Japan beat Mexico, 7-1, and leads undefeated (3-0 record) group A of the WBSC Men’s Softball Junior World Championship together with Australia.
Japan played perfect defense behind starter Shota Onodera, with second baseman Iwamoto and shortstop Sakata putting on some electric plays. Japan also showed some speed and hustle while running the bases. Third baseman Sugiyama, the second batter of the game, tried to reach first base with a headfirst slide.
Onodera mastered the rise ball and proved virtually untouchable until he had perfect command of his strike out pitch. When Mexico showed they could get to Onodera, Japan was already leading 4-0. All Mexico could get out of a bases loaded situation was a run on a four pitch walk to shortstop Salvador Perez.
Japan had broken the score open in the third on a two run monster homer by Sakata off Mexico’s starter Adrian Villalobos and scored security runs against reliever Jose Felix.
Argentina defeated South Africa, 6-1, thus celebrating the first win in the World Championship. After a scoreless first inning, the South American team scored all their runs in the next three frames.
Argentina jumped ahead with a single by Leonel Dardanelli in the second. Then added three more in the third with an RBI single by Alejo Muñoz and a 2-RBI double by Lucio Retamar, then scored twice in the fourth with a single by Facundo Gonzalez and a wild pitch.
Juan José Pepe pitched the complete game, allowing 4 hits and 5 walks while striking out 14.
The only run for South Africa came in the fourth inning, with an RBI double by Eben Coetzee.