WICHITA, Kansas — An eighth-inning single to left field broke a 2-2 tie, sending the San Diego Waves to a 3-2 victory over the USA National Team, represented by the University of Iowa, Thursday afternoon at the NBC World Series in Wichita, Kansas.
“It was frustrating seeing us give so many free bases on the mound, you have to make them earn it,” said UI head coach Rick Heller. “We had some opportunities offensively today with runners in scoring position; we had some bad luck hitting balls hard right at them. We just couldn’t find a way to get it done.”
With Mitchell Boe set on second base, Ben Norman connected on an RBI single to give USA the 1-0 lead in the third inning. USA would score its final run in the next inning on a sacrifice fly from Kyle Crowl, allowing Brett McCleary to score, giving the team a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning.
After scoring one run in the fifth inning, San Diego’s Jake Thompson tied the game off an RBI groundout from Demitri Collacchio. The Waves backed that up with an RBI single to left field from Ross Messina allowing Trevor Beard to score to give the Waves the 3-2 advantage.
USA starting pitcher Shane Ritter pitched four innings, allowing one run, before redshirt freshman Kole Kampen stepped to the mound, closing out the fifth inning and pitching through the sixth, allowing no hits. Kyle Shimp and Derek Lieurance would each come in to pitch respectively following Kampen.
“Kole Kampen was a positive on the mound,” said Heller. “He came into a tough position and got the double play to get us out of a jam. It’s a bright spot for the future of the program and what Kole is going to bring to it.”
Boe posted two hits on the day, while Norman, McCleary, and Grant Judkins each had one.
“We have 20 days to address some things,” said Heller. “This is exactly what we needed, having an opportunity to play in a very good tournament and give our guys the experience to play in a tournament that will be a similar setup to what we will play in the World Games.”
The Hawkeyes return to action Thursday, hosting the Quad City Cardinals at 7 p.m. (CT) at Duane Banks Field.
“There were a lot of positives even though the results weren’t what we wanted,” said Heller. “The last two games were close and we will have a chance to get everything cleaned up in the next 20 days.”