Taira strikes out 13 as Japan blanks Curacao


SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- Yusuke Taira struck out 13 batters and allowed just three hits
and also hit a solo home run to lead Chiba City, Japan (2-0) over
defending Little League champion Willemstad, Curacao (1-1), 9-0 on Sunday.

Japan, this year's Asia region champs, took advantage of Takuya
Sakamoto's single and consecutive walks to Kisho Watanabe and Yuki
Mizuma to load the bases in the first inning against Curacao, which
returned to South Williamsport this year by winning the Caribbean

Curacao pitcher Dienston Manuela allowed two runs to score on
wild pitches and an error brought a third run home for Japan.