DURHAM, N.C. – UCLA rising junior baseball players Gerrit Cole and Steve Rodriguez have been invited to try out for the 2010 USA Collegiate National Team, as trials are slated for July 6-11 at the USA Baseball National Training Complex (NTC) in Cary, N.C.
Cole and Rodriguez are among 39 invitees, of which 36 will compete for a spot on the final 22-man roster, while three players will be named as alternates.
Last summer, Cole went 4-0 with a 1.06 ERA in six games (five starts) for the Collegiate National Team, leading Team USA in strikeouts (46) and innings pitched (34.0). This marks the first summer in which Rodriguez, Cole’s primary batterymate at UCLA, has been invited to the Collegiate National Team Trials.
Cole is one of just three players, including Vanderbilt’s Sonny Gray and Clemson’s Brad Miller, to return from the 2009 Collegiate National Team in an attempt to join Team USA for the second year in a row.
Both Cole and Rodriguez played instrumental roles in helping lead UCLA to a 51-17 record and the program’s first-ever appearance in the finals of the 2010 College World Series. Cole went 11-4 with a 3.37 ERA, collecting 153 strikeouts in 123.0 innings. Rodriguez batted .249 with eight home runs, 37 RBI and 35 runs in 61 games (57 starts at catcher).
Following the trials and training period in Cary, Team USA will play a five-game series against Korea before squaring off against a Japanese Collegiate All-Star Team in a one-game, international friendship competition in Omaha’s Rosenblatt Stadium on July 21. From there, the team will 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 Championship in Tokyo, Japan, from July 30-Aug. 7. The U.S. Collegiate National Team has won the last three FISU Worlds (2004, ’06, ’08) while host nation Japan will seek its first title.