Thursday, June 18, 2009

Sonny starts in USA Trials opener

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by SID
- Sonny Gray got the start for the Blue team in the first intrasquad contest of USA National Team Trials. He allowed one unearned run in three innings of work with three strikeouts and no walks. Gray did not factor in the decision as his squad fell 2-1 in eight innings.

Some familiar names on his team include Tennessee catcher Blake Forsythe who went 1-for-3 with a solo homer and Louisville pitcher/utility man Tony Zych who went 0-for-3 as the designated hitter/left fielder. Familiar names on the Red team include Middle Tennessee outfielder/pitcher Bryce Brentz who went 0-for-4, Florida first baseman Preston Tucker who was 0-for-2 and Alabama second baseman Ross Wilson who was 1-for-3.

The trials continues Thursday, June 18 as the second intrasquad, Blue vs. Red game will begin at 5:30 p.m. CT at the USA Baseball National Training Complex.

Players will participate in daily practices and drills at the trials, as well as in modified intrasquad Blue vs. Red games. The final 22-man roster will be announced on June 24.

Once the official roster has been announced, the National Team will stay in Durham and Cary, N.C. as it competes in two international friendship series against Canada and Guatemala from June 25-29 and July 1-4, respectively.

Team USA will then travel to Japan to participate in the 37th annual USA vs. Japan Collegiate Championships before traveling to Prince George, British Columbia, Canada for the 2009 Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline World Baseball Challenge.

The 2009 team will be coached by Tulane University head coach Rick Jones, who previously served as an assistant coach for Team USA on the 1989 Presidential Cup Team and 1990 Collegiate 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 National Team assistant coach).

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