June 11, 2008
DURHAM, N.C. - Rice shortstop Rick Hague, a 2008 Freshman All-America selection by two publications, has been invited to the trials for the 2008 United States National Team, USA Baseball announced from its headquarters in Durham, N.C.
Hague joins his Owl teammate Ryan Berry on an elite list of only 32 college players invited to tryout for the U.S. National Team. A final 22-man roster will be announced by USA Baseball on June 24. Team USA will then represent the country in international competitions around the world later this summer.
The Rice shortstop from Spring, Tex., burst on the Division I scene with a sensational debut season. He helped punch the Owls' ticket to Omaha in the final game of the Super Regional (on June 8), collecting three hits with a double to drive in four runs. Hague was named to the Freshman All-America team by batting a steady .347 while leading the Owls in slugging percentage (.556) and total bases (121). He shares the team lead in doubles (19) and is third in home runs (8) and RBI (48). The Rice rookie has helped the Blue & Gray storm through the postseason by hitting .381 with two doubles and a triple in the NCAA Tournament.
Team USA invitee Ryan Berry (8-4) has been Rice's top starting pitcher this season, leading the team and ranking among the best in Conference USA in ERA (3.31), innings pitched (100.2) and strikeouts (85). Conference USA coaches named him a first team all-league selection this year and he will again play a key role in the Owls' trip to the College World Series. The right-hander from Humble, Tex., already made the U.S. National Team last year as a freshman, and he gained valuable international experience representing his country at the 2007 Pan American Games in Brazil and World Port Tournament in The Netherlands.
USA Baseball's 2008 National Team schedule includes a six-game friendship series against Chinese Taipei and a month-long trip to Europe. Team USA will compete in the Haarlem Baseball Week in The Netherlands and the IV FISU World Collegiate Baseball Championship in the Czech Republic.