Paul Skenes selected for 2021 U.S. National College Baseball Team
Skenes is the fifth all-time Falcon to play for the US Collegiate National Team, and the first since 1980. The other four include Rich Haynie (1974), Jeff Brown (1976), Steve Saleck (1980) and Deacon Winters (1980). ).
The collegiate team will be split into two teams, the Stars and Stripes, and will face each other in 11 games starting July 2. Ten of the team’s 11 games will be played in cities of the Appalachian League, which is in its first season as a summer college league as part of the MLB and USA Baseball’s Prospect Development Pipeline.
The National Collegiate Team will also play a game at the United States National Baseball Training Complex in Cary, NC on July 4 at 1:30 p.m. EDT. The game will air on USABaseball.com and on USA Baseball’s Facebook and YouTube channels.
For a full schedule, visit USABaseball.com. Fans are encouraged to follow @USABaseball on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, as well as @USABaseballCNT on Twitter for all the latest news and information on the Collegiate National Team this summer.
Product Lake Forest, Calif., Had one of the biggest freshman seasons in program history, while also ranking near the top of many categories nationwide for most of the season as that two-way threat. He started all 48 games, 28 on DH, 18 on receiver and twice on first base. He also made 18 relief appearances on the mound, all in games he started in the batting lineup.
In the season overall on offense, Skenes has reduced 0.410 / 0.486 / 0.697 with 77 hits, 21 doubles, 11 homers, 43 RBIs and 49 runs scored. He led the team with 21 multi-hitting games, including two five-hitting games, while also scoring 12 multi-run battles. He finished the season on a 35-game streak with base streak hit, while registering one hit in all but eight games of the season. The .410 batting average is tied for the highest in a single season for AF since 2003.
On the mound, Skenes pitched 26.2 innings and racked up a 2.70 ERA and 1.09 WHIP during that span with 30 strikeouts for just nine walks. He clocked a perfect 11 for 11 in save attempts, while keeping his opponents at a .208 batting average. In his 18 appearances, Skenes has allowed one earned run in just seven of them, and more than once, while recording at least one strikeout in all but two.
Nationally, Skenes finished the regular season ninth in saves, 10th in doubles, 12th in doubles per game (0.44), 14th in batting average, 17th in hits per game (1.60 ), 27th in slugging, 28th in total hits, 38th in total bases (131), 44th in OBP, 87th in points scored per game (1.02), 113th in total points scored and 143rd in home runs . He was the only NCAA Division I baseball player to have double-digit homers and saves.
Skenes has also found his way near or at the top in many Air Force records in a single season. His 11 saves are tied for the most all-time in a single season, while his top-five ranks for a freshman in a single season for hits (T-1st), doubles (T-1st), HR (2nd), total goals (2nd), batting average (3rd), strokes (3rd), runs (T-3rd) and RBI (4th).
The freshman was instrumental in guiding the Air Force to one of its best seasons in program history. The overall record of 26-22 is the best for the program since 1993, while the 18-16 Mountain West record is the best conference record in the history of the program. AF eliminated two top 15 teams for the first time since 2010 (# 7 LSU & # 13 Arizona), and was ranked in the NCAA RPI’s top 50 for most of the season. Finally, AF went 10-7 against teams that competed in the 2021 NCAA tournament, while also securing four wins against teams in a Super Regional (LSU, Arizona, Dallas Baptist).