Japan Sweeps Australia

Japan started off strong with an opening 2-0 win over Australia. Japan starter Kodai Senga struck out all six hitters he faced and Yuki Yanagita ended a 0-0 tie with an RBI single in the sixth. Yoshitomo Tsutsugo drove in Yanagita with a double for the second run in the sixth inning. Both Yuki and Yoshitomo would be quality offensive players in the major leagues.

Travis Blackley pitched well for Australia tossing five scoreless innings and striking out six. Travis pitched briefly for the Rakuten Golden Eagles in 2014. Steve Kent gave up the two runs, retiring only one of the four hitters he faced, that on a sacrifice bunt. Five Japanese pitchers struck out 16 Australian hitters before the day was done. A little over 33,000 came to watch the game.

Japan again showed superior pitching in the second game shutting out Australia 6-0 in front of a crowd that was close to 28,000. Takahiro Norimoto, the top strikeout pitcher in Japan over the last couple years got the start and struck out five in his two innings of work. Go Matsumoto was the big hitter for Japan driving in three runs. Trent D’Antonio tried to end the shutout streak in the ninth inning but his long fly ball hit the right centerfield wall.

The rosters for Japan and Australia:

Japan

PITCHERS (13): Yuki Matsui, Takahiro Norimoto, Yuhei Takanashi (Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles), Shinji Tajima (Chunichi Dragons), Nao Higashihama, Sho Iwasaki, Kohdai Senga (Fukuoka Softbank Hawks), Yasuaki Yamasaki, Shota Imanaga, Haruhiro Hamaguchi (Yokohama DeNa Baystars), Tsuyoshi Ishizaki (Hanshin Tigers), Mizuki Hori (Hokkaido Nippom Ham Fighters), Kazuto Taguchi (Yomiuri Giants)

CATCHERS (3): Seiji Kobayashi (Yomiuri Giants), Tatsuhiro Tamura (Chiba Lotte Marines), Takuya Kai (Fukuoka Softbank Hawks)

INFIELDERS (7): Kosuke Tanaka, Ryosuke Kikuchi, Ryoma Nishikawa (Hiroshima Toyo Carp), Hideto Asamura, Shuta Tonosaki (Saitama Seibu Lions), Kenta Imamiya (Fukuoka Softbank Hawks), Yusuke Ohyama (Hanshin Tigers)

OUTFIELDERS (5): Go Matsumoto (Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters), Yuki Yanagita, Seiji Uebayashi (Fukuoka Softbank Hawks), Yoshitomo Tsutsugoh (Yokohama DeNa Baystars), Shogo Akiyama (Saitama Seibu Lions)

Australia

PITCHERS (12): Tim Atherton, Travis Blackley, Sam Holland, Ryan Searle, Matt Timms (Brisbane Bandits), Steve Kent (Canberra Cavalry), Cameron Lamb (Perth Heat), Greg Mosel, Matt Williams (Adelaide Bite), Sam Street, Josh Tols (Melbourne Aces): Todd Van Steensel (Sydney Blue Sox)

CATCHERS (3): Allan de San Miguel (Melbourne Aces), Alex Hall (Perth Heat), Kyle Perkins (Canberra Cavalry)

INFIELDERS (9): Trent D’Antonio (Sydney Blue Sox), Darryl George (Melbourne Aces), Robbie Glendinning, Luke Hughes (Perth Heat), Boss Moanaroa (Canberra Cavalry), Mitch Nilsson, Davi Sutherland, Logan Wade (Brisbane Bandits), Zac Shepherd, Yacob Younis (Sydney Blue Sox)

OUTFIELDERS (3): Andrew Campbell (Brisbane Bandits), David Kandilas (Canberra Cavalry), Tim Kennelly (Perth Heat)

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