Japan concluded the group’s stage with a perfect record after today’s win over Botswana, 3-0, and advanced to the Championship Round as the number one seeded in Group A.
It took only three pitches to Japan to take a 2-0 lead in the first inning. With a 1-0 count, Ryoyu Une led off the game with a soft grounder to second for an infield hit and then Tomonori Inoue homered on the very first pitch he saw: a towering blast to center field to make it 2-0.
In the second Taiyo Kataoka hit a bloop single to shallow right field, then advanced to third on a wild pitch and a passed ball, and scored with an illegal pitch by starter Kunyalala Samuel, who was charged with the loss after 3 innings of work.
In relief, Karabo Motsholathebe pitched four innings of 1-hit ball, with 5 strikeouts and 1 base on balls.
Japanese pitchers Hayami Takahashi, Mizuki Terabaru and Hiroki Ikeda were only 1 hit away from perfection. Thabiso Radithobane was the only hitter from Botswana to reach safely.
Japan closed the Groups Stage with perfect record and tomorrow will play Venezuela, at 10:30, to open the quarter-finals of the event. Botswana will play the Placement Round.
Holmelund homer lifts Denmark past Singapore
Singapore belted today their first two homers of the tournament, but it wasn’t enough to defeat Denmark, who took the game by a score of 5-3.
Denmark scored once in the first inning on a wild pitch, but then in the bottom of the second Tai Tan walked and Marcus Chew belted a 2-run home run to take the lead. One inning later Mohammad Mohammad launched the second pitch of the at-bat over the left field fence, to make it 3-1.
However, in the top of the fourth Denmark retook the lead with a three-run shot by Tobias Holmelund and the Europeans never looked back. They added one security run in the top of the seventh with an RBI single by Frederik Terkelsen.
Jens Terkelsen went the distance and claimed the win. He fanned 10 and allowed 5 hits and 3 runs.
Both teams will play tomorrow the Placement Round.