The Aussie pitcher who beat Japan

The Aussie pitcher who beat Japan
10/11/2019
Pitching coach Chris Oxspring is the pitcher who outdueled Daisuke Matsuzaka in the semifinal of the 2004 Olympics in Athens

The pitcher that knows how to beat Japan won't be available for Australia tomorrow, as the super round of the WBSC Premier12 2019 takes off in Chiba. He will be in the bullpen, only to help manager David Nilsson get the right reliever on the mound.

Australia's pitching coach Chris Oxspring is the righthander who outdueled Daisuke Matsuzaka in Athens on 24 August 2004 and helped Australia beat Japan, 1-0, in the semifinal of the Olympics.

Matsuzaka, not yet Dice-K as Boston Red Sox fans nicknamed him, threw a gem of a game. He collected 13 strikeouts, retiring at least once on strikes all of the Australian starters.
Matsuzaka gave up an RBI-two out single to Brendan Kingman in the bottom of the sixth inning.

It proved to be all the run support that Oxspring needed.

Chris Oxspring, born in 1977, retired as a pitcher after the 2016 season. He appeared in only five MLB games. He had a respectable five-season career in Korea, starting 132 games.

"We have a number of very hard games in the super round," said Oxspring before the game Australia played against Japan. "It may look that we are the weakest team, but I feel we have a fair chance, if we approach the games the way we have always done".

Brandon Kingman, born in 1973, never reached above Double-A in organized baseball in the USA. His enjoyed his best season in 2001, when he hit 13 home runs and batted in 57 runs for the Bridgeport Blue Fish of the independentent Atlantic League.

Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched in the final of the 2006 World Baseball Classic and earned MVP Honours. He then moved to the USA and helped the Boston Red Sox win the 2007 World Series. He was again the MVP of the World Baseball Classic in 2009 when he led Japan to another trophy.