FULLERTON, Calif. — It was their final shot to show their stuff, put together a dynamic performance and impress the Team USA coaching staff.
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.
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