Dominant pitching lifts Japan to 4-1 over Colombia

Starter Ren Tomida and relievers Ryotaro Sawayanagi and Ryusei Gonda combined for 12 strikeouts. Japan secured second place in Group A and a spot in the Super Round.

Starter Ren Tomida and relievers Ryotaro Sawayanagi and Ryusei Gonda steered Japan to 4-1 win over Colombia on Monday, securing them a spot in the Super Round of the IV WBSC Baseball World Cup.

Tomida pitched a five-inning gem, allowing three hits and striking out eight, and Sawayanagi and Ryusei Gonda added two perfect innings, while Hiroki Nakagawa took care of the offensive end with three hits and two runs.

Japan wasted no time and scored twice against starter Ruben Galindo in the bottom of the first, crediting that to second baseman Masashi Marayuma and left fielder Ryuga Ihara who had RBI singles.

Japan struggled with sluggish hitting, as the team had only six hits and half of it by leadoff hitter Hiroki Nakagawa. But they managed to add a couple of runs in the sixth on a groundout and bases-loaded walk.

Colombia’s only run came in the fifth, making the most of its defensive woes with a base hit by left fielder Jorge Puerta.

Japan improved their record to 3-1, trailing Chinese Taipei in Group A. They will play in the Super Round regardless of the score on Tuesday’s game against South Africa at 14.30 local time.

Meanwhile, Colombia dropped to 2-2 and will play Germany at 10.00 for a spot in the Super Round.