Bettis earns invitation to USA national team trials

LUBBOCK, Texas - Texas Tech junior right-hander Chad Bettis has earned an invitation to attend the 2009 USA Baseball National Team Trials in Cary, N.C., and will be one of just two players from the Big 12 Conference vying for one of 22 roster spots.

"It's a great honor for our baseball program and for Chad (Bettis) to earn an invite to the national trials," said Texas Tech Head Coach Dan Spencer.  Our goal is to develop players and allow them to put themselves in these types of positions.  The experience you get from playing with the best college baseball players in the country is invaluable."

Bettis, a native of Lubbock and a product of Monterey High School, will join Baylor right-hander Logan Verrett at the trials as the only two players from the league to earn invitations to the prestigious camp.  The trials will be held at the USA Baseball National Training Complex, June 15-24.  The roster will be cut to 22 players and announced on June 24.

Bettis is coming off a stellar sophomore season in 2009 and was without question the team's most valuable player.  He led the Tech pitching staff with a 6-1 record along with seven saves and posted a 3.59 earned run average.  His seven saves on the year ranks third all-time for the most in a single season.  He also led the squad with 72 2/3 innings pitched and factored into 17 of Tech's 25 wins on the year.

Should Bettis make the squad, he will be the fifth Tech player to earn a spot on the national team joining Josh Bard (1997, 1998), Monty Ward (1997), Shane Wright (1998) and Roger Kieschnick (2006, 2007).

The 2009 National Team will compete in several exhibition games in the Triangle-area of North Carolina, including a friendly series against the Canadian National Team, June 25 - 29, which will be played across both the Durham Bulls Athletic Park and the USA Baseball National Training Complex. Following its domestic exhibition schedule, the U.S. will travel to Japan to compete in the 37th Annual Japan vs. USA Collegiate Championships before closing out its summer in Canada at the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline World Baseball Challenge in Prince George, British Columbia.

The 2009 team will be coached by Tulane University head coach Rick Jones, who previously served as an assistant coach for the red, white and blue on the 1989 Presidential Cup Team and 1990 National Team. Jones is joined by pitching coach Mike Kennedy (head coach, Elon University) and assistant coaches Dan McDonnell (head coach, Louisville University) and Rob Cooper (head coach, Wright State University; 2007 USA Baseball National Team assistant coach).

"We have both a very tough and exciting schedule facing us this season," Campbell said. "The Japan series is the highlight of our summer tour, and the National Team will be built to compete in those games."