1-0 in the Netherlands, 5 innings of rain.
The second game of the Super Round of the “30th WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup” (Sarasota, Florida, USA) was held on the 16th (17th time of Japan), and the Japan national baseball team” SAMURAI JAPAN” U-18 beat the Netherlands 1-0, with just one hit and five chilling wins. He showed tenacious control, like making the main cannon, outfielder Shogo Asano (Takamatsusho), bunt, and coach Shiro Mabuchi looked back saying, “There’s no way to beat Asano. .”
Japan had lost 0-8 against the Republic of Korea the day before (16th) and could not qualify for the final on their own. Coach Shiro Mabuchi made a move in a match where if he lost he would be seeded 5th or lower. In the 3rd inning, which was 0-0, infielder Yasujun Fujimori (Tenri) hit a bunt and walked first and second bases.
500 batting average (7 hits in 14 at bats), 1 home run and 4 RBIs in the first round. He firmly ruled the third base line, widened his chances with one out, second, and third base, and scored the first base on the second pitch of following outfielder Yoshinobu Kuroda (with Kyushu International University) .
In the game, starting pitcher Tsugutaka Kawahara (Osaka Toin) pitched well in the fifth inning with three hits and no runs, with six strikeouts. At the end of the 5th round, the rain turned cold and protected Toranoko’s 1 point. Director Mabuchi said with a wry smile, “I don’t remember ever winning with just one shot,” while praising his right-hander, who won three matches in this tournament and continues to throw clean sheets, in saying, “It’s a matter of Kawahara today.”
He explained why he ordered Asano to bunt, saying, “In Kawahara’s case today, I can get away with one or two points.” He revealed he had no hesitation, saying, “There’s no way to beat Asano.” The commander’s orders paid off and Japan is confirmed in the top 4 or higher. If they win big against USA on the 17th (18th), depending on the other games, there is still a chance to get to the final.