Okazaki Kento hurls Japan past Australia in ISF Junior Men’s World Championship

Written by Bob on July 12th, 2014

WHITEHORSE, YUKON, CA – Japan scored two runs to grab the early lead and then turned the game over to Okazaki Kento and he turned in a masterful outing in the ISF Junior World Championship, Saturday.

The right-handed Kento fired a one-hitter with five strikeouts, leading Japan to a 2-1 victory over Australia at the Pepsi Centre in Whitehorse.

Kento sailed smoothly through six innings, but hit rocky waters in the seventh. Joshua McGovern worked Kento for a walk to open the inning. Then after getting Matthew Wickham on an infield pop-up, he faced Hayden Mathews, who had homered in the fifth.

Kento, working carefully, walked Wickham, putting runners on first and second. But he buckled down and retired Callum Beashel on a ground ball, and then struck out Mason Rossi with a rise ball to end the game.

At the plate, Kento helped himself in the first inning with an RBI single to give Japan a 1-0 lead. Japan added its final run on an infield error in the second that allowed Takuo Hosokawa to score from third with the winning run.

Jerremyah Selu started for Australia and pitched two innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits, three walks, along with three strikeouts. Beashel came on in relief in the third, and held Japan to just one hit, two walks, with a strikeout over the final five innings.

The loss drops Australia to 0-2, while Japan remains undefeated at 2-0.

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