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Michael Choice and Team USA have two games before traveling to Japan on Wednesday
Michael Choice and Team USA have two games before traveling to Japan on Wednesday

July 6, 2009

ARLINGTON, Texas - The USA Baseball National Team (Collegiate) is 10-0 this summer and a main element to the team's success has been UT Arlington's junior-to-be Michael Choice. In 10 games played (eight starts) this summer, Choice is batting .448 (13-for-29) with five multi-hit games, three doubles and nine RBI. Team USA has now won 34 straight games dating back to last summer, and the team is coming off a four-game series sweep over Guatemala and a victory against the New England Collegiate League All-Stars on Sunday.

One of the major changes for all Team USA players is using wooden bats throughout the trials (June 15-25) and now during the summer. All of Team USA's players played collegiately this past year at NCAA Division I programs where they used aluminum bats.

Choice's adjustment to using wooden bats was extremely smooth, considering he started the summer leading the team with a .615 average after the first five games of the season.

"At first it was a little bit different since the guys were throwing so hard," Choice said. "You just tried to not break your bat on the first swing. I have gotten used to it now. But I have been swinging a wood bat throughout the year. I used a wood bat every single day throughout the college season, the only time I would use metal was in games."

Team USA outscored Guatemala 61-2 in a four-game series sweep this past week. Choice was the designated hitter for two games against Guatemala, a position that is new to the Mavericks starting center fielder - who has also played left field four times and started in center field once for Team USA.

Choice hit cleanup for Team USA on Friday, July 3, against Guatemala where he went 2-for-6 with a single, double and three RBI.

"I don't look at it as any different," Choice said about being the designated hitter. "The only difference is I'm not going out onto the field. We have had a rotation, we pretty much rotate the corner outfield spots and if you don't start that game you are going to come in within the last three innings and finish it up. I like the DH, it kind of gives me a rest sometimes, and it gives my legs a rest."



In Team USA's most recent victory - 4-1 win over NECBL on Sunday - Choice hit seventh in the batting order while starting in left field and went 3-for-3 with two singles and a double.

Team USA's next two games will be against collegiate summer teams in Massachusetts before embarking on an 18-hour plane trip to Japan, where Team USA will be in action July 10-16, which includes playing at the Tokyo Dome on Monday, July 13, against Japan.

Michael Choice
On Team USA's 10-0 start and 34 game-win streak dating back to last summer...
- "Nobody really thinks about the win streak any more. I don't hear that many people talking about it. We are just going game-to-game playing each day at a time."

On team's success and their dominating series against Guatemala...
- "We were just taking it day-by-day and working on our team and personal goals. Even though the competition wasn't that high you can still get better by concentrating on the little things that you need to do better to improve on as a player and as a team."

On adjustments he has made using a wooden bat while playing with Team USA...
- "I have just tried to not swing as hard. Just to let my natural power work for me. Sometimes you think when using wood bat you have to put a little extra on it, but you don't. I take light swings in batting practice and I hit the ball just as far as I do with metal. I just have to keep reminding myself to just take the same swing and it will go just as far."

On what is working for individuals on the team and what leaders on the team are doing to have success with Team USA...
- "We just try to go out and play hard every day. Everyone has personal goals every day. At the end of every game our coach brings us together to talk about the things that went wrong during the game, verses the things that went good. That stays on your mind, because you never want to be on that list at the end of the game. You always want to stay off that list and do the right things. It just makes us think about playing hard and to play the game the right way."

On playing in front of 9,534 fans at the Durham Bulls' Stadium on the 4th of July...
- "It was great. For me it was a different experience playing in front of all of those people. It is fun, and you want to perform well in front of all of those people."

On upcoming trip to Japan...
- "Travel wise, we are just starting to get used to that. Yesterday was a long day, we got up at 4 a.m. and we played at 2 p.m. and then bused over (to Holyoke, Mass.) for two hours after yesterday's game. We just have to think of it as having fun playing, and the plane and bus rides really won't affect you. We have a pretty busy schedule the next two days with playing and going to a different part of Massachusetts. We practice at Fenway Park tomorrow morning and then we have a flight to Japan that will take 18 hours. We have to fly from the Boston airport to Toronto, and from Toronto to Japan."

For complete coverage of Michael Choice with Team USA follow his daily updates at


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