VU's Gray among initial invitees to USA Baseball national team tryouts

Tuesday, April 21, 2009 at 3:53pm
Staff reports

Vanderbilt freshman Sonny Gray is one of seven pitchers on the initial invitation list for the USA Baseball national team trails, which was released Tuesday.

The initial list consists of 17 invitees. Eventually, 36 college players will participate in the tryouts (June 15-24 at Cary, N.C.), which will determine this summer’s national team.

Gray, of Smyrna, is one of five freshmen among the initial 17.

“It is a great honor to be invited to the USA Trials with the opportunity to play with some of the best players in college baseball,” Gray said in a release. “I look forward to competing for a spot on the team over the summer.”

The U.S. National Team will compete in a series of domestic exhibitions, then will travel to Japan for 37th Annual Japan vs. USA Collegiate Championships and will finish the summer at the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline World Baseball Challenge in Prince George, British Columbia.

Vanderbilt has had at least one player on the national team every year since 2004, beginning with former Father Ryan product Ryan Mullins, a pitcher. Others who have made the team are pitcher David Price (2005, 2006), third baseman Pedro Alvarez (2006, 2007), pitcher Casey Weathers (2006), infielder Ryan Flaherty (2007) and pitcher Mike Minor (2007, 2008).

Coach Tim Corbin was an assistant in 2000 and head coach in 2006.

“I am happy that Sonny has been invited to the USA trials,” Corbin said. “He is certainly deserving of the opportunity and I know he will make the most of it.”

Gray has a 3-1 record and a team-high four saves for the Commodores, who will conclude their non-conference schedule games Tuesday at Austin Peay (6 p.m.) and Wednesday at Louisville (6 p.m.). He has 26 strikeouts in 23.1 innings.