Courtesy Team USA Baseball
By: Matt Rothman
All Christian Rodriguez does is win.
After back-to-back State Titles with the Marjory Stoneman Douglas baseball team, Rodriguez helped lead Team USA to a Championship in the 18U World Cup in Bradenton at LECOM Park and Sarasota at ED Smith Stadium.
Rodriguez pitched in three of the team’s eight games. While Team USA went 7-1 in the tournament, they went 3-0 in games pitched by Rodriguez.
“It’s honestly surreal, and it’s been such an honor to play for my country,” said Rodriguez. “The group of guys were amazing with a great coaching staff, it has been one of the best experiences of my life.”
After playing in the 2022 Prospect Development Program consisting of the top 100 players in the United States this summer, Rodriguez was one of 20 chosen to compete for Team USA.
Rodriguez made a start in pool play, allowing only one earned run before making his first appearance out of the bullpen against Mexico. He came in with the bases loaded and was able to get out of the inning.
While Rodriguez was scheduled to pitch in the Gold Medal Game, Team USA had to turn to their star pitcher in relief in the semifinals. Rodriguez came into another mess: down 3-2 against Japan, the number one team in the world. Once again, inheriting the bases loaded and nobody out, he went on to strike out the side.
— USA Baseball 18U (@USABaseball18U) September 18, 2022
Rodriguez finished the game with seven punchouts and earned the win after Team USA scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh to walk it off. They beat Chinese-Taipei 5-1 in the final for the team’s tenth title in the age bracket. In the three games, Rodriguez combined to throw 11.2 innings with 15 strikeouts.
Committed to pitching at the University of Florida after his senior year, Rodriguez, who lives in Coral Springs, will have one more season left on the varsity baseball team. He has won 17 games for MSD and is looking to help the Eagles become the first team in Broward County to win three straight State Championships.
- Matt Rothman is a 2018 graduate from Florida Gulf Coast University receiving his bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is now attending the University of Florida as a graduate student.
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