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Daijiro Osaki tripled off Yu Darvish for the go-ahead run in the fourth inning as Joso Gakuin of Ibaraki Prefecture came from behind to beat Miyagi’s Tohoku 4-2 in the final of the national high school baseball tournament Saturday.

News photoJoso gakuin reliever Hideaki Iijima delivers a pitch
against Tohoku in the final of the national high school baseball tournament at Koshien Stadium on Saturday.

It was the first-ever victory in the annual summer classic for Joso Gakuin, 2001 spring invitational winners managed by Yukio Kiuchi, making only its second final appearance and first in 16 years. The last time a school from Ibaraki won the championship was in 1984.

“All the members of the team played their best and I’ve never coached such an incredible team. There’s nothing else left for me to do after such a great victory,” said Kiuchi, who in May announced his plan to retire after this season.

Koji Yoshihara doubled down the left-field line with two out and a runner on third to tie the game 2-2 before Osaki capped the three-run frame with the triple to right-center. A sellout crowd of 52,000 showed up for the final at Koshien Stadium.

Southpaw Hiroki Isobe was chased after giving up two runs in two-plus innings, but Hideaki Iijima held the opponents scoreless the rest of the way and outpitched Darvish, who yielded 12 hits over the distance while struggling with pain in his right leg.

Surgery for Muramatsu

NAGOYA (Kyodo) Fukuoka Daiei Hawks outfielder Arihito Muramatsu will shortly undergo surgery to repair the fractured collarbone he suffered in Saturday’s game, officials of the Pacific League team said.

Muramatsu, a leadoff man for the PL-leading team, may not be able to return to play again this season, according to the officials.

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