July 3, 2019 8:23:10 AM
STARKVILLE -- Diamond Dawg fans will have a reason to cheer during the international baseball scene this summer, as Mississippi State baseball sophomores Tanner Allen and Justin Foscue will represent USA Baseball as a part of the Collegiate National Team, and freshman Eric Cerantola will be a part of Baseball Canada's Senior National Team.
Allen and Foscue are both part of the 26-man roster for the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team as the squad competes in the 8th USA vs. Cuba International Friendship Series that began Tuesday and will run through Saturday in Cary, Charlotte, Durham and Hickory, North Carolina. After the team travels to Taiwan for the 19th USA vs. Chinese Taipei International Friendship Series, USA Baseball will announce a final 24-man roster to compete in the 43rd USA vs. Japan Collegiate All-Star Series from July 16-21 in Japan.
This marks the first time in program history that multiple student-athletes have made the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team and give Mississippi State 11 total Diamond Dawgs to wear the Red, White and Blue.
Mississippi State's history with the Collegiate National Team began with Will Clark in 1984 and Brad Hildreth in 1986. In all, nine MSU student-athletes have represented Team USA on 10 occasions as a part of the Collegiate National Team. More recently, Adam Frazier (2012) and Konnor Pilkington (2017) were participants.
Cerantola will be making his first appearance on Baseball Canada's Senior National Team, after making the Junior National Team (U18) on nine occasions from 2017-18, including 2017 Baseball World Cup and each of the extended spring training and fall instructional leagues. The right-handed pitcher will compete for his home country at the Pan Am Games in Lima, Peru from July 26-Aug. 11.
After starting all 67 games at first base for the Diamond Dawgs, Allen hit .461 (6-for-13) at the Collegiate National Team trials. He added one walk, scored four runs and drove in one RBI in five intrasquad games. In 2019, the Theodore, Alabama native hit .349 with a team-best 66 RBIs and .426 on-base percentage. His 23 doubles and 142 total bases both ranked second on the team, with his doubles total sitting tied for No. 9 on the single-season charts.
A third-team All-American by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, Allen was named to the Southeastern Conference All-Tournament Team, NCAA Starkville Regional All-Tournament Team and was a first-team All-SEC pick following a 96-hit effort during the 2019 season to rank No. 10 in MSU single-season history.
Foscue led all participants with six RBIs at the trials, hitting .312 (5-for-16) in the five intrasquad games. has earned All-America honors from every publication during his breakout sophomore campaign, grabbing first-team laurels from the College Baseball Foundation, second-team accolades from the American Baseball Coaches Association, Collegiate Baseball Newspaper and D1Baseball, and third-team honors from Baseball America and Perfect Game.
Foscue played two positions on the infield during the 2019 campaign, making 31 starts at third base and 36 starts at second base. He was the first Diamond Dawg to earn All-America honors at second base since 1998 when Brad Freeman garnered second-team honors from the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.
The right-handed hitter boosted his batting average from .241 to .331 during his second season and his 14 home runs were the most in a single season since Brent Rooker hit 23 in 2017. A first-team All-SEC pick, he posted career highs in average (.331), hits (91), runs scored (66), doubles (22), home runs (14), RBIs (60) and total bases (155).
Cerantola appeared in 11 games with four starts during his first season on campus in 2019. He owned a 3-0 record and a .151 batting average against. The right hander owned 21 strikeouts in 14 2/3 innings of work and allowed just eight hits. The rookie fired nine innings without giving up an earned run to start the season, striking out 12 and allowing just three hits and six walks over that span.
The Oakville, Ontario native collected wins over Jackson State, Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Grambling. Over his last five appearances, Cerantola threw 4 2/3 innings and allowed three hits, walked one and struck out seven. He allowed one run over that span, which included a two-inning effort versus LSU in the SEC Tournament.
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