Gold medalist Denny Hocking returns as skipper; Eric Borba, James Cooper, and Brad Penny to serve as assistants
USA Baseball announced the coaching staff for the 2022 WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier, highlighted by the return of 13-year MLB veteran Denny Hocking as manager. Hocking, who guided the U.S. to its ninth world championship at the XXX WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup in September, is joined on staff by former Team USA manager Eric Borba, New York Yankees minor-league coach James Cooper, and two-time MLB All-Star Brad Penny.
“After just leading our program to a world championship on our home soil, we are very excited to welcome Denny Hocking back to Team USA for the U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier,” said 18U National Team General Manager Ashley Bratcher.
Borba and Cooper will serve as assistants, while Penny assumes the role of pitching coach for the second year in a row. The WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier will be held in La Paz, Mexico, from November 4-13, and the top four teams will advance to next year’s XXXI WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup.
Denny Hocking, who led the 18U National Team to a gold medal in his national team managerial debut at the World Cup in September, returns for his second stint as skipper. Team USA posted an 8-1 record under Hocking’s guidance en route to its ninth world championship a month ago, recording a tournament-high 68 runs while batting .274 as a team. The 13-year big leaguer has plenty of experience across each level of baseball as an analyst, coach, manager and player.
The U.S. has won each of the last five U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifiers it has competed in, earning gold in 2009, 2011, 2014, 2016, and 2018 while compiling a 41-1 overall record. The program most recently captured gold in the event with a perfect 9-0 record in 2018, outscoring its opponents 131-27.
The 18U National Team will be in Phoenix, Arizona, for a training camp from October 28-November 1 before traveling to La Paz, Mexico for the U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier.