Mountaineer Olympian

Former West Virginia University pitcher Jeremy Cummings has been named to the 2008 United States Olympic Team.

Cummings, who played at WVU from 1996-99, makes his debut with the team on Aug. 1-4 when the U.S. squad plays four exhibition games against Canada. The team enters Olympic competition in Beijing, China, on Aug. 13-23.

The Hurricane, W.Va., native has enjoyed one of his best seasons in the Minor Leagues as a member of the Durham Bulls, the Triple-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays. He is 7-3 with a 2.95 ERA and has helped lead Durham to first place in the South Division of the International League.

The right-hander also played in last Wednesday's Triple-A All-Star Game, striking out two in one scoreless inning pitched. He has spent all ten seasons in the Minor Leagues since being drafted out of WVU in 1999, playing his first seven years with the St. Louis Cardinals' organization before making brief stints with the Philadelphia Phillies, Toronto Blue Jays and Minnesota Twins.

The 31-year old is WVU's career leader in appearances (58), seventh in school history in innings pitched (225.1) and ninth in strikeouts (211).

Cummings will look to help the U.S. team win its second gold medal in Olympic play. In 2000, the squad defeated Cuba, 4-0, in the championship game at the Summer Games in Sydney, Australia, to garner its first gold medal.

Baseball will be making its fifth appearance as a medal sport at the 2008 Summer Games, but will not be eligible to return as an Olympic sport until 2016 after the International Olympic Committee voted the sport out of the 2012 Summer Games in London, England.

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