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Kron earns spot on USA Baseball team
East Union High’s Jordan Kron showed more than enough skill to earn a spot on the 14-under USA Baseball national team. - photo by Photo by Matt Marek
East Union high freshman Jordan Kron has invested a lot of time in the game of baseball. Now, Kron is about to experience some of the return as he earned a spot on USA Baseball’s 14-and-under 18-man roster.

Kron is one of nine Californians who make up half of the final selections and is days away from making his national debut during the COPABE Pan Am ‘A’ Championships in Portoviejo, Ecuador Oct. 17-24.

The team will be departing for Ecuador out of Miami Thursday evening. Tournament play information will not be available until the squad arrives in Portoviejo and meets with tournament officials.

Kron was able to bounce back after missing the cut a year ago, making his berth on the national team even more rewarding this time around.

“This is really fantastic,” Jordan’s father Gary Kron said. “I’ve seen how hard Jordan works at baseball and in the classroom. He is a hardworking kid, and when he got cut last year he came home and pinned the program on his wall and told me ‘Dad, I’m going to make it next year’.

“I told him when he gets home we’re going to look at that program, because that was his goal.”

Kron helped solidify his chances of making the final cut, recording a huge save in his Red Team’s 6-5 win over the Blue Team in the group’s final intrasquad scrimmage Tuesday morning at St. Thomas University in Miami Gardens. Kron pitched the final inning for the save, thwarting a Blue Team rally that started with three consecutive two-out defensive miscues.

Kron opened the seventh inning with back-to-back strikeouts before three infield errors left the Blue team a base hit away from a come-from-behind victory. An errant throw to third base after a botched back-pick attempt from the catcher sailed over the third baseman’s head off the dugout and into the hands of Kron.

He then calmly nailed the tying  runner on the throw to the plate, wrapping up a victory and elevating his stock in the coaching staff’s evaluations.

“On (Monday) I didn’t have as great of an outing as I wanted to,” Kron said. “They gave me a chance to redeem myself and I did really well. I was pretty excited to get that opportunity.

“And what I did, I really think helped my chances.”

The coaching staff informed the players who had made the team late Tuesday, giving some players a shot of a lifetime, while sending six players home to cope with reality.

“He called us in the meeting room at 9:15,” Kron said. “He told us he was going to keep it short and simple. We all had a personal three-digit number and he read off the numbers in alphabetical order of the kids who had made the team. He read off like six numbers and I got a little panicky and then he read off 431.

“I just lost my mind, but I still had to sit there quietly.”

Kron’s value to the club is likely his ability to help the ballclub in several different facets. Being able to fill multiple voids with one player is a standout feature every coach is looking for.

“Overall, what I was able to do really helped me out,” Kron said. “I can pitch, I can field, I can throw, I can run and I can hit a little. This week I struggled a little bit hitting, but defense, pitching and overall baseball smarts really helped me.

“Playing fundamentally-sound baseball is what they are looking for, and I can do that well.”

The club will have big cleats to fill this season as last year’s squad rolled all over the competition, going 6-0 in tournament play, outscoring opponents 102-1 in the 2008 qualifier in Guatemala City, Guatemala.

“We’re going in with high expectations,” Kron said of this year’s group. “And our expectations are to win the gold medal. There has been a pretty high standard set around here.”