The Iowa baseball team broke a one-all tie with a two-run eighth inning before holding off Mexico for a 3-2 victory in its World University Games opener Sunday night at Tianmu Baseball Stadium in Taiwan. The Hawkeyes are representing the United States in the tournament.
Team USA was held without a hit through the first seven innings before breaking through in the eighth. Sophomore Ben Norman led off the inning, reaching on a hit by pitch before junior Robert Neustrom ripped a single to right field to put runners on the corners with nobody out.
After Neustrom stole second, senior Tyler Cropley’s sacrifice fly gave USA a 2-1 lead and freshman Brett McCleary followed with an RBI single to left field, making the score 3-1.
“This was a game we needed to win to hopefully get to the medal round”, said Iowa coach Rick Heller. ” Our hitters found a way to get it done. Robert had a big hit with a runner moving in the eighth and McCleary with the drawn in infield gets a base hit.”
Junior Zach Daniels (1-0) pitched two innings in relief, allowing one run on one hit and fanning two to pick up the victory. The Hawkeyes return to action on Tuesday by facing Russia.