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Charlie Donovan earns tryout for USA Baseball National Team

Tryouts for 18U National Team begin Aug. 23 in North Carolina

A broken thumb isn't slowing down Charlie Donovan.

The Westmont High School senior-to-be and Clarendon Hills resident suffered a broken thumb in the Sentinels' game at the state baseball finals, but he's still finding a way to keep his game sharp.

"I can still do bottom hand work hitting off a tee and do footwork in the field," Donovan said. "It's not ideal, but that's what I have to do."

Donovan said he expects to be recovered from his injury by the end of the month, just in time to round into form for the Area Code Games in early August. The tournament is made up of eight regional teams comprised of high school seniors, juniors and sophomores.

The biggest event on the schedule for Donovan, a University of Michigan recruit who is considered one of the top players in Illinois, starts on Aug. 23. That's when the tryouts for USA Baseball's 18U team begin.

Donovan was one of just 44 players from across the country invited to the tryouts, from which 20 players will be selected for the 2014 U18 National Team that will compete in the Pan American Baseball Confederation Championships Sept. 5 to 14 in Mexico.

"Making the 44-man tryout team is humbling and a huge accomplishment," Donovan said. "I'm hoping to make it on the team.

"I just hope to make the team that goes to Mexico and help them win. That's the top goal.

Donovan's selection for the 18U tryouts stemmed from the Tournament of Stars that took place at USA Baseball headquarters in Cary, N.C., in June. That event featured 108 of the top players in the country.

"It was awesome because there were so many good players," Donovan said of the Tournament of Stars. "Everybody had the same physical abilities."

Once the broken thumb is healed Donovan will have a short time to get ready for the tryouts, but he he's not worried about making a quick comeback and feels confident he'll be ready to go.

"If I just stay within myself, I think I'll be fine," he said. "As long as I have a week or two to prepare in July and then most of August, I should be fine."

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