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Baseball team wins All Japan University Baseball Championship for first time in 5 years and 4th overall

In the final of the 61st All Japan University Baseball Championships held at Jingu Stadium on June 18, Waseda University (representative of the Tokyo Big 6 Baseball League) beat Asia University (representative of the Tohto University Baseball League) 4-0 to capture their first crown in five years and fourth overall. First year pitcher Kentaro Yoshinaga (1st year student, School of Sport Sciences) threw seven scoreless innings to win his tournament leading second victory and was named MVP.

Waseda's batting lineup knocked out Asia University's pitcher Nao Higashihama, who has attracted attention from the pro leagues, with three runs in the first inning. In the sixth inning, stand-in captain Masahiro Sugiyama (4th year student, School of Sport Sciences), who had taken over from hospitalized captain Kohki Sasaki (4th year student, School of Sport Sciences), added a run with a solo homerun, and Takaaki Yokoyama (3rd year student, School of Sport Sciences) and Kohei Arihara (2nd year student, School of Sport Sciences) followed to complete a shutout victory for the three pitchers.

Captain Sasaki's no.10 uniform was hung up in the bench and Coach Takeshi Okamura said "We fought together for Sasaki." The team, who fought on as one, even after losing their captain, followed the ceremonial toss of Coach Okamura with one for Sasaki's uniform.

Sugiyama hits a homerun for another valuable run

MVP Yoshinaga

Elated team on winning the final

Waseda University baseball team wins their first championship in five years and fourth overall

Captain Sasaki's uniform watching over the team from the bench

Ceremonial toss of coach Okamura

Coach Takeshi Okamura

"Through the tournament, we grew with each game and became a "true leading team." The team rapidly improved with the efforts of the fourth year students. There weren't many on the bench, but they let out loud voices from the stands. Their juniors could also feel that and it lifted the team. However, the championship victory is now over. I now want to train hard and build a team that can win in the autumn. This is a team with many young students and is still developing, so I want to train them to play baseball that will not tarnish the name of the "true leading team."

Links

61st All Japan University Baseball Championship

Waseda University Baseball Team