Trying to make Team USA

Published 10:50 pm Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Henderson: Josh Henderson, here with First Baptist this past season, is playing at the USA Baseball Tournament of Stars in Cary, N.C. this week. Players for the 18-and-under U.S. National Team will be selected from the 144 players in the Tournament of Stars. Henderson is home-schooled and a rising senior.

Two Suffolk baseball standouts, First Baptist’s Josh Henderson and Nansemond River’s Kyle Moore, are in the middle of a long road trip — and they’re both aiming to make it a lot longer.

Both talented rising senior outfielders are among a select group of high school ballplayers from around the country aiming for a place on the 18-and-under U.S. National Team and ultimately a trip representing the Stars and Stripes in Colombia in September.

Henderson and Moore were invited and proceeded to impress the scouts and coaches at the 2011 Perfect Game National Showcase in Fort Myers, Fla., last week.

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The showcase put all the young prospects through four days of games, practices and combine-like events with all sorts of stopwatches and radar guns.

Among some of the highlights, Moore slugged a home run as part of a 2-for-2 game at the plate, and Henderson showed his power and speed with a triple into right-centerfield in a game. published an article focusing on Henderson, who’s a lefty at the plate and as a centerfielder.

“I have been home-schooled since I was in second grade, and I think I’ve kind of been hidden a little bit,” Henderson said.

“Like I said, it’s a God thing. He kind of brought me out onto the scene playing baseball and allowed me to make a showcase team and go from there,” Henderson said.

Henderson and Moore have been select baseball teammates, with Canes Baseball based out of Richmond, and American Legion teammates.

Both earned spots from Fort Myers to Cary, N.C., and the USA Baseball Tournament of Stars, which started Wednesday and goes through the weekend at the USA Baseball National Training Complex.

While shooting for the same goal and seeking to be Team USA teammates, Henderson and Moore will actually be opponents in Cary. The 144 players are split into eight squads for the tournament, and they wound up on different rosters.

The next step is trying to stay in Cary for another week, for the 18U National Team Trials from June 27 to July 2.

The major event on the U.S. 18-and-under calendar is the Junior Pan American Baseball Confederation Championships in Cartegena, Colombia, from Sept. 23 to Oct. 2.