FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. – The Fayetteville SwampDogs are pleased to announce they will play USA Baseball Collegiate National Team, on Monday, June 24th at J.P. Riddle Stadium. The matchup will mark the fifth time in the last seven years the two teams have played each other. The SwampDogs also took on Team Japan in 2007. The Fayetteville-USA Baseball Collegiate National Baseball Team contest will be presented by Cape Fear Valley Health System.
“The SwampDogs have been fortunate to establish a great relationship with USA Baseball over the last several years and we are very excited to welcome them back to “The Swamp” in 2013,” said SwampDogs Director of Operations Darrell Handelsman. “It is an honor to be able to host some of the finest collegiate players from across the United States and I know it’s a date that will be circled in every SwampDogs fan’s calendar.”
The USA Baseball Collegiate National Team consists of the top collegiate baseball players in the country. The team competes each summer in a schedule of exhibition games across the U.S. and overseas against the world’s top baseball talent. As part of this schedule, the U.S. squares off against the Japan Collegiate All-Stars nearly every summer, and faces off in international friendship series against the likes of Canada, Chinese Taipei, and the Netherlands. Each summer schedule also features a prominent international tournament for the age group, which include the Pan American Games and the FISU World Collegiate Baseball Championships.
“The SwampDogs have always been great hosts for our National Teams and our international opponents,” said Eric Campbell, General Manager, Professional & National Teams. “We are excited about coming back to Fayetteville, as we know there will be a good buzz in the stadium and, as always, a competitive opponent on the field. Fayetteville is a good baseball town with passionate, supportive and educated fans.”
Among the current Major Leaguers that played for the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team are Washington Nationals hurler Steven Strasburg, Ryan Howard, Mark Teixeira, Todd Helton and CPL Alumni Justin Verlander and Ryan Zimmerman.
“The Handelsmans, Jeremy (Aagard) and the whole SwampDogs staff do an awesome job in making SwampDogs games a must-see attraction for everyone in the Fayetteville area,” said Coastal Plain League Commissioner Justin Sellers. “We, as a league, are extremely excited to have Fayetteville host the Collegiate National Team on June 24 as one of eight games CPL teams will play this summer against USA Baseball. This will be a memorable experience for all the players and a date all baseball fans need to be sure to circle on their calendars.”
Casey McGrew of Wright State (OH) donned a SwampDogs uniform in 2009 before reporting to Cary, N.C., to claim his spot on the Team USA roster. McGrew went 3-for-4 in his SwampDogs debut, setting the standard for his summer representing his national team, where he hit .341.
USA Baseball is the National Governing Body of amateur baseball in the United States and is a member of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC). The organization selects and trains the World Baseball Classic Team and World Cup Team (and all other USA Baseball Professional Teams); the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team; the USA Baseball 18U, 16U and 14U National Teams; and the USA Baseball Women’s National Team, all of which participate in various international competitions each year. USA Baseball also presents the Golden Spikes Award annually to top player in college baseball. For more information, please visit www.USABaseball.com and www.GoldenSpikesAward.com.
The Fayetteville SwampDogs are a proud member of the Coastal Plain League, entering their 13th season in the nation’s hottest summer collegiate baseball league. Celebrating its 17th season in 2013, the CPL features 14 teams playing in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. The CPL gives college players the chance to refine their skills with the use of wooden bats. Players are housed with local host families for the summer and past experiences have been very positive for both players and hosts. Furthermore, the CPL has had over 1,000 alumni drafted and 55 alums – including 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young winner Justin Verlander – make their Major League debut thus far. For more information on the Coastal Plain League, please visit the league website at www.coastalplain.com, and be sure to friend us on Facebook (at www.facebook.com/coastalplainleague) and follow us via Twitter (as cpleague).