Member of top Tochigi baseball team arrested

Kyodo

An inactive member of the Sakushin Gakuin High School baseball team, which is currently playing in the national tournament, has been arrested on suspicion of robbing a teenage girl, the school in Tochigi Prefecture and police said Saturday.

The 17-year-old suspect was arrested Friday following allegations he slightly injured the girl, 16, in a wooded area in Utsunomiya and stole several thousand yen from her on the morning of Aug. 10.

The police said the youth denies taking the money. He is not playing in this year’s tournament at Koshien Stadium in Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture.

Sakushin Gakuin Principal Katsuhiko Hasegawa told a news conference the school does not intend to withdraw from the tournament, while the Japan High School Baseball Federation said it has no plans to suspend it from the event.

The suspect was on hand to cheer for the team in its first game of the tournament Aug. 9 and returned to Utsunomiya the next day, according to the school.

Sakushin Gakuin has frequently appeared in the event as the winner of the Tochigi prefectural tournament.