Scott Brosius can add the words “gold medal” to his already impressive baseball resume.
The 1988 Linfield graduate and current Wildcats coach stepped outside of his comfort zone this fall to direct the 18-under USA National Team at the COPABE 18U/AAA Pan American Championships in Cartagena, Colombia. Team USA defeated Canada 12-2 in eight innings to capture the gold medal.
Brosius handpicked the squad from a list of high school all-star players during a pair of training camps in North Carolina and Florida. When dates for the final training camp were changed at the 11th hour, a handful of prospective players were forced to drop out for a variety reasons.
Team USA flourished nonetheless under Brosius’ leadership. The Red, White and Blue went undefeated in the tournament, outscoring nine international opponents by a combined score of 88-8.
The Americans committed just two errors in the tournament.
Facing Canada in the championship game, the U.S. trailed for only the second time in the tournament, 1-0 in the top of the first inning, but the deficit lasted just a half-inning before exploding for seven runs to take the lead for good.
Brosius spent the better part of November with the squad, away from his family, Linfield and the comforts of American life. He missed Thanksgiving entirely as Team USA battled Puerto Rico in an opening-round game, and was abroad on his son’s birthday.
Still, he wouldn’t trade his international experiences.
“The opportunity to wear a USA jersey and bring home the gold medal is definitely a career highlight for me,” Brosius said.
While it remains unlikely his international exposure will tempt any potential recruits to McMinnville, Brosius returned to Oregon feeling as though Linfield will benefit in the long run.
“I really believe these experiences have made me a better coach. They’ve stretched and challenged me,” he said. “I worked with some very talented assistant coaches and learned some different things from different people.”
With virtually every player on the Team USA roster already penciled in as a major-college or professional prospect, Brosius said there’s not many differences between his Linfield players and the USA all-stars in the way team members interact with one another.
“The guys did a lot of spontaneous things. It’s refreshing to see kids with such bright futures come from all over the country and band together like that. I often had to remind myself they were still 17-year-old kids. Yet they were able to truly put away all their personal ambitions to play for the love of their country.”
Spending several weeks living and competing in a South American country gave Brosius pause.
“Seeing people’s standard of living (in Colombia) really lends great perspective,” he said. “You realize how good we have it. You come home a bit more thankful for all the things we have in this country.”
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