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April 24, 2014

Lemoine Named to USA Baseball Collegiate National Team

HOUSTON — Houston Baseball sophomore Jake Lemoine has been selected and accepted his invitation to compete for the 2014 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team this summer, announced by USA Baseball.

Lemoine was selected among the nation’s elite to compete and represent the United States, which will feature several stops on U.S. soil vs. Chinese Taipei and trips to The Netherlands and Cuba. Lemoine will begin his 39-day journey this summer in late June and continue through the month of July.

“It is an honor to play for Team USA knowing only a handful of players are selected to play for this prestigious team,” Lemoine said. “I’m excited to be able to represent my country, University of Houston and my hometown. This experience is going to be different having never played international baseball, but I’m looking forward to it. I think I’m going to like it a lot.”

The Bridge City, Texas native became the first Cougar since Michael Bourn in 2006 to compete for USA Baseball, while becoming just the fifth Cougar to represent Houston on the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team. Lemoine also becomes the first pitcher selected to the Collegiate National Team from Houston since Brad Sullivan in 2002.

“Jake has really elevated his game and his expectation level for himself and I think he understands confidence is everything,” said head coach Todd Whitting. “He understands that he is one of the best pitchers in this country and once he realized that, that gave him confidence to dominate to this point in this season.”

Joining Lemoine as members of a USA Baseball Team from Houston were Michael Bourn (2006 – Olympic), Rob Johnson (2005 – World Cup), Jesse Crain (2003 – Olympic), Brad Sullivan (2002 – Collegiate), Chris Snyder (2001 – Collegiate), Shane Nance (1999 – Collegiate), Kyle Crowell (1999 – Collegiate), Shane Nance (1998 – Collegiate), while current Houston assistant coach Trip Couch was a part of the Collegiate National Team coaching staff in 1999.

The sophomore right-hander owns a 1.70 ERA and is 5-3 on the year in 10 starts. In a total of 68.2 innings pitched, Lemoine has fanned a team-high 58 and ranks tied for second in the conference.

In two seasons, Lemoine has compiled an ERA of 2.60 and a record of 12-7 in 28 appearances and 20 starts. He notched career-bests with a complete game vs. Rutgers on April 5, 2014, which also saw a career-high nine strikeouts.

Lemoine has also held opponents to a .200 average and plays an integral role as Houston’s Saturday starter on a pitching staff that leads the nation in ERA (1.94) and WHIP (0.97) through the first 40 games this season.

“This honor for Jake is a sign of a good program and one that is headed in the right direction especially when your players receive accolades and individual honors like Jake has had,” said Whitting. “There was a time period here at Houston where we were running guys in and out on the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team. There has been a little bit of a lapse here of late not having anyone participate on that team so I’m really proud of him and how he has responded to his role this year.”

The 2014 Collegiate National Team will be coached by Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn. The team's assistant coaches include Rob Childress (head coach at Texas A&M), Ray Birmingham (head coach at New Mexico) and Steve Rodriguez (head coach at Pepperdine).

“The thing I look forward to the most about playing for this team will be competing internationally with and against some of the best college baseball players in this country,” said Lemoine on what he looks forward to most.

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