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The Best College Players, According to the Best College Players

Even the best players struggle at times. Players on the USA Baseball College National Team are no exception.

So who do players on the College National Team say has been the toughest matchup in their college careers?

Grant Koch, C, Arkansas Opponent: Kyle Wright (Vanderbilt) Stats: 0-3, 2 SO “I've got to say it was Kyle Wright for sure. His stuff was off-the-charts obviously, and I think just how he was cross-counting. That night he was throwing against us, I think he had confidence in every single pitch. You couldn’t really game plan him. It was hard to because he was working with whatever pitch he wanted. It’s electric when he controls like that."

Seth Beer, 1B, Clemson Opponent: Kyle Wright (Vanderbilt) Stats: 0-2, SO, HBP “Kyle Wright from Vandy—he’s got to be my No. 1 He’s a great pitcher. I think it made it even worse too because I played with him last year and he’s just such a great guy so you can’t get mad at him too for getting you out. He could throw every pitch for a strike. You weren’t expecting anything. He’s by far the best guy I’ve ever faced.”

Nick Meyer, C, Cal Poly Opponent: Griffin Canning (UCLA) Stats: 2-5, 2B, SO “He’s got four pitches that he can throw at any time, doesn’t matter what kind of count you get in. He could throw a slider, curve, changeup and make you look stupid. He’s got a good fastball that will blow by you, so it’s a tough time coming up.”

Joey Bart, C, Georgia Tech Opponent: J.B. Bukauskas (North Carolina) Stats: 2-6, HR, 2 SO “J.B. Bukauskas for sure. He had a really good fastball but his slider looked just like his fastball and dipped right off the plate.”

Jackson Lueck, OF, Florida State Opponent: J.B. Bukauskas (North Carolina) Stats: 1-3, SO “It’d probably be Bukauskas. He’s got a really hard slider and he throws like 95 too."

Steele Walker, OF, Oklahoma Opponent: Jared Janczak (TCU) Stats: 0-1, BB, SO “Probably Janczak from TCU. He can really control all of his stuff and throw all his pitches for strikes. He knew exactly what he was doing. That’s the key—those are the dudes that are the hardest to hit for me. If you try to blow it past me, I can make an adjustment. If you really can control all your pitches and keep me off-balance, good job for you.”

Braden Shewmake, 2B, Texas A&M Opponent: Alex Lange (LSU) Stats: 2-4, 2B “He can throw the fastball to both sides of the plate and his curveball is incredibly good.”

Andrew Vaughn, 1B, California Opponent: Steven Gingery (Texas Tech) Stats: 0-3, SO “He put me for an 0-for-3. It was a rough day. He’s usually deceptive with that fastball and changeup, and he spots everything. He’s really a hard guy to get a mistake off of.”

Matt Wallner, OF, Southern Mississippi Opponent: Gunner Leger (Louisiana-Lafayette) Stats: 1-3, SO “It’s the ability to control his changeup. It’s a plus-plus pitch and he can throw it in any count wherever he wants just to make it look like a fastball. He’ll get you to bite on it at the knees, and it’s just an out pitch for him that he can throw in any count.”

Travis Swaggerty, OF, South Alabama Opponent: Gunner Leger (Louisiana-Lafayette) Stats: 1-7, 2 K “(He has) the ability to go in and out with all three pitches. He didn’t miss over the middle of the plate one time that I faced him, so he’s very good at that.”

Hunter Gaddis, RHP, Georgia State Opponent: Travis Swaggerty (South Alabama) Stats: 3-3, HR “He makes contact with a good bit of pitches, all over the zone, all over the plate.”

Steven Gingery, LHP, Texas Tech Opponent: Luken Baker (TCU) Stats: 2-5, HR, SO, HBP “There’s a lot of tough ones. I think Luken Baker is a really hard out. Since he’s in my conference I’ve faced him a good amount and he’s always a hard out. I think he honestly just has a really good approach, being able to see offspeed pitches really well—I think it’s something he’s really strong at.”

Casey Mize, RHP, Auburn Opponent: Carlos Cortes (South Carolina) Stats: 3-4 “You know I was impressed with Carlos Cortes, a freshman from South Carolina. I pitched against him this year and he was advanced for his age. I know he’s a freshman but he’s a good player. I couldn’t get that guy out really.”

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Konnor Pilkington, LHP, Mississippi State Opponent: Greg Deichmann (LSU) Stats: 0-4, 4 BB, 2 SO, HBP, ROE “Deichmann’s really hard. I had to pitch around him a lot. There’s a lot of power in there and if you mess up, he’s going to hit a ball 500 feet.”

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