Korea’s Kim, Japan’s Ohtani named starting pitchers for Premier12 Game 1 Sunday

Korea’s Kim, Japan’s Ohtani named starting pitchers for Premier12 Game 1 Sunday
07/11/2015

SAPPORO, Japan — The starting pitchers of Sunday night’s (8 Nov.) Game 1 of the inaugural WBSC Premier12 at the Sapporo Dome have been revealed by the managers of the National Teams of Japan and South Korea.

SAPPORO, Japan — The starting pitchers of Sunday night’s (8 Nov.) Game 1 of the inaugural WBSC Premier12 at the Sapporo Dome have been revealed by the managers of the National Teams of Japan and South Korea.

First pitch is scheduled for 19:00 local time and will be broadcast in nations around the world as well as streamed live on the WBSC YouTube Channel.

World No. 1 Samurai Japan will hand the ball to 21-year-old flamethrower Shohei Ohtani (Nippon Ham Fighters — NPB), manager Hiroki Kokubo revealed.

Manager Kim In-sik said that South Korea, currently No. 8 in the world rankings, will begin the new global baseball tournament with left-hander Kim Kwang-hyun (SK Wyverns — KBO) on the mound.

Kim, 27, helped South Korea capture the gold medal at the 2008 Olympic Games, the last time baseball was featured at the Games.

Ohtani represented Japan at last year’s Japan vs. Team MLB Series, in which the Samurai won the first three games, one of which a no-hitter, to win the series. Ohtani, considered one of the top young players in the world, has a fastball that has been clocked as high as 100.6 mph (162 km/h).

Ohtani also pitched and played outfield for Japan at the WBSC 2012 U-18 Baseball World Cup, helping his nation finish second in the world.

Following the special opener, Japan and South Korea will join the other Top 12 nations in Taiwan to continue the Opening Round.