Nebraska freshman outfielder Ryan Boldt was one of college baseball’s top 29 underclassmen welcomed by the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team on Friday to the squad’s training camp at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, N.C.
It’s Boldt second stint with Team USA, as he earned a spot on Team USA’s Under-18 squad in August 2012 and was coached by former Major Leaguer and three-time World Series champion Scott Brosius. Boldt was the first Minnesota product to earn a spot on the team since current Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer was selected in 2000.
Boldt competed with Team USA at the XXV IBAF Under-18 Baseball World Championships in Seoul, Korea, helping Team USA win its first world championship at the under-18 level since 1999 with a 6-2 win over Canada in the championship game. Boldt led all players at the 12-team event with a tournament-record 12 stolen bases and added a tournament-high 11 runs.
Alex Gordon was the last Husker to compete for Team USA while still at Nebraska, as the Royals’ three-time Gold Glove winner was a member of the 2004 national team and was named the top offensive player at the World University Baseball Championships in Tainan. Former Husker and current Minnesota Twins’ pitcher Brian Duensing was a member of Team USA at the 2008 Olympics.
Boldt will try to make a 24-man roster for a the summer tour that will feature Friendship Series against Chinese Taipei and Japan, as well as international trips to Honkbal Week in Haarlem, The Netherlands and a five-game series in Cuba.
Of the 29 players who have reported, seven have already guaranteed their spot on the team, while 22 others arrive in North Carolina with hopes of earning a spot on the roster.
Already guaranteed a spot on the roster are Alex Bregman (LSU), Ryan Burr (Arizona State), James Kaprelian (UCLA), Jake Lemoine (Houston), Chris Okey (Clemson), D.J. Stewart (Florida State) and Blake Trahan (Louisiana Lafayette).
The 22 hopefuls hail from coast-to-coast and include OF Nick Banks (Texas A&M), OF Ryan Boldt (Nebraska), C Zack Collins (Miami), RHP Thomas Eshelman (Cal State Fullerton), RHP Justin Garza (Cal State Fullerton), INF Casey Golden (UNC Wilmington), RHP Jimmy Herget (USF), RHP Skylar Hunter (The Citadel), LHP Tyler Jay (Illinois), RHP Trey Killian (Arkansas), RHP Brandon Koch (Dallas Baptist), OF Tate Matheny (Missouri State), INF Mark Matthias (Cal Poly), LHP A.J. Minter (Texas A&M), RHP Andrew Moore (Oregon State), INF Sheldon Neuse (Oklahoma), INF Kevin Newman (Arizona), RHP Bailey Ober (College of Charleston), OF Christin Stewart (Tennessee), RHP Dillon Tate (UC Santa Barbara), RHP Robert Tyler (Georgia) and C Taylor Ward (Fresno State).
Five other players who have been representing their collegiate team in Omaha at the College World Series will join the Collegiate National Team at a later date. Three players - LHP Nathan Kirby (Virginia), RHP Carson Fulmer (Vanderbilt) and INF Dansby Swanson (Vanderbilt) - are guaranteed roster spots while RHP Kyle Funkhouser (Louisville) and OF Bryan Reynolds (Vanderbilt) will join the squad looking to earn a spot on the final roster.
The Collegiate National Team opened its training camp with an afternoon practice on Friday. Team USA's first game is set for 7:30 p.m. on Saturday against the Catawba Valley All-Stars at the USA Baseball National Training Complex.