SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – UC Santa Barbara sophomore right-handed pitcher Dillon Tate has been named to the final 24-man Collegiate National Team, USA Baseball announced on Monday morning.
The Claremont, Calif. was invited to tryouts for the team after sporting a 1.45 ERA in 43.1 innings pitched with 12 saves (second-most in program history) and 46 strikeouts this past season with the Gauchos. He was an All-Big West Second Team selection and made the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Watch List, an award handed out annually to the top relief pitcher in the country.
In four appearances for the red, white, and blue this summer, Tate has allowed just one hit without allowing a run while punching out a pair in 3.1 innings pitched. He participated in a combined shutout for Team USA against the Fayeteville Swampdogs on Jun. 24. The CNT is 6-1 through its first seven games of competition.
One of just 12 pitchers on the roster, the hard-throwing righty joins a prestigious list of former Gauchos to have played for Team USA. The last three UCSB players to suit up for their country – Chris Valaika, Barry Zito, and Erik Johnson – all reached the major leagues in their professional careers.
Tate is one of four Big West players to be selected for the roster. Cal State Fullerton pitchers Thomas Eshelman, Justin Garza, and Cal Poly infielder Mark Mathias were the others chosen for the squad.
The Collegiate National Team opens its series against Chinese Taipei at 7:05 p.m. on Jul. 1 at the National Training Complex in Cary, N.C. The teams will play again on Jul. 2 at Keeter Stadium in Shelby, N.C., on Jul. 3 at BB&T Ballpark in Charlotte, N.C., and on Jul. 4 and 5 at Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham, N.C.
Team USA will then host a three-game set against Japan Jul. 6-8 in Thomasville, Wilson and Wilmington, N.C., before traveling to the Netherlands for Honkbal-Haarlem Baseball Week, Jul. 11-20. Following that tournament, the U.S. will head to Cuba for a five-game friendship series, Jul. 23-27.