Premier 12 : Mexico suffered the first loss
Four Japanese pitchers blanked Mexico's line up with 15 strikeouts.
Samurai Japan won, 3-1, in front of a crowd of 31,776 despite leaving 11 runners on base.
The lone Mexican run came on a solo home run by Jonathan Jones off starter Imanaga.
Mexico suffered the first loss in the WBSC Premier12 2019.
Japan’s manager Atsunori Inaba made the changes to the line up that he promised after the loss against the USA.
One of the moves was promoting shortstop Hayato Sakamoto to the number two spot. Sakamoto reached on a one-out single in the top of the first, stole second and scored the first run of the game on a base hit by red-hot clean- up hitter Seiya Suzuki. Japan added one run on back to back singles by second baseman Shuta Tonosaki and left fielder Kensuke Kondo.
Sakamoto had also something else to show. The Yomiuri Giants shortstop got Mexico’s catcher in the top of the second showcasing a plus arm. First baseman Tetsuta Yamada helped Sakamoto complete the play. The decision to start him at first and in the lead off spot of the lineup was another one of the changes made by Inaba.
The spots for Asia and the Americas in the 2020 Olympics are still open as teams look forward to a day of rest.
Australia upsets USA, historic win
Aaron Whitefield put the Aussies ahead in the top of the first and protected the lead with great plays in center field to record Australia's first win over USA in ten head to heads at the World Cup and Olympic level.
Australia scored two runs in the top of the first against starter Tanner Houck and that was all the Aussies needed to upset the USA. Australia earned a historic 2-1 win and is now back in the race for a spot in the medal round of the WBSC Premier12 2019. Australia still has a chance to contend the Asia/Oceania spot in the 2020 Olympic Games to Korea and Chinese Taipei.
Aaron Whitefield provided all of the run production and some outstanding defensive plays in centre field.
The USA starter Tanner Houck, a top prospect in the Boston Red Sox organisation had a shaky start after walking the first batter, then allowed a double to left fielder Andrew Campbell. After walking the bases loaded with one out. Whitefield got to him with a single up the middle that gave Australia a 2-0 lead.
Houck would leave after five innings, without allowing another runner and hard throwing relievers Daniel Tillo and Noah Song provided three more perfect innings.
The USA couldn’t provide their pitching any run support despite some consistent contact.
In the bottom of the second Whitefield ran down a deep fly by designated hitter Andrew Vaughn.
In the bottom of the fourth third baseman Darryl George stopped a hard-hit grounder by clean-up hitter Alec Bohm. Aussie starter Tim Atherton got out of the fourth by getting Vaughn to hit into a double play. The USA got their first hit in the bottom of the fifth when catcher Erik Kratz reached on a two-out single. George provided more stellar defence to get the third out on a grounder hit to his left.
The USA scored their only run in the bottom of the eighth when left fielder Mark Payton homered off Aussie closer Ryan Searle. Whitefield had provided the first out of the inning with a spectacular diving catch on a fly in the gap to right-centre by second baseman CJ Chatham.
Brandon Dickson helped the USA enter the bottom of the ninth trailing only by one run. He inherited a bases-loaded situation from Wyatt Mills and got out of the jam with back to back strike outs. Andrew Vaughn reached on an infield single in the top of the ninth, then left for pinch-runner Drew Waters.
Left-handed reliever Jon Kennedy retired pinch hitter Xavier Edwards and Erik Kratz in order and earned the save.
Chang Yi throws a gem as Chinese Taipei earns first Super Round win
Right-handed pitcher Chang Yi pitched a gem tonight and led no. 4 ranked Chinese Taipei to a 7-0 victory over no. 3 Korea, the first win for the team in the Super Round. With this victory, Chinese Taipei remains in the hunt to claim the Olympic spot for the Asian teams.
This is the first time a Chinese Taipei first-level team shuts out Korea since the Bangkok Asian Games in 1998 (20 games).
Chinese Taipei starter Chang Yi tossed 6.2 innings, giving up four scattered hits, walking four and striking out four. The 25-year old right-hander kept the Korean hitters guessing, mixing a fastball that topped out at 92 mph (149 kph/93mph) with a change-up in the low 80s and a curve ball. He totalled 112 pitches.
“I tried to mix my pitches. Our game plan was very good, our coaches did a great job and my catcher called a great game. It all worked very well for me,” said Chang at the press conference.
“It was a great performance today from all our players, but especially Chang Yi," added Chinese Taipei manager I-Chung Hong. "In the first innings of the game he kept the game scoreless in a few difficult situations, and gave us the opportunity to win the game.”
In the top of the second Chinese Taipei took a 2-run lead. With one out and a runner on first base, Sheng-Wei Wang hit a soft grounder to shortstop; Haseong Kim forced the out at second base, but Wang beat the throw to first, avoiding an inning-ending double play and keeping the offensive alive. Two pitches later, Yu-Chieh Kao doubled to left field to produce the first run of the game, and Chin-Lung Hu singled him in with a single to the left-field line.
In the top of the fourth Chinese Taipei played the small ball and added one more run. Li Lin singled and advanced with a sacrifice bunt by Wei-Chen Wang. Later, Sheng-Wei Wang drove Lin in with a single to center field.
In the seventh Chinese Taipei doubled its advantage with only one swing. Chun-Hsiu Chen found two runners on with two outs and hit a homer to left field, a no-doubter off reliever Jonghyan Won, to make it 6-0.
The last run of the game was scored by Che-Hsuan Lin in the ninth inning, on an RBI single off the bat of Hung-Yu Lin.
“It was a very important game for us,” said Korean skipper Kyungmoon Kim. “But we cannot win every game, so now we’re going to prepare the next game against Mexico.”
Chinese Tapei (1-2) and Korea (2-1) will have two days off before their next game on Friday 15 November. Chinese Taipei will face USA, while Korea will play against Mexico.
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