MIAMI – Four players representing PONY in the 2011 USA Baseball Tournament of Stars were selected to represent the United States on the 2011 USA Baseball 18U National Team. The team reconvened in Miami, Wednesday, and will train for seven days before departing for the COPABE Junior AAA/18U Pan American Championships in Cartagena, Colombia. Upon arrival, manager Scott Brosius led his 20-man club through a two hour practice at Nova Southeastern University. Following the workout, players returned to their hotel where they participated in a video announcement of the schools for which they have signed their letter of intent.
Team USA's training period in the southern Florida region will run from Nov. 9-15, and will consist of morning practices and nightly exhibition games against local universities, including Nova Southeastern, Florida International, St. Thomas, and Palm Beach State College. The team will then depart on Wednesday, Nov. 16, for Cartagena, where the U.S. will look to win only its second ever, albeit second consecutive, 18U Pan Ams, scheduled for Nov. 17-27. The event is the culmination of a three-part season for the 18U program, which originally held its first phase of trials in Cary, N.C., June 27-July 2, and then a second phase, again in Cary, after which the final team was announced, Sept. 12-17.
"We have an intense week of practices and games versus quality local college competition which is aimed at preparing the 18U National Team for next week's championships," said 18U team director Brant Ust. "There is a renewed focus and effort in our preparation as Coach Brosius and staff get the players ready for the competition we will be facing next week."
Coinciding with the team's Tuesday arrival is national letter of intent signing day for rising college freshmen baseball players. Following practice, 17 of the team's players gathered to announce their name and the school at which they have signed a letter of intent. The event was a first for USA Baseball, as the 18U National Team schedule has traditionally concluded prior to November.
"Today is a special day for the 18U program," said Ust. "We celebrate our players' college decisions while also kicking off our training for the upcoming Pan Ams."
“PONY is very proud of our 2011 Tournament of Stars team and the fact that four (4) players were selected to participate on the 2011 USA Baseball 18U National Team,” stated PONY President Abraham Key. “We are excited that Alex, Walker, Jesse and Jeremy plan to continue their collegiate baseball careers and have made commitments to further their education.”
2011 PONY Tournament of Stars Players are listed here;
Name, Position, Hometown, School
Alex Bregman, IF, Albuquerque, N. M., Louisiana State
Walker Weickel, RHP, Orlando, Fla., Miami
Jesse Winker, OF, Windermere, Fla., Florida
Junior catcher Jeremy Martinez (verbally committed to Southern California) and cannot sign a national letter of intent until next year.