August 20 - Nate Savino was named to the USA Baseball 18U National Team over the weekend and the left-hander and his teammates will play tuneup games today and tomorrow before departing for a 19-day trip overseas.
The rising Potomac Falls senior, a two-time NOVA Nine Team selection, becomes the eighth player from Northern Virginia to play for the 18U National Team and the first since Madison’s Andy McGuire in 2012. The others were Gary Butterworth (West Springfield) in 1990, L.J. Yankosky (West Springfield) in 1992, Billy Deck (Potomac) in 1994, Jeff Baker (Gar-Field) in 1999, and Brandon Snyder (Westfield) and Jonathan Weislow (Bishop O’Connell) in 2004.
“I’m honored to represent my country and more than excited,” Savino wrote via text message last night. “I can’t wait to take on the world.”
The team’s 20-man roster is skippered by Jack Leggett and has two additional Washington, D.C. area ties in hitting coach Gregg Ritchie, who is the head coach at George Washington, and catcher Jack Bulger, who plays at DeMatha Catholic.
Team USA will play the Brewers SoCal Scout Team twice in Fullerton, CA before departing later this week for three games against Chinese Taipei in Taichung, Taiwan. They’ll then play in the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup in Gijang City, South Korea, from Aug. 29 to Sept. 8.
"It's been a great trial period with a great group of kids that has worked extremely hard," said Leggett, who led Clemson to six College World Series appearances prior to retiring in 2015, in a release by USA Baseball. "The decisions were really tough, but we feel like the twenty that we have now show us a lot of versatility, a lot of talent and a lot of really good attitudes, so we are really looking forward to competing for a world championship."
Savino, who has totaled 180 strikeouts to 32 walks while compiling a 0.73 ERA in 86.1 innings the past two seasons at Potomac Falls, will be capping a busy summer with his Team USA tenure. The southpaw pitched in the Major League Baseball-sponsored Prospect Development Pipeline League in Florida, then in MLB’s High School All-Star Game during the ASG festivities in Cleveland. He’s also pitched in the Under Armour All-American Game at Wrigley Field in Chicago and the Perfect Game All-American Classic at Petco Park in San Diego.
Photo of Nate Savino courtesy of USA Baseball