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Continued: Team USA beats Cuba 2-1 in exhibition series opener in Iowa

  • Article by: LUKE MEREDITH , AP Sports Writer
  • Last update: July 18, 2013 - 11:55 PM

Cuban catcher Lazaro Herrera committed two throwing errors. But Fernandez, a second baseman, and third baseman Yulieski Gourriel handled difficult plays with ease.

Center fielder Dairon Varona also showed off his powerful arm more than once.

N.C. State starter Carlos Rodon, who could be a first-round pick in next year's MLB draft, allowed just one hit while striking out four in 3 1/3 innings, and TCU's Preston Morrison struck out four in 3 2/3 scoreless innings.

Chapman also scored the first run for the U.S. on a sacrifice fly from Turner.

The game went to an international tiebreaker for extra innings. Each team started their innings with runners on first and second base.

The U.S. held Cuba scoreless in the 10th as catcher Grayson Greiner threw out Ariel Sanchez at second following a wild pitch.

The makeup of the Cuban roster was largely unknown to the U.S. The majority of Cuba's team didn't play in the recent World Baseball Classic.

Still, Team USA picked up just enough to execute a defensive shift in the seventh inning on right-handed cleanup hitter Yasmani Tomas.

He pulled a grounder just left of second base, and second baseman Alex Bregman was in perfect position for the putout.

"It's a very well-equipped team. Spectacular talent," Mesa said of the U.S.

The game drew nearly 5,000 fans, an impressive crowd for a Thursday night with temperatures in the 90s at first pitch.

Iowa Cubs officials were also told by USA Baseball to prepare for as many as 100 scouts.

"It's cool because we might be the underdogs because we're younger," Chapman said. "I think it's going to be pretty exciting the rest of the series."

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