Jesuit's McCullers makes cut for U.S. team
Jesuit IF/RHP Lance McCullers was among the 36 players invited to the 18-and-under U.S. National Team Trials following his performance over the past week at the Tournament of Stars. The trials, held at the USA National Training Complex in Cary, N.C., began Monday and runs through Saturday. The top 18 players at the trials will comprise the U.S. 18-and-under squad and represent the nation at the IBAF "AAA" 18U Junior World Championship in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, on July 23-Aug. 1. McCullers, who hit .385 with four RBIs and five runs scored in four games, and Brooks-DeBartolo teammates Adam Eggnatz and Javier Reynoso were the only local players invited to the Tournament of Stars, an eight-team event that features 144 of the nation's top high school players. Neither Eggnatz nor Reynoso received invites to the trials. In other baseball news, Alonso SS Tito Martinez has signed with Marshall University, a Division I program in Huntington, W.Va.Martinez, a four-year varsity starter, originally signed with Polk State College but asked for and was granted his release from that letter-of-intent, according to his father, David. Martinez hit .359 over his prep career and helped Alonso win the Class 6A state title in 2009 and a pair of Saladino Tournament titles in 2009 and 2010. He also was named to the Saladino all-tournament team three times. And, Jesuit LHP Daniel Gibson was named to the second team on Baseball America's 2010 High School All-American team. It is the second All-America honor for Gibson, who also was named to the 2010 Louisville Slugger High School All-American Team. Football Wayne Ward has officially been named the new coach at Plant City. Ward, a Plant City alum who has been a Raiders assistant since 2002, takes over for Jason Strunk, who resigned after two seasons to take a job on the staff at Purdue University. It is Ward's first head-coaching job. "I'll tell you, I'm really excited right now for the opportunity," said Ward, 31, who has served as the interim coach since Strunk stepped down two weeks ago. "I'm ready to get after it and go out and have some fun."