By Adam Morissette
THUNDER BAY, Ontario – Ginji Miura turned in a dominant performance on the mound fanning 12 over seven shutout innings to lead Japan to an 8-1 win over Canada and the bronze medal at the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup.
Miura didn’t allow a hit until Noah Naylor’s (Mississauga, Ont.) one-out single in the fourth and gave up just two more when Naylor and Jason Willow (Victoria, B.C.) both singled in the seventh. He finished his seven-inning outing allowing just one walk while striking out 12.
“He (Miura) was really good,” said Canadian manager Greg Hamilton. “Sometimes you have to tip your cap to the other side and he was full credit for his performance this afternoon.”
Canada got into a deep a hole early as Japan scored four runs in the top of the third to open the scoring. A lead-off single off starter Wesley Moore (Surrey, B.C.) came around to score after a wild pitch and an error before another error, walk, base hit and a sac fly put Japan up, 4-0.
Jack DeCooman (North Vancouver, B.C.) came out of the bullpen for the fifth and Japan kept coming using three hits and walk to tack on two more runs before adding singles off Landon Leach (Pickering, Ont.) in the seventh and eighth frames.
Leach worked four innings and gave up two runs (one earned) on three hits and a walk, while striking out three.
Canada broke the shutout bid in the ninth as Willow connected for his second hit of the game and drove in Clayton Keyes (Calgary, Alta.) from second base.
“We were in a hole early (in this tournament) so I’m really proud of this team and the way we competed here,” added Hamilton. “Fourth place in a world championship is nothing to hang your head over.”