Confidence of overall width does not change even if succeeded from Former Manager Hiroki Kokubo to Manager Inaba. Irreplaceable second baseman is keyman in offense and defense. We become regular customer member who is indispensable to SAMURAI JAPAN.
It was called for Japan Collegiate National Team candidate camp at time (2011) for Chukyo Gakuin University four years that were shortstop and was not able to wear Uniform of the Japanese flag although movement that was alert and agile in the offense and defense fascinated member of a selection committee. Tomoyuki Sugano (Tokai University → giant), Seiji Kobayashi (university's → giant) which became teammate later in WBC of 17 years were included in camp at the time.
When we recapture regular of second base in the second year (13 years) with professional and have the first Golden Glove Award in our hand (the prizes continue for five years until 17 years), we elect in SAMURAI JAPAN for the first time in "2013 BASEBALL CHALLENGE Japan VS Chinese Taipei" of November. Participation full for all three games. It is first, and hit was not over two, but highlight comes over by Game 3. When hit taking the lead on horseback in from third inning two outs, is stealing second and wild pitch of partner pitcher; Sanshin. We set foot on home which became the only score by right-front timely hit of Takero Okajima (Rakuten) and finished Chinese Taipei expedition in 3 successive victories. National team first hit in this Warm-up Game which was first game for Former Manager Kokubo, the first steal, the first score and defense to cover wide area raised think highly of of Kikuchi.
Is elected for 14 years, the following day by "ALL STAR SERIES", batting average. We play in Warm-up Game with ALL EURO in March, 15 when we show presence by 381 (21 at bats of eight hits) and offense and defense. Although we stayed to the last candidate member, "premiere 12" of November of the year comes off because of the last registration.
We showed presence in Warm-up Game with March (to Taiwan) and November (the Netherlands to Mexico) again for 16 years and linked the name in the fourth WBC of 17 years. Uniform number 4, Kikuchi pairs with shortstop, Hayato Sakamoto (giant) between two play and shows beautiful performance to save pinch many times.
We invited no outs 1B, pinch of second base to primary round first match, first inning with Cuba, but completed double play by good play and picked up team. When catch the batted ball which seems to fall out in seventh inning dying first base, the center field by diving by the second round with the Netherlands, is just backhand toss to Sakamoto of second base base cover. This big play which sang its own praises saying "we were able to play the best on the best stage" let the world admire.
However, the semifinals with the United States which spent Final Game advance. We permit the first goal triggered by top of the forth inning, mistake of Kikuchi. We can blame nobody if we think about past contribution degree. However, it is strength of Kikuchi not to bend in this. We harassed bottom of the sixth inning in tie score solo (one to one) of clearing of name. After one lap of diamond, do not smile; "did bad thing (the starting pitcher) in Sugano. We have not been able to get back yet, but say, we stood in turn at bat with feeling that we want to do something about. However, game became a little over four defeat in defeat by a narrow margin, 2 meeting continuations. Kikuchi participates in all seven games; and 30 at bats of eight hits, 1 home run, four runs batted in, batting average. 267. You will not need to explain that there was contribution degree more than number.
It is word of Kikuchi which we talked about after semifinals defeat.
"We have lost in my mistake. In addition, it is called by WBC and we grow up and want to do our best therefore to be able to aim at 1B of the world again"
Kikuchi which had chance to get back that vexation in its hand. We push forward preparations to get world top at own country holding, the Olympics after 11th grade steadily.
ENEOS SAMURAI JAPAN series 2018
Overview Ticket Players Broadcast Schedule
Saturday, March 3 19:00 Japan 2-0 Australia
Sunday, March 4 19:00 Australia 0-6 Japan
Saturday, March 3 Nagoya Dome
Sunday, March 4 KYOCERA Dome Osaka
Japan - Australia
Introduction of Samurai Japan top team players
History of fierce battle in Australia