USA Baseball has finalized its 24-man roster for the Olympic Qualifying team, and Warrenton's Brian Bruney is on the list.

In coordination with Major League Baseball, Team USA earlier this week named the 24 professional players who will compete in the Qualifying Tournament for the Americas in Panama City, Panama, Oct. 30 through Nov. 10.

Managed by Frank Robinson, Team USA opened pool play this morning vs. Nicaragua.

Bruney is one of 11 pitchers on the roster (see, after finishing the recently-completed exhibition season with a 0.00 earned run average in five appearances.

Bruney pitched 4.1 innings, allowing just two hits with five strikeouts and no walks.

"He was pretty excited about it, and he's ready to get it started," said Joe Bruney, Brian's father. "I talked to him (Thursday) night, and he said it's really hot down there."

The list of players trying to make Team USA started at 499, and was trimmed to 32 for the exhibition games, then finalized to 24 Tuesday.

Team USA, which played a 14-game exhibition schedule in Arizona, finished with a 10-3-1 record. Team USA defeated Team Canada 5-1 Monday, with Bruney pitching a 1-2-3 ninth inning to close out the victory for the USA.

It was the final exhibition game to evaluate the 32 players in uniform to determine the 24-man roster, that will represent the USA at the Americas Qualifying event for the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece.

Joe Bruney said, "I talked with him a few times while he was down there (in Arizona), and I asked him, 'how does it look?' And he said, 'dad, every player here is good.' He didn't know.

"He didn't pitch but 3.1 innings before Monday's game. And we didn't know if they weren't pitching him because they had already decided that he'd made the team, or if they knew what he could do and didn't want him.

"But he said he felt good Monday. He said it was the best he's pitched in a long time."

Although the USA is the defending champion, they must still qualify into the Olympics.

Team USA will take part in pool play, with games against Nicaragua, Brazil, Colombia and Panama. The quarterfinals begin Nov. 7-8, with the final set for Nov. 10. The top two teams qualify for next year's Summer Olympics.


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