April 21, 2009
DURHAM, N.C. - UCLA freshman right-hander Gerrit Cole has been named to the list of 17 initial invitees to the 2009 USA Baseball National Team Trials to take place at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, N.C., from June 15-24.
Cole is one of five college freshmen to have received invitations. The four other freshmen include Sonny Gray (Vanderbilt), Anthony Rendon (Rice), Logan Verrett (Baylor) and Tony Zych (Louisville).
"Gerrit has pitched as well as any freshman in the country," UCLA head coach John Savage said. "He certainly deserves an opportunity to play for Team USA."
Cole becomes the first Bruin invited to the USA Baseball National Team Trials since shortstop Brandon Crawford played for the USA National Team in the summer of 2006.
The National Team Trials will be comprised of 36 collegiate players vying for a spot on the final 22-man roster, to be announced June 24.
Midway through his freshman campaign at UCLA, Cole has posted a 3-3 record and 3.51 ERA in nine starts. The freshman from Santa Ana, Calif., leads UCLA with 71 strikeouts in 51.1 innings, the second-highest total on the Bruins' staff. Entering this week's action, Cole ranks third in the Pac-10 Conference with 71 strikeouts (tied with Washington State's Matt Way). Cole ranks seventh in the nation in strikeouts per nine innings (12.46).
Included in the list of invitees are five members of the 2008 team which went unbeaten last summer (24-0) and won gold medals at the FISU World University Championships in the Czech Republic and the Honkbal Tournament in the Netherlands. Returning members include sophomores Derek Dietrich (Georgia Tech), Chris Hernandez (Miami), Hunter Morris (Auburn), Micah Gibbs (LSU), and Christian Colon (Cal State Fullerton).
Other sophomores on the list are Michael Choice (UT Arlington), Blake Forsythe (Tennessee), Yasmani Grandal (Miami), Rick Hague (Rice), Deck McGuire (Georgia Tech), Drew Pomeranz (Mississippi) and Anthony Ranaudo (Louisiana State).
The 2009 team will be coached by Tulane head coach Rick Jones, who previously served as an assistant coach for Team USA on the 1989 Presidential Cup Team and 1990 National Team. Jones is joined by pitching coach Mike Kennedy (head coach, Elon) and assistant coaches Dan McDonnell (head coach, Louisville) and Rob Cooper (head coach, Wright State; 2007 USA Baseball National Team assistant coach).