MIAMI – Former Carson-Newman standout and Miami Marlins relief pitcher Steve Cishek was named to the Team USA provisional roster for the 2013 World Baseball Classic, announced by Major League Baseball on Thursday.
Cishek, who pitched for the Eagles from 2005-07, collected 15 saves with a 2.69 ERA in 68 appearances last year for the Marlins as he earned the closer role in the Miami bullpen.
"It's definitely an honor and something every kid dreams of doing, not only playing in Major League Baseball but also representing your country on a level like that." said Cishek.
Cishek has pitched in the majors for the Marlins in parts of the last three seasons, and he is the first Eagle to reach the big leagues since Clyde Wright, who pitched for the Eagles in the 1960s and was an All-Star in 1970 with the California Angels.
After guiding Carson-Newman to the 2007 SAC Championship, Cishek was selected by the Marlins in the fifth round of the 2007 MLB First-Year Player Draft.
"He's outstanding and a great kid as everyone knows," said Carson-Newman head baseball coach Tom Griffin. "It's a great honor to be selected to this team and I know he's looking forward to it and I think it says a lot about his future in Major League Baseball."
Cishek is one of two Marlins selected to the Team USA roster, as he and slugger Giancarlo Stanton will represent Miami in the World Baseball Classic. Stanton was second in the National League with 37 homers in 2012 and had the best slugging percentage in the big leagues at .608.
"He's an awesome player to be around and is a better person off the field," said Cishek on Stanton.
Joe Torre, who led the New York Yankees to four World Series titles in five years from 1996-2000, will manage Team USA, and the provisional roster is loaded with All-Stars and three Most Valuable Players, and the 2012 N.L. Cy Young Award Winner, Tennessee native R.A. Dickey.
Cishek will train with the Marlins in Jupiter, Fla., beginning on Feb. 12, but will report to Team USA on March 1 in Scottsdale, Ariz. Team USA will begin play in Pool D against Mexico in Phoenix at Chase Field on March 8, with Canada and Italy rounding out the bracket. San Francisco's AT&T Park will host the WBC Finals on March 19.
"I'll be training with many different players from each organization, some of the best," said Cishek. "I definitely look forward to it."