Steven Register, a sophomore right-hander from Columbus, Ga., is one of 20 players named to the USA National Team following four days of tryouts in Tucson, Arizona. Thirty-six players were invited to the workouts to put together a baseball team to travel to the Dominican Republic for the Pan American Games, which are scheduled August 2-12.
Register was Auburn’s ace in the bullpen. He led the nation in saves with 16 while posting a 2.94 earned run averaged. He pitched in 33 games and posted an outstanding strikeout to walk ratio. He fanned 61 batters and walked just seven in 52 innings.
Steven Register has been difficult to hit for most SEC and other college batters.
His 16 saves are the second most in a single season by an AU pitcher, three shy of Finley Woodward’s record of 19 set in 1995. Register has a shot at breaking Woodward’s school record of 29 saves sometime next season. He has 17 for his career and the former Shaw High star has been very tough to hit since late in his freshman year when he got on a hot streak and posted a 5-0 record with an 0.93 earned run average in his final seven appearances of the season.
As a sophomore for an Auburn team that reached NCAA Tournament regional play, he earned first team All-America status from the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. At Shaw High in Columbus he was a heavily honored performer, too. Among his awards was Georgia AAAA Player of the Year as a senior.
Register is the third Auburn pitcher and fourth Tiger to make the USA National Team. He joins right-handed pitchers Greg Olson (1987) and John Powell (1993) plus second baseman Mark Bellhorn (1993, 1994).
Register’s team of collegians will play its first game at 8 p.m. CDT on Saturday at Hi Corbett Field in Tucson vs. the Arizona Juco All-Stars. The group will move to Durham, N.C., for a five-game series vs. the national team of Japan at Coastal Federal Field in Myrtle Beach, S.C., starting on July 4th.
The University of South Carolina’s Ray Tanner is the head coach. Team members include just three other SEC players--outfielder Seth Smith and lefty pitcher and infielder Stephen Head of Ole Miss and pitcher Matt Campbell of South Carolina. Georgia Tech has the most representatives with four--infielders Eric Patterson and Tyler Greene, catcher Mike Nickeas and right-handed pitcher and infielder Micah Owings.
Other members of the team include pitchers Mark Romanczuk of Stanford, Justin Orenduff of Virginia Commonwealth, Huston Street of Texas, Justin Verlander of Old Dominion and Jared Weaver of Long Beach State. Others include catcher Jeff Clement of Southern Cal, outfielders Michael Griffin of Baylor, Brent Lillibridge of Washington and Danny Putnam of Stanford along with infielders Paul Janish of Rice, Jeff Laris of Arizona State and Dustin Pedroia of Arizona State.