Game 2
Caribbean  1
vs. Asia 4
Friday, August 15, 2003
5:00PM ET

Tokyo topples Curacao in LLWS opener

David Graham-Caso
Special Correspondant

For the past three years, every Little League World Series International Championship game has featured a team from Japan and Curacao. The two perennial powerhouses today met in pool play in what could have already been a preview of the 2003 International Championship, should history repeat itself.

Unhittable pitching coupled with daunting defense in past years had given Japan the advantage over the team from Netherlands Antilles. In 2003, the Musashi-Fuchu Little League form Tokyo, Japan sought to continue the trend.

“We have had increasingly good competition as we have progressed through the qualifying tournaments,” Japanese manager Masumi Ohmae said through an interpreter. “So we knew that the competition at the Little League World Series would be very good.”

Japan ace Yuutaro Tanaka was on the hill for Tokyo, matched up against Curacao’s ace, Tharick Martines, in what proved to be a game dominated by the strong right arms of each team’s hurler.

Though both pitchers threw impressive ballgames, it was Tanaka who came away with the win as Tokyo bested Curacao 4-1 in each club’s fist game of the Series.

Martines came out of the gate firing fastballs that clocked at nearly 75 miles per hour. The 5-foot-11 righty struck out the side in the top of the first. Martines would continue to fool the Japanese hitters, but allowed three hits and three earned runs while striking out 12 in his complete-game loss.

“I thought that Tharick pitched a great game today,” said Curacao manager Vernon Isabella. “A few balls got away from our catcher which cost us, but Tharick pitched very well.”

The ace from Willemstad helped his own cause in the bottom half of the first, driving in leadoff man Jonathan Schoop with a shot through the left side of the infield. Martines’ RBI single gave his team the early one run lead.

Only a half-inning later, Tokyo would level the score when clean-up man Shigeki Umeda came home on a passed ball after reaching on a free pass from Martines.

Japan added to their total with two runs in the top of the fourth. Tanaka started things off with a single to the centerfield wall. After a series of Marines wild pitches, Tanaka was plated by a Jun Onozawa double that barely squeaked inside the right field foul line.

“I knew that the ball was going to be fair as soon as it left the bat,” Onozawa said through an interpreter.

Onozawa then scored when Hirofumi Yamazaki laid down a “Little League squeeze” bunt. The two-run inning for Japan gave them a 3-1 lead, and it was more than enough for Tanaka, who picked up his first win of the tournament by pitching a 10-strikeout complete game. The pitcher also went 2-for-3 with two runs scored.

“My pitching did not start off very good,” Tanaka said through an interpreter. “But it kept improving throughout the game. My hitting was only fair, hopefully that improves as well.”

Isabella is not down about his team’s loss, firmly believing that once again, the International Championship will involve Curacao and Japan. “We are going to win our next two games and see (Japan) again in the elimination round,” the Curacao manager said. “I have no doubts about it.”


 Caribbean - Pabao(Home) vs. Asia - Musashi Fuchu(Visitor)
Aug 15 2003 5:12 PM To 7:02 PM Lamade Stadium, So. Williamsport, Pa
.

Game Scoring By Inning:
1
2
3
4
5
6
R
H
E
Asia - Musashi Fuchu
0
1
0
2
0
1
4
3
0
Caribbean - Pabao
1
0
0
0
0
0
1
4
1
 
Home Team Box Score:
Caribbean - Pabao
POS
AB
R
H
RBI
AP
As
PO
E
Schoop, Jonathan
ss
3
1
1
0
3
0
1
0
Moesquit, Kevin
2b
3
0
1
0
3
1
0
0
Rojer, Czenvic
cf-1b
3
0
0
0
3
0
2
0
Martinus, Tharick
p
2
0
1
1
3
1
0
0
Cleofa, Rojean
rf
3
0
0
0
3
0
0
0
Perreira, Jeandre
1b
2
0
0
0
2
0
3
0
de Palm, Carol
lf-cf
2
0
1
0
2
0
0
0
Provacia, Jorge
c
1
0
0
0
1
1
12
1
Ellis, Rashid
3b
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
Martina, Shervienne
ph
1
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
Rosario, Shadley
ph
1
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
Jansen, Edelcumy
rf
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Basilio, Brian
lf
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Obispo, Jurick
lf
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Totals
21
1
4
1
23
3
18
1

Visiting Team Box Score:
Asia - Musashi Fuchu
POS
AB
R
H
RBI
AP
As
PO
E
Nakahara, Hokuto
rf
3
0
0
0
3
0
0
0
Ohmae, Takeru
2b
3
0
0
0
3
0
1
0
Tanaka, Yuutaro
p
3
2
2
0
3
0
0
0
Umeda, Shigeki
1b
2
1
0
0
3
0
4
0
Onozawa, Jun
c
3
1
1
1
3
1
11
0
Yamazaki, Hirofumi
3b
2
0
0
1
3
1
0
0
Komuro, Masato
cf
1
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
Maebashi, Toshiki
lf
1
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
Sakamoto, Kazumasa
ss
0
0
0
0
2
2
1
0
Tsukuda, Kohki
ph
1
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
Endoh, Ippei
ph-cf
1
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
Kiyoshima, Junpei
rf
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Motojima, Kento
2b
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
Ono, Eito
lf
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Totals
20
4
3
2
24
4
18
0

Winning Pitcher: Tanaka, Yuutaro Losing Pitcher: Martinus, Tharick
IP
R
ER
ERA
H
K
BB
HP
TP
KP
BP
Caribbean - Pabao
Martinus, Tharick
6.0
4
2
2.00
3
12
3
0
93
58
35
Asia - Musashi Fuchu
Tanaka, Yuutaro
6.0
1
1
1.00
4
10
2
0
95
60
35

ERA computed assuming 6 innings per game

 
Boxscore produced by Score-It: www.scoreit.com

© 2003 Little League Baseball Incorporated