Japanese squad kept its perfect record intact during International Division pool play Tuesday afternoon at the Ripken World Series and placed itself at the top of the heap by dropping the tough Dominican Republic team, 14-4, at Cal Sr.'s Yard.
The game was called off after the fifth inning because of the 10-run mercy rule.
With the victory, Japan moved to 4-0 overall, and through Tuesday it held a one-game advantage over the Korean team, which beat Mexico on another field. The Dominican Republic fell to 2-2 in pool play.
Japan, playing as the home squad, scored three times in the opening inning, plated four more in the second and scored twice in both the third and fourth innings. A three-run outburst in the fifth capped Japan's scoring barrage. Dominican Republic posted one run in the second, two in the third and closed out with one run in the fifth.
Japan's Tomoya Koike and Ryoko Nagai had identical lines, as each went 2-for-3 with a solo home run, two RBIs and two runs scored. Kosuke Ito and Koki Okada both knocked in two runs for the winning side, while Takashi Nakayama and Kaito Yoshida each scored twice in the victory.
The Dominican Republic's Pedro Reyes cracked a solo home run and scored twice in the loss, while teammate Franklin Santana was 2-for-3 with two RBIs.
Earning the win was Japanese reliever Shoto Yamazaki, who struck out two and allowed one hit in one inning of work.
Korea slips by Mexico
Republic of Korea (3-1) overcame a 4-0 first inning deficit Tuesday to beat Mexico (2-2), 5-4, at Fenway Park.
Korea scored four times in the fourth to draw even and then scored the game winner in the bottom of the sixth with two outs.
Jung Tae Choi was hit by a pitch from Francisco Pena to open the final inning, then moved to second on a sac bunt, to third on a groundout to the pitcher and scored on an infield single by Jun Young Ha.
Mexico was staked to its early 4-0 lead on the strength of three home runs. Sergio Pena hit a solo shot and Sergio Gaxiola hit a two-run blast, his third in two days. Francisco Pena then hit a solo home run to end the scoring.
Korea took advantage of two Mexico errors to plate its four runs in the fourth. All four runs scored with two outs in the inning.
Min Gyu Kim was the lone Korea player to have multiple hits. Both Penas, Francisco and Sergio, had multiple hits in the loss.
Hyeon Su Kim was the winning pitcher and Francisco Pena suffered the loss.
In 10 years of play in Aberdeen, this is the first time Mexico has dropped two games in pool play.