After making it through two rounds of regional tryouts and showcases, Mascoutah High junior baseball standout Ryan Netemeyer has a chance for national recognition.
Netemeyer is a finalist for the 2013 Team USA Baseball squad and on Aug. 23 will travel to the national baseball complex in Cary, N.C., to compete for a spot on the 24-man roster.
"It's really intense," said Netemeyer, a pitcher whose fastball has been clocked as high as 87 mph. "It's fun to go to and it's a new experience where you meet new people, but the level of play goes up so much more. It's a tough tryout, all of them are.
"You get put on the spot and you just have to react. I was just happy to be invited."
The four-day evaluation process in North Carolina will be judged by college coaches and professional scouts. Netemeyer's talent helped push him through the first two stages of the tryouts, placing him with some of the top players from Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma.
He also made it through two rounds of the tryout three years ago trying to land a spot on the national 14-under team.
Netemeyer's strong performance this summer with the metro-east based Quakes Baseball travel team also helped him earn an invitation for the tryout.
He survived the first round showcase, which included up to 80 players from the metro-east and Missouri as well as another tryout last weekend in Chesterfield, Mo., that included 100 players from five states.
Netemeyer hit .382 this summer for the Quakes as a shortstop and was 4-1 as a pitcher with a 0.78 earned-run average. As a sophomore on the Mascoutah High team last spring, Netemeyer was 6-4 with a 2.80 ERA and 62 strikeouts in 60 innings.
He also hit .310 with nine doubles and 13 RBIs.
Baseball talent runs in the family.
Netemeyer's father, Dan Netemeyer, is a former McKendree University standout who pitched in the minor leagues for the Kansas City Royals.
Netemeyer's cousin is Tyler Kehrer, the former Wesclin High and Eastern Illinois University star left-hander who was a first-round draft pick by the Los Angeles Angels.
Ryan Netemeyer recently visited his cousin in California and got to take in a few games. Kehrer, 24, is 2-3 this summer for the Angels' top Class A affiliate, Inland Empire in the California League.
"It was fun, you get to see minor-league life and what it's like," Netemeyer said. "He's doing good out there."
Netemeyer said his goals are to land a college scholarship and to play in the minor leagues, like his father and cousin.
"He works hard and he's going to give it his best shot," Dan Netemeyer said. "Just being on the field with the best players in the country is an opportunity that not many people get, just to see where you match up."
Contact reporter Norm Sanders at firstname.lastname@example.org or 239-2454.