Big Inning Powers Japan Past USA in Junior Men’s World Championship

Written by Bob on July 28th, 2016

MIDLAND, Mich. – Japan sent 10 men to the plate in the second inning, scored five runs and parlayed that big stake into a 5-2 victory over Team USA in the first round of playoffs in the WBSC Softball Junior Men’s World Championship at Emerson Park, Friday.

Kazumasa Shirabe and Sho Ahsida delivered the damaging blows in the second, with Shirabe’s double driving in two runs, and Ashida’s bases loaded triple to deep centerfield the crowning blast that sent Team USA to defeat.

The win improves Japan to 6-0 to remain the only undefeated team in tournament, while Team USA falls to 4-2, and will play Canada on Friday. The winner will advance in the playoffs, while the loser will be eliminated.

Team USA went scoreless for six innings, but rallied for a pair of runs in the seventh to avoid the shutout. With one out, Matthew Martin and Jeff Lewis worked Japan’s Fuga Nagai for back-to-back walks.

Jonathan Broadbear followed with a single to left field driving in Martin, and Bryce DuCharme drove a hard shot into left that brought pinch runner Kelly Fagan-Bean racing home.

But Nagai threw three straight rise balls above the letters past Derek Martin to finish off Team USA and send Japan into Friday’s playoffs against New Zealand, which defeated Argentina earlier in the day.

Zane Chasen started and pitched one inning for Team USA giving up four earned runs on two hits and two walks. Derek Martin relieved Chasen in the second and held Japan scoreless for five innings, giving up three hits and striking out six.

Reo Koyama and Nagai split the game with Koyama the starter going three innings, allowing two hits, no runs with a strikeout and walk. Nagai finished with a four-hitter and two earned runs, while striking out four and walking two.

Team USA outhit Japan, 6 to 5, with DuCharme, Peyton Hall, Justin Perez, Lewis, Broadbear and Steven Nessler each getting one hit. Japan’s Ashida, Tomoyuki Konno, Kento Morita, Shirabe and Yuki Imai had one hit each.

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