Osaka, Japan 7, Victoria, B.C. 3
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (AP) _ Kazuki Sumiyama and Kazutoshi Adachi combined on a two-hitter Sunday as Osaka, Japan, beat Victoria, British Columbia, 7-3, in the preliminary round of the Little League World Series.
The two teams from the four-team international division with the best records advance to Thursday night’s international championship. The winner of that game plays the U.S. champion on Saturday in the title game in the series for 11- and 12-year-olds.
Sumiyama was moved to first base after five innings despite not having allowed a hit and walking one. Adachi allowed a single and a walk in the sixth before Rajan Nirwan doubled to right, scoring two runs. He scored when catcher Sho Nishida bobbled the throw from right field.
Manager Tsutomo Kameyama said he pulled Sumiyama as an icebreaker for Adachi, who will pitch Monday against a team from Ramstein Air Force Base, Germany.
``I was hoping to get the butterflies out of his stomach,″ Kameyama said through an interpreter. ``Winning the next game is more important to us than the no-hitter. It is something we have done before this season _ they pitch together a lot.″
Sumiyama, 12, said he was too bashful to discuss how well he did and spent his first U.S. news conference looking at his pitching line on a stat sheet _ five innings, no runs, no hits, one walk, eight strikeouts, 40 strikes and 22 balls.
Kazunori Morishita hit a three-run homer in the fourth to give Japan, which last won the series in 1976, a 4-0 lead and Masato Ikeda later added a two-run single.
Canada plays Puerto Rico on Monday morning. Canada sends a team to the series every year but has not had a team in the championship game since 1965 and never has won the series.