Japan beats Russia behind Sato's no-hitter


SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- Kawaguchi City, Japan, had a lot more success at the plate against Moscow than the Russian squad had against Ryoya Sato.

Sato tossed a five-inning no-hitter as Kawaguchi City routed Moscow 11-0 in a Little League World Series Pool D contest shortened by the mercy rule.

Sato struck out 10 batters and walked two for Asian champion Japan (1-0), which rapped 17 hits.

"[Sato] was pretty consistent, his curveball was on and there were no surprises, which was good," Japanese manager Shigeru Hidaka said through an interpreter.

"I had confidence going into [the game], I knew my curveball was on," Sato said.

Sato also had an RBI single in a four-run third inning for Kawaguchi City. Jin Okkuma followed with a three-run homer that pushed the advantage to 5-0.

After adding a run in the fourth, Japan scored five times in the fifth to push the game out of reach. Takehiro Imai had a two-run homer and Seigo Yata a solo shot in the outburst.

Dmitry Semenov surrendered five runs and nine hits in three innings for Moscow (0-1), the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) champion.

The Russians had yielded just two runs in eight games in qualifying for the LLWS.

"We were pretty confident but knew there would be better players here," Russian coach Andrey Tselykovski said.