After narrowly missing the cut last year, Waxahachie’s Colton Cain went back to the Youth National Team trials this summer with something to prove.
On Friday, vindication came his way as he was named to this year’s squad, which is scheduled to leave for Venezuela on Wednesday to play in the IBAF World Championships.
“Absolutely it takes some pressure off,” Cain said. “This is exciting — I knew I had a good chance, but with something like this you are never totally confident.”
Cain, who played only first base during last year’s tryout, was given the opportunity to pitch this year.
In 4-2/3 innings he struck out six and allowed three runs, all of which came in one inning.
“Last year I was straight first base and pretty nervous,” he said. “This second time through I was at ease and more comfortable. And I got to pitch, which is what I love to do.”
Cain also impressed USA Baseball officials at the plate, going 5-for-13 with three doubles, one home run, six RBIs and two runs scored.
Representing the United States is not something many athletes have a chance to do and Cain is going to make sure to enjoy his time with the Youth National Team.
“I just really appreciate the fact that I’ve been give a chance to play for my country,” he said. “I’ll also be representing my family, friends, coaches and, of course, Waxahachie. It’s a humbling experience just to be in this situation.”
The Youth National Team is made up of 18 players, who earned their spot after a weeklong tryout with 36 players. The team practiced together for the first time Saturday and played a doubleheader against the Davidson Copperheads and Davidson Dirtbags on Sunday.
Monday brings the final training game as Team USA will face the Cary Bulls at 6:35 p.m. in its final tune-up before the IBAF World Youth Championships.
Team USA members will have their final practice on Tuesday morning before packing their bags in preparation for the trip to Venezuela. The team will also take in a Durham Bulls-Charlotte Knights game at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
The YNT will then fly to Venezuela early Wednesday morning.
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