With an 11-1 rout of the Mexican squad at Cal Sr.'s Yard Wednesday night, the Japanese team finished International Division pool play at the Ripken World Series in first place with a perfect 5-0 record.
The game, which was the final pool play contest of the nine-day tournament, was called off after four innings by the 10-run mercy rule.
The loss put Mexico at 2-3 for the tournament, but the squad will still make it to the playoff round as it finished in the division's fourth spot.
In Friday's elimination round, Japan will play of rematch of Wednesday's game, taking on Mexico in a 6 p.m. contest at Cal Sr.'s Yard. In the International final at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, the winner will take on the victor of Friday's 1 p.m. matchup between second-place Korea and third-place Dominican Republic.
In Wednesday's victory, Japan was led by Kosuke Ito, who went 1-for-1 with a three-run homer and two runs scored. Tomoya Koike was 2-for-3 with one RBI and two runs in the victory, while teammate Shunsuki Yano was 2-for-2 with two RBIs and two runs.
Getting the win was Japanese starter Takashi Nakayama, who struck out four, walked one and allowed one earned run on one hit over two innings of work.
Dominicans finish with win
The Dominican Republic squad wrapped up its pool play schedule Wednesday by defeating Canada, 6-2, at Fenway Park.
The victory put the Dominican boys at 3-2 in pool play.
Franklin Santana led the Dominican team at the plate, going 1-for-3 with two RBIs, while teammate Pedro Reyes went 1-for-1 with two runs. Christopher Martinez was 1-for-2 with one run in the victory.
Stever Martinez picked up the win, going four innings in which he struck out five, walked two and held Canada to one unearned run on two hits.
Korea beats Australia
Republic of Korea closed out pool play in good shape, beating Australia, 13-3, in four innings at Cal Sr.'s Yard.
The win moved to Korea to 4-1 and a second seed in Friday's international semifinals. Australia fell to 1-4 with the loss.
Korea started slow, but finished fast. Through two innings Korea scored one run, but three in the third were followed by nine in the fourth.
Hyeon Su Kim highlighted the scoring with a two-run, inside-the-park home run in the third inning.
In the nine-run fourth, Korea pounded out nine hits, including eight straight. Sang Hyun Kim had two hits and two RBIs in the inning, while Young Soo Yoon and Eui Chan Sin each had two RBI doubles and Su Kim had a RBI double.
Jess Williams drove in a pair of runs for Australia with a double and Jack O'Loughlin drove in Williams with a single to account for Aussie scoring.
Both teams used three pitchers in the contest.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun