FAYETTEVILLE – Arkansas freshman infielder Dominic Ficociello has been added to the 22-man roster for the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team, as announced on Wednesday afternoon.
"It’s an honor and privilege to wear USA on your chest and represent your country on the baseball field," Ficociello said. "I’m excited to get to represent the University of Arkansas on the team with DJ (Baxendale) and Coach Van Horn."
Ficociello joins sophomore pitcher DJ Baxendale, who was selected for the team earlier this month, and Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn on this year’s USA Collegiate National Team. Van Horn was picked to serve as an assistant coach for the team.
"It’s a great honor for Dominic to be selected to the team as a freshman," Van Horn said. "Dominic has been very consistent at the plate this season. He’s also done a great job defensively at both first and third base and being able to play multiple positions was one of the things the national team was looking for."
A native of Fullerton, Calif., Ficociello has developed into one of the top freshman hitters in both the Southeastern Conference and the country. Entering this weekend’s series with Ole Miss, Ficociello is hitting a team-best .363 with four homers and a team-leading 47 RBI. Currently on a 12-game hitting streak, Ficociello leads all freshmen in the SEC in batting average, hits (66), doubles (15) and RBI. Ficociello has also been the Razorbacks’ top hitter in conference games, batting .337 against SEC competition with two homers and 18 RBI.
Defensively, Ficociello has seen time at both corners of the diamond, playing first and third base. Ficociello has a .969 fielding percentage, committing nine errors during his freshman season. He’s posted a sparkling .985 fielding percentage in league games, with just three errors committed.
The 2011 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team will convene on June 22. The team is scheduled to play 11 games during the summer, culminating with a five-game series against Japan, July 3-8. The series against Japan 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.