Renewed Samurai Japan squad to face Australia in friendly series

10/10/2022
World No 1 Japan also will face Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters and Yomiuri Giants as preparation for the 2023 World Baseball Classic.
November will be a busy month for Samurai Japan with four preparation games for the 2023 edition of the World Baseball Classic.

World No. 1 and Olympic champions Japan will face Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters on November 5th and the Yomiuri Giants one day later at the Sapporo Dome. Then Samurai Japan will play two games against Australia on November 9th and 10th.

For manager Hideki Kuriyama these games will mark his debut managing Japan after being hired in December to replace Atsunori Inaba, who won Premier12 2019 edition and the gold medal at Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

The roster includes 15 players who will wear the national team uniform for the first time and just seven players who won the gold medal in Tokyo 14 months ago.

Triple Crown winner Munetaka Murakami and veteran Tetsuto Yamada will lead a team that includes the young sensation Roki Sasaki, who threw a perfect game this season, and Taisei Ota who tied the record for a rookie with 37 saves at NPB level.

The Aussies are ready
After a fantastic performance at the 2019 Premier12 where Australia became everyone’s favourite, the world No. 10 return to the international stage led by co-captains Tim Atherton and Tim Kennelly.

The team includes several players from the Australian Baseball League and some newcomers like Cameron Gibbens, Jarryd Dale, Rixon Wingrove and Solomon Maguire.

Familiar names from the last edition of the Premier12 in the team include Logan Wade, Aaron Whitefield, Todd van Steensel and Daryl George.

Japan and Australia share Pool B at the 2023 Baseball World Classic edition, which means they will face each other again on March 12th next year.