OU infielder and Big 12 Freshman of the Year Sheldon Neuse will take a break from summer ball in the California Collegiate League to participate with the Team USA Collegiate National Team.
Neuse and 28 other top underclassmen from around the country reported to training camp on June 20 and are already two games into a schedule that will see the team play in the Carolinas, Netherlands and Cuba. The roster will be cut down to 24 by manager Dave Van Horn, the head coach at Arkansas, over the coming days.
Neuse, the lone representative from the Big 12, has seen action in both games so far as he came off the bench to play third base on Saturday and started at DH Sunday before moving to the mound where he struck out one in one inning of work to earn the save in a 4-2 win over CPL Select.
In addition to being named Freshman of the Year, Neuse was also a unanimous selection to the All-Big 12 First Team. He hit .304 with a team-high seven home runs and 47 RBI to go with 17 doubles and seven triples. On the mound, Neuse made nine appearances with one save, a 1-0 record, 2.25 ERA and 11 strikeouts in 12 innings.
Through 12 games with the San Luis Obispo Blues, he was hitting .234 with eight RBI and had nailed down three saves in three opportunities.
Neuse is the first Sooner to play for Team USA CNT since Brian Shackleford, who lettered at Oklahoma from 1995-98.