Seoul (Korea). Following a two-hour delay due to rain, Japan shut out the Czech Republic 7-0 on Tuesday morning, finishing first-round play with a 4-1 record. The game was called midway through the bottom of the fifth inning after another rain delay. Japan moves up to the second round, while the Czech team has to settle for a classification game.
Japan scored two runs in the second, four in the third and another one in the fourth to give their pitching plenty of run support. Shohei Otani went 2-for-2 with a triple, two runs scored and two RBI. Hiroki Takahashi had two hits, a run and a RBI. Gen Mizumoto also tripled. Michal Vykoukal, Ondrej Matko, Filip Mostek and David Vohanka collected the hits for the Czech squad.
Yuichiro Okano took the mound for Japan and continued to string of strong starts of his staff. In five scoreless innings he gave up just four hits, while walking none. He struck out five of the 18 batters he faced, just three over the minimum. Lukas Ercoli was charged with the loss. The left-hander allowed four hits, three runs and two base on balls in two-plus innings.