Oregon State freshman infielder Nick Madrigal will continue what's become a Beaver tradition this summer, and play for the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team. It's the 6th year in a row, an Oregon State player has been named to the national team, and Madrigal is the 11 Beaver to be selected.
"It means everything to me," Madrigal said. "Not everyone gets to wear USA across their chest. It's definitely something special. Growing up, I saw Team USA on TV and I told myself that if I was able to wear that uniform, I'd be pretty blessed. I've had an opportunity to play for Team USA a few times now and it means the world to me."
It's not something Madrigal is unfamiliar with though, as he has made a USA National team 3 times before, making the 14U team in 2011, the 15U team in 2012, and then the 18U team in 2014.
This year, Madrigal has stated all 41 games to date for Oregon State, reaching base in all but one game, and with a hit in 38. The Beavers' team leader with 60 hits, his batting average is .345, with 10 doubles, 4 triples, and 25 RBIs.
"It's unbelievable the tradition we've had, putting a guy on the Collegiate National Team the past six years," Oregon State head coach Pat Casey said. "And Nick is more than deserving. He is one of the best players in the country. It's not something that somebody gave him; he's earned it. He earned it by the way he plays the game. He's taken his game to a new level and I'm excited for him. I can't tell you how happy I am for Nick. He deserves it, and we're all thankful that he's a guy who will get to represent his country and Oregon State."
Madrigal and the USA National team will travel to Taipei, Japan, and Cuba in July to play this summer, after training and beginning their season in Southern California (instead of North Carolina, for a change) this year. Their first game will be on June 28.