Minor selected for Team USA
By Anthony S. Puca
Mike Minor's meteoric rise to the top of the amateur baseball world has been a twelve month whirlwind that began with a runner-up finish at the 2006 State Tournament for Forrest High School, a scholarship and 9-1 freshman season for the Vanderbilt Commodores, and now the selection to Team USA which vaults Minor atop the pinnacle of amateur athletics.
"This is un-real the way things have come along" said his father Mike Minor.
"We knew Mikie had a God given talent, but we never really knew how far it would take him. We are so proud, Team USA only takes the top players in the country and we were ecstatic when we learned of his invite."
Minor had a storybook freshman season for the Commodores, who finished with a 46-10 overall record and a first place finish in the Southeastern Conference. Vanderbilt held the number one ranking in the country for the majority of the season before they lost in the NCAA Regional Championship 4-3 to Michigan.
Minor went 9-1 on the 2007 season with a 3.09 earned run average in 90.1 innings, struck out 88 batters, saved two games, and fielded his pitcher's position perfectly, committing zero errors.
The Chapel Hill native now represents the entire nation on Team USA and it is even more special because 2007 is a year that they will compete in the Pan American Games which are held every four years and are one step below Olympic competition.
Team USA spends the summer competing internationally against the top talent in the world, including the Japanese and Chinese national Teams.
Minor has appeared in four games for Team USA with a perfect 3-0 record, the latest being a victory Tuesday night versus Chinese Taipei as Minor went the first six innings, giving up just one run on five hits for the win. He struck out four and walked one on 71 pitches. Overall, Minor leads the Team USA pitching staff in victories; innings pitched, is second on the staff with twelve strikeouts, and sports an earned run average of just 0.75.
Team USA is looking to break the Cuban domination of the Pan Am Games as the Latin American team has won nine consecutive gold medals dating back to 1971. Team USA has been on the brink of breaking the Cuban stronghold as they have won the silver in each of the last two Pan Am Games.
After the Pan Am games, Team USA will travel to Rotterdam, Netherlands to finish the summer season by playing in the World Port Tournament.
You can follow Minor's progress on Team USA by going to usabaseball.com. The website provides game results and live streaming of various games. The closest venue Team USA will appear will be at Region's Stadium in Birmingham, Alabama on July 25 versus the Chinese National Team at 7 pm.