Makoto Kadowaki singled in the winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning to seal Japan’s victory in the Asia Professional Baseball Championship with a 4-3 come-from-behind win over South Korea in the Nov. 19 final.
Trailing in the bottom of the 10th at Tokyo Dome after South Korea scored a run via the international tiebreaker rule that starts extra innings with runners on first and second, Shogo Sakakura’s one-out sacrifice fly tied it before Kadowaki ended it with a two-out single off Jung Hai Young.
“What a relief,” said Japan manager Hirokazu Ibata, who was hired to succeed Hideki Kuriyama in October. “The players’ hard work made the win possible and I’m grateful to them.”
Kadowaki was named MVP.
“I got the hit in the end, I think that’s why I got this award,” Kado-waki said. “I didn’t do so well before that, so I need to learn from that. I’m glad I was able to do my best at the end.”
Taiwan won the third-place game by defeating Australia 4-3 earlier in the day.
Samurai Japan began the year by winning the World Baseball Classic in the spring and ended it by winning the under-24 tournament back to back, after also winning in the inaugural edition in 2017.(Kyodo, The Japan Times)