September 17, 2021

One team stands in USA Baseball’s way to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games — and half its roster has American birth certificates (The Athletic)

TOKYO — Outfielder Jonathan Jones and infielder Noah Perio didn’t know each other while growing up a few dozen miles apart in the Bay Area. But they are united in a common cause now.

Jones was born in Vacaville, graduated from Vanden High in Fairfield and was raised on Travis Air Force Base, where his mother, Laverne, served for 15 years as an ultrasound tech with the rank of master sergeant. He played baseball at Cal State Long Beach.

Perio was born in Hayward and lettered in multiple sports at De La Salle High in Concord — he once caught a touchdown pass in the North Coast Section title game — before signing as a 39th-round pick of the Florida Marlins.

They are teammates for the first time in the Premier 12 tournament, which concludes Sunday. They bat 1-2 in the lineup. They became fast friends over these past few weeks, bonded through patriotism and camaraderie. And they are one victory away from sending their country to the 2020 Olympics in…

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