• Baylor pitcher anchors USA National Team pitching staff in perfect summer

    USA BaseballJunior Kendal Volz carried on a proud Baylor tradition, representing the United States in style as a member of this summer’s USA Baseball National Team that won two championships and finished the summer a perfect 24-0.

    A starting pitcher for Baylor, Volz served as Team USA’s closer, racking up eight saves in eight opportunities and finishing with a perfect 0.00 ERA in 14 innings pitched. Besides the U.S., the top competitors in international baseball are Japan and Cuba; Volz closed out wins over each of those teams twice, including a pair of tournament championship games. The Cuba team even ran out its Olympic team roster against the U.S., and Volz held them to just one hit in 2.1 innings, striking out three. Even amidst all that, Volz still found time to keep a blog on BaylorBears.com and do an Internet chat with Baseball America.

    Volz is the latest in a line of Bears to have played on the U.S. National Team, dating back 20 years to Pat Combs in the 1988 Olympics. More recently, Baylor legends such as Jason Jennings, Zane Carlson, and coach Steve Smith to have represented Baylor on the world baseball scene. The Bears have even gotten into the action behind the scenes, with Baylor athletic media relations staffer Larry Little serving a second tour of duty as the National Team’s press officer this summer.

    Volz’s National Team teammates won’t be representing the U.S. at this summer’s Olympics; USA Baseball has elected to instead send a squad of primarily minor leaguers to Beijing, as they have for the past several Olympics. But I think the record compiled by this team of collegiate players speaks for itself as to their abilities.

    Sic ’em, Kendal and USA Baseball!

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