Ole Miss closer Dallas Woolfolk has accepted an invitation to spend the summer with USA Baseball, playing for the Collegiate National Team. The sophomore pitcher will be the eighth Rebel to play for USA Baseball while on the Ole Miss roster.
“I am truly blessed and grateful to be given this incredible opportunity to be a part of USA Baseball,” said Woolfolk. “It is such an honor to pitch for my country and represent the United States of America. I would not be where I am today without God, my family and the help of my current and past coaches. Hotty Toddy and Go Team USA!”
“As a coaching staff, certainly, we are very proud of Dallas earning the honor to compete for his country on the baseball diamond,” said Ole Miss Head Coach Mike Bianco. “I can recall putting on the USA uniform four years ago, and it was a privilege to wear the Stars and Stripes. Now, Dallas has that same opportunity, and there is no doubt that he will represent Ole Miss and USA Baseball well out there.”
Including Bianco, Woolfolk is the 10th different Rebel to represent his country in international play while at Ole Miss. Kris Cox was a member of the Canadian National Team in 2000 before Stephen Head and Seth Smith (currently with the Baltimore Orioles) competed for Team USA in the 2003 Pan American Games. Other Rebels that played for USA Baseball include Zack Cozart (Cincinnati Reds), Lance Lynn (St. Louis Cardinals), Drew Pomeranz (Boston Red Sox), Cody Satterwhite and Bobby Wahl (Oakland Athletics). In 2013, Bianco served as the pitching coach for the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team.
Woolfolk burst onto the scene in 2017 to become the Rebels’ go-to reliever at the end of games. Over a team-high 26 appearances, he collected 12 saves to tie Brett Huber for the second-most in a single season in Ole Miss baseball history. The Southaven, Mississippi, native’s saves total ranked third in the SEC and 20th nationally. Moreover, the hard-throwing righty proved he was more than just a one-inning wonder by tallying at least four outs to earn six of his saves. Woolfolk went 3-2 with a 2.15 ERA over 37.2 innings. He recorded 41 strikeouts while only issuing five walks and held opposing hitters to a .200 average.
Woolfolk, whose fastball ranges from 94-97 mph, was named to the midseason watch list for the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Stopper of the Year Award (April 26), one of 40 pitchers on the watch list for the award given annually to the nation’s top relief pitcher. The finalists for the award have not been announced yet.
Through his two seasons as a Rebel, Woolfolk has made 44 career appearances on the mound. He held the lowest ERA (2.55) on the team as a freshman, pitching 17.2 innings over 18 relief outings. With 13 career saves already, Woolfolk is tied with Wyatt Short and Skipper Wright for seventh on the program’s all-time list.
Woolfolk will join the 2017 Collegiate National Team for training at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina, before competing in a series of games with teams from the Coastal Plain League (June 20-25). The United States will then host international friendship series against Chinese Taipei and Cuba from June 27 – July 7, in Cary, Charlotte and Durham, North Carolina. Both series will be streamed live on USABaseball.com. Follow @USABaseball and @USABaseballCNT on Twitter for all of the latest news on USA Baseball and the Collegiate National Team.
Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports
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