WICHITA — The University of Iowa came to the National Baseball Congress World Series as the US National Team, preparing for the World University Games later this month in Taipei.
Team USA got off to an early lead, but the San Diego Waves rallied for a pair of runs in the eighth inning to claim a 3-2 win. Team USA held the Waves hitless until the eighth inning. The Waves finished the game with just two hits.
“We gave up 11 free bases on the mound. That was the story,” Team USA coach Rick Heller said. “We hit some balls hard. We hit it right on the screws. We had runners in scoring position three times, and it was one of those days when we hit it right at them. We just have to get a lot better on the mound. This tournament was perfect for us even though we didn’t win games. This was exactly what we needed.”
Team USA finished 0-3. Two of those losses were one-run games. The Waves finish 3-0 and play today in the quarterfinals.
Team USA plays Mexico Aug. 20 to open the WUG. The US also plays Russia and Japan in pool play.
“We’ll just keep training,” Heller said. “We haven’t had the team together very long. It’s a new team, new guys. A lot of guys left last year. It takes time to get together.”
San Diego pitcher Jerry Quemada threw two scoreless innings of relief for the win, walking one. Starter Brady Stover allowed a run on three hits with three walks and three strikeouts. Jeremiah Wiley went four innings, allowing a run on two hits with a walk and a strikeout.
Team USA pitcher Shane Ritter allowed a run on seven walks with four strikeouts in 4 1-3 innings. Cole Campen allowed a walk and a strikeout in 1 2-3 innings. Kyle Shimp allowed a run with a walk in an inning. Derek Lieurance took the loss, allowing a run on two hits.
Ben Norman hit an RBI single for Team USA in the top of the third. Kyle Crowl grounded out with bases loaded in the fourth inning to drive in a run.
The Waves struck in the bottom of the fifth, scoring a run on two walks, a wild pitch and an error. A strikeout and double play ended the threat.
Trevor Beard broke up the no-hitter for the Waves with a bunt single in the bottom of the eighth with no outs and a runner on base. Demitri Collacchio grounded out to drive in a run and tie the game. Ross Messina then singled to score Beard and put the Waves in the lead.
Mitchell Boe went two for four hitting for Team USA.
The Hays Larks advanced to the quarterfinals with a 3-1 win over the Seattle Studs.
Hays starter Walter Pennington went eight innings for the win, allowing a run on five hits with a walk and six strikeouts. Tyler Starks pitched the ninth inning for the save, allowing two hits.
Donovan Feenstra went 4 1-3 innings for Seattle in the loss, allowing two runs on six hits with three walks and seven strikeouts. Luke Goodgion went 2 2-3 innings, allowing a run on three hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Ben Ruff gave up a walk with two strikeouts in the eighth.
With bases loaded in the bottom of the second, Hays scored on a Trey Ochoa sacrifice fly and a Keone Givens ground out. Connor Savage hit an RBI single for Hays in the top of the fourth.
With two outs and bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth, Colin Simpson singled to right to drive in a run.
Landon Riker went two for three for Seattle, 1-2. Jacob Boston went two for four for Hays, 2-1.
The Cheney Diamond Dawgs scored a run on an error in the bottom of the ninth to edge the San Antonio Angels 3-2 to finish pool play 3-0.
San Antonio scored first on a Garrett Wilkinson RBI single in the top of the first. Mark Frankhouser hit an RBI single with two outs in the top of the second inning.
Cheney scored in the bottom of the second on an RBI double for Andrew Miller. Quentin Crandall hit a pinch-hit, RBI single with one out in the bottom of the eighth.
In the bottom of the ninth, Miller led off with a single. Scott Hastings bunted the ball up the middle. The throw to first went wild, allowing Miller to score and end the game.
Cheney starter Mason Hope lasted just two innings, allowing one earned run on four hits with four strikeouts. Jose Vasquez threw six innings, allowing three hits, two walks and four strikeouts. Derek Schumann pitched the ninth inning for the win, allowing a hit with a strikeout and a double play ball.
Braden McMahan went 7 2-3 innings, allowing two runs on five hits with two walks and six strikeouts. Chandler Eaton finished the game to take the loss.
Miller finished three for four hitting for the Diamomd Dawgs. Frankhouser went two for four for San Antonio, which finishes the tournament 0-3.
In Wednesday’s late game, the Derby Twins advanced to the quarterfinal round with an 11-3 win over the San Diego Force. The game was halted after eight innings on the run-rule.
Derby pitcher Jonathan Nicholson tossed a 10-hit complete game, allowing two walks with three strikeouts.
Derby scored a pair of runs in the top of the first on an Anthony Dominguez sacrifice fly and a Greg Saenz RBI single. Tyler Plantier hit an RBI single for the Force in the bottom of the first.
Noah Bland hit a two-run single for Derby in the top of the second. Tanner Pinkston answered with a two-run double in the bottom of the third.
Derby scored on a Conner Basler ground out in the fourth inning. A Dominguez ground out in the fifth led to another Twins run.
With two outs in the top of the eighth, Davis Elliott hit a two-run double and Bland hit a three-run triple.
Bret Fehr and Bland had two hits each for Derby. Trevor Abrams went three for four for the Force. Anthony Warneke went two for three.
Brad Moreno took the loss for the Force, which ends the tournament 1-2.