NC State baseball star catcher Patrick Bailey is spending his summer on USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team with some of the top college baseball players in the country
The group of collegiate superstars will be traveling overseas later this month but starts the summer with a series of games at various locations in North Carolina. The first four days, June 27-30, were red-versus-blue scrimmages between the team members at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary.
“It’s probably the best opportunity you can get as a baseball player,” Bailey told Pack Pride. “At any level — high school, amateur, college, even the pros, with the Olympics coming back — it’s the greatest honor you can get, and I’m really humbled to be able to do this.”
Patrick Bailey has started 3 for 11 with three runs in four games at catcher and will split time in the coming weeks with Arkansas catcher Casey Opitz, who went 2 for 10 with one walk over the same period.
At NC State this past season, Bailey hit .288/.390/.513 with 46 RBIs and 10 home runs in 60 games, so his average will certainly come up as he gets more reps in the coming weeks.
Last year with the team, Bailey played three games and went 2 for 8 with a double and three RBIs alongside teammate and first-round pick Will Wilson.
On Monday, USA Baseball faces the Coastal Plain League Select Team in Cary for its first official game. The USABCNT won the annual matchup last year 3-2.
After that, the team will participate in the 8th Annual USA vs. Cuba International Friendship Series, which will take place from July 2-6 in different stadiums around the state, including the National Training Complex, Durham Bulls Athletic Park, Charlotte’s BB&T Stadium and LP Frans Stadium in Hickory.
Although all the NC State baseball players are playing somewhere this summer, Bailey has by far the coolest destinations. After touring around the state, the USABCNT will fly to Taiwan to play Chinese Taipei for five games and then to Japan to play in the Japan Collegiate All-Star Series.
“You can’t put enough value on playing with and against the best players in the country and the best players in the world,” Bailey said. “When you play with the best, you make yourself better. You have to get better to be able to compete, and it’s just fun to be out here with these guys.”