NAGOYA, Japan — The world No. 2 National Baseball Team of Japan edged No. 8 Australia, 2-0, to open a two-game WBSC-sanctioned series Saturday night before a crowd of 33,748 at the Nagoya Dome.
Japan starter Kodai Senga (Fukuoka SoftBanks Hawks – NPB) struck out all six Aussie batters he faced to start the game, while Australia’s Travis Blackley (Brisbane Bandits – ABL) countered with six strikeouts over five scoreless innings.
Japan scored the game’s only runs in the bottom of the 6th inning behind an RBI single by Yuki Yanagita (Fukuoka SoftBanks Hawks) and an RBI double by Yokohama BayStars slugger Yoshitomo Tsutsugo.
Nao Higashihma (Fukuoka SoftBanks Hawks) earned the win, while BayStars’ reliever Yasuaki Yamasaki pitched a perfect 9th inning to earn the save.
Sunday’s Game 2 starters will be Takahiro Norimoto (Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles – NPB) for Japan and Timothy Atherton (Bandits) for Australia.