Japan Powers Way to Win Over Mexico
Second Three-Homer Game
Propels Japan to 2-0 Record
By Mark Rogoff
one team at the 60th Little League Baseball World Series has hit
three home runs in a game. Only one other team has even hit two.
The Kawaguchi, Japan All-Stars belted three homers in their
pool-play opener against Russia on Saturday. The story was no
different on Monday versus Mexico. Only this time, all three came in
the same inning.
Ryota Koike, Seigo Yada and Naruto Fukuyama all homered in the third
inning, as Japan used five runs in the frame to break open a 1-1
ballgame and post a win 6-1 over Mexico in front of 5,100 at Little
League Volunteer Stadium.
Japan improves to 2-0, while Mexico falls to 2-1.
“That third inning was definitely a key point for us,” Japan manager
Shigeru Hidaka said through interpreter Bill Lundy. “This team all
year always has that key point in the game when we gather together
and have a great run of things.”
Koike and Yada hit back-to-back shots to lead off the third. After a
pair of singles by Kohsuke Murata and Go Matsumoto, Mexico manager
Candelario Perez removed starter Jose Segoviano from the game and
called on Javier Garcia to face Fukuyama. Fukuyama blasted the first
pitch he saw deep over the center field wall.
“They changed pitchers at that point so I just got to see a few
pitches,” Fukuyama said. “I had a nice one come in that I liked, and
as soon as I hit it I knew it was going to be a home run. I’m very
excited about it for me and my whole team.”
On the mound, Yada’s lone mistake was allowing a first-inning solo
homer to Segoviano. Yada gave up just three hits the rest of the
way, retiring 11 of the last 12 batters he faced. He struck out six
in a row at one point, fanning the side in both the fourth and fifth
“I just started off kind of nervous,” admitted Yada. “It wasn’t
quite my normal pitching. The first and second innings threw me off
a little bit. I am very glad to have been able to pitch as well as I
did for the entire game against such a good team as Mexico.”
Japan tied the score at 1-1 in the second, when Fukuyama scored from
third on a wild pitch. Fukuyama had led off the inning with a walk.
© 2006, Little League Baseball
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