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USA Baseball National Team Identification tryouts

Incoming Cienega freshman Isaiah Jackson takes his turn at bat. (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

USA Baseball National Team Identification Series (NTIS)
Kino Sports Complex: May 30-31

USA Baseball returned to Tucson to conduct the 2018 National Team Identification Series (NTIS). Tryouts for 11U-14U took place on Wednesday evening and 15U-17U is scheduled for Thursday at the Kino Sports Complex.

Players are vying for spots on the Southwest NTIS with other athletes from Arizona, New Mexico, Southern Nevada and West Texas.

The tryouts are being conducted by USA Baseball Regional Director Andy Rojo. Rojo played for former University of Arizona coach Andy Lopez at the University of Florida.

Future Salpointe standout Conner Raetzman takes his turn. (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Seven athletes from Southern Arizona were identified in 2016:

17U
Jacob Allen, Ironwood Ridge
Manny Villa, Salpointe
Nick Gonzales, Cienega

16U
Ryan Grabosch, Salpointe
Daniel Durazo, Salpointe
Ian Mejia, Sahuarita

Six athletes made it last year:

13U
Ruben Castro

14U
Mario Bejarano

15U
Cade McGee, Salpointe

16U
Daniel Davila, Flowing Wells
Ryan Grabosch, Salpointe
Mikey Villa, Salpointe

17U
Daniel Durazo, Salpointe

Ruben Castro led the Southwest NTIS to the 13U Championship and McGee led his 15U team to a championship also.

Andy Rojo goes over the tryout procedures. (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

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Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014 and he was awarded the Ray McNally Award in 2017 and he has been a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. His own children have won multiple state high school championships and were named to all-state teams. Competing in hockey, basketball, baseball and track & field in high school, his unique perspective can only be found here and on AZPreps365.com. Andy is the Southern Arizona voting member of the Ed Doherty Award, recognizing the top football player in Arizona, and he was named a Local Hero by the Tucson Weekly for 2016. Contact Andy Morales at AMoralesMyTucson@yahoo.com

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