Sports

Boyd selected to attend 18U national team trials

Matt Boyd hurls a pitch during the Tournament of Stars game. - Contributed photo
Matt Boyd hurls a pitch during the Tournament of Stars game.
— image credit: Contributed photo

Matt Boyd, a 2009 Eastside Catholic graduate and soon-to-be member of the Oregon State University baseball team, has been selected to attend the 18 and under national baseball team trials in September.

The USA Baseball 18U National Team is made up of 20 players from across the United States who will represent the country at the 2009 COPABE Pan Am Championships in Venezuela in early October.

Boyd, a Mercer Island resident, was the only player from the Northwest to be chosen to attend the trials, which will be held in Cary, N.C.

After being selected in May by USA Baseball, Boyd attended a week-long competition known as the Tournament of Stars (TOS) in Cary. The event is comprised of the nation’s 144 best baseball players who were born between 1991 and 1992.

Boyd was one of 44 players who were chosen to attend the trials camp.

Gary LaFevers, head coach of the 18U National Team, said he was pleasantly surprised by the overall team speed. He and his coaching staff selected 34 players and 10 alternates for the trials camp in September.

“The players selected have a high knowledge of baseball and a good aptitude about how the game is played,” he said. “I think we have an excellent blend of very talented ballplayers, each of whom has outstanding character.”

The southpaw talent was twice named an all-area player by the Seattle Times “Star Times” and struck out 91 in 58 innings last season.

He finished with an ERA of 0.84 without allowing a triple or home run for the Crusaders in his final year.

Boyd also brought plenty of offensive firepower to the plate, batting with a .446 average and led Eastside with a team-high 27 RBIs.

After the trial camp, the coaching staff will announce the final 20 players roster for the 18U National Team on Sept. 17. The team will train together before heading south to Baruisimeto, Venezuela, to compete from Sept. 25 through Oct. 4 in the Pan American Junior Championships.

The competition serves as a qualifier for the following year’s World Championships.

“This will make the coaches’ jobs easier once we get to the trials, as far as getting everyone on the same page with what we want to do,” said LeFevers. “[To] compete and push each other to the next level.”

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