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DURHAM, N.C. -- UConn baseball sophomore standout Anthony Kay has accepted an invitation to join the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team. Kay will join a group of 24 elite non-draft eligible college baseball prospects to comprise Team USA, which will embark on a two-month tour and play at least 17 international contests in June and July.
"I am extremely excited for this chance to play alongside the best players in college baseball against some of the world's finest competition," Kay said. "We are remaining focused on our season here at UConn but I know this will be a terrific opportunity for me and for our program."
Kay (Stony Brook, N.Y.) continues a long tradition of UConn baseball and Team USA. The Huskies have had eight players on various version of Team USA, and former skipper Andy Baylock was the Team USA pitching coach on three separate occasions. Most recently, LJ Mazzilli ('13) was an alternate on the Collegiate National Team in 2011. The last two Huskies to play for the CNT were Matt Barnes ('11) and George Springer ('11), both members of the 2010 squad.
"We are thrilled for Anthony. He has worked to earn the opportunity to wear USA across his chest, and I know it is an honor for him to represent his country," head coach Jim Penders said.
"Whenever UConn baseball can be represented in the Red, White, and Blue, it is so humbling. Anthony joins a long list of former Huskies to have the privilege, and I'm sure he will make the most of this chance by representing himself, our program, and university in the best way possible," the 12th-year Husky skipper added.
This season has seen Kay enjoy a breakout sophomore campaign, as the southpaw currently leads the American Athletic Conference and is top-15 nationally with a 1.29 ERA. He is also tops in the league with a .189 batting average against and third in the conference with 68 strikeouts in 70.0 innings of work. Kay has walked only 15 batters this season and is among the national leaders with a 0.89 WHIP. He was named the NCBWA National Pitcher of the Week on April 13 following a nine-strikeout complete game at No. 12 UCF on April 11.
"We have a selection committee, but players invite themselves to this team based on their performance," said Eric Campbell, USA Baseball General Manager of National Teams.
In his freshman year last season Kay split time between the rotation and bullpen, making 18 overall appearances and eight starts. In 10 relief stints, he compiled a 1.57 ERA in 23.0 innings. Overall for his UConn career the 6'0 lefty has recorded an 11-7 record with a 2.36 ERA and 124 strikeouts in 137.0 innings. He set the single-season program record with eight pickoffs a year ago and leads The American with three more this season.
The Collegiate National Team will assemble on June 18, 2015. St. John's head coach Ed Blankmeyer has been tabbed to manage the squad, which plays its first international contest against the Holly Springs Salamanders of the Coastal Plain League on June 20 at the National Training Complex in Cary, N.C. The summer concludes with a five-game series against Cuba before the Americas Baseball Festival.