HAARLEM, Netherlands – Atsushi Fujii opened the scoring with a two-run single and had a bases-loaded triple Sunday to help power Japan to an 11-3 rout of Nicaragua in the preliminary round of the Baseball World Cup. Fujii, an outfielder for corporate league team NTT West, gave Japan a 2-0 lead in the second inning and helped extend the lead with a clutch triple in a five-run fifth.
Japan secured first place in Group B with a 7-1 record, with its only defeat coming to Puerto Rico, and will face South Korea, a fourth-place finisher in Group A, in the quarterfinals Wednesday.
Cuba placed first in Group A with a spotless 8-0 record followed by the Netherlands and Panama in second and third.
Japan’s team is composed entirely of amateur corporate and collegiate league players.
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