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Lobos coach appointed to Team USA staff

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USA Baseball officially announced that New Mexico Lobos baseball coach Ray Birmingham will be a part of its Collegiate National Team staff this summer.

Birmingham will serve as Team USA's hitting coach, working with head coach Dave Van Horn (Arkansas), pitching coach Rob Childress (Texas A&M) and third base coach Steve Rodriguez (Pepperdine).

"This is a big honor," Birmingham said in a UNM press release. "Not only am I humbled but I'm also excited to coach with two guys whom I deeply respect in Dave Van Horn and Rob Childress."

Team USA will begin practicing in Cary, NC, on June 21. A final 24-man roster will then be announced. The majority of players, who will be invited to try out over the course of the collegiate season, will be freshmen and sophomores.

Former Lobo D.J. Peterson played for the Collegiate National Team in 2012, prior to his standout 2013 campaign that led to him being drafted in the first round by the Seattle Mariners.

Birmingham's Lobos have hit .326 as a team since he arrived in 2008, while also averaging 140 doubles, 29 triples and 41 home runs per season.

UNM will open the 2014 season at San Diego from Feb. 14-16, followed by a single game at Arizona State on Feb. 18. The Lobos will then play their home opener on Feb. 21 against Northern Illinois to kick off the New Mexico Invitational at Lobo Field.