Clutch single ends 12-inning thriller


Yasuo Tanaka hit a clutch infield single for the tiebreaking run in the 12th inning Monday as Kyoto Gaidai Nishi outlasted Joso Gakuin 5-3 to advance to the third round of the National High School Baseball Championship.

Tied 3-3 with one out and runners on second and third, Tanaka put the Kyoto school ahead with his base hit and Takuto Honda added a sacrifice fly against the Ibaraki school to complete the victory after a scoreless draw forced the game into extra innings in a seesaw battle at Koshien Stadium.

Kyoto Gaidai Nishi, the 2005 tournament runnerup, took leads of 1-0 and 3-1 in the 10th and 11th, respectively, but Joso Gakuin tied the game twice before the decisive blow. Honda allowed three runs with seven strikeouts in six innings of relief.

In other second-round action, Kenjiro Hashimoto singled home the decisive run with one out in the eighth inning and Ryuji Hayato added insurance with a RBI single in the ninth as Shimane’s Kaisei beat Tokushima Shogyo 3-1.

Fukudome surgery

NAGOYA (Kyodo) Chunichi Dragons outfielder Kosuke Fukudome will have endoscopic surgery in the United States to remove bone fragments from his right elbow, team officials said Sunday.

Fukudome, who has been complaining of pain in the elbow, had an examination in Los Angeles on Friday and is likely to go under the knife some time between Aug. 14 and 21. The 30-year-old lefty batter will likely be sidelined for the rest of the regular season as it normally takes about two months to recover from endoscopic surgery.

Fukudome would have been eligible for free agency by the end of August but is short by 29 registered days after he was removed from the active roster on July 24. However, he is still eligible for free agency due to a special exception incorporated from this season.