September 2006, Japanese Highschool All-Star team came to U.S. and played a few exhibition games with U.S. Team. Japanese team featured two of their star pitchers, Yuki Saito and Masahiro Tanaka.
This game was played on Monday, September 4, at USC’s Dedraux Field.
Saito started for Japan, relieved by Tanaka in sixth inning.
U.S. starter Matt Hiserman, who happened to be from Capo Valley HS, where my sons attend, pitched well in early innings, but lost a few runs when U.S. defense broke down. Since U.S. Highschools play offs are done long ago, the kids were hardly ready to play. But as the innings go deeper, they were getting warmed up, and the game became pretty interesting. In the end, Japanese team won easily, but not without challenging moment. If they played a few more innings, the outcome might have been somewhat different.
It’s a wonderful thing to see these kids across the Pacific play the same game, at that high level.