Santa Barbara defeats Waseda University White to advance in NAFA 23-Under World Series

Written by Bob on August 17th, 2014

Waseda University White of Tokyo, Japan, bows in respect before fast pitch fans and the Young Bucks team after dropping a close 5-3 game, Sunday morning. Photo By BOB OTTO

Waseda University White of Tokyo, Japan, bows in respect before fast pitch fans and the Young Bucks team after dropping a close 5-3 game, Sunday morning. Photo By BOB OTTO

QUAD CITIES, IA/IL – Beating the Japanese at fast pitch requires understanding how they play softball, said Santa Barbara Young Bucks coach, Clyde Bennett.

Bennett seemed to have his coaching strategy in tact when his ball club met Waseda University White of Tokyo, Japan in Sunday’s play down toward the NAFA World Series 23-Under championship.

The Young Bucks got the pitching and just enough scoring and solid defense to get by the talented White team, 5-3, to advance. The win marks the third consecutive for the Young Bucks after dropping two straight to start the tournament.

“They (Waseda White) likes to play small ball, and they like to bunt,” said Bennett. “And 90-percent of their batters bat left-handed. Someone has taught them well how to slap and bunt.”

The game was still in doubt in the fourth inning with the Young Bucks up by a run.

But Jon Gwizdala blasted a solo home run, and in the fifth, Bo Sanchez singled, driving in Clint Jorgenson, who hit safely down the left-field line with one out.

From there, Jon Gwizdala gave up a run in the sixth, but finished the game by striking out the side in the seventh.

Gwizdala, who has won all three of the Young Bucks games, allowed the three runs on eight hits with seven strikeouts.

The right-hander from Michigan has learned a lot about the batting style and the superb play of the Japanese and he admires their ability.

“The have amazing hands at bat,” he said. “They are all really quick and if they put the ball in play, they are safe. They have quick swings and are short to the ball.”

Waseda's Shun Otsuka beats the throw to Young Bucks first baseman Brandon Lara. Photo By BOB OTTO

Waseda’s Shun Otsuka beats the throw to Young Bucks first baseman Brandon Lara. Photo By BOB OTTO

    NAFA 23-UNDER SCORES
  • Bowen Fastpitch 10, Mid America, Springfield, Ill. 3
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