Game Report

Sakaguchi pitches scoreless seven innings with three hits – Japan wins all 8 games against Dominica and is to advance to the final round tomorrow

October 28, 2018

 The Japan National Baseball Team "SAMURAI JAPAN" which participated in the second WBSC U-23 World Cup (Colombia barankija) U-23 national team faced the Dominican Republic in Super Round final match on October 27. When forerunner, Sakaguchi brings in to three hits of seventh inning no Run and Japanese pace, we relay complete blockade of 3 pitcher. The batting order keeps good opportunity alive surely and wins a complete victory with four to 0.

SAMURAI JAPAN U-23 national team, starter
(CF) Kairi Shimada (Hanshin)
(SS) big river (DeNA)
(LF) Ryosuke Kishisato (Nippon-Ham)
(3B) Yasuhito Uchida (Rakuten)
(1B) Hisanori Yasuda (Lotte)
(DH) Kento Harasawa (SUBARU)
(C) Kengo Horiuchi (Rakuten)
(2B) Kenji Nishimaki (Rakuten)
(RF) Ukyo Shuto (SoftBank)
▼Pitcher Kosuke Sakaguchi (DeNA)

 Japan which got right to top decisive battle with Mexico regardless of victory or defeat with republic to Dominica. Goal setting was the difficult situation, but went through posture that "we were particular about to beat since we carried the Japanese flag on our back" that Manager Inaba told to player since appointment repeatedly.

 Forerunner, Sakaguchi who threw forth inning 2/3 by opening round Game 3 with Mexico of pitch, and left in 1 Run by solo home run, and spoke, "we were not able to carry out work as the starting pitcher" last time. Although throw that breaking ball fell out rather high was seen, but, as for the first inning, catcher, Horiuchi that sensed immediately gave fastballs-centered combination of pitches change, 1 walk; start of no Run. When we made modifications after second inning, and breaking balls came to gather low, straight showed effect more. Each hitters of the Dominican Republic was pushed in powerful delivery of ball of Sakaguchi, and the scene that missed a ball was outstanding. Although top of the forth inning permitted going to the first base by shortstop infield fly in opening batsmen, we control on-deck hitter with three by grounder to SS double play in this time after all.

 In bottom of the forth inning, Japan, the two outs runner nashikara fifth, Yasuda gets to first base by two-base hit to left wing line. hara* which spreads out "entered turn at bat with confidence yesterday as was able to beat. The batted ball which thought that we are caught as the batted ball did not go up very much of thing which was core for the touch is two-base hit at migietsu eheno good time. We show initiative timely that we follow game with Venezuela on the day before when we gave three runs batted in and game strength in good opportunity. Furthermore, one point is added in timely that Horiuchi passes through the second base right side persistently by two outs second base. Horiuchi hitting Final Game 3-run on the day before is nine runs batted in of the team top in this. Furthermore, Nishimaki continues by timely hit to right wing line becoming meeting first RBI now, too, and Horiuchi comes back alive from second base. We show attack that is high in 3 scores and concentration in 4 consecutive hits from two outs.

 Sakaguchi who got three points of leads is struck out swinging in top of the fifth inning, opening batsmen. However, the severe batted ball of the sixth hitters which continued hit on the RF ankle and fell down to third base dugout once. Showed the behavior to drag the right foot, but is dash when finish treatment; to mound. By continuing pitching of spirit, we suppressed on-deck hitter for grounder to SS double play and did not let you feel influence of batted ball direct hit.

 When Sakaguchi holds down sixth inning to three up three down, Nishimaki raises third point that is valuable by this day, the second timely hit from the back, two outs 1B, second base. As for 17 at bats of six games, three hits and hit did not leave from the start, but, following multi-hit by game with Venezuela on the day before, this day is three hits. It may be said that it is favorable factor to have nominated condition for the meeting end game of turning point in a match.

 Good throw of tempo, Sakaguchi of strike precedence nominate condition for rising intonation, and three hits of seventh inning no Run (8 striking out). As it was necessary to give a lot up even 1 inning to face the tomorrow's Final Game by the bull pen general mobilization, nice pitching of Sakaguchi was big.
"There were many scenes which carried runner on their back, and we said switch after reflection point, the batted ball hit, or, in there, gear went up. We were able to learn throw while there was blow by opening round (with Mexico). We were able to provide (in game this in the lesson). He/she got a score in forth inning which we thought to want you to open the scoring and was going to control still more early."
 As for the eighth inning, Suzuki held the left arm, Horie, ninth inning in check in no Run, and it was victory to touch spring to Final Game by complete blockade relay by 3 pitcher. Team the youngest 19-year-old Yasuda shows full expression after the game. "Masaru will win all games today! We said this, and there was good form for tomorrow. Through meeting, good fight is done. It becomes the number one in the world (in Japan) wants to return"

 Japan makes a foray into Final Game by eight clean scores through opening round five games, Super Round three games. 10 Run, mistake realize "baseball to protect, and to win" that zero and Manager Inaba aim at by eight games in total. Mexico which hangs straight victory and 1B of the world, and faces is opening round of Group A and wins a clear-cut victory with seven to two. However, it is fear of international meeting not to understand what happens. Besides, is ten days when reach the tomorrow's Final Game; congestion schedule of nine games. When it is certain that fatigue is peak, but exerts password "Solidarity power" of all SAMURAI JAPAN Age Range on the front. We decorate crowning beauty with game in the last to fight in 24 members.

Comments by manager and players

Manager Atsunori Inaba

"There is much hitters powerful (in the Dominican Republic). Sakaguchi made good rhythm with good tempo from defense while we did not know what happened as it was blow game. It was reliable on seeing figure which it threw magnificently, and it was big to have got double play at point. As for one at bats of eye, timing was put off (as for the first goal of bottom of the forth inning), but it was included in the second round and made modifications well. It was good to have been able to get a score from two outs. Mexico has power (and at Final Game) and is run a close race. We want to play in last one in all the members with Japanese Solidarity power"

Kenji Nishimaki

"We suffered from 1st round considerably. We are doing hot as oneself all the time as I wanted one in scene of chance as one appeared. We enter 2nd round and can wave without hesitation well. We have you advise from director before game today afterward and think as result appeared in it that oneself was good."

The second WBSC U-23 World Cup

Overview Players

Meeting Schedule

From October 19, 2018 to October 28

Opening round

Saturday, October 20 5:00 Japan 13-0 South Africa
Sunday, October 21 0:00 Chinese Taipei 1-3 Japan
Monday, October 22 0:00 Japan 7-2 Mexico
The Tuesday, October 23 0:00 Japan 5-0 Netherlands
Wednesday, October 24 10:00 2-7, Columbia Japan
※The start time Japan time (Colombia: at time difference -14 time)

Super Round

Friday, October 26 0:00 Japan 3-2 Korea
Saturday, October 27 5:00 Japan 6-3 Venezuela
The Sunday, October 28 0:00 Japan 4-0 Dominican Republic
※The start time Japan time (Colombia: at time difference -14 time)


Monday, October 29 9:00 Japan 1-2 Mexico
※The start time Japan time (Colombia: at time difference -14 time)


Colombia (barankija)

Participating Countries and Regions (provisional)

Group A
Japan, Mexico, Chinese Taipei, Netherlands, Colombia, South Africa

Group B
Korea, Australia, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Czech




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