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Japan LL Foursome Combines for No-Hitter

August 19, 2003

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (AP) _ The fact that Japan used four pitchers didn’t make the game any less perfect.

Shigeki Umeda, Masato Komuro, Ippei Endoh and Yuutaro Tanaka combined for a perfect game Tuesday as Tokyo beat Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, 17-0 in four innings, in pool play at the Little League World Series.

It was the first time that multiple pitchers combined for a perfect game at the series, and the first perfect game at the series since Kiyoshi Tsumura accomplished the feat for Chofu, Japan, in 1976.

Danny Almonte of Rolando Paulino Little League in the Bronx, N.Y., pitched a perfect game against Apopka, Fla., in 2001, but that game was removed from the record books when it was determined that Almonte was too old to play Little League.

Each of Tokyo’s pitchers worked an inning, and Komuro (1-0) earned the win.

The win puts Tokyo (3-0) into Thursday’s international semifinals against Mexico City.

Japan took control of the game with seven runs in the first inning. Tanaka had a two-run single, Hirofumi Yamazaki belted a grand slam to center field, and Toshiki Maebashi capped the inning with a solo homer.

Umeda and Yamazaki both hit two-run homers in the second inning, and Umeda hit another, his third of the series, in the third inning.

Trevor King (0-1) took the loss for Saudi Arabia (1-2).

The game was shortened because of a rule halting games in which a team is winning by at least 10 runs after four innings.

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