SUMMER NOTEBOOK: Blankmeyer Leads USA Collegiate National Team

Team USA manager Ed Blankmeyer with assistant coach Paul Maineri.
Sept. 2, 2015

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    QUEENS, N.Y. - Head coach Ed Blankmeyer serving as manager of the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team highlights the St. John's Baseball Summer Notebook. The Red Storm also had two players earn summer ball All-League honors and two players win summer league championships.

    Blankmeyer Manages USA Baseball Collegiate National Team
    Blankmeyer took the reins of the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team this past summer, serving as manager for the Red, White and Blue's 17-game summer tour. The Red Storm skipper helmed a coaching staff that included Elliot Avent (N.C. State), Gary Henderson (Kentucky), Rich Hill (San Diego) and Paul Maineri (LSU).

    "I thoroughly enjoyed my second tour with the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team," said Blankmeyer. "We had an outstanding group of players that represented their country in a first-class manner. I was also fortunate to work with and learn from a great group of coaches."

    Highlighted by series wins against both Chinese Taipei and Cuba, the Collegiate National Team posted a 9-8 overall record.

    "Our goals going into the summer tour were to win the series against Chinese Taipei and win the series against Cuba, and we accomplished both of those goals," Blankmeyer added.

    Team USA went 4-3 in a seven-game series against Chinese Taipei, including a 4-1 record in the five games that counted for international points.

    The Collegiate National Team then went 3-2 in a five-game series against Cuba. Team USA opened the series with a combined no-hitter, a feat that marked the first time that the Cuban National Team had ever been no-hit in international play. Tanner Houck, A.J. Puk and Ryan Hendrix combined on the no-hitter, the third no-no in Collegiate National Team history.

    "A no-hitter is always exciting," added Blankmeyer. "What's interesting is that the Collegiate National Team has tossed three no-hitters in its history and I've been on the staff for two of them." [Blankmeyer was an assistant coach in 2010 when Sonny Gray, Kyle Winkler and Noe Ramirez combined to no-hit Korea].

     

     

    The Red, White and Blue's pitching staff followed the no-hitter with a second-consecutive shutout, the first time that Team USA had ever recorded two shutouts against Cuba in the same summer tour.

    Cuba bounced back with a win before Team USA celebrated the Fourth of July with a series-clinching 11-1 victory in front of 10,352 fans at BB&T Ballpark in Charlotte. The 10-run win matched the largest margin of victory in an all-time series against Cuba that dates back to 1985.

    "That day was special," Blankmeyer said in reference to the win on the Fourth of July. "It's the birth date of our country and we're wearing the Red, White and Blue and representing the USA in an international competition against Cuba. We clinch the series with a big win in front of a packed crowd at one of the nicest venues in the minors and cap the day with a fireworks display. Add all of that together and you get a memory of a lifetime."

    Caruso, Hackimer Earn Summer Ball All-League Honors
    Alex Caruso garnered All-League honors from the Alaska Baseball League, while Thomas Hackimer was an All-League selection in the Cape Cod Baseball League after standout summer seasons. Hackimer also shared the Russ Ford Award as the league's Most Outstanding Relief Pitcher.

    After batting .375 to win the BIG EAST regular season batting title this past spring, Caruso batted .364 in 40 games with the Mat-Su Miners to add a summer league batting title. The outfielder had 22 RBI to go with four doubles, one home run and 20 runs scored. Caruso also drew 23 walks and struck out just 14 times in 129 at-bats, while posting a .468 on-base percentage.

    Hackimer, meanwhile, finished tied for the league-lead with 10 saves. The righty made 18 relief appearances for the Brewster Whitecaps and went 1-1 with a 0.47 ERA in 19.1 innings of work. Hackimer racked up 28 strikeouts and allowed just a .229 opponent batting average.

    Bauman, Donadio Win Summer League Championship Titles
    Tyler Bauman won the Valley Baseball League championship with the Strasburg Express, while Michael Donadio won his second-consecutive Cape Cod Baseball League title with the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox.

    Bauman made nine appearances, three starts, for the Express and went 1-0 with one save and a 1.15 ERA. The lefty tossed 23.1 innings and racked up 34 strikeouts, while allowing just a .138 batting average. The Express beat the Staunton Braves, two games to one, in the best-of-three championship.

    Donadio batted .252 in 43 games for the Red Sox. The outfielder had three doubles, two triples and 11 RBI to go with 14 runs scored and a .344 on-base percentage. The Red Sox defeated the Hyannis Harbor Hawks, two games to one, in the best-of-three championship series. Donadio batted .320 in eight postseason games.

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