USA Softball Mens Slow Pitch Team rosters announced for 2013

By Steven Embree | May 10, 2013, 12 a.m. (ET)

OKLAHOMA CITY — Eight National Team veterans, six Futures Team (32-Under) veterans and two rookies comprise the 2013 USA Softball Men’s Slow Pitch National Team roster, the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America and USA Softball announced today. The team will play a pair of ESPN televised games in July during the World Cup of Softball, including Border Battle V, against the 2013 Canadian Men’s Slow Pitch Border Battle Teamand the second annual Slow Pitch Showdown against the USA Men’s Slow Pitch Future’s Team.

“We’re very excited to be hosting the Border Battle for the fifth consecutive year,” said ASA/USA Softball Executive Director Ron Radigonda. “This is a great event that displays some amazing athletes to a world-wide audience. The guys who compete in this game have reached the pinnacle of slow pitch softball and they deserve the recognition that comes with representing your country.”  

2013 USA Softball Men’s Slow Pitch National Team Roster
Name (Hometown) Manufacturing Sponsor
Rick Baker (West Harrison, Ind.) Combat
Bryson Baker (Magalia, Calif.) Easton
**Kevin Bazat (Columbia, Mo.) Easton
*Robert Blackburn (Indian Trail, N.C.) Louisville Slugger
Geno Buck (Red Wing, Minn.) Easton
**Travis Clark (Kenosha, Wis.) Easton
**Kevin Filby (Cardington, Ohio) Miken
*Jeff Hall (Gastonia, N.C.) Worth
Brett Helmer (Cicero, N.Y.) Easton
**Chris Larsen (Vancouver, Wash.) DeMarini
Johnny McCraw (Lake Wylie, S.C.) Combat
Jeff McGavin (2010 Team) Combat
**Lee Powers (Gaston, N.C.) Louisville Slugger
Brian  Rainwater (Kathleen, Ga.) Easton
**Luis Reyna (Tampa, Fla.) Reebok
Brian Wegman (Hamilton, Ohio) Easton
* Rookie
**2012 Futures Team Member

Highlighting this year’s roster are five-time Men’s Slow Pitch National Team members Rick Baker (West Harrison, Ind.); Brett Helmer (Cicero, N.Y.); Johnny McCraw (Wylie, S.C.), the 2010 USA Softball Male Athlete of the Year; and Brian Wegman (Hamilton, Ohio). All were on the inaugural squad in 2009 and have continued to represent the United States each year since.

Returning to Team USA for their fourth campaign are Bryson Baker (Magalia, Calif.) and Brian Rainwater (Kathleen, Ga.), both of which were on the squad in 2009, 2011 and 2012.

Geno Buck (Red Wing, Minn.) has made the National Team for the third time in his career. Buck was a member of the 2011 and 2012 teams.

Seven of this year’s National Team players were members of the 2012 inaugural USA Men’s Slow Pitch Future’s Team. Kevin Filby (Cardington, Ohio), Luis Reyna (Tampa, Fla.), Travis Clark (Kenosha, Wis.), Lee Powers (Gaston, N.C.), Chris Larsen (Vancouver, Wash.) and Kevin Bazat (Columbia, Mo.) each competed against the USA Men’s Slow Pitch National Team in the 2012 Slow Pitch Showdown held during last year’s World Cup of Softball.

Three rookies, Robert Blackburn (Indian Trail, N.C.) and Jeff Hall (Gastonia, N.C.) round out the 2013 roster.

“I am extremely excited for the opportunity to play for Team USA this summer,” said Blackburn. “The Border Battle and Slow Pitch Showdown are great promotions for our sport. Being on ESPN, they allow for a larger viewing audience to see the game that we love to play.”

The team will be coached by Steve Shortland (Converse, Texas) who is making his fifth-consecutive appearance as the head coach of Team USA.

Created in conjunction with the inaugural Border Battle slow pitch competition against Canada in 2009, the Men’s Slow Pitch National Team program is now in its fifth run. With a 32-21 victory last year in Oklahoma City, Team USA extended its lead to 3-1 in the Border Battle series. The Americans won Border Battle I 30-23 but Canada evened the series in 2010 with a 30-29 win. The USA men rebounded in 2011 with a dominating 25-3 performance.

In addition to participating in Border Battle V, the 2013 USA Softball Men’s Slow Pitch National Team will also take on the 2013 USA Softball Men’s Futures Slow Pitch National Team in the Slow Pitch Showdown this summer at the World Cup of Softball VIII in Oklahoma City. Two returners and 13 newcomers represent the 2013 USA Softball Men’s Slow Pitch Futures Team.

2013 USA Softball Men’s Slow Pitch Futures Team Roster
Name (Hometown) Manufacturing Sponsor
*Brandon Dillon (Anderson, Ind.) Easton
**Anthony Dress (Rosemount, Minn.) Reebok
*Sal Formosa (San Jose, Calif.) Miken
*Chente Granados (Chino, Calif.) Louisville Slugger
*Neil Haglund (New York, N.Y.) Louisville Slugger
*Brandon Jonas (Claremont, N.C.) Demarini
*Dave Kessler (Cincinnati, Ohio) Louisville Slugger
*Corey Large (Bedford, Texas) Miken
*Kyle Moyer (Tiffin, Ohio) Easton
*Bryce Oliveira (Las Vegas, Nev.)
*Adam Rockoff (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) Demarini
*Casey Rogowski (Livonia, Mich.) Louisville Slugger
*Andy Vitcak (Oakdale, Minn.) Louisville Slugger
*Scott Zaciewski (Toledo, Ohio) Reebok
**Brian Zirkle (Kankakee, Ill.) Easton
* Rookie
**2012 Futures Team Member

Slow Pitch Showdown and Border Battle tickets are included in all-session tickets to the World Cup, July 11-14 in Oklahoma City. All-session tickets, which are $250 for the Ultimate Fan Zone reserved seating in the first three rows of the stadium, $60 for other reserved seating and $30 for general admission seating, can be purchased by phone at 800-654-8337 or online at Single session general admission tickets will be on sale in early June.

The Ultimate Fan Zone package also includes a private autograph session and meal with the USA Softball Women’s National Team, open only to Ultimate Fan Zone (UFZ) ticket holders, as well as free parking and a white ASA/USA Softball hat and the opportunity for personalized name slide on the video board with a photo and more.