LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky left-handed pitcher Zack Thompson has been selected to the final 26-man roster of the 2018 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team that will play five games each against teams from Japan and Cuba over the next several weeks.
The 6-foot-2, 225-pound junior-to-be will be the first Wildcat to play for the Collegiate National Team since Evan White in 2016. The Selma, Indiana native has had a stellar start to his UK career, going 10-4 with a 3.88 earned run average and 138 strikeouts in 106.2 innings in two seasons. Opponents are hitting just .195 against him and he ranks second on the program’s career hits allowed per nine innings with just 6.24.
The Collegiate National Team just completed a five-game sweep of Chinese Taipei in the 18th International Friendship Series between the two. Thompson started game three and was impressive in three hitless innings of work. He walked two and struck out four while not allowing a run.
The 42nd USA vs. Japan Collegiate All-Star Series begins Tuesday and continues through July 9 in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina; and the 7th Annual USA vs. Cuba International Friendship Series in Cuba runs from July 13-18.
Thompson, who is considered one of the top prospects eligible for the 2019 Major League Baseball Draft, has shown plus velocity and an impressive competitive streak on the mound for the Cats. As a freshman he defeated a ranked Indiana club twice, including in an NCAA Tournament elimination game, and started the Cats’ first-ever Super Regional game. He was named a Freshman All-American by Baseball America, D1 Baseball and Perfect Game/Rawlings.