June 24, 2008
Durham, NC - San Diego pitcher AJ Griffin and San Francisco catcher Ryan Lipkin were named to the 2008 Collegiate National Team, as announced by USA Baseball on Tuesday. The two players are part of a 20-man roster that will compete in the Netherlands next month, and at the FISU World Championships in the Czech Republic.
Griffin was named to the team after a standout sophomore campaign, as the right-hander collected 14 saves and moved into a tie for second place on the WCC's all-time saves chart with 25. The native of El Cajon, CA also notched a 1.96 ERA and struck out 49 batters in 46 innings of work during the 2008 campaign.
Lipkin emerged as one of the top hitters in the WCC in 2008, as the Vacaville, CA native batted a team-best .384 (66-for-172) and drove in 21 runs in 52 games for the Dons. The sophomore is one of two catchers on the USA roster, and becomes the first USF player to earn a spot on the National Team since Taggert Bozied played for Team USA in 2000.
The selection of Griffin and Lipkin marks the second straight year that multiple players from the WCC have been named to the USA Collegiate National Team, as a record four conference players participated in international competition last summer. San Francisco Head Coach Nino Giarratano is serving as an assistant coach for the 2008 squad, becoming the third current WCC coach to serve on the Team USA staff in the last five years.
The National Team roster was selected following a two-week trial period, during which time the trials participants played 10 games and had two intrasquad scrimmages. Comprised of the top non-draft-eligible college players in the United States, USA Baseball will announce the final two members of the 2008 National Team later this week.
The National Team begins competition on Wednesday, opening a six-game series against the Chinese Taipei National Team in Greenville, S.C. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. EDT at West End Field.