Courtesy Codi Warren, ASA/USA Softball
SASKATOON, Saskatchewan, Canada – Fresh off an undefeated “Road to Gold” campaign in the months leading up to their summer events, the USA Softball Men’s National Team (MNT) arrived in Saskatoon on Wednesday as the team readies for the 2015 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Men’s World Championship the Amateur Softball Association (ASA)/USA Softball announced today. Looking to improve off a 4-4 record from their last appearance at a World Championship, Team USA will open up round-robin action on June 26 against Mexico at 3 p.m. UTC (4 p.m. CST).
Click here for the complete roster for the 2015 USA Softball Men’s National Team.
Click here for full coverage from the WBSC Men’s World Championship
“The WBSC Men’s World Championship is certainly going to be tough as there are a lot of great teams involved,” said USA Head Coach Denny Bruckert (Gillespie, Ill.). “We just need to take it game by game and not get ahead of ourselves. Our bracket is extremely tough but I firmly believe we can play with all the teams. We really need to play the flawless defense we are capable of and make each opportunity count.”
Leading up to the WBSC Men’s World Championship, the MNT competed in two separate events, both locally and internationally. In their first competition of the 2015 season, the team participated in the Rodney Fox Memorial Tournament in Lancaster, Pa. May 16-17 where the team went 4-0, including three shutout games. The next competition took the team to St. Gervais, Quebec, Canada for the Bellechassee International Fastball Championship June 13-14. There, Team USA went undefeated with a 4-0 record and two shutouts.
“Our hitting has been the thing lately that we have really improved on,” said Bruckert. “Getting three or four hitters hot at the right time is what it’s all about. Our team has shown lately in the two tournaments we played that they believe in each other and realize this is a team game. Different people have stepped up each game and I think our players realize each of their roles. I do like what I’m seeing. We’ve got a lot of competition going on with several positions and a lot of versatility.”
Team USA will begin play at the WBSC Men’s World Championship on Friday, June 26 at 3 p.m. UTC (4 p.m. CST) against our neighbors to the South, Mexico. Following their opening game with Mexico , the U.S. is scheduled to play six other round-robin games: Dominican Republic (June 27), Japan (June 28), Netherlands (June 29), Venezuela (June 30), Australia (July 1) and Denmark (July 2). The playoffs, which will be determined by performance during round-robin action, are scheduled to begin on July 3 with the finals taking place on July 5. Team USA will be facing tough competition, as both the No. 2 and No. 3 countries, Venezuela and Australia respectively, from the 2013 WBSC Men’s World Championship are in their pool.
“We are looking forward to a top finish at the WBSC Men’s World Championship,” said USA infielder Matt Palazzo (Pleasant Hill, Iowa). “Our guys have been very committed throughout the off season and have really come together as a team these past few months as we’ve prepared for this event. We’re all ready to take the field on Friday and we can’t wait to represent the United States.”
In the last WBSC Men’s World Championship in 2013, the U.S. men completed the tournament with a 4-4 record, finishing eighth out of 16 countries. This marks the first WBSC Men’s World Championship for seven athletes on the 2015 U.S. roster, with 10 veterans who have previous World Championship experience.
Follow along with Team USA all summer long at www.ASAUSASoftball.com.
About ASA/USA Softball?
Founded in 1933, the Amateur Softball Association (ASA)/USA Softball is the National Governing Body Softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. One of the nation’s largest sports organizations, ASA/USA Softball sanctions competition in every state through a network of 74 local associations and has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 165,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than 2.5 million. ASA/USA is responsible for training, equipping and promoting the six USA Softball National Teams that compete in international and domestic competitions. The USA Softball Women’s National Team is one of only two women’s sports involved in the Olympic movement to capture three consecutive gold medals at the Olympic Games since 1996. The U.S. women have also won nine World Championship titles as well as claimed eight World Cup of Softball titles. For more information about ASA/USA Softball, please visit http://www.asausasoftball.com/.
About the World Baseball Softball Confederation
Headquartered in the Olympic Capital city of Lausanne, Switzerland, the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) was established in April 2013 and granted recognition as the sole competent authority in baseball and softball by the International Olympic Committee at the 125th IOC Session in September 2013. The WBSC represents a united baseball/softball sports movement that encompasses over 65 million athletes worldwide. The WBSC governs all international competitions involving any of the National Teams of its 141 National Federation members. The WBSC oversees the Softball World Championships, The Premier 12, the World Baseball Classic, and the U12, U15, U18, U21 and Women’s Baseball World Cups. For further information, please go to www.WBSC.co or follow the WBSC on Twitter at @WBSC_co.