The USA Baseball Collegiate National Team welcomed 29 of college baseball’s top underclassmen earlier this week as the squad opened training camp in southern California. Invitees kicked off the trials portion of its schedule with a practice at the Major League Baseball Urban Youth Academy in Compton.
UNCW rising juniors Nick Feight and Brian Mims made the cross-country trip as Team USA will play five games against teams from the California Collegiate League before the final roster is set.
“This is an excellent opportunity for these young men,” said UNCW Head Coach Mark Scalf, who has twice served on Team USA’s staff. “Nick and Brian both had successful seasons and worked every day to put themselves in position to have this opportunity.”
Feight, a catcher/designated hitter, was the Colonial Athletic Association’s Player of the Year following a sophomore season where he tied school records with 24 doubles and 21 home runs, while smashing the runs batted in record with a nation-leading 91 RBI’s. Feight has been named to five All-America teams, including Louisville Sluggers’ First Team.
Mims, who started all 60 games at second base, also enjoyed a breakout season, hitting .371 with 33 extra base hits, including 17 doubles and 14 home runs. He drove in 64 runs and scored 71.
Team USA will also play a pair of games at Angels Stadium, home of Major League Baseball’s Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim before closing out trials with a return to the Urban Youth Academy in Compton on July 2.
From there, the team will cut down to its final roster for a five-game series against Japan, with contests being held in Niigata, Tokyo and Shizuoka from July 12-17. The Collegiate National Team will then conclude its summer tour by traveling to the Caribbean for the continuation of its annual series against Cuba, July 23-27 in Ciego de Avila, Havana and Pinar del Rio.
Oregon Head Coach George Horton will manage the team and will be assisted by Jason Gill (Loyola Marymount), David Pierce (Tulane), Mitch Karraker (Oregon) and longtime college coach Dave Snow.
The last Seahawk to attend the trials was rising senior Casey Golden in 2014. Scalf served as an assistant in 2003 and 2007. Former Seahawk and current Dodgers minor leaguer Seth Frankoff pitched for the Red, White and Blue in 2007.