Training Camp Begins for Samurai Japan U-18 National Team
By [Author’s Name]
August 24, 2023
The Samurai Japan U-18 National Team has commenced their training camp in preparation for the upcoming 31st WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup, scheduled to take place in Taiwan from August 31st to September 10th. The training camp started with a press conference, where coach Shiro Mabuchi and the players expressed their enthusiasm for the tournament.
During the first practice, the players focused on strengthening their teamwork. Starting with warm-ups at 9:30 AM, they engaged in various drills such as catch, sheet knocks, and in-throw coordination, with intervals in between. However, due to the participation of five players from Keio University and Ikuei Sendai, who had just competed in the finals of the 105th National High School Baseball Championship Memorial Tournament the day before, only fifteen players were able to join the first practice. As a result, Shinnosuke Chibana, who usually plays as a catcher, took on the role of an outfielder, and Takanari Teraji, a former catcher, played as a third baseman.
In addition, Ren Ogata, who played as a shortstop this summer, served as the second baseman for the team. When asked about the practice, Ogata shared, “I was well-prepared, so the transition was smooth. I’ve been training extensively for this opportunity.” He further expressed his determination to do his best, stating, “After the frustrating loss against Keio University in the Kanagawa tournament, I’ve been preparing myself mentally. I aim to perform excellently in this event.”
In the afternoon, the players focused on pitching and batting practice to prepare for the upcoming practice game. Riku Takeda, a left-hander expected to contribute both as a pitcher and hitter, showcased his skills by throwing straight pitches in the bullpen and demonstrating his batting prowess. In a post-practice interview, Takeda expressed his gratitude for being selected and emphasized his commitment to the team’s success, saying, “I have no personal goals. I will give my all for the team and strive for victory.”
Later in the evening, a press conference was held, featuring Coach Mabuchi, captain Junsho Kobayashi, left-hander Yugo Maeda, and key player Daisho Morita. When discussing the team selection, Coach Mabuchi explained, “Considering the pitch limit for pitchers and the demanding schedule of potential 9 games in 10 days, I wanted to include as many pitchers as possible.” Therefore, he selected 9 pitchers among the 20 players. Additionally, with three catchers included in the roster, the battery accounted for a significant portion. Coach Mabuchi acknowledged Kobayashi’s incredible defensive and batting abilities, along with Maeda’s outstanding pitching skills. He expressed his hopes for the team to gain momentum through their performances.
The inauguration ceremony followed, where team leader Masatoshi Kitamura delivered a motivating speech, and each player shared their enthusiasm for the tournament. In conclusion, Coach Mabuchi encouraged the players by reminding them of their exceptional skills and the honor of being selected from a pool of 120,000 high school baseball players. He urged the team to showcase the greatness of Japanese high school baseball and emphasized the importance of securing a victory in this highly anticipated tournament.
The Japan Samurai National Under-18 Team has officially embarked on their journey towards their long-awaited first victory. The team’s first real battle is scheduled to take place on August 25th in Tokyo, where they will face off against the Japan Collegiate National Team in a send-off game for the 31st WBSC U-18 World Baseball Cup.
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
- * Start time is in 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
- Group A: Mexico, Chinese Taipei, South Korea, Australia, Puerto Rico, Czech Republic
- Group B: Japan, USA, Venezuela, Netherlands, Panama, Spain
August 24, 2023
On August 24th, the training camp began for the Samurai Japan U-18 National Team, which will participate in the 31st WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup (August 31st to September 10th / Taiwan). On this day, a press conference was held together with the first practice, and coach Shiro Mabuchi and the players spoke of their enthusiasm.
The first practice of the players who gathered the day before spent much of their time deepening their cooperation. We started warming up at 9:30, and after 10:30 after playing catch, we worked on sheet knocks and in-throw coordination for about an hour and a half with a break in between.
The 5 players from Keio University and Ikuei Sendai, who fought in the finals of the 105th National High School Baseball Championship Memorial Tournament the day before, will join later, so 15 players will participate on this day. Due to these circumstances, Shinnosuke Chibana (Okinawa Shogaku * Appeared as a catcher in three Koshien games this spring) played as an outfielder in the summer, and Takanari Teraji (Meitoku Gijuku * played as a catcher) Third baseman until the summer of 2nd year) as a first baseman.
In addition, Ren Ogata (Yokohama), who participated as a shortstop this summer, served as second baseman. After practice, he said with a smile, “I was able to go in smoothly because I was prepared. “I’ve been practicing mostly,” he said with a light movement.
This summer, he shed tears of frustration after suffering a come-from-behind defeat to Keio University in the finals of the Kanagawa tournament. Perhaps partly because of his frustration, he said, “I watch it often, but I don’t watch it very often.” I want to prepare for the event,” he enthused.
In the afternoon, each player prepares for a practice game the next day through pitching practice and batting practice. Left-hander Riku Takeda (Yamagata center), expected to play an active role in pitching and hitting by Director Mabuchi, threw only straights and 20 pitches in the bullpen as well as a free hit. In the post-practice interview, he revealed, “I feel happy and responsible for being selected.” He added, “I have no personal goals. I will do anything for the team. For Japan’s victory .I will do my best until the end,” he said.
And from 19:00, a press conference was held, with director Mabuchi, captain Junsho Kobayashi (Koryo), left hand Yugo Maeda (Toin Osaka), and main gun candidate Daisho Morita (Riseisha) present and answered the question.
Regarding the selection, Manager Mabuchi said, “20 players, a maximum of 9 games in 10 days, considering the pitch limit of pitchers, I wanted to include as many pitchers as possible”, and I chose 9 pitchers. The battery accounted for 12 out of 20 players, including the 3 players registered as catchers. In that case, 8 players must cover the remaining 7 positions (8 including the designated hitter) He said he picked a lot.
Regarding the three players who attended, he said, “Kobayashi-kun’s defense as well as his batting are amazing, and Maeda-kun can’t be hit if he throws the best. I want the team to win momentum,” he said. Regarding the reason for choosing Kobayashi as captain, he said, “I decided by looking at his movement and behavior in the spring training camp for prospective players.”
After that, the inauguration ceremony was held, and Masatoshi Kitamura, the leader of the team, gave a speech and each player expressed their enthusiasm. Finally, Director Mabuchi said, “Everyone has the skills to be selected by 20 out of 120,000 high school baseball players, so let’s spread the goodness of Japanese high school baseball. We still have one win in this tournament. There will be no more times. Let’s all come together and smile as we go back to Japan.”
The Japan Samurai National Under-18 Team has started working towards their long-awaited first victory. On August 25th, the first real battle takes place in Tokyo.
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
Japan, USA, Venezuela, Netherlands, Panama, Spain
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