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Canes National Pitchers Preview

Whenever we get to play, Canes Baseball is going to put another team full of some of the best players from all across the country on the field.


In these difficult times with the COVID-19 pandemic affecting lives across the world, we certainly put a premium on the health and safety of everyone, including the players who have chosen to be a part of the Canes as well as their families. We want everyone to stay safe but we look forward to being able to play baseball again as soon as responsibly possible.


When we do get to take the field, we have a roster of 30 players who look to add to our trophy case. Three national championship trophies were raised in 2019by our 17U team, including the World Wood Bat Association title in Emerson, Ga. and the Perfect Game World Series title in Scottsdale, Ariz.


Our pitching staff was critical in every single championship we’ve won and we put a premium on pitchers who will throw strikes and compete. Just like in years past, we believe we have put together an immensely talented staff of pitchers from all across the country who will keep us in position to win every time out.


One of those pitchers is left-hander Rocco Reid, who is entering his third season with the Canes. A Greenville, S.C. native, Reid is committed to play college baseball at nearby Clemson University. Being a part of the Canes, he says, has taught him to perform well under pressure, like he did in the 16U National team’s win in the fall Underclass World Championships.


“This summer I’m really excited to keep the legacy going from last years 17U team to be the number one team in the country,” Reid said. “I’m also looking forward to seeing all the dudes that were on the team last year and I’m really excited to have the bus this year and wear those fresh Canes uniforms.”


Right-handed pitcher Luke Jewett is in his first full year with Canes Baseball but did feature for us last fall. A Ladera Ranch, Calif. native, he’ll travel across the country to compete this summer for our National team. Jewett is committed to play his college baseball at UCLA.


“Everybody knows who the Canes are. It has been a dream of mine for years to play with this top organization and to be able to play against the best,” Jewett said. “I am looking forward to being able to play with some of the best players in the country and also be able to play all over the country and experiencing other ways of life.”


Left-handed pitcher Nick McLain, who also doubles as a switch hitting outfielder and first baseman, has a last name that is familiar in Canes circles as his older brother, Matt, played for the team in 2018. But Nick is a great player in his own right, as he is committed to play his college ball at UCLA. This will be Nick’s first year with the team.


“I’m looking forward to becoming a better baseball player and grow in every aspect of my game against good competition. I’m also looking forward to meeting new teammates and seeing my teammates that I already know,” Nick McLain said. “I wanted to join Canes to become a better player and win a lot. My brother played and he had a great time, so I think will have a lot of fun too and my trainer Josh Reidt is also the trainer for Canes.”


Right-handed pitcher Carson McKinney is in his first year with the Canes Baseball program as well. McKinney is one of two players from the Yellowhammer State on the roster this year, hailing from Columbiana, Ala. The 6-foot-4, 220-pounder is committed to the home state Crimson Tide.


“All my life I have heard about Canes Baseball and how great the organization is,” McKinney said. “I have been with a few different teams who were projected very high at tournaments and time and time again I would always hear that the Canes won again. This is my last year playing summer ball and I want to go out on top and have fun doing it.”


Left-handed pitcher Gage Jump is teammates with Jewett at Jserra Catholic High School and they’re committed to continue that partnership at UCLA next season. Jump, who is also in his first year with the Canes, says the organization is “very prestigious.”


“What made me want to join the Canes was seeing all their success on social media and hearing from my friends the experiences they had,” Jump said. “They told me how playing for the Canes affected them, and I’ve always noticed all the great players to come from the team. I’m also looking forward to playing in some of the greatest tournaments with scouts always watching.”


Right-handed pitcher Kade Grundy is in his first year with the Canes and is one of a trio of players committed to the Louisville Cardinals on the squad this season. A native of Somerset, Ky., Grundy says being a part of the Canes gives him the opportunity to compete against the best competition.


“I wanted to join the Canes because of the exposure this team gets and the teams they play,” Grundy said. “It’s the top competition in the country. I’ve played with players who were Canes over the years and they always talk about the experience they have and how they wouldn’t change it for the world! I want to compete for a national championship this summer and I believe the Canes will be in a position to do that!”


Power-armed right-hander Karl Hartmann joins the team for the first time this summer and says he’s looking forward to the friends he’ll create among his new teammates that he anticipates will last a lifetime. A Merritt Island, Fla. native, Hartmann is committed to the in-state Gators.


“I’m looking forward to playing with national Canes because I get to play with the top players and coaches from around the nation,” Hartmann said. “I get the chance to compete against other high level competition and tournaments. It is a chance to play and train with one of the best teams in the nation to better myself as player and person and surrounding myself with these types of players and coaches can only just increase my skill in baseball and help me move forward in life.”


Left-handed pitcher Jackson Nove is another greenhorn as he is another first-year player with the Canes. A native of Fairfax, Iowa, Nove is committed to play his college baseball at the University of Kentucky.


“I am excited to play with and play for some of the best players and coaches in the country. I can’t wait to contribute to the team’s success,” Nove said. “I joined Canes Baseball because I wanted the opportunity to be a part of one of the best teams in the country. To be able to play against the best competition. The Canes organization is dedicated to developing and improving each player’s skills.”


This is the first year on the Canes National team for right-handed pitcher Luke Hayden, but he has played for our Midwest regional team before. Hayden, a native of Bloomington, Ind., is committed to play for the hometown Hoosiers.


“This year I cant wait to go to the WWBA. It always has tons of scouts and being a part of the Canes National team will only bring more exposure,” Hayden said. “I also can’t wait to see old teammates and guys that I haven’t seen in a very long time. I want to play against the best of the best, which is another thing I’m looking forward to this summer.”


While we have plenty of pitchers making their Canes debut this summer, left-handed pitcher Philip Abner is one who has been around for a while. Abner, from Charlotte, N.C. and committed to play for the Florida Gators, is in his second summer with the Canes after joining in the fall of 2018. One of his lasting memories was his trip last summer to SunTrust Park with VIP field passes with the Canes.


“Visiting the Suntrust Park with our whole team was an awesome memory,” Abner said. “We all had a blast at the game and we were even able to get on the field and meet a lot of the players before the game. Our assistant coach last year, Jayson Werth, was able to get Bryce Harper to talk with us, which was really nice. In general playing with those guys is great I wouldn’t trade anyone for them.”


Fourth-year Canes right-hander Aidan Hunter is back looking for another championship ring this summer. The South Carolina commitment already has a couple of them, including the 16U National Championship last fall.


“My Canes coaches have helped me so much with developing me as a person and a baseball player,” Hunter said. “I wanted to join the Canes baseball because it’s the best organization around and the best coaching around. I’m excited to play with the top talent and against the top talent and seeing a bunch of old teammates from all over the country.”


Right-handed pitcher Chase Burns is in his first summer with the Canes but did pitch for us last fall. A Hendersonville, Tenn. native, Burns is committed to the home state Volunteers, a program quickly rising in the college baseball world.


“I decided to play for the Canes for many reasons,” Burns said. “It’s a well-known organization with a history of putting the best talent on the field. I feel like this is the best offseason that I’ve had in training and the Canes having a strength and conditioning coach that will ensure I stay in the best shape over the summer was really important to me.”


Right-handed pitcher Ryan Higgins is in his third year with the Canes and has many great memories with the team. A Duke commitment from New Canaan, Conn., Higgins pitched a no-hitter in the Wilson Premier East.


“This summer, I’m looking forward to getting the boys back together and playing some competitive baseball,” Higgins said. “I believe that this team has the most talent in the country and has the ability to win a lot of big time tournaments this year. As a pitcher, the coaches have helped me refine both my mental and physical game on the field, while the brotherhood I have developed with my teammates helps me strive to get better.”


Right-handed pitcher Gage Ziehl is also in his third year with the Canes. A Macedon, N.Y. native, he says his favorite memory with the team was winning the Underclass World Championship in the fall. Ziehl will travel a long way down I-95 to play his college baseball next year, committed to play for the Miami Hurricanes.


“The thing I am looking forward to the most this year is definitely going to be seeing my friends that I haven’t seen in a year or two,” Ziehl said. “I’m looking forward to catching up with them. Canes baseball has definitely help me develop tremendously. This is truly the best organization in travel ball.”


Right-handed pitcher Miles Langhorne is another first-year player for us, and one hailing from Greenwich, Conn. Langhorne, who is committed to play for the reigning national champions, the Vanderbilt Commodores, says he’s ready to be a part of the best organization in showcase baseball.


“I’m definitely looking forward to all the tournaments and facing great competition. I’m excited to win in those competitions and play the highest level that high school baseball has to offer,” Langhorne said. “I’ve always wanted to be a part of the best and always wanted to be the best. I thought the Canes offered me the opportunity to do that and develop even further.”


Right-handed pitcher Morgan Lunceford is in his first year with the Canes and from right in the middle of the country in Edmond, Okla. He won’t stay in the Heartlands, though, as he will play his college baseball on the west coast for the University of San Diego.


“I’m really excited for the USA Championships in Cary, N.C. I played with Izzy Melenik a couple years ago so I’m looking forward to playing with him again and meeting new players,” Lunceford said. “I decided to join Canes Baseball because of the development, the coaches, and national exposure. The Canes organization has always presented themselves in a respectful way showing good sportsmanship. I know Canes Baseball will give me the opportunity to take me to the next level.”


Right-handed pitcher Sam Dutton, a commitment to SEC powerhouse LSU, is in his first year with the Canes. A Southside, Ala. native, Dutton is ready to surround himself with some of the best players in the country.


“I joined the Canes to make myself better as a ball player and surround myself with other great players and better my game,” Dutton said. “I am looking forward to playing with a very talented group of players to make me a better player. There are also a couple of guys I have played with in the past and I am really looking forward to playing with then again!”


Right-handed pitcher Wyatt Lunsford-Shenkman is back for the Canes for his second season and will look for another championship ring or two this summer. A Leesburg, Va. native, Lunsford-Shenkman is committed to play his college baseball for the East Carolina Pirates.


“The tournament I’m really excited about is the Ultimate Baseball Championship. I’ll be playing against some of the ECU commits in my class there so I’m pumped for that,” Lunsford-Shenkman said. “Canes Baseball really opened up recruiting for me. Going to Jupiter and Ft. Myers definitely was amazing and where I was scouted the most. I’m where I am today as a player because of the things I’ve learned and from the competition I’ve played against since being with the Canes.”

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