Thursday, June 12, 2008

Javelina Coach Blake Miller Named To USA National Team

Javelina softball coach Blake Miller has been named to the USA Softball Men’s National Team. Miller is one of just 18 players named to the national team after the selection camp May 23-26 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif. The team will represent the United States in the Tri-Nation Competition taking place July 3-6 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. Canada, Japan and the U.S. are the three participating teams.

This is the sixth time that Miller has been selected to play on the men’s national team.

Miller will train in Kingsville until leaving to join the national team on June 30.

During his time with the national team, he has captured a Gold Medal in the 2002 Pan American Qualifier in Guatemala City, Guatemala, and a Silver Medal in the 2003 Pan American Games in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Last year he played on the USA squad that finished second at the International Softball Federation World Cup in the Czech Republic and won the inaugural KFC American Challenge Series in Oklahoma City. As the team’s starting second baseman, Miller batted .300 with a double, a triple, two home runs and 10 RBI in the World Cup.

In his 16th year as a player, Miller also plays for the Kitchner (Ont.) River Shark Twins. The River Shark Twins are currently ranked third in the world and will play in the International Softball Congress World Tournament in Kimberly Wisc., in August.

"I felt confident I was going to get picked,” said Miller about his selection to team USA. “This is a young team, only three or four veterans are on the squad and only two or three of us have had a lot of international experience. I'm usually the young guy, but not this time. I'm very excited. It's a different kind of team. Now it's to the point where I'm in a leadership position. We need to teach the young kids how to compete in the international spotlight. That spotlight changes everything. Japan and Canada will both have very good teams. It will be interesting.”
Miller has to fit his training in around his already hectic schedule as head coach of the Javelinas.

“I fit my training in whenever I can. I'll take some swings and I play on club team on the weekends and see some great pitching. This is my second year with the River Shark Twins. I'm the only American on the team. There are eight Canadians and our catcher is on the New Zealand national team. I play about two weekends a month from May through August.”

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