Citadel pitcher Skylar Hunter is looking to earn a spot on the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team when the squad conducts its training camp and plays a series of games over the next week.
The team is expected to carry 12 pitchers as part of its 24-man roster, and five hurlers are already guaranteed spots. Twelve other pitchers are competing with Hunter for the opportunity to represent the United States during a summer tour which features the Friendship Series against Chinese Taipei and Japan as well as other international trips to the Netherlands and Cuba.
The selected players opened training camp last weekend, and Hunter threw a scoreless eighth inning in a 4-2 win over the Coastal Plains League Select squad on Sunday. He walked the first batter he faced before recording a strikeout and getting a double play grounder to end the frame.
Hunter is scheduled to work again on Tuesday when the Collegiate National Team continues its Red, White and Blue Tour against Fayetteville of the Coastal Plains League.
Hunter earned his invitation based largely on an outstanding sophomore campaign which saw him record 15 saves, tying The Citadel season record and increasing his career total to 28, one shy of the school record held by Hank Kraft.
He recorded saves against Top 10 opponents Louisville and South Carolina as well as Nebraska, preserved all three wins in a season-ending sweep of UNCG and helped the Bulldogs advance in the Southern Conference Tournament with a three-inning save against Elon.
The Hanahan, S.C., native allowed only 22 hits and struck out 44 in 43 innings and worked to an ERA of 1.67 during the 2014 season. In 78.1 career innings, Hunter has fanned 88 batters for an average of over 10 per nine innings.
USA Baseball works closely with college baseball coaching staffs to identify players it invites to try out for the team, with the pool consisting primarily of non-draft-eligible college players. The team is managed by Dave Van Horn of Arkansas and the coaching staff includes Rob Childress (Texas A&M), Ray Birmingham (New Mexico) and Steve Rodriguez (Pepperdine).