Baker, Schmidt Extended Invitations to USA Baseball National Trials


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TUCSON, AZ - Clemson shortstop Jeff Baker and right handed pitcher Jarrod Schmidt are two of 20 collegiate players initially extended invitations to participate in the 2000 USA Baseball National Team Trials June 16-21 in Tucson, AZ.


Baker, a starter in all 41 games, leads the Tigers with a .362 batting average. The freshman from Woodbridge, VA has 59 hits in 163 at bats. He has 38 RBIs, 10 doubles and two home runs. Baker was the MVP of the 1999 World Junior Championship as a member of the USA Junior National World Championship team.


Schmidt is a perfect 6-0 on the year and owns a 2.24 ERA in nine appearances this season. In 56.1 innings of work, the freshman from Marietta, GA, has recorded 40 strikeouts while giving up 52 hits, only 11 of which have gone for extra bases, all limited to doubles. He has not given up a triple or home run. Schmidt also is a designated hitter for Clemson and has served the team in that capacity in 38 games. He has a .231 bpatting average with 25 hits, 11 of which have gone for extra bases, including four home runs.


The sixth-ranked Tigers are 32-9 heading into Wednesday night's game at top-ranked South Carolina.
Six of the 20 invitees play in the Atlantic Coast Conference and only two schools - Clemson and Georgia Tech - have more than one player invited to the trials. The national team will be selected from a pool of 35-40 players who will participate in the trials. Additional invitations, totaling 15-20, will be extended in late May.


The team will play several exhibitions against foreign countries, but this is not the team that will represent the United States in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia. The Olympic roster will consist of professional players from the minor leagues.


Southern California's Mike Gillespie will serve as the head coach for the team, which will begin practice on June 16. The official team roster will be determined and announced on June 21.

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