FAYETTEVILLE – Arkansas sophomore pitcher DJ Baxendale has been selected to the 22-man roster for the 2011 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team, it was announced on Tuesday morning.
"It’s a real honor to be selected for the team and to able to represent the University of Arkansas on Team USA," Baxendale said. "I’m looking forward to playing some tough competition this summer and representing my country on the baseball field."
Baxendale is the eighth Arkansas player to be selected for the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team and the first since Andy Wilkins was picked for the team in 2009. Baxendale joins Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn on this summer’s team. Van Horn will serve as an assistant coach this summer for the USA Collegiate National Team.
"I’m really proud of DJ for being selected by the committee and coaches of the collegiate national team," Van Horn said. "He’s a great representative for the University of Arkansas and the state of Arkansas. I think it’s well deserved. He’s put up outstanding numbers this year and hopefully he’ll continue that for the rest of the season."
A native of Jacksonville, Ark., Baxendale is one of the most versatile pitchers in college baseball, seeing time in both the Razorbacks’ starting rotation and in the bullpen. Baxendale currently ranks third in the SEC with a 1.58 ERA and has a 7-1 record with two saves in 14 appearances, including eight starts. In 57 innings pitched this season, Baxendale has given up 14 runs, only 10 earned, and struck out 53 batters, while issuing 11 walks. Opponents are hitting just .226 against the sophomore right hander.
Baxendale has saved some of his best outings this season for conference play, earning three wins in SEC play, including victories against Florida and Vanderbilt. In his most recent outing against No. 5 Florida, Baxendale threw his first complete game, tying a career high with seven strikeouts and allowing just three runs to pick up the win against the Gators.
The 2011 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team will convene on June 22. The team will play 11 games during the summer, culminating with a five-game series against Japan July 3-8. The series opens on July 3 at 3:05 p.m. at Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham, N.C. Additional players will be selected to the team in the absence of players on the 22-man roster who are competing in Omaha at the NCAA College World Series.