Japan sweep Australia to finish Samurai Japan Series in Sapporo

Japan sweep Australia to finish Samurai Japan Series in Sapporo
After defeating NPB's Nippon Ham Fighters and Yomiuri Giants, the World No. 1 National Team completed the Fall tests with two more wins.

World No. 1 Japan swept No. 10 Australia at the Sapporo Dome in the final two games of the Samurai Japan Series.

Japan won the first game, 8-1, behind solid pitching by left-hander Shota Imanaga.

Imanaga, who helped Japan win the WBSC Premier12 2019, allowed Australia's only run in the first. He didn't give up much more, but at the end of the game regretted failing to back up third base in the first.

Japan reversed the lead in the second. Olympic gold medallists Tetsuto Yamada and Munetaka Murakami, who homered for the third consecutive time in the Samurai Japan Series, helped Japan open the score in the fifth.

"Imanaga and his reliever Shosei Togo pitched beautifully," commented manager Hideki Kuriyama. "We set our rotation on the pitch count limitations we will face at the World Baseball Classic."

Samurai Japan shut out Australia in the second game, 9-0.

Japan out hit Australia, 11-6 with Yasutaka Shiomi, Ukyo Shuto and Takumu Nakano recording two RBIs.

WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup alumnus Roki Sasaki earned the win. He went four innings and allowed four hits and one walk while striking out two.