Owens to play for Team USA

USA Baseball has announced that Binghamton Mets righthanded pitcher Henry Owens is one of the 24 players selected to compete for Team USA in the COPABE Olympic Qualifying Tournament August 25th-September 5th in Havana, Cuba.

One of the Eastern League's top closers, the 27-year-old Owens is tied for third in the league with 19 saves, going 2-2 with a 1.70 ERA in 34 appearances. The Miami, FL native, who successfully converted his first 18 save chances, allowed just 19 hits and 10 walks in 37 innings, striking out 70. He also got into three games with the New York Mets in July. Owens is in his first season with Binghamton and second with the NY Mets since being selected from Pittsburgh in the Rule 5 Draft.

The US roster for the COPABE (a Spanish acronym for the Pan-American Baseball Federation) tournament was filled with minor league players, including four other Eastern League performers (Michael Bourn and Zach Segovia, Reading; J. Brent Cox, Trenton; Kyle Slowey, New Britain) and Mike Kinkade, a Florida farmhand who played for Binghamton in 2000.

The tournament field is made up of teams from 12 nations in North and South America, with the top two finishers qualifying for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China. The third- and fourth-place finishers will get a chance to compete for an Olympic spot in another qualifying tournament that will be played at a later date.

The tournament ends the day before the EL Playoffs are scheduled to start. The B-Mets are currently tied with Portland for the North Division's final playoff spot.

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