DES MOINES, Iowa — Matt Chapman's teammates streamed out of the dugout to celebrate his hit as though the Cal State-Fullerton star had won the College World Series.
Simply an exhibition?
Not when it's against Cuba.
Chapman had an RBI single in the bottom of the 11th inning to give Team USA a 2-1 victory over Cuba on Thursday night in an international exhibition.
The matchup was the opener of a five-game series between Cuba and a team of American college stars — and the first between the countries on American soil since 1996.
Cuba's Jose Fernandez tied the game at 1-1 with an RBI single with two outs in the ninth. But Chapman responded by ripping a line drive to right field with two outs in the 11th.
"It's fun to play teams and meet new people. But at the end of the day, we really want to win," Chapman said.
The mood was hardly so pleasant in the Cuban locker room.
Cuba lost pitcher Misael Siverio to defection on Tuesday, and his defection drew much of the attention away from Cuba's visit to the U.S.
Cuban manager Victor Mesa acknowledged Siverio's defection by criticizing him after the game, saying he's no better than a Triple-A talent at best.
"You may see the gentleman that defected working as a laborer. He came with us because he's a left-handed thrower, but he's not that great of a pitcher," Mesa said through an interpreter."
The U.S. and Cuba faced each other often in international friendlies from the late 70s until the mid-90s.
The matchup between Cuba's national team and American college players didn't resume until last year in Havana, with the Cubans taking three of the five games.
Cuba will play the U.S. in Omaha, Neb., on Friday and Saturday before games in Cary and Durham, N.C., next week.
"It's just great for baseball across the world," Team USA coach Jim Schlossnagle said. "It's exciting. It's fun to play good teams."
Cuba's offense struggled until the ninth inning.
But its defensive prowess was on display from the moment it took the field.
Trea Turner led off for the U.S. by hitting a line drive that bounced off pitcher Vladimir Garcia's glove. But Cuban shortstop Barbaro Arruebarruena barehanded the ball, and his throw to first beat Turner by a step.
|New England||2/1/15 5:30 PM|
|Milwaukee||13||1st Qtr 7:09|
|New York||13||1st Qtr 6:41|
|Montreal||0||1st Prd 12:31|
|Winnipeg||0||1st Prd 13:36|
|Boston||0||1st Prd 15:26|
|Michigan State||52||2nd Half 16:31|
|Boston Univ||9||1st Half 15:40|
|Fla Atlantic||9||1st Half 14:59|
|Youngstown St||4||1st Half 14:31|
|East Tenn St||10||1st Half 14:09|
|Saint Louis||9||1st Half 11:43|
|USC Upstate||0||1st Half 20:00|
|High Point||9||1st Half 14:53|
|Central Conn St||13||1st Half 9:28|
|Western Ky||4||1st Half 14:46|
|Dayton||12||1st Half 11:57|
|Chattanooga||7||1st Half 11:30|
|Wofford||2||1st Half 15:06|
|Maryland||5||1st Half 12:12|
|FIU||8||1st Half 14:55|
|Fair-Dickinson||6||1st Half 14:10|
|Mount St Marys||14||1st Half 12:30|
|Bryant||12||1st Half 12:47|
|Northern Ky||6||1st Half 13:14|
|Coll of Charleston||5||1st Half 14:36|
|Western Carolina||11||1st Half 14:21|
|Sacred Heart||9||1st Half 14:13|
|Lipscomb||13||1st Half 11:33|
|Fla Gulf Coast||20|
|Kennesaw St||6||1st Half 11:40|
|Appalachian St||6:30 PM|
|Holy Cross||6:30 PM|
|Eastern Ill||6:30 PM|
|Jacksonville St||7:00 PM|
|SIU Edwardsville||7:00 PM|
|SE Missouri St|
|Tenn Tech||7:00 PM|
|Middle Tennessee||7:00 PM|
|Weber State||7:00 PM|
|North Dakota St|
|IUPU-Ft Wayne||7:00 PM|
|Georgia State||7:15 PM|
|Ark-Little Rock||7:30 PM|
|Eastern Ky||8:00 PM|
|Idaho State||8:00 PM|
|Chicago State||8:05 PM|
|Utah Valley U|
|Cal Poly||9:00 PM|
|Santa Clara||9:00 PM|
|UC Santa Barbara||9:00 PM|
|Montana State||9:05 PM|
|Long Beach State||9:30 PM|
|Cal State Fullerton|
|Loyola Marymount||9:30 PM|
|San Francisco||10:00 PM|
|Old Dominion||45||2nd Half 10:24|
|Southern Miss||45||2nd Half 11:54|
|Georgia State||19||2nd Half 16:02|
|Ark-Little Rock||45||2nd Half 12:27|
|(6) Tennessee||12||1st Half 11:58|
|(24) Oklahoma||13||1st Half 12:07|
|Nebraska Omaha||5||1st Half 13:03|
|UC-Riverside||8||1st Half 14:19|
|Army||13||1st Half 12:08|
|New Orleans||6||1st Half 12:32|
|Charlotte||9||1st Half 16:00|
|Towson||10||1st Half 11:33|
|Hofstra||10||1st Half 15:29|
|New Hampshire||6||1st Half 14:31|
|Albany||16||1st Half 12:50|
|Hartford||17||1st Half 11:01|
|William & Mary||7|
|Clemson||7||1st Half 12:26|
|Alabama||8||1st Half 12:09|
|(1) South Carolina||18|
|(23) Syracuse||5||1st Half 15:22|
|Missouri||14||1st Half 12:44|
|Iona||13||1st Half 11:38|
|NC State||15||1st Half 11:13|
|(4) Notre Dame||8||1st Half 14:00|
|(22) Rutgers||13||1st Half 12:45|
|(5) Maryland||15||1st Half 15:13|
|Milwaukee||12||1st Half 10:12|
|Wright State||20||1st Half 12:30|
|Jacksonville||1||1st Half 17:42|
|North Florida||2||1st Half 10:14|
|Stetson||5||1st Half 16:09|
|Loyola-Maryland||2||1st Half 14:13|
|Sam Houston St|
|Fla Gulf Coast||6:30 PM|
|(18) Miss State|
|Abilene Christian||7:00 PM|
|Incarnate Word||7:00 PM|
|McNeese State||7:00 PM|
|Oral Roberts||7:00 PM|
|South Dakota St|
|Louisiana Tech||7:00 PM|
|TX-San Antonio||7:00 PM|
|Texas-El Paso||7:00 PM|
|Grand Canyon||7:00 PM|
|(20) Iowa||7:00 PM|
|Utah Valley U||7:05 PM|
|Green Bay||7:05 PM|
|Ole Miss||8:00 PM|
|Portland State||8:00 PM|
|Sacramento St||8:00 PM|
|North Dakota||8:00 PM|
|Ohio State||8:00 PM|
|Northern Colorado||8:00 PM|
|St Marys-CA||9:00 PM|
|UC Santa Barbara|
|San Diego||9:00 PM|
|UC Davis||9:00 PM|
|Long Beach St||10:59 PM|