Now he’s ready to prove himself on the international stage.
The senior pitcher was recently selected to play for Team USA at the Junior Pan-American championships, which features nations from across the Americas and the Caribbean. It will be held Nov. 17-27 in Cartagena, Colombia.
For Schmidt, the son of a Marine, the chance to represent his country in international competition is a dream come true.
“For me, it’s really cool,” said Schmidt, who has committed to play collegiately at Clemson. “My dad’s in the military, so it’s that thing like, ‘What can I do to represent my county?’ And this is the best thing that I can do to represent my country. It’s a great honor, and I’m excited about the opportunity.”
Schmidt was among 20 high school standouts from across the country selected to the American squad.
Schmidt’s road to Team USA began when he was among a pool of 144 players chosen to try out for the squad in June at the Tournament of Stars in Cary, N.C.
He then made the cut to 40 and moved on to the next stage of the tryout process, which took place the following week in Cary.
Once again, Schmidt passed the test, and he became one of the 28 players who moved on to the final stage two weeks ago in Cary, where he and the rest of the Team USA candidates played a number of college teams from North Carolina.
At the end, Schmidt was named to the 20-man roster that will be representing Team USA in Colombia.
“After the tryouts, I was pretty confident, but you never know about baseball,” Schmidt said. “I didn’t want to get overconfident, because you just never know, but I’m so excited to be on the team. It’s a huge honor.”
Now Schmidt is preparing for his first international competition — not to mention his first trip to another country.
The U.S. team will first go to Miami a week before the tournament to play a couple of tuneup games with the Canadian team before going to Colombia.
“It’s going to be a great experience to play against, and meet players from, other countries like Cuba, Canada and Mexico,” Schmidt said. “I’ve already gotten to know my teammates during the tryouts, and we’ve become close, so it’s going to be great to play with those guys.”
Ordinarily a starter at Allatoona, Schmidt will serve Team USA primarily as a relief pitcher, or potentially as a closer.
“I’m going to be coming in in close situations,” Schmidt said. “I might even be the closer. For me, I will do whatever I can to help the team. And the fact that they want me to come in in close situations means they have a lot of confidence in me, and that means a lot to me.”
After finishing up with Team USA in November, Schmidt will focus on his final year of high school baseball at Allatoona.
Schmidt is coming off of another big season with the Buccaneers, in which he won eight games, posted a 1.29 ERA and had 102 strikeouts. He also hit .442 with four home runs and 27 RBIs to help Allatoona to the Class AAA state quarterfinals in only its third year of existence.
Schmidt is looking to help bring a state championship to the Buccaneers in his final season.
“We’re really looking forward to next year,” Schmidt said. “We’re already getting ready for the season, and we’re really excited. This is going to be my last year, and it would be great to help bring a state championship to Allatoona.”