Unearned runs tie series for Japanese

Posted by Mike Potter on Mon, Jul 13, 2009 at 9:28 AM

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Six unearned runs in one inning will do it every time.

Japan rallied for a half-dozen in the third inning, and then held on for a 7-5 victory over USA Baseball's National Team at the Tokyo Dome to tie the 37th Collegiate Friendship Series at one win apiece.

It's an annual best-of-5 series, and Game 5 will be played even if somebody sweeps the next two.

Yuki Saito, a national hero in Japan known as "The Handkerchief Prince," was the winning pitcher while Ole Miss' Drew Pomeranz (2-1) took the loss.

Arizona State's Matt Newman (pictured) - who finished 3-for-5 with four RBI - and Arkansas' Andy Wilkins had RBI singles to give the USA a 2-0 lead in the first.

But the hosts got their six runs in the third after a Pomeranz throwing error. Takanori Sato's two-run double was the big hit in the frame.

Japan made it 7-2 on a wild pitch from Kansas' T.J. Walz in the sixth inning.

The Americans responded with three in the seventh on Newman's bases-clearing double, but could get no closer.

Game 3 is Tuesday at 5 a.m. (EDT) in Sendai, Japan.

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