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Goetz and Groves on U.S. team

Some of Hillsborough County's best baseball players are making a name for themselves nationally this summer.

After a week-long tryout process in Joplin, Mo., Jesuit senior Geoff Goetz and Tampa Bay Tech senior Brett Groves have earned spots on the USA Baseball Junior National Team. Goetz and Groves stood out during the inaugural USA Baseball Junior Team Trials.

Groves hit .412 (7-for-17) with three doubles, one triple and five RBI. Goetz, a senior, hit .432 (6-for-13), scored three runs and had three RBI. Goetz also pitched, going 1-0 in two appearances with eight strikeouts in four innings. He allowed one hit.

The team will play two exhibition games in Joplin, then travel to Jacksonville to train from Aug. 1-8. Then it will go to Sancti Spiritus, Cuba, to compete in the International Baseball Association's AAA World Championships Aug. 9-16.

Meanwhile, Hillsborough High senior third baseman Jason Romano is on a kind of all-star tour. He already has played in the Team One showcase in Cincinnati and the High School World Series showcase in Euclid, Ohio.

At the nine-day World Series showcase, which concluded Thursday, Romano was named one of the most valuable players after going 24-for-40 with five home runs. Last Saturday, he played in a doubleheader and went 8-for-8, hit for the cycle and had two home runs.

Romano's summer vacation is not over. He left Euclid and flew to Oklahoma to compete with an AAU team coached by Jim Macaluso. In August, Romano will play in the Eastern United States Baseball Showcase in Chapel Hill, N.C., and the adidas Area Code Games in Long Beach, Calif.

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