Tennessee Pitcher Invited to USA Baseball Training Camp

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(Photo via Tennessee Athletics)

Rising junior pitcher Garrett Crochet has been invited to USA Baseball Collegiate National Team’s training camp. Crochet accepted the invitation on Monday afternoon.

“It means a lot to be chosen to wear the Red, White and Blue and to represent not only our country but also the University of Tennessee and my family,” Crochet said in a press release from Tennessee. “This is something I’ve always dreamed of but never believed would be something I would be a part of. The feeling is very surreal.”

Crochet is the first to earn an invite to USA Baseball’s training camp since former left-hander Zach Warren made the team in 2016. The Ocean Springs, Mississippi native is the 21st Vol in program history to receive an invite.

This past season, Crochet helped guide Tennessee to its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 2005. The left-hander began the season in the bullpen, but he quickly earned a spot in the weekend rotation.

Crochet struck out 81 batters as a sophomore, the second-most of any Tennessee pitcher this season. His 13.5 strikeouts per nine innings was the best of any UT pitcher who started at least two games. Crochet finished the season 5-3 with a 4.02 ERA in 18 appearances. He started six games, picked up three saves, threw 65.0 innings, allowed 29 earned runs on 67 hits, and gave up 22 walks.

The USA Baseball Collegiate National Team will participate in a series of four intra-squad exhibition games and a game against the Coastal Plain League Select before announcing a 26-man roster prior to the 8th USA vs. Cuba International Friendship Series that will take place July 2-6 in four cities in North Carolina (Cary, Charlotte, Durham, and Hickory).

Team USA’s 26-man roster will then travel to Taiwan for the 19th USA vs. Chinese Taipei International Friendship Series. After that, USA Baseball will announce a final 24-man roster to compete in the 43rd USA vs. Japan Collegiate All-Star Series from July 16-21 in Japan.

In Crochet’s final start of the regular season, a screaming line drive fractured his jaw, requiring surgery to wire it back together. He would bounce back and pitch two weeks later against UNC Wilmington and Liberty in the NCAA Tournament out of the bullpen.

Entering the 2019 campaign, Crochet was rated as the No. 16 overall 2020 MLB Draft Prospect by D1Baseball.com He was also rated as the No. 11 2020 MLB Draft Draft Prospect among SEC players by Baseball America.

Coming out of Ocean Springs High School, the 6-foot-5 southpaw was selected in the 34th Round of the 2017 MLB Draft by the Milwaukee Brewers. He elected to come to Tennessee instead and has spent two seasons with the Vols thus far.

Ben McKee
Ben McKee is a graduate from the University of Tennessee and has a degree in Journalism and Electronic Media. He grew up an Army brat and lived in Alabama for a bit, but he bleeds orange. He covers Tennessee football, basketball, baseball, and the Lady Vols for RTI, and he's also a co-host on the RTI Live Show and RTI Podcast. You can also hear Ben on the morning sports radio show "The Swain Event." He's the producer and co-host along with former Vol wide receiver Jayson Swain.