02/11/2019 - 17/11/2019


Hosted by:   JPN MEX TPE KOR

II Premier12 2019 - Official Payoff

USA back in play, first loss for Samurai Japan

USA  back in play, first loss for Samurai Japan
World number 2 defeated world number one in front of a crowd of 27,827 thanks to a strong offensive performance

The USA defeated Japan, 4-3, and earned their first win in the WBSC Premier12 super round.
Six pitchers helped the USA make the most of a strong hitting performance: 11 hits, including five doubles and a home run by the Anaheim Angels top prospect Jo Adell. Four players in the USA line up, Adell, who played both in center and in left field, third baseman Alec Bohm, right fielder Brent Rooker, second baseman Connor Chatham enjoyed a two-hit game.
The game was played in front of a crowd of 27,827.

USA clean up-hitter Alec Bohm, a top prospect in the Philadelphia Phillies organization, led off the second inning with a double against Rei Takahashi, Japan's submarine starter. It was the first of three lead off double for the USA.

"I told the players to be athletic, trust their swings abd be ready from the very first pitch," commented the USA manager Scott Brosius.

"They dealt very well with what Takahashi was serving them," added Japan's manager Atsunori Inaba. "He did his best, I think he will have another opportunity.

Jo Adell, one of the top prospects in all of baseball, hit what his manager Brosius named a "timely home run" in the top of the seventh.

"I understood reliever Yudai Ono was trying to work me inside with his fastball and outside with off-speed stuff," commented Adell during the post-game press conference. "I wanted to go the other way. I got an off-speed pitch outside that I could handle and I did some damage. I believe we were succesfull because we were able to not overthink the at bats."

Right fielder Seiya Suzuki and first baseman Hideto Asamura provided five of Japan's five hits and all of the run production: Asamura batted in Suzuki for the three runs.

"We have a very strong line up," said Asamura. "The team gave me big opportunities and I was able to turn them into runs."

Asamura's 29th birthday was celebrated loud by the fans during his first at bat. Samurai Japan first baseman acknowledged that and offered more insides on hos performance.

"The US pitchers were trying to get us hit groundballs," said Asamura. "I tried to stay away from low balls."

Scott Brosius confirmed what was the plan.
"We mostly used sinker-ball pitchers. The strategy was being aggressive, get ahead in the count and then force them to chase pitches low in the zone.

Asamura left in the bottom of the eighth for pinch hitter Ukyo Shuto, who entered representing the potential tying run. Shuto stole second and reached third. Reliever Spencer Jones got shortstop Hayato Sakamoto striking at an off-the-table breaking ball and substitute catcher Tsubasa Aizawa on a fly to rightfield.

"We knew what was coming with Shuto," commented Scott Brosius. "He is very difficult to stop. Jones made a couple of very big pitches to get us out of the eighth."

"Sakamoto did his best," added Atsunori Inaba. "I take full responsibility of this loss. We could have done something different. What we need now is a fresh start from tomorrow. Mexico is the only undefeated team. We need our best effort."

"Today's win was a team effort. Our players need a good night of rest. Our goal is still qualifying for the Olympics," said Scott Brosius on a final note.