May 1, 2014
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – DJ Stewart accepted an invitation to play with the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team this summer. The sophomore outfielder becomes the 18th Seminole to play for Team USA and the second in as many years joining Luke Weaver who played for the team last summer.
“We are very excited for DJ,” Florida State head coach Mike Martin said. “This is something that he has dreamed about for a long time. He is a young man that is a great student-athlete. We are very proud that he will represent his country and Florida State University.”
“It’s a huge honor,” added Stewart. “Honestly, it’s something that I’ve been waiting to hear and it’s something that I have wanted to do for a very long time. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders.”
Stewart enters this weekend’s non-conference series against Minnesota leading the team in average (.362), hits (50) and home runs (7) and second in runs scored (35), doubles (13) and RBI (36). He also leads the ACC in overall average and second against league foes hitting .372 in 20 games.
“We have been following DJ for the last two years and we love the way he plays the game,” said USA Baseball general manager of national teams, Eric Campbell. “Players invite themselves with their performance both on and off the field, and that is exactly the case here. We are excited that DJ will be playing for USA Baseball this summer and representing his country.”
The Yulee, Fla., native ranks in the top 10 in the ACC in eight offensive categories, while also leading in on-base percentage (.475) and slugging percentage (.609). Stewart has reached base in all 37 games this year and has put together the second longest active streak in the nation of reaching base in consecutive games at 64.
“It was motivation,” said Stewart on not making the 17 and under team earlier in his playing career. “I needed to show them that I could improve and become a better outfielder and hitter. I am just honored to be a part of Team USA.”
The 2014 Collegiate National Team will be coached by Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn. The team’s assistant coaches include Rob Childress (head coach at Texas A&M), Ray Birmingham (head coach at New Mexico) and Steve Rodriguez (head coach at Pepperdine).
The Collegiate National Team will play games against Chinese Taipei and Japan on U.S. soil while also making trips to The Netherlands for the Honkbal – Haarlem Baseball Week and to Havana, Cuba for a Friendship Series against Cuba. The Collegiate National Baseball team begins play on June 21 with the Red, White and Blue Tour in various cities across the United States.