Cullowhee, N.C. – For a second consecutive summer, Western Carolina head baseball coach Bobby Moranda has been selected to take part in the 2019 USA Baseball 18U National Team Trials and Training spearheaded by USA Baseball. The Catamount skipper will serve as an assistant coach for the “Stars” 18-and-Under team during workouts in California Aug. 13-17.
As an assistant coach, Moranda will take part in practices and workouts culminating in five total games, two of which will be played at Dodger Stadium where he’ll have the chance to catch-up with former Catamount and big-leaguer Tyler White who was dealt to the Los Angeles-based franchise in late July. Last summer, Moranda was selected to assist with the 2018 17-and-under national team trials, traveling to Chicago, Ill., where he took part in games played at both Wrigley Field and Miller Park in Milwaukee, Wisc.
Former Western Carolina and Clemson baseball coach Jack Leggett – a college baseball Hall of Famer – will coach the U-18 National Team in South Korea Aug. 30 to Sept. 8 in the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-18 Baseball World Cup.
“This is again a tremendous honor to represent the country and assist with the process of preparing the United States 18U team to bring back another gold medal this year in Korea,” said Moranda.
Already WCU’s all-time leader in career victories with 344 over his first 12 seasons, Moranda is set to match former head coach Bill Haywood (1969-81) as the longest-tenured coach in program history as he embarks on year No. 13 in 2019-2020. Combined, the veteran coach has 33 total years of coaching experience that includes stints at Georgia Tech, Wake Forest, Virginia, and his alma mater, Eastern Kentucky.
The Southern Conference’s Coach of the Year in 2013, Moranda led WCU to back-to-back regular-season championships in 2013 and 2014, while also guiding the Catamounts back to NCAA postseason play in 2016 after winning the school’s 10th SoCon Tournament Championship.
2019 18U National Team Trials brings in the top high school players in the country to compete for a chance to play for Team USA. The 48 athletes selected to the 18U Trials roster were chosen through multiple selection vehicles, including the inaugural Prospect Development Pipeline (PDP) League, which serves as the primary identification event for the 18U National Team, as well as the 2018 National Team Identification Series (NTIS) and the 2019 17U National Team Development Program (NTDP), among others.
18U National Team Coaching Staff:
Jack Leggett, Manager
Scott Bankhead, Pitching Coach
Greg Ritchie, Assistant Coach
Gerald Laird, Assistant Coach
Todd Greene, Stripes Manager (Former MLB catcher)
Dan Peppicelli, Stripes Assistant Coach (Head Baseball Coach at Cornell)
Chris Carter, Stripes Assistant Coach (Former MLB infielder)
Jack Wilson, Stars Manager (Former MLB infielder)
Ricky Meinhold, Stars Pitching Coach (Former MLB pitcher)
Bobby Moranda, Stars Assistant Coach (Head Baseball Coach at WCU)
Frank Jagoda, General Manager
Carter Hicks, Director of Baseball Operations
Patrick Morton, Coordinator
Emily Fedewa, Press Officer
2019 18U National Team Trials / Game Schedule:
Aug. 13 – Stars vs. Stripes – Game 1 @ Orange County Great Park (Irvine, Calif.)
Aug. 14 – Stars vs. Stripes – Game 2 @ Orange County Great Park (Irvine, Calif.)
Aug. 15 – Stars vs. Stripes – Game 3 @ Orange County Great Park (Irvine, Calif.)
Aug. 16 – Stars vs. Stripes – Game 4 @ Dodger Stadium (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Aug. 17 – Stars vs. Stripes – Game 5 @ Dodger Stadium (Los Angeles, Calif.)