Former Pioneer pitcher returns to Team USA roster

College Sports

TUSCULUM

CARY, N.C. — Former Tusculum University pitcher Brandon Dickson has been named to the 28-man training camp roster for Team USA for the upcoming World Baseball Confederation Qualifier.

The WBSC Americas Qualifier will be held next week (May 31-June 5) in Florida. Team USA will begin opening round pool play this Monday at 7 p.m. in Port St. Lucie against Nicaragua. Team USA will face the Dominican Republic on Tuesday and close out group A play on Wednesday against Puerto Rico.

Competing in Group B play will be Cuba, Venezuela, Canada and Colombia. The top two teams from each group will advance to Super Round play later next week. The team with the best Super Round record will be declared the winner and become the fifth national team to advance to the Tokyo Olympic Games later this summer.

The runner-up and third place teams in the Americas Qualifier will play in the Final Qualifier scheduled for next month in Taiwan.

Dickson begins his second stint with the U.S. National Team as he made five appearances for Team USA at the 2019 WBSC Premier12 in Tokyo where the Americans finished fourth with a 4-4 record. Dickson earned a spot on the All-World Team as he tied for the tournament lead with three saves. He struck out two or more batters in each of his five mound appearances and tied for the team-lead with 11 total strikeouts. At the WBSC Premier 12, he recorded saves against Dominican Republic, Japan and Chinese Taipei.

Dickson has been one of the top pitchers in the Nippon Professional League in Japan for his seven seasons with the Orix Buffaloes. He logged a 3.33 ERA in six years as a starter and posted 18 saves in 2019 after moving to the bullpen. 

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