Updated 03:23 AM EDT, Thu, Oct 28, 2021

Premiere 12 Baseball News: Japan Defeats Mexico in 6-5 Win

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Japan was victorious on Wednesday in beating Mexico during the first-round of World Baseball Softball Confederation (WSBC) Premier 12 tournament.

According to Japan Times, slugger Sho Nakata led his team to the win after he "hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth" during the game held at the the Tien-Mou Stadium in Taiwan.

"We allowed (Mexico) to get closer to us, but we wound up winning it. That's what you want in the end. This is a valuable win for us," said Japan team manager Hiroki Kokubo.

Japan Times added that Nakata went 3-on-3 for the game while long-ball hitter Yoshitomo Tsutsugo contributed three hits for his team.

"Honestly speaking, they intentionally walked Tsutsugo, and it gave me extra motivation," Nakata said.

Meanwhile, Japan Today said that there was an effort from Mexico to answer Japan's production with it tying the game during the start of the ninth.

"But Nakata's line drive to center scored Tetsuto Yamada from second as Japan improved to 2-0. Nakata also hit a two-run homer in the second, drove in a run on a sacrifice fly in the third and singled in a run in the fifth," added the same report.

For his part, starter Kenta Maeda said his team is definitely eyeing the championships.

"Once you are chosen for the Japanese national team, you only think about winning the world championship. I'm pitching with that objective. I'll do my job to make that happen," he told Japan Today.

Up next for the Japanese team is the Dominican Republic which they will face on Thursday at the Taoyuan International Stadium.

For the other games of the tournament, Canada won 2-0 versus Puerto Rico, Cuba defeated the Netherlands in a 6-5 victory, South Korea demolished the Dominican Republic and the United States lost to Venezuela with a 7-5 score.

Baseball America said it was a disappointing Tuesday night for Team USA as rains damped their chances of winning versus Venezuela.

"Team USA jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first inning as Brett Eibner singled in Brett Phillips. But the skies opened with one out in the first, and the game was delayed for two hours," added the same report.

It noted that the opposing team then started scoring with Luis Jimenez making a two-run home run off of Seth Simmons during the fourth.

With the loss, USA now reportedly stands at 1-1 and has three remaining group games in their schedule. They are set to face Mexico on Thursday.

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