Game 29
International Championship
Caribbean 6 vs. Asia 14
Saturday, August 23, 2003
3:00PM ET

Japan in, once again!!
8-run inning too much for Curacao

By Mark Rogoff
Special Correspondent

The offensive train just keeps on chugging for the Japanese Silver Sluggers, with no derailment in sight.

Following 4-1, 7-0, 17-0 and 7-1 stops along Williamsport’s crushed red-brick road, the Japan express to the Little League World Series championship stayed on course Saturday afternoon. It’s full steam ahead for the Asia region champs, who beat Curacao 14-6 in the International championship to move on to Sunday evening’s World Series game.

“Our hitting has been very strong,” admitted Japan head coach Masumi Ohmae through interpreter Bill Lundy. “But we’re counting on our pitching tomorrow.”

Ohmae said he is likely to start in the Series championship Yuutaro Tanaka, who tossed 6.0 innings of one-run ball in Japan’s pool-play opener against Curacao. He also pitched an inning of relief on 2 separate occasions to stay fresh.

“We’ll continue to work on our hitting,” added Ohmae. “I can’t say there are specifics (that we work on). We’re working on all the fundamentals.”

Tanaka broke out of his Series-long power slump, slugging his first 2 home runs of the tournament. His 3-run blast in the first opened the scoring. His opposite field, solo homer in the 6th capped the 11-hit attack.

Ippei Endoh and Eito Ono also homered for Japan. Nine different Japanese batters had at least one hit.

“I was very happy to have finally gotten a home run,” Tanaka said. “To get 2 in the same game is great.”

Japan’s 8-run 4th inning spelled doom for Curacao after they had tied it with 4 runs in the 3rd. Hirofumi Yamazaki’s RBI single put Japan back in the lead for good. After an Ippei Endoh RBI infield single, Ono’s pinch-hit, 3-run homer put the game out of reach.

Japan tacked on 3 more before the 3rd out was recorded, sending 13 batters to the plate and finishing the inning up 13-5.

Masato Komuro, who relieved starter Shigeki Umeda, picked up the win by holding Curacao to just one run on 2 hits over the final 3.2 innings. He struck out 3 while walking one.

“I am very happy with my performance today,” the 5-foot-2, 101-pound Komuro said.

Added Ohmae: “Coming in today, he really had a lot of energy and enthusiasm. Today he really felt like pitching.”

Komuro came on after Umeda had given up the 4 runs in the 3rd, quickly inducing a groundout to shortstop Kazumasa Sakamoto and striking out Edelcurny Jansen.

Carol de Palm’s 3-run homer to right-center highlighted Curacao’s 4-run frame.

Japan had allowed just 2 runs in 4 games entering Saturday afternoon’s contest.

Prior to the game, Ohmae had words of encouragement for his all-stars, keeping in mind his loss in the International championship 3 years ago with a different squad of Little Leaguers.

“I was here before, and I lost,” he said to his tater tots. “Let’s not do that again.”

Ohmae said the thought of losing never crossed the team’s minds, even as the game was knotted at 5-5 after 3.0 innings.

“The pitches were thrown too high,” said Curacao assistant coach Michelangelo Celestina of Japan’s 14-run output. “They hit a lot of home runs (because of that). Never in my life (have I seen an offense like that). They hit the ball very well. They are amazing.”

Japan takes a .364 team batting average into Sunday’s showdown against the U.S., the final stop on Japan’s express to glory.


Caribbean - Pabao (Home) vs. Asia - Musashi Fuchu (Visitor)
Aug 23 2003 3:12 PM To 5:50 PM Lamade Stadium, So. Williamsport, Pa.

Game Scoring By Inning:

1
2
3
4
5
6
R
H
E
Asia - Musashi Fuchu
3
0
2
8
0
1
14
11
1
Caribbean - Pabao
0
1
4
0
0
1
6
8
3

Home Team Box Score:

Caribbean - Pabao
POS
AB
R
H
RBI
AP
As
PO
E
Schoop, Jonathan
ss
3
0
1
1
4
4
0
0
Moesquit, Kevin
2b
4
0
1
1
4
1
1
2
Rojer, Czenvic
p-cf-rf-*
4
1
1
0
4
0
0
0
Martines, Tharick
lf-3b
3
1
2
0
3
0
1
0
Perreira, Jeandre
1b
2
0
0
0
3
0
6
0
Cleofa, Rojean
rf-lf
3
1
0
1
3
0
2
0
de Palm, Carol
cf-lf-p
2
2
2
3
3
2
0
0
Provacia, Jorge
c
2
0
0
0
2
0
7
1
Ellis, Rashid
3b-ph
1
1
1
0
1
0
0
0
Martina, Shervienne
ph
1
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
Rosario, Shadley
dr-rf
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Jansen, Edelcumy
p-cf
2
0
0
0
2
0
1
0
Basilio, Brian
cf-lf
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Obispo, Jurick
rf
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Totals
27
6
8
6
30
7
18
3

Visiting Team Box Score:

Asia - Musashi Fuchu
POS
AB
R
H
RBI
AP
As
PO
E
Nakahara, Hokuto
rf
3
2
1
0
5
0
0
0
Ohmae, Takeru
2b
2
2
0
0
5
1
2
0
Tanaka, Yuutaro
3b
4
2
2
5
5
2
2
1
Umeda, Shigeki
p-1b
3
1
1
0
5
1
4
0
Onozawa, Jun
c
3
1
1
0
5
0
7
0
Yamazaki, Hirofumi
1b-cf
4
2
2
1
5
0
0
0
Endoh, Ippei
cf
2
1
1
2
2
0
1
0
Maebashi, Toshiki
lf
2
0
0
0
2
0
0
0
Sakamoto, Kazumasa
ss
3
1
1
0
4
2
2
0
Komuro, Masato
p
3
1
1
1
3
1
0
0
Tsukuda, Kohki
lf
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Kiyoshima, Junpei
rf
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Motojima, Kento
2b
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Ono, Eito
ph-lf
2
1
1
3
2
0
0
0
Totals
31
14
11
12
43
7
18
1

Winning Pitcher: Komuro, Masato Losing Pitcher: Rojer, Czenvic

IP
R
ER
ERA
H
K
BB
HP
TP
KP
BP
Caribbean - Pabao
Rojer, Czenvic
1.3
3
3
13.50
3
2
3
0
44
22
22
Jansen, Edelcumy
2.0
8
7
21.00
6
3
3
1
65
33
32
de Palm, Carol
2.7
3
1
2.25
2
2
3
0
70
40
30
Asia - Musashi Fuchu
Umeda, Shigeki
2.3
5
4
10.29
6
4
2
0
63
39
24
Komuro, Masato
3.7
1
1
1.64
2
3
1
0
50
37
13
ERA computed assuming 6 innings per game

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

© 2003 Little League Baseball Incorporated