Brentz invited to USA Baseball tryouts

Brentz currently leads nation in four statistical categories

May 18, 2009 · MT Athletic Communications
DURHAM, N.C. - Sophomore Bryce Brentz has been invited to the 2009 USA Baseball National Team Trials to be held at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, N.C., June 15-24.

Brentz is one of 36 collegiate players invited to the 2009 USA Baseball National Team Trials to compete for a spot on the final 22-man roster to be announced on June 24.

"Obviously he is putting up power numbers, RBI and batting average and is one of the best hitters in the country in one of the Top-10 conferences in the country. It is very well-deserving to get an invitation," head coach Steve Peterson said. "It is a great honor to be invited to play for your country. Whatever does happen, I want the USA to win and if they can find a better player than Bryce go for it."

The Knoxville, Tenn., native has appeared in every game this season either on the mound or in the field. Brentz is currently batting .473 with 89 hits, 14 doubles, two triples, 26 home runs and 66 RBI. On the mound, he has an ERA of 4.68 with a 5-3 record in 12 appearances with 51 strikeouts.

Included among the invitees are five members of the 2008 National Team which 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 sophomores Derek Dietrich (Georgia Tech); Chris Hernandez (Miami); Hunter Morris (Auburn); Micah Gibbs (LSU), who batted .264 including two home runs and a team-high 17 RBI last summer; and Christian Colon (Cal State Fullerton), who led the 2008 team with 173 plate appearances.

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).

Former Blue Raider Dewon Brazelton was the last player to be invited to the tryouts from Middle Tennessee. Brentz is one of three Blue Raiders to have ever been invited to tryout for the USA Baseball National Team.

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