Wednesday, 23rd April 2008
Otsuka the star as Marines taste victory
Reserve outfielder Akira Otsuka hit a solo homer that projected Chiba Lotte Marines'1-1 stalemate with Saitama Seibu in the fifth inning of the game at the Marine Stadium.
The game finished 8-1 in the Marines' favour and turned the tie into a charismatic performance, with 15-year-old Otsuka hailed the hero.
This was Otsuka's first solo homer since September 2005 and he admitted to the Daily Yomiuri he thought he had "got lucky".
"I wasn't sure what to do with that pitch - I just swung at it and happened to hit it," he added.
Otsuka's home run inspired team mates to victory in this first game of their three-game series.
The teams will next meet on Wednesday, again at the Chiba Marine Stadium.
Chiba Lotte Marines were formerly known as the Orions before it was bought from the Mainichi newspaper company by Lotte, a Korean confectioner, in 1969, according to Japanball.com.