United States Wins College Series Over Japan

Japan did not seem to be bothered by jet lag in the opening game of the series, taking the United States 1-0. Yukiya Ito strung together three hits including an RBI single in the sixth to drive in the only run of the game. Masato Morishita blanked the United States for five innings on one hit, picking up the win. Four different relievers followed to complete the shutout.

The United States returned the favor in day two with their 1-0 win. Josh Jung roped an RBI triple in the ninth to earn the 1-0 victory. Zack Hess pitched three innings of perfect ball, striking out four of the nine hitters he faced. Four other pitchers followed and restricted the Japanese hitters to just two hits. Wataru Matsamoto pitched an excellent game, going seven innings and striking out 16 United States hitters.

The two teams brought out the bats in the United States 3-1 win in game three. Neither team could collect an extra base hit. The United States scored their first run on a double steal in the second inning when the catcher threw the ball in the outfield and a runner scored. In the third inning the United States scored another run on two Japanese errors, a failed pick off attempt and a wild throw from the second baseman to third that allowed Zach Watson to score.

Zack Watson started the rally in the eighth with a single and moved to third on two ground outs. He scored on a wild pitch. The United States scored three times but not one player was credited with an RBI. Japan scored their only run in the fifth on a wild pitch. Zach Watson led all hitters with three hits and two runs scored.

The United States clinched the series with a 7-6 win in game four. Wataru Masamato was not so effective in his second start, though he began the game with five shutout innings. He gave up three runs in the sixth to allow the United States to tie the game 3-3. Japan scored the first three runs in the third. Motoki Mukoyama started the inning hitting the first homerun of the series with a lead off homerun off Andre Pallante. Teruaki Sato chased Pallante with his RBI double to drive in the third run of the inning.

The United States waited until the sixth inning to score off Masamato. A two run homerun from Bryson Stott finished the game for Masamato and tied the game 3-3. The United States added two more runs in the seventh on a two run double from Andrew Vaughn. Dominic Fletcher smashed a two run homer in the eighth. Japan scored one in the eighth and took advantage of two United States errors to score two in the ninth to close to within one. With the tying run on third and the go ahead run on first Max Meyer was able to retire the last hitter on a pop up to earn a sloppy save.

Japan salvaged the last game 4-3 winning it in extra innings. With two runners placed on first and second Japan bunted the runners over a base and Takashi Imino ended the game with a sacrifice fly to center field. Yukiya Ito drove in two runs with a double in the first, Bryson Stott drove in two runs with a single in the fourth. The United States out hit Japan 15-4 but stranded 16 men on base, including not scoring in the tenth and eleventh innings when they put two runners on base.

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