Japan has qualified for the Asian Professional Baseball Championship (APBC) 2023 with three wins and no losses.
Japan dominated in both batting categories in the third game of the qualifier against Australia at Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan, on Aug. 18 to secure a 10-0 cold-game victory in the eighth inning.
Under the tournament rules, a game ends early if the score is 10 runs or more after the seventh inning.
With the win, Japan finished first in their qualifying group with three wins, beating Taiwan, Korea, and Australia.
Japan, which had already clinched a spot in the final with a win over South Korea the day before, rested its center fielders Shota Morishita and Shugo Maki.
Nevertheless, they put on a 13-hit fireworks display and easily dispatched Australia.
Kyota Fujiwara, who was making his first appearance in the tournament, led the way from the leadoff spot, going 3-for-4 with two doubles and two RBIs.
Yuki Okabayashi (2-for-2), Kaito Gojono (4-for-2) and Yuki Nomura (2-for-2) also had multi-hit games.
Japan scored two runs in the top of the eighth inning to take a 10-run lead, and Australia failed to close the gap in their next at-bat.
Japan’s mound was also dominant.
The Japanese pitching staff didn’t allow a single base hit until the bottom of the seventh inning.
Starter Takahisa Hayakawa pitched five scoreless innings of no-hit ball with seven strikeouts, while closer Kojiro Yoshimura continued his perfect streak with 1⅔ innings of relief.
Third starter Shunsuke Sato, who entered the game in the bottom of the seventh, gave up a hit and two walks, but no runs.
Japan will play the winner of the South Korea-Taiwan game at 7 p.m. on Monday in the final. 토토