Gunderson, Nickerson To Try For National Team

June 22, 2005

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State pitchers Kevin Gunderson and Jonah Nickerson are among 16 players who recently accepted invitationas to participate in the 2005 USA Baseball National Team Trials, USA Baseball has announced. The trials, to be held June 27-30 at North Carolina State, will be used to select the United States national team from a pool of 39 players, with the official 20-man team roster announced on July 1.

Ten of the 39 players invited to the trials - including Gunderson (Portland, Ore./Central Catholic HS) and Nickerson (Oregon City, Ore./Oregon City HS) - played at the College World Series currently underway in Omaha, Neb., as is 2005 USA Baseball National Team Head Coach Steve Smith, who led Baylor to the CWS for the first time since 1978.

'This final list of athletes represents our view of the non-draft eligible players whose continued 2005 performance on the field has warranted the invitation,' said USA Baseball General Manager of National Teams Eric Campbell. 'They add to an already great group for which we have to select our National Team from.'

Oregon State pitcher Dallas Buck (Newberg, Ore./Newberg HS) was earlier invited to the trials but declined the invitation.

Team USA opens the summer on Saturday, July 2 at 7:00 pm vs the Torrington Twisters in Torrington, CT. Team USA will participate in the 34th Annual USA vs. Japan Collegiate Championship Series in Japan, July 8-12 and a Friendship Series vs. Taiwan in Chinese Taipei, July 15-19 prior to returning home to play six exhibition games at Durham Bulls Athletic Park this summer: July 22-24 vs. Italy & July 29-31 vs Nicaragua.

Smith will be assisted by John Cohen of Kentucky, Dave Van Horn of Arkansas, and Rob Walton of Oral Roberts. Andrew Norden of Duke will serve as the team athletic trainer and Larry Little of Baylor will serve as the team press officer.

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