DAVID/CHITRÉ, Panama – World No. 2 Japan and No. 19 Brazil each recorded wins as the WBSC U-15 Baseball World Cup® 2018 opened today across two venues in David and Chitré, Panama.

Japan 4, Australia 2

In a closely contested battle between two top-ten ranked nations, No. 2 Japan held off a late rally from No. 8 Australia to earn a 4-2 victory. Japan’s Shinnosuke Kanai tossed 2.2 scoreless innings in relief to earn the win while Australia’s Riley Yeatman took the loss.

Leading 1-0 in the fifth, Japan added to their lead with a three-run inning including RBI’s from Aoi Sugishita, Seiya Fukuhara and Haruto Uchiyama.

Down to their last at-bat in the seventh, Australia scored two runs on a Blake Holding two-run double but Japan’s Ikinasuke Fujimori recorded the final two outs

on a strikeout and ground out to end the game.

Brazil 10, Germany 0 (6 innings)

No. 19 Brazil did not allow a hit over six innings and scored ten runs to defeat No. 21 Germany, 10-0, via the mercy rule. Brazil starter Pedro Lemos da Costa pitched 4.1 innings and allowed just three walks and struck out six while Germany starter Paul Schmitz suffered the loss.

Brazil opened the scoring with two runs in the top of the first getting RBI singles from Andrew Sato Coelho and Juan Tiburtino da Silva for all of the offence they would need.

Tiburtino da Silva and Igor Matsusako both collected two hits to lead Brazil’s ten-hit attack, while Gabriel Gomes drove in three runs.

Four games are scheduled for later today including No. 1 USA against No. 22 China, No. 4 Cuba against No. 9 Netherlands, No. 12 Dominican Republic vs No. 26 South Africa and host/No. 14 Panama against No. 6 Chinese Taipei.

WBSC is live-streaming 26 of the 50 games of the U-15 Baseball World Cup 2018 at www.youtube.com/wbsc. Global coverage includes 15 Opening Round games, all 9 Super Round matches and the Finals (bronze medal match and World Championship Final), in addition to the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.