by Mike Potter
The Koreans are coming to the Triangle.
USA Baseball has announced that its Collegiate National Team will square off in a five-game friendly series with the Republic of Korea from July 14-18, with the first two of five games in Cary and the final two in Durham.
Korea, currently ranked No. 3 in the world, will be the highest-ranked visiting team in the Triangle since USA Baseball's headquarters relocated here in 2003. The USA is ranked No. 2 and Cuba No. 1.
Korea's last visit was in 2006, when the Americans won two out of three games at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
Korea's Collegiate National Team last visited North Carolina in 2006, playing the U.S. in a three-game series at the DBAP. Team USA took the series two games to one.
The Triangle games will be July 14 at 7 p.m. and July 15 at 7:30, both at Cary's Coleman Field. Games at Durham Bulls Athletic Park - which will be part of the Bulls' season-ticket and some mini-plan packages - are July 17 at 7:05 p.m. and July 18 at 5:05. The location for a July 16 game has not been announced.
USA Baseball has also announced some name changes for its top teams. The former National Team will now be known as the Collegiate National Team, partly to avoid confusion with various youth age-group and women's "National Teams" sponsored by the organization.
There will also no longer be an entity called the "Professional Team;" instead the World Cup Team and World Baseball Classic Team will simply be referred to by the primary event in which they will participate.
The organization also had two personnel transactions, as Nate Logan was named Director of the 14U National team and Ashley Bratcher Director, Operations & Women's National Team.