Japan Takes Series Lead with Two Wins

Japan evened the five game series at 1-1 with a 10 inning 6-3 win over the United States team. The two teams played by the international rules, putting runners on first and second to begin the tenth inning. A two run double by Keita Nakagawa, his third hit in the game was the key hit in the inning.

The United States pitchers were a bit wild in the game, combining to walk 10 hitters. Tim Cate pitched four hitless innings in relief, walking two and striking out seven. Japanese starter Masato Morishita went six innings, striking out nine. He did allow two runners to score, one of them on a balk.

In the second game Japan rallied for three runs in the bottom of the eighth to win 5-4. Taishi Kusumoto hit a two run triple to tie the score. A sacrifice fly by Ryosuke Tatsumi drove in the game winner. Tatsumi had tripled earlier in the game and scored a run. Daiki Sakamoto shut down the United States on no hits for his fourth straight inning to close out the game and earn the win.

The United States pitchers had better control in this game walking just three. The Japanese pitchers were a little wild, issuing seven free passes.

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