Japan tops host New Zealand to win men’s softball TAB Challenge Cup

Written by Bob on March 1st, 2019

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – Men’s softball No. 3 nation in the world Japan shocked the host crowd and claimed the TAB Challenge Cup 2019 with a 3-1 victory over No. 1 New Zealand in the final of the tournament.

A two-run home run in the top of the sixth inning off the bat of HIKARU MATSUDA provided the Japanese pitching staff enough difference to secure the title at Rosedale Park in Albany, Feb. 10.

Both national teams had advanced to the final after crushing victories in the semifinal. New Zealand beat New Zealand B, 7-0, and Japan defeated Australia by a score of 10-2.

Australia, Japan and New Zealand are tunning up for the WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship 2019, to be held from 13-23 June, in Prague and Havlickuv Brod, Czech Republic. New Zealand is the defending world champions.

REO KOYAMA, key member of the WBSC Junior Men’s Softball World Championship 2016 title for Japan, had a stellar outing in the final and claimed the win, pitching 6.33 innings with 5 hits, 1 run, 3 walks and 6 strikeouts. He kept the powerful Black Sox line up quiet for six innings before leaving the circle in the bottom of the seventh, with the score 3-1.

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