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Matheny makes USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team

Missouri State outfielder Tate Matheny has earned a roster spot with USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team, which announced on Monday its 24-man roster that will take part in international competition throughout the month of July.

Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn and assistant coaches Rob Childress (Texas A&M), Ray Birmingham (New Mexico) and Steve Rodriguez (Pepperdine) will lead the 2014 Collegiate National Team.

The USA scored a 6-2 win over Chinese Taipei on Wednesday (July 2) at Coleman Field at the National Training Complex in Cary, N.C.

A 10th-inning played under international tiebreaker rules wasn’t enough to decide Tuesday’s series-opening contest between the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team and Chinese Taipei as the two squads tied 5-5.

The Collegiate National Team continues its series against Chinese Taipei at 7 p.m. Thursday at BB&T Ballpark in Charlotte, N.C. The two squads will then close out the series with a pair of games at Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham, N.C., set for 6:05 p.m. Friday and 7:05 p.m. Saturday.

Team USA will then host a three-game set against Japan that begins Sunday in Thomasville, Wilson and Wilmington, N.C., before traveling to the Netherlands for Honkbal-Haarlem Baseball Week, which runs from July 11-20. Following that tournament, the U.S. will head to Cuba for a five-game friendship series that runs from July 23-27.

Matheny, a Westminster Christian Academy graduate, will be one of 19 athletes representing USA Baseball for the first time in their amateur careers. Completing the roster are: Nick Banks (OF, Texas A&M), Alex Bregman (IF, LSU), Ryan Burr (RHP, Arizona State), Zack Collins (C, Miami), Thomas Eshelman (RHP, Cal State Fullerton), Carson Fulmer (RHP, Vanderbilt), Kyle Funkhouser (RHP, Louisville), Justin Garza (RHP, Cal State Fullerton), Tyler Jay (LHP, Illinois), James Kaprielian (RHP, UCLA), Trey Killian (RHP, Arkansas), Jake Lemoine (RHP, Houston), Mark Mathias (IF, Cal Poly), Tate Matheny (OF, Missouri State), A.J. Minter (LHP, Texas A&M), Andrew Moore (RHP, Oregon State), Chris Okey (C, Clemson), Bryan Reynolds (OF, Vanderbilt), Dansby Swanson (IF, Vanderbilt), Christin Stewart (OF, Tennessee), DJ Stewart (OF, Florida State), Dillon Tate (RHP, UCSB), Blake Trahan (IF, Louisiana Lafayette) and Taylor Ward (C, Fresno State).

Remaining with the team as an alternate through its five-game series against Chinese Taipei on July 5 is Bailey Ober (RHP, College of Charleston).

Matheny, who has hit .211 (4-for-19) with three stolen bases in his seven games with Team USA to date, becomes the sixth Bear to be selected for the Collegiate National Team during head coach Keith Guttin’s tenure and the first position player to earn a roster spot since Ryan Howard in 2000. Beginning with Bill Mueller’s selection for the 1991 Collegiate National Team, Jarrod Mays (1995), Bob Zimmermann (2001 and 2002) and Ross Detwiler (2006) have also donned the Red, White and Blue of Team USA during their Missouri State careers.

Matheny captured MSU’s Willis Award as team MVP for the second straight year in 2014 after turning in one of the top all-around performances in the Missouri Valley Conference. The junior-to-be powered the Bears’ offense with a .330 batting mark, while his 10 home runs ranked third in the Valley and marked the first double-digit total for a Missouri State player since 2009.

The St. Louis native has started all 108 games of his Missouri State career, is the Bears’ active leader in home runs (14) and hitting with a .333 career average. A First-Team All-MVC selection this spring, he led all MVC batters with 35 hits in league play and ranked among the conference’s statistical leaders in nearly every significant offensive category during the Valley season.

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