Game 27
International Semifinal
Mexico 1 vs.
Asia 7
Thursday, August 21, 2003
4:00PM ET
Lamade Stadium

Tokyo advances to International Championship
Explosive Japan offense ready
for sequel with Curacao

By David Graham-Caso
Special Correspondent

Japan is ready for the International Championship.

Any doubt as to whether or not the Musashi-Fuchu Little League team from Tokyo was as dominant as Japan teams of the recent past, was quelled Thursday afternoon with a 7-1 victory over Mexico in the International semifinal.

Japan, which usually relies on superior pitching and defense to win ballgames, has had another tool at its disposal in 2003: an explosive offense.

Entering Thursday’s contest with Mexico, Japan was statistically the best offensive team in the tournament. The Tokyo squad was hitting .373 as a team, and had scored 28 runs in three games.

Clean-up hitter Shigeki Umeda was responsible for the majority of the offensive output, hitting .625 (5-for-8) with three homeruns in three games. Umeda continued his week-long hitting display Thursday, going 2-for-2 with a second-inning homer.

“During the regular season, I was a decent hitter,” Umeda said through interpreter Bill Lundy. “Ever since our regional and district tournaments, I have continued to improve.

“Now I guess I have become the homerun hitter on the team.”

Japan starter Hirofumi Yamazaki pitched well enough to win his second game of the Series. Yamazaki, whose methodical wind-up can be timed with a sundial, allowed one run on four hits. He struck out nine in his four innings of work.

“I was feeling strong in the beginning of the game,” Yamazaki said through the interpreter. “I thought I started off pitching well, but as the game went on, I got tired.”

The one run that Yamazaki did allow came off of an Alejandro Manjarrez leadoff round tripper in the fourth inning. Manjarrez’s homer was his fourth in as many games.

Two more runs crossed for Japan in the second frame after Umeda’s blast. Jun Onozawa and Yamazaki both came in on a wild pitch by Manjarrez.

“That wild pitch was really important because it brought in two runs,” said Mexico manager Andres Sanchez through interpreter Micah Hughes. “Two runs can really affect a team this age.”

Japan next takes on Curacao in the International Championship Saturday at 3 p.m. It is the third time in three years that teams representing Japan and Curacao will battle in the championship.

The Musashi-Fuchu Little League defeated Curacao in Game Two of the 2003 World Series.

Curacao ace Tharick Martines, who threw in his team’s semifinal victory, will not be available to pitch against Japan.

“Curacao is not going to be able to pitch their ace pitcher, who we faced in our first game,” said manager Masumi Ohmae. “So I hope we are going to be all right.”


Mexico - Olmeca (Home) vs. Asia - Musashi Fuchu (Visitor)
Aug 21 2003 4:13 PM To 6:08 PM Lamade Stadium, So. Williamsport, Pa.

Game Scoring By Inning:

1
2
3
4
5
6
R
H
E
Asia - Musashi Fuchu
0
3
2
2
0
0
7
9
0
Mexico - Olmeca
0
0
0
1
0
0
1
4
1

Home Team Box Score:

Mexico - Olmeca
POS
AB
R
H
RBI
AP
As
PO
E
Martinez, Miguel
rf-1b
3
0
0
0
3
0
4
0
Espinosa, Diego
ss-3b
3
0
1
0
3
1
0
0
Manjarrez, Alejandro
p-ss
3
1
1
1
3
3
0
0
Sanchez, Victor
c-ph
2
0
0
0
3
0
7
0
Santos, Jose
cf
3
0
1
0
3
0
1
0
Lopez, Christian
1b-p
1
0
1
0
2
0
2
0
Enriquez, Alfredo
3b-rf
2
0
0
0
2
1
0
1
Vazquez, Ernesto
lf
1
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
Sanchez, Andres
2b
1
0
0
0
1
1
2
0
Velazquez, Daniel
ph-lf
1
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
Piceno, Carlo
dr-2b
1
0
0
0
1
1
0
0
Jiminez, Kevin
pr-3b
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
Ortiz, Alejandro
c
0
0
0
0
0
0
2
0
Caballero, Alberto
lf
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Totals
21
1
4
1
23
8
18
1

Visiting Team Box Score:

Asia - Musashi Fuchu
POS
AB
R
H
RBI
AP
As
PO
E
Nakahara, Hokuto
rf
4
1
1
0
4
0
0
0
Ohmae, Takeru
2b
4
1
2
0
4
0
1
0
Tanaka, Yuutaro
3b-p
3
1
2
1
3
0
1
0
Umeda, Shigeki
1b
2
1
2
2
3
0
2
0
Onozawa, Jun
c
2
1
1
0
2
0
10
0
Yamazaki, Hirofumi
p-cf-3b
2
1
0
0
3
3
1
0
Komuro, Masato
cf
1
0
0
0
2
0
1
0
Maebashi, Toshiki
lf
2
0
0
0
2
0
1
0
Sakamoto, Kazumasa
ss
3
1
0
0
3
0
1
0
Tsukuda, Kohki
ph
1
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
Endoh, Ippei
cf-p
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
1
0
0
Ono, Eito
lf
1
0
1
0
1
0
0
0
Totals
26
7
9
3
29
4
18
0

Winning Pitcher: Yamazaki, Hirofumi Losing Pitcher: Manjarrez, Alejandro

IP
R
ER
ERA
H
K
BB
HP
TP
KP
BP
Mexico - Olmeca
Manjarrez, Alejandro
3.3
7
5
9.00
9
6
1
0
73
50
23
Lopez, Christian
2.7
0
0
0.00
0
3
1
0
32
18
14
Asia - Musashi Fuchu
Yamazaki, Hirofumi
4.0
1
1
1.50
4
8
1
0
63
45
18
Endoh, Ippei
1.0
0
0
0.00
0
1
0
0
13
12
1
Tanaka, Yuutaro
1.0
0
0
0.00
0
1
1
0
13
5
8

ERA computed assuming 6 innings per game

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

© 2003 Little League Baseball Incorporated