Japan Samurai U-18 National Team Prepares for the 31st WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup
August 25, 2023
On August 25th, the Japan Samurai U-18 National Team held a training camp before their participation in the “31st WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup” in Taiwan from August 31st to September 10th.
The team faced off against Waseda University, comprised mostly of underclassmen. In the top of the 1st inning, Japan’s U-18 team took the lead with a sacrifice fly by Dai Morita (Riseisha), driven by a hit by Takanari Teraji (Meitoku Gijuku) and a walk by Ren Ogata (Yokohama) off the pitching of Kanan Miyagi, a first-year lefty from Urawa Gakuin. Kousei Mori (Tokushima Sho), the starting pitcher, displayed excellent defense with the help of second baseman Ogata, allowing no runs in the following innings. The team’s strong defensive performance impressed Manager Shiro Mabuchi.
In the bottom of the 6th inning, Kotaro Yasuda (Nippon Univ.) hit a solo home run off second-year catcher Mizuki Yoshida of Urawa Gakuin, evening the score. However, the national team quickly counterattacked in the top of the 7th inning. Yuto Kimura (Kasumigaura) hit a double play that allowed Junto Kobayashi (Koryo) to score the winning run. Yugo Maeda (Osaka Toin), a first draft candidate, sealed the victory by delivering a flawless pitching performance.
The team also practiced the newly introduced extra innings rule called “even break,” which involves starting with runners on 1st and 2nd bases with no outs. Manager Mabuchi highlighted the positive aspects and areas for improvement from this practice match.
Furthermore, the team underwent the “Japanese Samurai Baseball Health Checkup” in the evening, concluding their daily schedule.
Tomorrow, all 20 players of the national team will gather for the first time, and a practice match will take place on August 26th, where Keio and Sendai University players will join Ikuei, who recently competed in the Koshien final on the 23rd.
Director/Manager Player Comments: Shiro Mabuchi
“I am pleased with how the batting line connected, and we had successful hit-and-run plays. With many fast-footed players, the game became easier. Our defense was strong, preventing unnecessary points. The players are in good spirits, and the sense of unity is palpable.”
Ren Ogata (Yokohama):
“I am glad I had a strong start defensively. The flying balls allowed me to enter the game in good form. In high school, I used wooden bats during practice, so hitting isn’t a challenge. However, I focus on making contact with the bat’s sweet spot to hit the ball with power.”
Kaito Yano (Ogaki Nihon University):
“I was able to showcase my strength by keeping the opponents scoreless for 2 innings despite some erratic throws. I have confidence in my fastball and slider. Mentally, I was prepared for the possibility of an erratic pitcher. In the tournament, my goal is to maintain a shutout.”
The Japan Samurai U-18 National Team will participate in the 31st WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup, with the opening round taking place from August 31st to September 5th in Taiwan. The team will face strong opponents in their pursuit of victory.
Summary of the Tournament Participants:
- August 31 – September 10, 2023
- Friday, September 1, 19:00 – Japan vs. Spain
- Saturday, September 2, 19:30 – Japan vs. Panama
- Sunday, September 3, 19:30 – USA vs. Japan
- Monday, September 4, 19:30 – Venezuela vs. Japan
- Tuesday, September 5, 19:30 – Japan vs. The Netherlands
* All times mentioned are Japan time (Taiwan: time difference of -1 hour)
- Between September 7th and September 9th, 2023
Final Round / 3rd Place Match:
September 10 (Sunday)
Participating Countries and Regions:
Group A: Mexico, Chinese Taipei, South Korea, Australia, Puerto Rico, Czech Republic
Group B: [Country/Region Names]
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August 25, 2023
On August 25th, the Japan Samurai U-18 National Team training camp was held just before participating in the “31st WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup” (August 31st to September 10th / Taiwan) held a practice match.
The opponent was Waseda University, who are mostly underclassmen. In the top of the 1st inning, the first national under-18 team created a chance with a hit by Takanari Teraji (Meitoku Gijuku) and a walk by Ren Ogata (Yokohama) off Kanan Miyagi, a first-year lefty from Urawa Gakuin, and Dai Morita, the hitter 4. Sho (Riseisha) hits a sacrifice fly to take the lead.
Behind that, Kousei Mori (Tokushima Sho), who went up to the mound as the starting pitcher, allowed two hits thanks to the good defense of second baseman Ogata, and allowed no runs in the following two innings showing the finish. After that, he continued to pitch with Kaito Yano (Ogaki Nihon Univ.) and Kotaro Yasuda (Nippon Univ.), and with the help of second baseman Ogawa and shortstop Junto Kobayashi (Koryo), he managed to get through the fifth an innings with none. run. ta. Manager Shiro Mabuchi said after the match about the defensive power between the two teams, “They are strong on the ball. The tournament venue is artificial turf, so the ball is hit quickly, and if they defend well in a close game, they will be closer to victory, I will,” he praised.
In the bottom of the 6th inning, Yasuda hit a solo home run off second-year catcher Mizuki Yoshida of Urawa Gakuin, tying the score, but the batting line immediately counterattacked in the top of the 7th inning. Last year’s U-18 left-hander Kazuki Kozai, who had been on the mound since the previous inning, created a chance with Kobayashi’s infield hit and Chibana Shinnosuke’s (Okinawa Shogaku) hit to right. Here, Yuto Kimura (Kasumigaura), who was starting as an outfielder, hit a double play that survived Kobayashi. I managed to win.
Finally, Yugo Maeda (Osaka Toin), who is listed as the first draft candidate, proposes. He threw a sharp ball from his left arm and finished the game without conceding a goal. It was 2 to 1, and the first real battle was decorated with victory.
After that, they practiced the even break (resuming from the 1st and 2nd bases with no outs) that will be introduced from the overtime 8. Ogata scored a point with a sacrifice fly. However, behind that, Maeda scored a sacrifice bunt, and when he invited a pinch from 1st and 2nd and 3rd base, Yoshida bounced back Maeda’s loose ball and it became the second homer of the game, and the tie was 1 vs. 1. Lost by 3. Regarding this scene, Manager Mabuchi recalled, “He seems to be aware of the ball, but the shot seems to have spun and gone in. .”, It was a satisfying content that raised harvests and problems.
In addition, the pitching staff on this day have a limit on the number of pitches, so “within 40 pitches in 2 innings”, and there is a pitch clock (a rule that turns into a ball if exceeded time limit), so “throw within 20 seconds” It was a practice game that was always aware of the competition, like telling the pitchers about it and revealing that it counted on the bench.
In the evening, the “Japanese Samurai Baseball Health Checkup” was held
and the schedule for the day ended.
* Japanese Samurai Baseball Medical Examination: There are many players in the baseball world in Japan who suffer from shoulder and elbow injuries, It is also held in training camps for each generation of the Japanese national team.
During the match, Keio and Sendai University players joined Ikuei, who also fought in the Koshien final on the 23rd. For the first time, all 20 players of the national team will be together, and a practice match will be held on August 26th.
Director/Manager Player Comments Shiro Mabuchi
“I was able to connect the batting line, and most of the hit-and-run signs were successful. There are many fast foot players, so it is easy to play. I think that’s what I think. We defended well and there was no way to get unnecessary points. The players are on good terms and I feel unity.
Ren Ogata (Yokohama)
“(Regarding defence) I’m glad I was able to make a solid start to the batting ball. I was able to go into the game in good shape because it was flying in. (The wooden bat) was used in practice in high school, so it’s not hard to hit, but if you don’t run the head of the bat, you can’t hit the ball hard. So I make it a point to bring her between me.”
Kaito Yano (Ogaki Nihon University)
“(Keeping scoreless in 2 innings with erratic side throws) I was able to sharpen the straight and the slider, and I was confident that I could show my strength. ) I’m happy. I thought there would be one erratic pitcher going in, and I was mentally preparing. (For the tournament) I want to keep it to 0 against the future premiership.”
Japan Samurai Under 18 Japan High School National Team vs Japan Collegiate National Team 31st WBSC U-18 World Baseball Cup send-off game
Summary of the tournament Participants
August 31 – September 10, 2023
Friday, September 1, 19:00 Japan – Spain
Saturday, September 2, 19:30 Japan – Panama
Sunday, September 3, 19:30 USA – Japan
Monday, September 4, 19:30 Venezuela – Japan
Tuesday, September 5, 19:30 Japan – The Netherlands
* Start time is Japan time (Taiwan: time difference -1 hour)
Between September 7th and September 9th, 2023
Final Round / 3rd Place Match
September 10 (Sunday)
Participating countries and regions
Mexico, Chinese Taipei, South Korea, Australia, Puerto Rico, Czech Republic
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