June 29, 2004
Loyola Marymount's Stephen Kahn has been added to the 2004 USA Baseball National Team roster, General Manager Eric Campbell and Field Manager Frank Cruz announced today. Kahn becomes the third Lion to play for Team USA.
The right-handed pitcher will join the team in time to travel to the 33rd Annual USA vs. Japan Collegiate All-Star Series starting Friday (July 2) in New Ohita, Japan.
During last week's trials in Durham, N.C., Kahn posted five strikeouts in four innings. He got the start against the Canadian National Team on Saturday, but did not factor into the decision after throwing the first three innings.
"During the trials, I thought I pitched well," Kahn said. "I had one difficult inning on Saturday, and when you're competing with the best players in the nation, one bad inning is too many. But I am excited now to have the opportunity to play with Team USA and I am going to make the most of it and contribute any way I can."
Kahn becomes the third Lion to play for the national team since they began selecting a squad in the mid-1970s. He joins former LMU baseball standouts Joe Ciccarella (1989-1991) and Chris Gomez (1990-91) who played a combined three seasons for the Red, White, and Blue. LMU Head Coach Frank Cruz was selected in January to serve as the 2004 squad's field manager after serving as an assistant for Team USA in 2000.
Kahn was named WCC Pitcher of the Year after he helped lead LMU to the Coast Division title and the program's third WCC Championship Series appearance in six seasons. He posted a 7-3 record in 2004, while registering a 3.61 ERA. Kahn struck out 80 batters in 82.1 innings of work, en route to earning two WCC/Rawlings Pitcher of the Week selections and the Player of the Month honor for April. He is the only Division I pitcher in the nation to make at least 12 starts and not allow a homerun.
The Anaheim, Calif., native brings the WCC Pitcher of the Year selection to LMU for the second time in four seasons, as current major-leaguer Billy Traber (Cleveland Indians) won the conference award in 2000. Baseball America has already predicted Kahn to be a top-10 college prospect in the 2005 Major League Baseball draft.
Sending both Kahn and catcher Jonathan Higashi to last week's trials, LMU was just one of seven schools (LMU, Long Beach State, Mississippi, Texas, Stanford, Vanderbilt, and USC) to have multiple players invited to the trials pool of 36 players.
Team USA plays Canada in the final game of the six-game Friendship Series this evening and leaves tomorrow for the cross-continent flight to Japan. USA leads the all-time All-Star series against Japan 20-12, but has not won a series in Japan since 1979. USA also leads the all-time series against Japan 107-80 dating back to 1972 and has won eight of the last 10 games.