A trio of Ole Miss baseball players where named to the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team on Thursday as Derek Diamond, Hayden Dunhurst and Jacob Gonzalez will be on the 2021 squad.
Diamond becomes the eighth Ole Miss pitcher to earn a spot on the Collegiate National Team. Prior to this season, each of the last seven Rebels to be selected to Team USA were pitchers.
The sophomore out of Ramona, California, has been an integral part of the Rebel pitching rotation for the last two seasons, making 18 starts and 24 total appearances. For his Rebel career, Diamond is 5-5 with a 4.88 ERA over 96.0 innings pitched. In 75.1 innings this season, Diamond struck out 82 batters and walked 32.
Though he comes from a long line of outstanding Rebel catchers, Dunhurst is the first Rebel behind the plate to earn a Collegiate National Team nod. The Carriere, Mississippi, native put together a spectacular sophomore campaign, which brought Second Team All-SEC, SEC All-Newcomer and SEC All-Defense honors.
Also a semifinalist for the Buster Posey Award, Dunhurst led the SEC with 16 runners caught stealing and five runners picked off. He was terrific at the plate as well, hitting over .300 well into May. He finished with a .280 batting average, 40 runs scored, 11 doubles, a team-high two triples, seven home runs and 43 RBI.
Gonzalez is just the second Rebel shortstop and the first since Zack Cozart in 2006 to be tabbed for Team USA. He joins Head and Doug Nikhazy as the only Rebels to earn a Collegiate National Team selection after their freshman season. Earlier this week, Gonzalez joined Head to become just the second player in program history to be named an All-American as a freshman, earning a Second Team nod from NCBWA.
Gonzalez started every game at shortstop and led Ole Miss in batting average (.355), runs scored (73) and hits (93). The freshman out of Glendora, California, set single-season freshman records in games played, runs scored, RBI (55), total bases (147), and walks (38). Gonzalez leads the SEC in hits and runs scored for the season, ranking fourth in the nation in those categories. He leads all true freshmen nationally in both hits and runs scored.
The USA Baseball Collegiate National Team will feature 48 players in 2021. The Collegiate team will be split into two teams, the Stars and Stripes, and will go head-to-head in 11 games beginning on July 2. Ten of the team’s 11 games will be played in the cities of the Appalachian League, which is in its first season as a summer collegiate league as part of MLB and USA Baseball’s Prospect Development Pipeline.