A promising start to Game 2 in Osaka was soon spoiled with an error filled performance from Team Australia in their 10-3 loss to Japan this evening.
Despite giving up two runs early in the game, Team Australia found themselves with another early lead on the back of a three run third inning. Ending the second inning on the back of an impressive throw from the outfield to nab Seiichi Uchikawa at home, Corey Adamson lead off the third inning with a walk. Josh Davies worked a walk of his own and Mitch Dening advanced the runners on a fly ball out. Luke Hughes then blasted Team Australia into the lead with a towering three-run home run.
Jon Deeble gave two innings each to Ryan Roland Smith, Ryan Searle and Warwick Saupold in the contest. All three pitchers conceded runs in their appearances however Searle and Saupold’s runs were unearned as the defensive errors mounted.
Trailing by two runs, Team Australia let a key opportunity slide failing to score with the bases loaded with no out in the fourth inning. Huber lead off with a hit to right as Walker and Matt Kennelly followed to load the bases. A swinging strikeout by Adamson and a crucial 5-4-3 double play to Josh Davis ended the Australian threat as the Japanese pitching staff settled from there.
In relief, Clayton Tanner and Brendan Wise offered some crucial stability with scoreless innings, however a three run 8th inning with Shane Lindsay on the mound capped off a forgettable night for the Australian team that included four defensive errors that lead to five unearned runs.
Luke Hughes' home run highlighted the night, as Walker went 2-4 and Huber and Stefan Welch also picked up hits. While Japan struggled to hit the Australian pitching in Game One while working seven walks, Team Australia was hit hard this evening by giving up thirteen hit, despite walking only one batter.
Team Australia return to Taiwan tomorrow for a week of preparation before their World Baseball Classic opener on Saturday 2 March against against the Pool B hosts, Chinese Taipei.
The team will start in recovery mode housing a few injuries following the Japan Series.
“We have a couple of nagging injuries which we’ll need to pull back on for the next couple of days,” said Manager Deeble, “A lot of our guys won’t play in the next two practice games so the result will be very insignificant”.