16U: Japan shuts out Netherlands
Three Pitchers combine in 4-Hitter to down Dutch Team 3-0

Romo Chavez Stadium. Aguascalientes. August 21, 2011.

Japan has its first win in Group B of the 2011 IBAF 16U Baseball World Championship. After one-run losses to Venezuela and Cuba on the first two days of the competition, three pitchers combined to hold the Netherlands to four hits in a 3-0 shutout. The lone European team in the tournament remains in second place in the standings behind the undefeated Venezuelan team.

Shogo Nohara (W, 1-0), Taishi Bamba and Shota Tatsuta (S) were the main figures in the game. Nohara started and issued just three hits and a walk in five scoreless innings. Bamba followed him on the mound with five strikeouts in three one-hit innings before Tatsuta closed it out for the save.

The trio didn’t need much run support. Japan’s offense gave their pitching staff a 1-0 lead in the opening period, when Abe scored on a wild pitch. The added a run in the second on a RBI single by Nakashima. A RBI double by Yasuda gave them some insurance in the ninth.

The Netherlands reached third base just twice in the game and went down in order in five of the last six frames. Their pitching however kept the Dutch team in the contest. Kaj Timmermans (L, 0-1) took the loss, getting charged with eight hits, two runs and two base on balls in seven innings. He struck out seven. Maickel Rietel and Misja Harcksen also appeared on the mound.

Japan hopes to climb back to .500 on Monday, when they face Indonesia in a duel between Asian teams in the afternoon at Romo Chavez Stadium in Aguascalientes. The Dutch team is scheduled to take on the Dominican Republic in the morning.

(From IBAF's website)