FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas baseball relief pitcher Zach Jackson has accepted an invitation to join the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team this summer and embark on a two-month tour comprised of at least 17 games in June and July.
Jackson becomes the 13th member of the Arkansas baseball team to don the Red, White and Blue, joining a long list of Razorback legends to play for the USA Collegiate National Team.
“To get an invite to go play for your country and represent the USA against other countries around the world is something I’ve always dreamed of,” said Jackson. “It’s definitely an honor and humbling experience.”
The Berryhill, Oklahoma native has stifled hitters all season, posting a 4-0 record with four saves and a 2.75 earned run average in 15 appearances. He has 56 strikeouts in 39.1 innings of work and allowed just four extra base hits on the year, while opponents are hitting .218 against the right-hander.
“We couldn’t be happier for Zach to have the opportunity to play for his country this summer,” said Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn. “Having been through this process, the experience he will gain from being around some of the best coaches in the game and most talented collegiate players in the country will serve him well the rest of his career.”
Van Horn served as the head coach of the USA Collegiate National Team in the summer of 2014 and was joined by Arkansas pitcher Trey Killian as the squad played series against Chinese Taipei and Japan and made trips to The Netherlands and Cuba.
Prior to the summer of 2014, Arkansas had 11 members play for the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team, including DJ Baxendale, Dominic Ficociello and Matt Reynolds in 2012, while Ryne Stanek made appearances on the team in 2011 and 2012.
“I know Ryne Stanek was on the team and I looked up to him before I got here,” Jackson said. “Obviously Trey Killian and Coach Van Horn were on the team last year and it’s just an honor to carry on that legacy.”
The Collegiate National Team will assemble on June 18, 2015. St. John’s head coach Ed Blankmeyer has been tabbed to manage the squad, which plays its first international contest against the Holly Springs Salamanders of the Coastal Plain League on June 20 at the National Training Complex in Cary, N.C. The summer concludes with a five-game series against Cuba before the Americas Baseball Festival.
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