But the USA Baseball Under 18 trials team underwhelmed Tuesday evening at Goodwin Field, falling 5-4 to the Southern California 17U NTIS in Team USA’s last game before final cuts would be made and the official roster was set later that night.
The U18 National trials team dropped its first game since reporting to Southern California for four exhibition games with scout and NTIS (National Team Identification Series) teams to help determine the final U18 roster that will represent USA Baseball in the 2012 IBAF 18U/AAA World Championships in Seoul, South Korea.
UCLA commit Brady Aiken, who did not make the final squad, struggled on the mound for Team USA, allowing three runs in the first. Jonah Arenado gave the Southern California team an early lead with a bases-clearing double after Aiken walked a batter, allowed a single and hit a batter to load the bases.
While the Team USA players were trying to impress, it was Arenado that likely caught the eye of the scouts and college coaches in attendance. Arenado finished 2-for-4 with four RBI after blasting a no-doubt homer off the screen beyond the left field fence on the first pitch by reliever Joe DeMers in the sixth inning.
Team USA battled back to 5-4 in the seventh inning. San Diego commit Reese McGuire scored on an errant throw after advancing to third base on a fly ball by UCLA commit Dom Nunez. Nebraska commit Ryan Boldt then singled home Bryson Brigman.
Following a quick 1-2-3 inning from Arkansas commit Dominic Taccolini, the U18 trials team threatened again. Virginia commit Cavan Biggio singled, stole second and advanced to third base when the throw bounced away from the second baseman.
SoCal reliever Max Gibbs got USC commit Jeremy Martinez to ground out to third base, forcing Biggio to stay put, and then after a walk, got a groundout to end the inning.
Team USA failed to threaten again in the final two innings (the game was scheduled for 10 innings) as Gibbs shut the door to pick up the save. Gary Fayard collected the win for SoCal with 2 1/3 scoreless innings. Aiken took the loss.
The official U18 National Team (final roster listed below slideshow) is back in action at Goodwin Field Wednesday at 2 p.m. PST against the Angels scout team.
Check out the 20-shot photo gallery from the U18 National Team’s final trial game Tuesday afternoon:
FINAL USA BASEBALL UNDER 18 NATIONAL ROSTER
Name, Position, Hometown, Current Commitment
William Abreu, OF, Hialeah, Fla. (Miami commit)
Christian Arroyo, IF, Brooksville, Fla. (Florida commit)
Cavan Biggio, IF/OF, Houston, Texas (Virginia commit)
Ryan Boldt, OF, Red Wing, Minn. (Nebraska commit)
Bryson Brigman, IF/OF, San Jose, Calif.
Ian Clarkin, LHP, San Diego, Calif. (San Diego commit)
Kevin Davis, RHP, Brewton, Ala. (Auburn commit)
Stephen Gonsalves, LHP, San Marcos, Calif. (San Diego commit)
Connor Heady, IF/RHP, Prospect, Ky. (Kentucky commit)
John Kilichowski, LHP, Tampa, Fla. (Vanderbilt commit)
Jeremy Martinez, C, Santa Ana, Calif. (USC commit)
Andy McGuire, IF, Vienna, Va. (Texas commit)
Reese McGuire, C, Covington, Wash. (San Diego commit)
Dom Nunez, IF, Elk Grove, Calif. (UCLA commit)
Chris Okey, C, Mt. Dora, Fla. (South Carolina commit)
Ryan Olson, RHP, Upland, Calif. (San Diego commit)
Carson Sands, LHP, Tallahassee, Fla. (Florida State commit)
Dominic Taccolini, RHP, Sugarland, Texas (Arkansas commit)
Keegan Thompson, RHP, Cullman, Ala. (Auburn commit)
Garrett Williams, LHP, Shreveport, La.