Colorado Springs, Colo. - A member of the Northeast Mississippi Community College baseball program will receive the distinguished privilege of donning the red, white and blue to play for his country.
Tucker Childers was appointed to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) National Team and will represent the United States of America at the National Baseball Congress (NBC) World Series in August.
"I'm super hyped," said Childers. "It kinda hasn't hit me yet because I just got the call a couple days ago. It's gonna be a whole different experience. It's been surreal and so exciting."
He is one of just 26 student-athletes from all three divisions of NJCAA baseball to earn a spot on the national team. The roster is comprised of 13 pitchers, five infielders, four outfielders, three catchers and one utility player.
Childers is one of the three listed backstops for the NJCAA National Team even though he has primarily been used at first base for the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts of the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League (CRCBL) this summer.
The Mississippi State University commitment played both positions and even saw some time at designated hitter during his sensational sophomore campaign on the Booneville campus.
Childers' arm from behind the plate was well respected by base runners all year long. Only 14 men tried to swipe a base while six of those attempts failed, which translates to a solid runners caught stealing percentage of roughly 42.8.
Overall, Childers compiled a .955 fielding percentage with just nine errors in 200 total chances. He was also part of nine double plays during his duties in the infield for the Tigers.
"There's just a lot of things that he can do and it's going to open up so many doors for him," Northeast head coach Richy Harrelson said. "There's no greater honor than playing for the United States so we're excited for him."
Childers was named to the NJCAA All-Region 23 and Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) All-State teams after helping the Tigers break the school record for most home runs in a single season with 54.
Individually, he broke the 18-year-old mark for most homers in one year with 13. He eclipsed the record during his final outing in a Northeast uniform, which was game three of a NJCAA Region 23 playoff series at Meridian Community College.
The Ripley High School graduate had 57 total hits with 26 of them going for extra bases. He had a team-best 53 RBIs and also scored the second highest runs on the squad with 42.
Childers' slash line included a .352 batting average, .424 on-base percentage and team-high .679 slugging percentage. He took 17 walks and was hit by a pitch seven times plus connected on five sacrifice flies.
"It's going to give him a lot more exposure," said Harrelson. "It's going to prepare him for being in the spotlight and that's not an easy thing to do. But he's going to do well and succeed with it."
Childers also maintained his focus in the classroom while excelling on the diamond for the Tigers. He was a two-time MACJC Academic All-State selection and garnered NJCAA All-Academic Third Team laurels in 2017.
He is the first-ever Northeast standout to obtain an invitation to compete for the NJCAA's version of Team USA. Childers is also one of just six student-athletes from the Magnolia State to secure a place on the roster.
Childers' coaches include headman Doug Wren from Tyler (Texas) Junior College plus assistants Ryan Cougill of Yavapai (Ariz.) College and Hinds Community College's Sam Temple.
Twenty-one different institutions from 10 states across the country are represented on the NJCAA National Team. Childers' teammates come from as far west as Arizona Western College and as far east as Monroe (N.Y.) College.
The players will report to Tyler, Texas, on July 25 for a handful of practices before traveling together to Wichita, Kan., for the 84th annual NBC World Series at historic Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.
The NBC World Series, which is the largest and longest continuous sporting event of its kind in the nation, begins on August 1 and culminates with the championship contest 11 days later.
The last NJCAA National Team to participate in the NBC World Series finished in fourth place with a 3-1 record in 2016. That squad was recognized as the Most Outstanding Offensive Team of the entire tournament.