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May 14, 2012

Columbia, S.C. – South Carolina freshman catcher Grayson Greiner has been selected to the roster for the 2012 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team, it was announced on Monday afternoon. It is the ninth time in school history for a player to be selected to the collegiate team and it is the third consecutive season a Gamecock has been named to the team. Christian Walker was named to last year’s squad, although he was unable to participate due to a hamate bone injury. Jackie Bradley Jr. represented the Red, White & Blue after the 2010 season.

2012 – Grayson Greiner, C
2011 – Christian Walker, 1B (did not play due to injury)
2010 – Jackie Bradley Jr., OF
2007 – Justin Smoak, 1B
2003 – Matt Campbell, P
2002 – Landon Powell, C
1997 – Adam Everett, SS
1989 – Brian Williams, P/OF
1986 – Dave Hollins, 3B

In addition to players, South Carolina head coach Ray Tanner has served five stints with USA Baseball, including in 2003 as head coach for the National Team. At the helm of some of the top freshmen and sophomores in the country, Tanner’s club finished with a 27-2 record and won a silver medal at the 2003 Pan American Games. He was named the U.S. National Coach of the Year for his work that season. Prior to his head coaching stint, Tanner served as an auxiliary coach under Tommy Lasorda for the 2000 Olympic Team that won a gold medal at the XXVII Olympiad in Sydney, Australia. He was also an assistant under former LSU coach Skip Bertman with the 1995 and 1996 USA teams that culminated in a bronze medal win at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Ga. Tanner also served alongside former Mississippi State coach Ron Polk on Bertman’s staff. Tanner’s first stint with USA Baseball came as an assistant coach to the national team in the summer of 1993.

Players who have taken the field for the Collegiate National Team and have gone onto Major League Baseball success include such notables as Jim Abbott, Troy Glaus, Todd Helton, Ryan Howard, Barry Larkin, Tino Martinez, Dustin Pedroia, David Price, Huston Street, Mark Teixeira, Troy Tulowitzki, Jason Varitek, and Ryan Zimmerman.

For the season, Greiner has played in 49 games with 42 starts including 36 behind the plate. He his hitting .247 (37-for-150) with six homers and 31 RBI. Greiner owns a .284 (23-for-81) batting average in the league with 12 of his 23 hits, extra base hits (eight doubles, one triple, three homers). He has also driven in 18 runs and has a .519 slugging percentage in SEC contests. His slugging percentage is 10th best in the league in conference games.

Greiner caught all 28 innings in the Gamecocks’ weekend series victory at 13th ranked Arkansas. Greiner was phenomenal behind the plate as he threw out five runners over the course of the weekend trying to steal. His two-run homer on Friday night was the first homer allowed all season by Arkansas starter Ryne Stanek, a key two-run blast that helped the Gamecocks rally from six runs down to defeat the Razorbacks on the road on Friday night. Greiner also had a sacrifice fly in the contest and tallied a RBI single in the 10th inning of the 8-6 victory. In Sunday’s 10-7 win, Greiner drove in two runs with a single in a six-run eighth inning with the bases loaded and one out against Arkansas closer Barrett Astin.

In the Alabama series, Greiner went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and tied a season-high with four RBI in the 12-11 win over the Crimson Tide. He doubled and homered in that one-run victory. Greiner followed it up with a 2-for-5 day at the plate with two runs scored and a RBI in the 9-1 win. Greiner finished the series 5-for-11 (.455) with four runs scored, two doubles, a homer and five RBI. He reached base .538 with a .909 slugging percentage.

Greiner reached base six times in the Auburn series with four hits and two walks. He also drove in three runs and scored four times. Greiner went 3-for-3 with two runs and two RBI in the 12-5 win on Friday.

Greiner earned SEC Freshman of the Week after the Mississippi State series. It marked the second straight week a Gamecock had earned Freshman of the Week accolades. Greiner had a key solo home run that jumpstarted a four-run rally in the bottom of the eighth as the Gamecocks came from behind to defeat MSU 7-6. Greiner collected three hits over the weekend with a pair of doubles and the home run. He also scored two runs. He also had a grand slam in the 8-0 win over The Citadel.

Since 1978 USA Baseball has been the National Governing Body (NGB) for the sport of baseball. It represents the sport in the United States as a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) and internationally as a member federation of the International Baseball Federation (IBAF).

Nearly every major national amateur baseball organization in America is united as a USA Baseball National Member Organization. As a result, USA Baseball governs more than 12 million amateur players in ballparks and playgrounds across the country.

As the commissioner’s office for amateur baseball, USA Baseball is a resource center for its various membership groups, fans, and players. USA Baseball is also responsible for promoting and developing the game of baseball on the grassroots level, both nationally and internationally.