Japan Battled Out 11-Inning WBC Game against the Dutch 8-6
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— 野球日本代表 侍ジャパン 公式 (@samuraijapan_pr) 2017年3月12日
A close tie-breaker ended nearly at midnight at the Tokyo Dome March 12 as the samurais crushed the hard-hitting Dutchmen 8-6 in what seemed to be the most exciting game so far in the ongoing WBC baseball.
Japan led the early part of the game with Sho Nakata's 3-run home run but the Dutch trailed one point behind each inning up until the ninth when both tied up 6-6.
The game went into a tie-break in the eleventh inning. At the top of the inning, Japan bunted the two men ahead to the second and third bases. With one out with two men on base, Sho Nakata slammed a two-base hit to the leftfield to score two runs. The Dutch attempted to catch up with the samurais at the bottom of the inning but scored no run.
In Group E the Israelis who had pulled through their Round 1 contest 3-0 came from behind to beat the Cubans who had finished second behind Japan 4-1.
Japan has no game on March 13 and plays with the Cubans and the Israelis on March 14 on March 15th, respectively.
The 4th World Baseball Classic is participated by 16 countries grouped into four pools: Pool A with South Korea, the Netherlands, Taiwan and Israel; Pool B with Japan, Cuba, Australia and China; Pool C with US, Dominica, Canada, and Columbia; Pool D with Mexico, Puerto Rico, Italy and Venezuela.
The Samurais Japan this time has only one MJB player on the roster, N. Aoki of the Astros, whereas the Israeli, Dutch and Australian teams include a number of MJB players to boost hitting capabilities. Ichiro was reportedly willing to join and so was Michael Hill of the Marines, but the infielder H. Tanaka was appointed on January 18 to fill the last vacancy in the roster. (Nathan Shiga)