Burns, Holland to compete for USA Baseball Collegiate National Team
AUBURN, Ala. – Auburn freshman pitcher Tanner Burns and sophomore shortstop Will Holland have been invited to the 2018 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team training camp.
The Auburn duo will become the third and fourth Tigers to compete with the Collegiate National Team in the last four seasons, joining Anfernee Grier (2015) and Casey Mize (2017), and are the ninth and 10th Auburn players to play for the U.S. team. It also marks the first time two Tigers have competed for the red, white and blue during the same summer.
As part of their selection, Burns and Holland will participate in a game against the Coastal Plain League Select on June 27 as well as a series against Chinese Taipei from June 28 through July 2. During that time, they will be competing for a spot on the final 24-man roster that will compete in a series against Cuba and Japan later this summer.
Burns has enjoyed one of the best freshman seasons on the mound in recent program history and was one of four Auburn freshmen to be named a Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-American this week. The Decatur, Alabama, native and SEC All-Freshman Team performer is 7-4 with a 3.12 ERA and has struck out 74 batters in 80.2 innings pitched. Burns’ 74 strikeouts are the most by an Auburn freshman since Grant Dayton struck out 79 batters in 2008.
In the Raleigh Regional last weekend, Burns became the first Auburn freshman to start a NCAA Tournament opener since 1998. In his last three outings, two of which have come during postseason play, he is 3-0 with a 2.37 ERA and has pitched at least 6.0 innings in all three trips to the mound.
Holland is in the midst of a breakout sophomore season. The Lawrenceville, Georgia, native has played in all 63 games and has earned 62 starts. He leads the team with 60 runs scored, good for fifth in the Southeastern Conference and also ranks second on the team in batting average (.319), doubles (17) and RBI (51), tied for second in home runs (12) and third in hits (75).
After going 10-for-14 with four doubles, two home runs and six RBI in a three-game series vs. LSU to finish the regular season, Holland was not only named the SEC Player of the Week, but also became the first Auburn player to take home National Player of the Week honors since 2010. He was ultimately named Second Team All-SEC and a semifinalist for the Brooks Wallace Award presented to the nation’s best shortstop.
Burns, Holland and the rest of the Tigers begin the program’s first super regional since 1999 in Gainesville, Florida, this weekend. Game one between the Tigers and Gators is scheduled for Saturday at 11 a.m. CT on ESPN.