CARY, N.C. -- The USA Baseball Collegiate National Team welcomed on Friday 29 of college baseball's top underclassmen, including LSU shortstop Alex Bregman, as the squad opened training camp at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, N.C.
Led by manager Dave Van Horn of Arkansas, the USA coaching staff will be charged with the task of putting together a 24-man roster for 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.
Bregman is already guaranteed a spot on the roster, along with RHP Ryan Burr (Arizona State), RHP James Kaprelian (UCLA), RHP Jake Lemoine (Houston), C Chris Okey (Clemson), OF D.J. Stewart (Florida State) and INF Blake Trahan (Lousiana 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.
Joining Van Horn on the coaching staff for the Collegiate National Team this summer will be Texas A&M's Rob Childress, New Mexico's Ray Birmingham and Pepperdine's Steve Rodriguez. Gary Denbo from the New York Yankees organization will assist the team as a hitting consultant and Joe Patterson from Owassa High School (Okla.) will be the squad's bullpen coach.
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.