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Tuesday, 5th March 2013
In Sports, Japan Sports News,

Japan advance in World Baseball Classic

Japan got its title defence at the World Baseball Classic off to a good start, notching wins against Brazil and China to advance to the next stages.

The side dispatched Brazil 5-3 in their opening game at the Fukuoka Dome, before claiming a 5-2 win over China.

Two wins mean they sit at the top of Pool A, ahead of Cuba, who have also qualified for the next stage with 5-2 and 12-0 wins.

Speaking after Japan's win over China, manager Koji Yamamoto, said: "Our pitchers did very well tonight. We've been a little worried about Maeda coming in but he went out tonight and pitched a very strong game."

Japan won the event in 2006 and 2009, the first two times it has been played, meaning that they are trying for a third in a row and to still be the only nation to have claimed the trophy.

The side take on Cuba in their final group game, which will determine their seeding for the next round of the event.

Written by Mark Smith