DURHAM, N.C. - University of California San Diego assistant coach Justin James earned a return appointment in May to work with USA Baseball this summer.
James has been selected to manage the 13U Southern California National Team Identification Series (NTIS) squad, Aug. 9-13 at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, N.C. It will be James' second straight summer with USA Baseball, as he coached the 11U Southwest NTIS side last year, also in Cary.
Players from the Southern California region will participate in upcoming selection events and tryouts, with the aim of being named to the 13U Southern California team, which will then compete against 15 other regions from across the country in the culminating NTIS event at the USA Baseball National Training Complex. From there, select standouts gain the opportunity to play for Team USA in the future.
UC San Diego's lead assistant and pitching coach, James just completed his first season under head coach Eric Newman, the Tritons finishing with a 44-19 overall record and as NCAA Division II West Region champions and national runners-up.
"I'm really excited to be chosen to go out to Cary, N.C., for the second year, this time running the 13U Southern California NTIS squad," said James. "The talent level is extraordinary to watch every pitch. The experience last summer was amazing, and I'm looking forward to helping these young men on their journey playing this game."
James only joined the UCSD program in late December, making the short trip over from his alma mater, Point Loma Nazarene University. He saw great success in his first go-around on the La Jolla campus, as the Tritons matched the best finish in program history, with a first West crown since 2010, when UCSD also placed second nationally. The 44 wins were the second-most all-time in program annals.
James' staff produced a final team ERA of 3.67, 24th in the nation, fourth in the West Region and third-best in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA). The Tritons posted six shutouts, tied for the CCAA lead. All four complete games and both individual shutouts came during the NCAA Championship.
"We are very excited to welcome Justin James to manage our 13U Southern California NTIS team," remarked Jim Sammons, who oversees the program. "Justin did an amazing job with our 11U Southwest team last year back in Cary, and he represents the type of person we want leading these young players in their quest to play for Team USA. His baseball acumen is off the charts, and he brings the type of energy we are looking for. He teaches the game the right way, and the players are in for a real treat working with him in Cary."
The NTIS is the most comprehensive identification event for USA Baseball.
About USA Baseball
USA Baseball is the national governing body for the sport of baseball in the United States and is a member of the United States Olympic Committee and the World Baseball Softball Confederation. The organization selects and trains the World Baseball Classic, Premier12 and Pan Am teams (and all other USA Baseball Professional Teams); the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team; the USA Baseball 18U, 15U and 12U National Teams; and the USA Baseball Women's National Team, all of which participate in various international competitions each year. The organization is responsible for the continued proliferation and health of the sport, and leads a number of amateur initiatives including PLAYBALL and Pitch Smart. USA Baseball also presents the Golden Spikes Award annually to the top amateur baseball player in the country. For more information, please visit the organization's official websites: USABaseball.com, PLAYBALL.org, PitchSmart.org, GoldenSpikesAward.com and USABaseballShop.com.