For some ball players when their season trophy chasing dreams are over, their cleats take a break and prepare for the next baseball season. For others, elite teams call their name. Such is the case for Texas A&M incoming sophomore Braden Shewmake.
After having a remarkable rookie year for the Aggies, hitting 73-for210 (.348), Shewmake was selected to play on the 2017 Team USA Collegiate National Baseball Team (CNT).
According to the CNT homepage, “The primary pool of players under consideration for the Collegiate National Team is comprised of non-draft-eligible players currently playing baseball at the collegiate level.” After a player is chosen from the pool, an intense selection process is conducted.
Shewmake, a middle infielder, is one of 30 collegiate athletes to make the cut. Their season opener was on June 22 against the Catawba Valley Stars, although Shewmake didn’t make his debut for the Stars and Stripes until the day after. With one hit and one walk his first time playing for Team USA, Shewmake made a name for himself and has played in nine out of the 12 total completed games.
Stats for Shewmake are as follows:
6/23. USA 22, Catawba Valley Stars 1. B. Shewmake 2 AB, 1 H, 1 BB.
6/24. USA 2, Martinsville Mustangs 1. B. Shewmake 2 AB, 1 SO.
6/25. USA 6, Peninsula Pilots 3. B. Shewmake 4 AB, 1 H.
6/26. CPL Select 10, USA 0. B. Shewmake 4 AB, 1 HBO.
6/27. USA 6, Chinese Taipei 3. B. Shewmake 3 AB, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 HBP.
6/28. USA 3, Chinese Taipei 0. B. Shewmake 2 AB. 1 H. 1 RBI, 1 HBP.
7/2. USA 5, Cuba 4 (10 innings). B. Shewmake 4 AB, 1 H.
7/3. USA 5, Cuba 1. B. Shewmake. 3 AB, 1 R, 1 H.
7/4. USA 5, Cuba 0. B. Shewmake 3 AB, 1 H, 1 RBI.
With eight games left in the season, Team USA looks to dominate and improve their 11-1 record. This year’s team has already matched the bar set by the 2016 CNT (11-7-1) and hopes to secure more wins against Cuba, Futures Baseball League All-Stars and Japan. The last scheduled game is against Japan on July 17.