Game 32
World Championship Game
Asia 10  vs. Southeast 1
Sunday, August 24, 2003
6:30 pm ET

Japan rides “Tank” to World Series championship
Asian team back in winner’s circle after last year’s loss to Louisville, KY

By Mark Rogoff
Special Correspondent

The 8 Ball was at it again.

Only this time, it was for all the marbles.

For the 2nd straight night the Musashi-Fuchu Little League All-Stars from Toyko, Japan used an 8-run 4th inning en route to a convincing win.

Following an 8-run outbreak in their 14-6 International championship win over Curacao on Saturday, an 8-spot Sunday put away their American foe from Boynton Beach, FL in the World Series championship match.

Japan then tacked on 2 more in the 5th with Hirofumi Yamazaki’s solo home run and Kazumasa Sakamoto’s RBI double, as the Asia champs became World champs by beating the Boynton Beach goers 10-1 in front of 41,000 enthusiastic fans at Howard J. Lamade Stadium.

Hokuto Nakahara’s grand slam home run in the 4th proved to be the difference.

“When I first hit it, I thought, ‘Oh, I hope it’s a home run,’” Nakahara said through interpreter Bill Lundy. “And then it was. I felt great.”

Florida starter Michael Broad was one strike away from escaping a 2-out, bases loaded jam in the 4th with no damage done. But the hard-throwing righthander plunked Eito Ono to break a scoreless tie, paving the way to 7 more runs in the inning.

Yuutaro “The Tank” Tanaka closed out the frame’s scoring by clubbing a 2-run roundtripper to center.

“The strategy was just to get a run or 2,” said Japan head coach Masuni Ohmae through the interpreter.

Following the game, both Ohmae and Tanaka confidently said 2 runs would have been enough. It turned out they were right.

Florida’s Richie DeJesus broke up Tanaka’s shutout bid in the 5th with an RBI single that sent Devon Travis plateward. An inning earlier, R.J. Neal had ended any hopes of a no-hitter when the right fielder laced a single to right.

“I was glad to go (3.1) innings throwing a no-hitter,” Tanaka said. “Once they scored a run I was disappointed.”

Tanaka, who earned the complete-game victory for his 2nd win of the tournament, gave up 3 hits and scattered an uncharacteristic 8 base-on-balls. He struck out 14 in his 132-pitch effort, recording his first 9 outs by way of the “K”. The ace struck out at least 2 in every inning but the 4th.

“Prior to the game, I decided to let Yuutaro pitch the entire game, unless he wanted to come out,” Ohmae said.

Added Tanaka: “I felt really good from the get-go. I got a little tired, but I felt like I pitched a good game.”

Boynton Beach manager Ken Emerson was impressed with Tanaka’s mound performance.

“(Our hitters) were asking for an eye doctor so they could see the ball,” he said sarcastically. “He had the same motion for his fastball, curveball and change-up.”

Japan threatened to open the scoring in the first with Takeru Ohmae on 3rd and Tanaka at the plate. The hurler cranked a major-league fly ball to left field, where Matt Overton camped under it to make the catch. Overton then threw a strike to catcher Andrew Weaver to get the tagging Ohmae for the inning-ending double play.

Overton wasn’t done there, assisting on another play in the 3rd when Hokuto Nakahara tried stretching a double to a triple. Nakahara laced a one-out base knock down the line in left, where Overton relayed to shortstop Jordan Irene, who relayed to 3rd baseman Richie DeJesus for the putout.

The effort kept the contest scoreless after 2 ½ innings.

“The team that we played tonight was an excellent ballclub,” Ohmae said. “They are a group of classy players and coaches.”

Emerson also had fine things to say about the world champs. “They brought it to us tonight,” he said. “They’re just a great team.”


US Southeast - East Boynton Beach (Home) vs. Asia - Musashi Fuchu (Visitor)
Aug 24 2003 6:53 PM To 9:36 PM Lamade Stadium, So. Williamsport, Pa.

Game Scoring By Inning:

1
2
3
4
5
6
R
H
E
Asia - Musashi Fuchu
0
0
0
8
2
0
10
10
0
US Southeast - East Boynton Beach
0
0
0
0
1
0
1
3
0

Home Team Box Score:

US Southeast - East Boynton Beach
POS
AB
R
H
RBI
AP
As
PO
E
Travis, Devon
2b-c
2
1
1
0
4
1
2
0
Irene, Jordan
ss-p-3b
3
0
0
0
3
1
1
0
Broad, Michael
p-ss
2
0
0
0
3
2
0
0
DeJesus, Richie
3b-p
3
0
1
1
3
0
1
0
Neal, R.J.
rf-cf
2
0
1
0
3
0
1
0
Emerson, Cody
1b
2
0
0
0
3
0
4
0
Townend, Benny
cf-ph
1
0
0
0
3
0
0
0
Overton, Matt
lf-rf
3
0
0
0
3
2
1
0
Weaver, Andrew
c
1
0
0
0
2
0
7
0
Mullen, Patrick
lf
1
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
Sabatino, Ricky
2b
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
Totals
20
1
3
1
28
6
18
0

Visiting Team Box Score:

Asia - Musashi Fuchu
POS
AB
R
H
RBI
AP
As
PO
E
Nakahara, Hokuto
rf
3
1
2
4
4
0
1
0
Ohmae, Takeru
2b
3
1
2
0
4
0
1
0
Tanaka, Yuutaro
p
4
2
2
2
4
2
0
0
Umeda, Shigeki
1b
3
1
0
0
4
0
2
0
Onozawa, Jun
c
3
1
0
0
4
0
14
0
Yamazaki, Hirofumi
3b
3
1
2
1
3
0
0
0
Endoh, Ippei
cf
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
Maebashi, Toshiki
lf
1
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
Sakamoto, Kazumasa
ss
2
1
1
2
3
0
0
0
Komuro, Masato
cf
1
1
1
0
1
1
0
0
Tsukuda, Kohki
ph
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
0
0
Ono, Eito
ph-lf
1
1
0
1
2
0
0
0
Totals
25
10
10
10
32
3
18
0

Winning Pitcher: Tanaka, Yuutaro Losing Pitcher: Broad, Michael

IP
R
ER
ERA
H
K
BB
HP
TP
KP
BP
US Southeast - East Boynton Beach
Broad, Michael
3.7
6
6
9.82
5
5
3
1
84
48
36
Irene, Jordan
1.0
4
4
24.00
5
1
1
0
36
20
16
DeJesus, Richie
1.3
0
0
0.00
0
0
1
0
20
8
12
Asia - Musashi Fuchu
Tanaka, Yuutaro
6.0
1
1
1.00
3
14
8
0
132
72
60

ERA computed assuming 6 innings per game

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

© 2003 Little League Baseball Incorporated