The USA National Team (as represented by your very own Iowa Hawkeyes) have been busy in the past week. They hosted a couple home games, are now playing in the National Baseball Congress World Series, and will play in the World University Games in Taiwan later this month. So much for summer vacation!
- The Hawks played the Iowa Valley League All-Stars on July 25th and defeated them 7-3. Brady Schanuel (a new addition from Parkland College) and Elijah Wood pitched three innings apiece, combining for 10 strikeouts and two runs (one earned), although both runs were charged to Wood. After struggling mightily during the 2017 season, Kyle Crowl had a solid day at the plate, going 2-for-3 with three RBIs.
- Iowa played Red Top Sports on the 27th and came out on top, 11-6. Robert Neustrom had himself a great day, going 3-for-4 at the plate with two home runs and four RBIs. Grant Judkins was also locked in at the plate, finishing the evening 4-for-5. It appears as though Iowa is being fairly cautious with pitchers – either they’re not wanting to stretch anyone out at this point of the summer, or they’re not comfortable with anyone taking on multiple innings, as seven different Hawkeyes pitched in this game.
- Iowa’s next home game will be August 10th at 7 p.m. against the Quad City Cardinals.
NBC World Series
The USA National Team played their first game of the NBC World Series on Monday, losing to the Wellington Heat by a final score of 7-3. The Heat jumped on Team USA early, scoring all seven of their runs in the first four innings. Kyle Shimp started on the bump and lasted just 2 1⁄3 innings before Cole McDonald threw six solid innings. Team USA scored on a Robert Neustrom RBI double in the first, while Kyle Crowl and Mitchell Boe would later tack on more runs via an RBI single and sac-fly, respectively.
Team USA plays Tuesday (today!) at 1 p.m. CT against the Mulvane Patriots in Wichita. You can find the stream here.
Odds and Ends
- The Hawkeyes have named Nic Ungs the Director of Baseball Operations for the program, replacing Desi Druschel who was promoted to pitching coach. Ungs is a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa and had a long minor league career, pitching for 11 seasons before calling it quits. He most recently spent nine years as the pitching coordinator for Georgia Bombers Baseball Club, and has coached 45 players who have gone on to play Division I baseball.
- Here’s a nice story about how Robert Neustrom went to the Cape Cod league on a two-week contract to be a temp player, and how he earned a longer stay and an appearance in the All-Star Game.
- Former Hawkeye Jake Yacinich has earned his biggest call-up of his minor league career. After kicking it around in the low levels of the minors for the past four years, he finally has advanced past Class A – and straight to Class AAA. Prior to his promotion, he was hitting .272 with four home runs for the Inland Empire.
- Matt Dermody returned to the big leagues for the first time since he struggled there earlier this season. After a disastrous outing that brought his season ERA to 135.00, he’s had some pretty good outings this time around that have brought his ERA to a (still high) 12.27. He earned his first career win on July 30th, throwing three innings of one-run ball before a walk-off grand slam earned him the victory