MASON CITY — Former NIACC baseball standout Luke Becker has been drafted. The San Diego Padres selected Becker in the ninth round on Tuesday. The Fairmont Minnesota native hit .364 with78 hits, 62 runs scored, 17 doubles, 12 homers and 63 RBI in helping the Trojans make the 2015 Junior College World Series. Becker has spent the last three seasons at the University of Kentucky, where he hit .273 with 31 doubles, 15 homers and 96 RBI.
IOWA CITY — The University of Iowa had two players taken in Tuesday’s Major League Baseball draft:
== Junior Robert Neustrom became the program’s highest position player drafted since 1992 when he was selected in fifth round of 2018 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft by the Baltimore Orioles. Neustrom was selected with the 145th pick. Former Hawkeye Danan Hughes was taken in the third round (75th pick) of the 1992 MLB Draft. Neustrom is the 16th player selected under Iowa head coach Rick Heller. The Sioux City, Iowa, native earned first-team All-Big Ten honors as a junior after hitting .311 with 15 doubles and 11 home runs, ranking in the top 10 in the Big Ten in both categories. The outfielder tied for the team-lead with 43 runs and drove in 36. He had 19 multi-hit and nine multi-RBI games. The junior year performance came a season after Neustrom earned second-team All-Big Ten honors as a sophomore after hitting .310 with 55 RBIs. Neustrom also was a Cape Cod League All-Star in 2017. In three years at Iowa, Neustrom played in 166 games with 152 starts. He started the final 116 games to close out his Hawkeye career. Neustrom hit .310 for his career with 37 doubles, four triples, and 21 home runs. He scored 108 runs and had 112 RBIs.
== Senior Tyler Cropley became the second Hawkeye off the board in the 2018 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft when he was selected in the eighth round by the Washington Nationals. Cropley, a catcher from McCook Lake, South Dakota, was the 251st pick. He is the 17th player selected in the MLB Draft under Iowa head coach Rick Heller. The Nationals selected Cropley following his All-America senior season. The Johnny Bench Award Semifinalist hit a team-best .342 and led the team in hits (68), doubles (20), RBIs (50), slugging percentage (.578), and on-base percentage (.449). He also tied for the team lead with 43 runs and was second with nine home runs. Cropley ranked in the top-15 in the Big Ten Conference in nine different offensive categories and his 20 doubles were tied for the second-most in a single season in school history. Iowa won 33 games, its fifth straight 30-win season. The first-team All-Big Ten selection paced the team with 21 multi-hit and 14 multi-RBI contests. He had two walk-off home runs — a grand slam in Iowa’s 13-9 win over Bradley on March 28 and a two-run home run to give the Hawkeyes a 7-5 series-clinching victory over No. 7 Michigan on April 29. Cropley was a second-team All-Big Ten and Big Ten All-Tournament team selection as a junior after hitting .268 with 41 runs and 36 RBIs. He played in 114 games with 112 starts in his two seasons in Iowa City where he was a .304 hitter with 28 doubles, 18 home runs, and 86 RBIs.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Jose Abreu hit a two-run homer in the first inning of the second game of a doubleheader to spoil Zack Littell’s major league debut, and the Chicago White Sox beat the Minnesota Twins 6-3 to earn a split. In the first game, Eduardo Escobar hit a three-run homer with two outs in the eighth for the Twins in a 4-2 victory that ruined a stellar start by White Sox right-hander Reynaldo Lopez.
CLEAR LAKE — Clear Lake used a five-run second inning to beat Central Springs 10-4 in non-conference baseball last night at Lions Field. Zach Lester had two hits and three runs batted in to lead the Lions. Erik McHenry picked up the win, striking out nine through five innings of work. Clear Lake is now 5-4 on the season and will host St. Edmond tonight in North Central Conference play.
— other baseball last night
Newman 10, Nashua-Plainfield 2
Decorah 9, Charles City 5
Humboldt 15, Forest City 1
Saint Ansgar 14, Crestwood 13
CLEAR LAKE — Clear Lake used a four-run fourth inning to upset #2/2A Central Springs 5-4 last night in non-conference softball. Central Springs jumped out to a 3-0 lead scoring twice in the first and once in the second, with the Lions plating a run in the bottom of the second. Clear Lake then pushed across four runs in the fourth to take the lead for good. Clear Lake is now 5-3 on the season and will host St. Edmond tonight in North Central Conference play. Central Springs suffers their first loss on the season and drops to 6-1. They’ll travel to Garner-Hayfield-Ventura tonight.
— other softball
Newman8, Nashua-Plainfield 2
Hampton-Dumont 8, Osage 7
Humboldt 12, Emmetsburg 0
Iowa Falls-Alden 3, West Fork 2
North Butler 13, Saint Ansgar 1
MARSHALLTOWN — Bailee Frayne and Matthew Heinemann are the Class 1A co-ed state golf champions. The Garner-Hayfield-Ventura duo shot a 71 on Tuesday at the American Legion Golf Course in Marshalltown to pick up the title. Clear Lake’s Ashley DeLong and Tyler Eaton finished tied for 12th with an 80. Garner-Hayfield-Ventura’s other entry of Carlee Frayne and Tyler Obermann finished with an 88.
CLEAR LAKE — Both of Clear Lake’s entries in the Class 1A state coed tennis tournament fell on Tuesday. Chloe Mueller and Mac Adams lost in the tournament’s preliminary round to Macy Harris and Alex Farmer of Grinnell, 6-3, 6-2. Maranda Harrison and Hunter Gerhardt lost to Mikayla Adkins and Trevor Finnegan of Shenandoah 6-4, 6-2 in the tournament’s round of 32.
IOWA CITY — Iowa basketball coach Fran McCaffery says the Hawkeyes have been focused on fundamentals during off season workouts. The Hawkeyes tumbled nearly all the way to the bottom of the Big Ten last season and finished 14-19 overall and 4-14 in the conference.
Two areas that plagued the Hawkeyes last season were defense and turnovers. Iowa was the Big Ten’s worst defensive team and finished next to last in turnovers.
The Hawkeyes return nearly all their scoring and rebounding from last year and McCaffery says the team should get a boost from additional depth.