The Italian is on the verge to miss the final round, after losing 0-10 to Japan. The Asian team used a seven-run fourth frame to decide the game. They are now 4-2 and in the third spot in group A at the World Cup of Baseball. Italy is now 3-3 and in a tie with Panama and Mexico.
After two scoreless periods to start the contest, the Japanese young guns came through with a run in the third, when Kenichi YOKOYAMA reached third on a triple and scored on a sac fly by Tsutohu SASAKI. They broke the game open in the fourth on a two-run-double by Toshiyuki HAYASHI, a bases-clearing triple by SASAKI and a two-run-single by Hysayoshi CHONO. Twelve players of Japan step to the plate, seven eventually scored.
Following another run in the fifth, HAYASHI ends the slugfest earlier with a solo-shot in the seventh, due ten-run-rule.
Italy got just two hits by Leonardo ZILERI and Mario CHIARINI.
Takashi SAITO (W 1-0) gave up two hits and one walk in five innings. He punched out seven. Shoji MATSUOKA closed out the game with three strikeouts in two frames.
Roberto CORRADINI (L 0-1) gave up four hits, four runs and one walk in three-plus innings. Mattia SALSI and Luca PANERATI followed him on the mound.
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