After three days of competing at VTV Baseball Complex in Castaic, 18 players were selected Friday for the 2017 12U National Team, and two of them hail from the Santa Clarita Valley. Kai Caranto of Santa Clarita and Gregory Pierantoni of Valencia were among those chosen from 36 candidates for Team USA, which will play in the U-12 Baseball World Cup in Taiwan later this month. “Our staff has met for hours over the last three days trying to select eighteen kids from an exceptional group of talented athletes and I am very happy with the players that we have chosen to represent Team USA at the Baseball World Cup,” said 12U National Team Manager, David Sharp, in a story on USABaseball.com. “Trying to win a gold medal in a foreign country presents adversity to athletes and it takes tremendous physical and mental strength to manage this opportunity. We are confident we have picked an exceptional group of young athletes.” Team USA will train in Castaic today through Monday before traveling to Tainan, Taiwan, for the opening round of the World Baseball Softball Confederation’s competition. Team USA is the two-time defending champion in the event. Caranto, an infielder and right-handed pitcher, is one of three players on the roster who was a member of the 2016 12U National Team. Pierantoni is an infielder, outfielder and right-handed pitcher.