July 12, 2010
After trials at the USA Baseball National Training Complex (NTC) in Cary, N.C. concluded on July 11, USA Baseball announced its 22-man roster from its 36 athletes who participated in the six-day event.
"George called last night and shared the news that he made the team, and while he was on the phone, he got a text from Matt saying he made it too," said UConn head coach Jim Penders. "It was great to hear the excitement in his voice, and I couldn't be prouder of them both. I can't imagine a higher honor in amateur baseball than to represent one's country in international competition. Matt and George have both worked hard to become two of the best players in all of college baseball, and now as a result, they've earned the privilege to wear those three very special letters across their chests."
Springer and Barnes' accomplishment represents the first time that a Husky will participate in amateur international competition overseas since the summer of 2004, when Peter Soteropoulos played in the Athens Olympics for Greece. It is the first time a Husky will represent Team USA overseas since John Kelly did so in 1993.
Former UConn standout Charles Nagy was the last UConn baseball player to play in Asia (1988) when he was a member of the Olympic gold-medal winning Team USA in Seoul, South Korea. Also for the first time since 1988, a UConn player will play in Taiwan. This will mark the first time since second baseman Brian Specyalski and Coach Andy Baylock appeared as members of Team USA in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
UConn joins Cal State Fullerton, UCLA, Florida and Oregon as the only programs with more than one player represented on Team USA, while all five programs have two student-athletes on the squad.
Additionally, there are five players from the Norwich Regional that have been named to the team, including Springer and Barnes who are joined by two team members from Oregon and one from Florida State.
The U.S. team will take on the Gastonia Grizzlies on July 12 at Sims Legion Park in Gastonia, N.C. before facing the Fayetteville Swampdogs at J.P. Riddle Stadium in Fayetteville, N.C. on July 13.
Following the local contests, the Collegiate National Team will play a five-game series against Korea before squaring off against a Japanese Collegiate All-Star Team in one game at Rosenblatt Stadium on July 21 in Omaha, Neb. The team will then travel to Taipei, Taiwan for a four-game series against Chinese Taipei at Tien-Mu Stadium beginning July 25.
Team USA will close its summer season at the FISU World University Championships in Tokyo, Japan from July 30-Aug. 7. The U.S. has won the last three FISU Worlds in 2004, 2006 and 2008.