Gold team grabs win in Iowa baseball’s annual Black and Gold World Series

The Gold team came back from a 2-0 deficit to win the best-of-five series.


Nichole Harris

Iowa outfielder Ben Norman swings on a pitch during a baseball game between the Iowa Hawkeyes and the Kansas Jayhawks on Tuesday, March 10, at Duane Banks Field. The Hawkeyes defeated the Jayhawks, 8-0.

Will Fineman, Sports Reporter

The Gold team grabbed the win in the annual Iowa baseball Black and Gold World Series — the Hawkeyes’ yearly intrasquad game — clawing its way back after falling behind by two to take the five-game series.

They were led by senior Ben Norman, who finished the series with a .591 batting average, 3 home runs, 12 RBIs, and a .640 on-base percentage.

“I made a few adjustments before the series started, so I was glad to get some good swings off,” Norman said. “Luckily, I got some good pitches and a lot of times I wasn’t missing them.”

The Gold struck first in the deciding game five after a single from junior Trenton Wallace knocked in Norman in the first inning. Senior Zeb Adreon would also score for the Gold team in that inning off of an errant throw on a pickoff attempt.

Norman would tack on another run in the top of the second inning on a two-out homer, but the Black team would respond with some offense of its own with redshirt freshman Tyler Snep scoring on a walk.

Adreon extended the Gold lead in the top of the third with a solo shot over the right-field wall. The Black team would then get two runs of its own as freshman Andy Nelson and redshirt senior Austin Martin drove in runs.

It was all Gold team after the third inning, as Norman would drive in two runs in the top of the fourth and score one run of his own off of a sacrifice fly from Adreon to give the Gold team the win by a final score of 7-3.

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“You kind of know, in the back of your head that there is a little bit more weight on this last game, but it is just kind of approaching every day with the same mindset,” Norman said.

Game four was a pitchers’ duel through five innings as the score was tied 1-1. The Black team put up three runs in the top of the 6th off of a sacrifice fly from Nelson and a triple from redshirt freshman D.J. Heck. However, it was the Gold team who would force a game five after scoring 11 runs in the bottom of the sixth.

“Throughout the fall, our hitters definitely put in a lot of work in the cages,” Wallace said. “Keeping the energy high throughout those has definitely come over to the World Series, and it is why our hitters are being so successful.”

The Black team went into game three up 2-0 in the series, but the Gold squad came ready to play as they jumped out to a 4-0 lead early in the game. Both teams added a run in the fourth inning with Brayden Frazier knocking in the only run of the game for the Black team. After the Gold team tacked on another run in the fifth, Wallace hit a solo shot in the sixth to make it a six-run lead.

Norman went 4-for-6 with three RBIs and three triples in the 9-1 Gold team win.

“That’s just baseball, I mean sometimes you are going to hit a ball hard four times and it could be right at someone, but I guess that day I was lucky to split some gaps,” Norman said.

The Black team completed its second comeback of the series in Game 2, winning 9-7. Sophomore Connor McCaffery started it off with a two-RBI single, and Frazier followed with a two-RBI double. The Black team added two runs in the fifth and sixth innings before Martin hit a three-run home run to win the game.

“A lot of it is just sticking to what has gotten you to that point,” Martin said. “Trying not to do too much and just staying within myself as well as trusting in my training.”

The opening game of the series was back and forth throughout. The Black team completed a comeback in the sixth inning, scoring five runs to take the lead 6-5. Norman took the lead back for Gold with his second home run of the game, but it was his roommate, Austin Martin, who would get the last word by tying the game with a two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh. The Black team would go on to win the game on a walk-off walk in that inning.