By JAMES ALLAN
TAIPEI, Taiwan — The 5 1/2 hour wait from departing the Athletes’ Village to walking to represent the United States at the World University Games’ Opening Ceremony was worth the wait for USA Team baseball on Saturday night.
The red, white, and blue lined up to depart for downtown Taipei at 3 p.m. local time as more than 7,000 athletes converged on Taipei Arena. The 2 1/2 hour wait in the arena involved friendly cheering amongst various countries before the Americans started toward Taipei Stadium to march into a packed house.
It was a surreal feeling for senior Matt Hoeg and USA Team with a capacity crowd in attendance.
“It was unreal walking into that stadium with that crowd,” said Hoeg. “That’s something I’ll never forget; it was an experience that words can’t really describe to walk in that setting while representing the United States.”
The wait to game day is now over. USA Team opens Pool B play against Mexico at 5:30 a.m. (CT) on Sunday at Tianmu Baseball Stadium. The game will be streamed live via FISU at: www.livestream.com/fisu.
“It’s finally here,” said Hoeg. “We’re excited to get on the field to compete.”