Australia drop tense encounter against Japan


Author: Baseball Australia Media/Saturday, 3 March 2018/Categories: News, Events, Southern Thunder

Blackley showed every ounce of his experience against a powerful Japanese lineup, with the former MLB star striking out six and not allowing an earned run in five innings of work.

A specialist at mixing his pitches, Blackley knew exactly what was needed to cool the Japanese offence.

“I stuck to gameplan with the information provided, stayed within myself and tried to keep hitters off balance,” Blackley said.

“I didn’t go out there tonight to blow fastballs by them, we stuck to the plan.”

The Japanese lineup were held in check through the first five innings, however a walk and a base hit brought to the plate two of Japan’s most powerful hitters. Yuki Yanagita and Yoshitomo Tsutsugoh didn’t disappoint the 33,748 strong crowd in Nagoya, with back-to-back RBIs to break the scoreless deadlock.

Perth Heat young gun Robbie Glendinning finished with a pair of hits on the night for Australia, and looked far from out of place in his first game in the green and gold.

Japanese tandem Kodai Senga and Shota Imanaga were lights out through the first three innings, striking out 10 of the first 12 Australian hitters.

Australian relievers Sam Street and Todd Van Steensel both escaped challenging situations in the later stages, but Japan’s ability to take advantage of key situations proved the difference.

Australia will be given an immediate opportunity to rectify this defeat, with the two teams going head-to-head tomorrow at the Kyocera Dome in Osaka.