Independence’s Robert Hassell III will be showing off his elite baseball skills and representing his country at the end of the month.
The Independence Eagles senior will be suiting up with the USA Baseball 18-Under National Team from Aug. 30 through Sept. 8 in the 2019 World Baseball Softball Confederation U-18 Baseball World Cup in Gijang, South Korea.
“We are really excited about the twenty players that we have just chosen for this year’s 18U National Team,” 2019 18U National Team Manager Jack Leggett said in a release.
“It’s been a great trial period with a great group of kids that has worked extremely hard. The decisions were really tough, but we feel like the twenty that we have now show us a lot of versatility, a lot of talent and a lot of really good attitudes, so we are really looking forward to competing for a world championship.”
The U18 team has won eight-straight gold medals in the competition.
Hassell earned a dugout full of accolades for his 2019 season on the mound and at the plate, including being named the 2019 Tennessee Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year. His Eagles reached the Class AAA state finals in May.
He is the only high school baseball player from the state of Tennessee on the 20-man roster. He’s listed as an outfielder and a left-handed pitcher with the team.
Per the release, they’ve been training in Fullerton, Calif., and will be there through Wednesday before continued training in Taiwan from Aug. 24 through 27 leading up to the tournament.
The team gets started in the Cup against South Africa on Aug. 30 at 5 a.m. central time.
Hassell is committed to joining Vanderbilt University after his high school career is over next spring.
Photo by Carl Edmondson, Jr.