Owen’s middle school baseball season is coming to an end with the Western Japan Athletic Association (WJAA) next week. In their last game of the regular season yesterday, they defeated Canadian Academy of Kobe, 13-0. They finished the regular season undefeated for the second straight year. Hopefully they will finish undefeated but one never knows with baseball. They do have the best team in the league, being solid in every position, unlike the other WJAA teams.
Owen was the starting pitcher yesterday and pitched 6 innings with 9 strikeouts and allowing no hits. The competition is not very good, but he did pitch well, cutting down his walks, varying up the speed of his pitches and allowing the fielders to make plays. Everyone in Japan has decent baseball skills, especially the seventh graders of our sister school, Senri I.S. The student-athletes are totally into baseball, from being “locked-in” on the bench giving vocal support, to knowing where to throw the force out, to popping the hips and turning on balls while hitting and scoring runs. Youth baseball in Japan is played with rubber-covered balls for safety and combined with the artificial turf surface, balls bounce quite a bit. A “chopper” grounder sometimes turns into a base hit.
The opposing pitcher was having control problems. As you can see in the video above, Owen didn’t want to walk and so swung at a ball over his head. Fortunately it was a line drive up the middle that drove in two runs.
His friend Euan pitched the seventh and allowed 1 hit, missing the combined no-hitter. It was a ball hit off the end of the bat that rolled back to the pitcher and I think the umpire was being kind to the opposition, who were getting badly beat. Anyway, the team played extremely well and most importantly, enjoyed a morning of baseball. I will certainly miss the middle baseball games next year. You can go to our family YouTube channel (link) to see more highlights from the game.