GIJANG, South Korea – Japan’s Yasunobu Okugawa struck out 18 batters while Canada fell victim to a pair of costly errors and issued 11 walks in a 5-1 loss at the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-18 Baseball World Cup.
“(Okugawa) was tremendous - a special arm that shut our offence down tonight,” said Head Coach Greg Hamilton. “We have a good offence so to shut us down was impressive.
“He had tremendous command of his breaking ball which he threw for strikes anytime he wanted making it especially difficult on our hitters.”
BOX SCORE | HIGHLIGHTS
Okugawa’s only blemish came in the form of an Owen Diodati (Niagara Falls, ON) solo home run in the fourth inning that spotted Canada a 1-0 lead.
Japan took the lead in the fifth as back-to-back walks to open the inning chased starting pitcher Theo Millas (Burnaby, BC) from the game before a throwing error charged to reliever Evan O’Toole (Bridgewater, NS) on a bunt tied the score before a Yuya Nirasawa single with a drawn in infield made it 2-0.
“We failed to execute a bunt play,” added Hamilton. “Especially facing an arm like (Okugawa) your margin for error is really slim.”
Walks and errors continued to haunt Canada in the seventh as Japan added to their lead without recording a hit after four free passes, a hit batter and a two-out fielding error charged to shortstop Austin Gomm (Mississauga, ON).
All five of Japan’s runs were unearned as both of Canada’s errors led to runs crossing home plate for Japan.
The loss drops Canada’s Super Round record to 0-3 with games remaining against the United States (2-1) on Friday and Chinese Taipei (2-1) on Saturday.
Canada’s next contest against the United States is scheduled for a first pitch at 11PM ET on Thursday, September 5th.
HOW TO FOLLOW
All 50 games of the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup will be streamed live at: youtube.com/wbsc.