Ren Tomida shines in Japan’s 2-1 win over Australia


Left-handed starter Ren Tomida allowed one run on four hits over six innings. The hard-throwing right-hander used 14 pitches to retire the side in the seventh. A two-RBI single was all the run production they needed.

Left-hander Ren Tomida led Japan in their 2-1 win over Australia in the second Super Round game of the IV WBSC U-23 Baseball World Cup on Thursday at Taipei Tianmu Baseball Stadium.

Tomida posted a six-inning gem, allowing only one run on four hits with no walks while striking out eight from his sweeping breaking ball and other off-speed magic. Right-hander Ryusei Gonda, a top collegiate prospect, took care of the sixth with his heaters sitting in the mid-90s (over 150 kilometres per hour).

First baseman Kanta Aiba provided all the run support they needed with a two-run RBI single in the bottom of the third.

Japan’s starting shortstop Hiroki Nakagawa set the tone for Tomida as he retired Australia’s leadoff with a fine play on a hard-hit sharp grounder.

Aussie starter Matthew Beattie walked the game’s first two hitters and allowed a second-inning leadoff walk. Japan would not get the first hit until the third inning.

The bottom of the third decided the final score as centre fielder Yuto Nakada led off with a single. Beattie walked Nakagawa and both runners advanced on a wild pitch, then baseman Kanta Aiba singled with one out to give Japan a 2-0 lead.

Australia scored their only run in the top of the sixth, with right fielder Travis Bazzana and shortstop Jarryd Dale hitting back-to-back singles, Bazzana advanced to third scored on a hard comebacker to the mound that Tomida struggled to handle.

After a 93-pitch effort, Tomida left for flame thrower Ryusei Gonda. The right-hander used 14 pitches for 10 strikes to work the seventh inning and retire the side in order.

World No. 1 Japan improved to 3-0 in the Super Round. They will face No. 3 Korea in the second game on Friday, 21 October.

No. 10 Australia is 0-3 and will face No. 11 Colombia in the first game of Day 2 of the Super Round.