LSU sophomore pitcher Aaron Nola has been invited to join the Team USA baseball squad for its 2013 summer tour.
Nola, a product of Catholic High School in Baton Rouge, is 6-0 this season with a 2.47 ERA in 62 innings. He leads the SEC with 72 strikeouts, and opponents are hitting just .204 against him.
"Aaron Nola has developed into one of the best pitchers in the nation, and he will continue to get better," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "He's a tremendous competitor and a strike-thrower. Our players love to play defense behind him because of the pace he keeps when he pitches. USA Baseball has made a great decision in selecting Aaron, and he's going to be a prominent part of Team USA's staff this summer."
Nola fired the first complete game of his career Friday at No. 10 Arkansas, limiting the Razorbacks to two runs on four hits with one walk and 10 strikeouts. The complete game was also the first recorded by an LSU pitcher since May 18, 2012, when Kevin Gausman posted a win at South Carolina. Nola threw 110 pitches in the victory and retired the first 11 batters he faced before allowing a single with two outs in the fourth inning.
Nola becomes the second LSU player within the past week to receive an invitation from USA Baseball. Nola and LSU shortstop Alex Bregman are scheduled to join Team USA in late June for the 33-game summer tour. The tour includes stops in Japan and games against the Cuban national team.
Four LSU players coached by Mainieri have been invited to play for Team USA, including Bregman, Nola, catcher Micah Gibbs (2009) and outfielder Mikie Mahtook (2010).