LOS ANGELES – Florida State shortstop Taylor Walls is one of 24 players to make the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team roster that will take part in three international friendship series this summer.
The Cordele, Ga., native started all 63 games at shortstop for the Seminoles this season. He wrapped up the campaign ranked in the top five of nine major categories including runs (72-1st), hits (88-2nd), on-base percentage (.479-2nd), doubles (20-2nd), stolen bases (14-2nd), batting average (.355-3rd), slugging percentage (.516-4th), RBI (46-4th) and home runs (six-4th).
Walls has been honored throughout the offseason by Baseball America (First Team All-American), All-ACC (Second Team) and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (Third Team All-American) for his outstanding play in 2016.The Collegiate National Team (2-0-1), which is retaining 12 hitters and 12 pitchers on the final roster, has two games remaining on its schedule in California. It will take on the Conejo Oaks at 3:30 p.m. PT on Friday at Angel Stadium and is set for a rematch against the Academy Barons at the MLB Urban Youth Academy in Compton, Calif., at 1:30 p.m. PT on Saturday.
Team USA will then pack its bags for the international portion of its tour, during which it will play three friendship series. The team will travel first to Taiwan for a five-game set against Chinese Taipei, July 5-9. Due to field condition issues in Taichung, the first three games of the series will now be played at Shingchuang Stadium in Taipei and the final two contests will take place at Hsinchu City Stadium in Hscinchu.
From there, the Red, White and Blue will fly to Japan for a five-game series. The U.S. and Japan will square off at Hard Off Eco Stadium in Niigata, July 12-13, at Meiji Jingu Stadium in Tokyo on July 15 and at Kusanagi Stadium in Shizuoka, July 16-17.
To close out its summer tour, Team USA will then make the trek to Cuba for another five-game series. Those games are scheduled to take place in Ciego de Avila (July 23-24), Havana (July 25) and Pinar del Rio (July 26-27).
University of Oregon head coach George Horton will serve as the field manager for Team USA this summer. He will be assisted by former Loyola Marymount and Long Beach State head coach Dave Snow, as well as Jason Gill (Loyola Marymount), Ted Silva (Nebraska) and John Altobelli (Orange Coast College). Mitch Karraker (Oregon) will be the team’s bullpen coach and Danny Wheat (TCU) will travel as the team’s athletic trainer.
Seminole fans can always stay up-to-date with the Florida State Baseball team by following the official twitter page of the Seminoles (@FSUBaseball).