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Roger Kieschnick Deserves His Own Post

Roger Kieschnick and Pedro Alvarez for Team USA

College Baseball Blog noted that Team USA will begin playing in another international baseball tournament, the 2007 World Port Tournament, in Rotterdam, Netherlands. For those of you not keeping track, Roger has been playing, no, strike that, raking with Team USA and along with Alvarez, are the two unquestioned leaders of this team.

This is Roger's second year on Team USA, but he has really grown into this leadership role:

"They're great guys to go to with questions," says USA pitcher Mike Minor of Vanderbilt. "The coaches look at those two guys to help show how things are to be run. And you can go to them at any time; they're a great source to tell the rest of the guys of what to expect."

That's pretty high praise from one of their teammates. I've said it before, but Coach Hays and Coach Spencer have to be salivating over the confidence that Roger is gaining in international play. Playing for Team USA for Kieschnick is his dream and he takes his responsibility seriously:

Kieschnick believes signing autographs is a responsibility for anyone wearing the red, white and blue. "That's part of putting on the uniform," he says. "I remember when I was a kid wanting autographs. And I still remember the guys who turned me down, too, so I try and sign just as much as I can when I can."

Kieschnick, who slugged 13 home runs to share the Red Raiders' lead in that category last season, had already hit six in Team USA's first 29 games, leading the team. He also drove in a key run with a double in Team USA's 2-1 win over Mexico in the semifinal of the Pan Am Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The team ultimately lost to Cuba in the gold medal game, but the team left with a silver medal. Kieschnick is clearly enjoying his second go-round with the National Team.

"Oh, man, this is a baseball player's dream," he says. "Playing for my country has just been an unbelievable experience, and it has meant a lot to me. I've gotten to do things I never thought I'd be able to do, and I've gotten to play with the best players in the country. There's no better experience than that."

I haven't done even an adequate job of promoting what Roger's done this summer. Certainly, Roger should be applauded for his representation of his country and our university. For that, we thank you.

Here's the schedule and according to CBB most of the games can be seen via webcast.

Update [2007-8-2 6:54:23 by Seth C]: CBB mentions in the comments that the games will not be available via webcast.