12U BWC Quarters: Japan scores early to beat Panama
Japan celebrates 4-2 victory over Panama to advance to semifinals

Tien-Mou/Taipei City. Japan used an early 4-0 lead after two innings en route to a 4-2 victory over Panama and into the semi-finals. Panama tried its best to challenge the undefeated squad, but left ten on base during the first five innings. Japan now will meet Team USA in the semi-finals on Saturday.

After keeping Panama from scoring in the top half of the first, Japan went right down to business. Two walks led off the bottom half with a pair of walks. Tomoharu Moriya took advantage with a two-out, two-run double for a 2-0 score. One frame later Japan loaded the bases with two outs and this time Taiyo Ueda came through with a two-run single to double the lead.

The only time Panama used any of their scoring opportunities was in the top of the third. And they needed the help of the Japanese defense. They loaded the bases with one out with two singles and a walk. Following Luis Velasco’s strikeout for the second out, second baseman Ueda threw the ball away on Noel Suarez’ groundball to right, allowing it Leonardo Jimenez and Ricardo Garcia to cross the plate.

Otherwise Hidemasa Takamizu and in the last two frames Shota Sawamura were able to keep in control even with a lot of Panamanian traffic on the bases due to five hits, four walks and three Japanese errors.

Jorge Fletes took the loss, conceding two hits, four runs and four walks in just 1 2/3 innings. Noel Suarez replaced him in the second and kept Pamama in the game. He allowed just two hits and two walks the rest of the way.

Japan  ab   r   h rbi  bb  so  po   a lob 
NAKAJIMA Hiromu 3b 
UEDA Taiyo 2b 
AOKI Daichi c 
MORIYA Tomoharu ss 
KIKUTA Hirokazu 1b 
YANAGIDA Kyosuke rf 
NINOMIYA Kosuke lf 
   SATO Ichiro lf 
TAKAMIZU Hidemasa p 
   SAWAMURA Shota ph/p 
Totals 19 18 

Score by Innings R H E
Panama.............. 002 000 - 2 5 0
Japan............... 220 00X - 4 4 3

E - NAKAJIMA(1); UEDA(2); MORIYA(2). LOB - PAN 10; JPN 6. 2B - MORIYA(2). SH
- ARROYO(1).

Japan  ip er bb so wp bk hbp ibb ab bf fo go np 
TAKAMIZU Hidemasa W,1-0  4.0 18 22 73 
SAWAMURA Shota S,1  2.0 32