Manassas Journal Messenger | Stewart gets a tryout


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Osbourn High School pitcher Jess Stewart has been invited to try out for the USA Junior National Baseball team. The Notre Dame-bound senior was informed of the news last week.

USA Baseball holds its Tournament of Stars in Joplin, Mo. from June 15-23. During the tournament, the players will compete for 18 roster spots on the Junior National team. The tournament includes five teams from USA Baseball’s National Member Organizations — the American Amateur Baseball Congress, the National Amateur Baseball Federation, PONY Baseball, Dixie Baseball and Babe Ruth Baseball — two at-large teams formed by USA Baseball, and a team from MLB RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities).

The Tournament of Stars has been around since 1993, but only since 2001 has it been used in conjunction with selecting players for the Junior National Team. Former area players who have made the Junior National Team, include 1999 Gar-Field graduate Jeff Baker and 1995 Potomac graduate Billy Deck.

The United States finished second to Korea in the 2000 World Junior Championships, and Team USA has medaled in 19 consecutive years.

In seven pitching appearances this season, Stewart owns a 4-1 record with a 0.97 ERA, 45 strikeouts and just eight walks. As a team, Osbourn is currently 11-1.

Because of the dates, Stewart will miss Osbourn’s graduation, which is currently scheduled for June 16.

?It was an easy decision to make,? Stewart said. ?It’s a great opportunity.?


Today’s 4 p.m. cross-town showdown between No. 1 Osbourn and No. 4 Osbourn Park is for first place in the Cedar Run District, given that the Yellow Jackets can tie with a win. But lately, a third Cedar Run team is just as hot as the undefeated Eagles.

Stonewall Jackson received a boost with the return of first baseman Jessie Green. Raiders head coach Jason Koch said Green has been ?killing the ball.? He says Green has played in four games since returning from a injury and has hit two home runs, while making only two outs.

?People can’t pitch around Courtney Bures anymore, because Jessie’s right there,? says Koch. ?The other girls are jumping on the bandwagon as well, because it takes the pressure off of them.?

But just as important, having Green back has helped solidfy the defensive lineup. With catcher Amanda Burk out for the year due to a knee injury, Koch moved regular third baseman Bethany McLain behind the plate. Green has taken over at first base, while Julie Pallatt moved from shortstop to third, and Bures is at shortstop. Second baseman Lauren Mayoral rounds out the infield.

The level of competition in the district (Osbourn was a state finalist last season while the Raiders made the semifinals) prepares a team for the postseason.

?We’ll be prepared to play with any team outside the district,? Koch said.

Brian Hunsicker covers baseball and Dave Utnik covers softball for the Potomac News and Manassas Journal Messenger. Reach them at (703) 878-8053.

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