an agreement with Heery International to design the National Training Complex. Heery International projects include the 1996 Olympic Stadium, which later became Turner Field, home of Major League Baseball's Atlanta Braves.