TomorrowClassicJapanmatchItalyIn the team’s quarterfinals, Shohei Otani once again made great contributions on both ends of the offense and defense. He not only suppressed the opponent as a pitcher, but also continued to attack with steals, which Italian head coach Piazza could not have imagined. With an overall position of 4 points in the third inning, Japan eventually advanced to the semi-finals.
Otani started the quarterfinals in front of a packed Tokyo Dome. Not only did the Italian batsmen struggle in the first four innings, but they hit the fastest ball of the tournament at 102 miles (about 164 km). Second innings. Vinnie Pasquantino, the lead gunner, repeatedly booed the audience, and he screamed in excitement. The loud voice apparently told broadcast commentator and former Japanese samurai team coach Atsuki Inaba, “I’ve never seen Otani like that”! Furthermore, “Otani’s voice” became a hot search term on Twitter at the time.
More noteworthy, Otani showed his golf quotient even when he was standing in the strike zone in the third inning. When first base was ready, he did not field the ball as usual, but chose a “surprise bunt”. that scared everyone. A jump, and finally not only ran out the field for a hit, but the pitcher also made a pass error, saving Kondo Kensuke sliding into third base in one breath. After the game, he also admitted that he had the idea of bunting, “better to be strong between first and second bases,” because of the strong first inning hit being seized by the opponent’s extreme formation. Excellent bunt, even Kazuma Okamoto, who shot a three-point shot later, said he didn’t expect it at all, and now “Otani steal points” is once again a hot search on Twitter. has become
Looking back on this fight, Otani’s infield hit was crucial. This not only allowed Yoshida Masamori to help the Japanese team score the first point through a ground ball, but also contributed to Okamoto Kazuma’s three-point shot that laid the foundation for the victory. Italian coach Mike Piazza didn’t hesitate to say in an interview: “This strike is a complete surprise. He’s obviously an excellent hitter. Maybe he (the short hitter) can make a different contribution to the team.” want.” , In addition, his own coach Hideki Kuriyama also praised: “This is Otani.”
Otani’s last dance on the mound in this classic is a highly likely quarterfinal match, but his performance has helped Japan secure a ticket to Miami, where they will face the winner of either Puerto Rico or Mexico in the Final Four.
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