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Baseball: Forsyth Central's Ethan Hankins headed to national team trials
Forsyth Central pitcher Ethan Hankins delivers a pitch against West Forsyth during the 2017 season. - photo by Brian Paglia

Forsyth Central pitcher Ethan Hankins was named this morning to the 40-man trial roster for the USA Baseball 18U national team. 

The trials will take place in Minneapolis from Aug. 19-Aug. 24 to determine the roster of 20 that will represent the U.S. in the World Baseball Softball Confederation U-18 Baseball World Cup, which takes place starting on Sept. 1 in Thunder Bay, Ontario. 

Hankins first established himself as serious pro prospect last summer with strong performances at events like the East Coast Pro Showcase. He was one of the most dominant high school pitchers in Georgia this past spring, striking out 77 batters while walking just 7 in 46 2/3 innings pitched, and he helped lead Forsyth Central to the state playoffs in the school's first season since its jump from Class 5A to Class 7A. 

This summer, Hankins has been busy playing for Team Elite, his travel team, in the Perfect Game National Showcase, the Wilson Premier Championship East and the WWBA 17U National Championship, and he was one of multiple Team Elite players at the USA Baseball Tournament of Stars in late June. 

Hankins has impressed scouts and evaluators with his lean, athletic frame, quick arm action and strong control. His fastball velocity has ticked up this summer, peaking at 97 mph. 

The 18U national team 40-man roster is the second prestigious squad Hankins has been named to this summer, as he was also chosen to play in the Under Armour All-American Game on July 29 at Wrigley Field in Chicago. He could also play in the Perfect Game All-American Classic, which will be played on Aug. 13 at Petco Park in San Diego. The full rosters for that event will be announced on Tuesday.

Hankins was one of six Georgia high schoolers named to the national team 40-man roster. The others were pitcher Kumar Rocker of North Oconee; catcher Will Banfield of Brookwood; catcher Anthony McNair Seigler of Cartersville; pitcher Cole Wilcox of Heritage; and pitcher Davis Sharpe of Mill Creek. The full roster can be found here.