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Darwin Barney snags spot on national baseball team

Cole Gillespie signs contract with Milwaukee Brewers

Darwin Barney has made the U.S. national baseball team - but he probably won't be playing shortstop.

The junior from Southridge High, who helped Oregon State to the NCAA championship this season, is one of 22 players selected for the national team that will participate in the World University Baseball Championships at Havana, Cuba, next month.

Barney - who hit .330 and was named as the All-Pac-10 shortstop - is playing a utility role for Team USA.

'I've played (designated hitter), left field, and I'm probably going to play some second and third base, too,' Barney said. 'I've been playing shortstop since I was eight, so I look at this as an adventure - being on Team USA, learning different positions, playing baseball at the highest (amateur) level. It's going to be a fun summer. It's going to be a blast.'

Barney is in Myrtle Beach, S.C., where the U.S. team was rained out of its scheduled exhibition game Thursday against Chinese Taipei. The only other Pac-10 player to make the team is UCLA shortstop Brandon Crawford. 'I don't think he is going to play shortstop, either,' Barney said.

The Team USA coach is Vanderbilt's Kim Corvin.

'If I keep hitting, I think I'll be a guy moving around to fill slots,' Barney said. 'As long as I'm contributing, I'll be happy.'

Barney's OSU teammate, Pac-10 Player of the Year Cole Gillespie, signed a contract with the Milwaukee Brewers Thursday night.

The left-fielder from West Linn, who received a $417,500 signing bonus as a third-round pick, expects to begin his pro career with the Brewers' Rookie League team in Helena, Mont. He will be a teammate of ex-OSU first baseman Bill Rowe, who signed as a free agent. Gillespie and Rowe were both named to the College World Series all-star team last month.

'I'm soaking it all in right now,' said Gillespie, in Milwaukee to take a physical, sign a contract and take in a game between the Brewers and Chicago Cubs. 'I'm here in a big-league park, watching Greg Maddux pitch, about to begin my career. I'm still on Cloud Nine, but pretty soon it will be back to reality.'