• Kyodo


Masahiro Tanaka, who helped Komadai Tomakomai finish runnerup at the national high school baseball championship last month, made himself available Wednesday for the upcoming baseball draft for high school students.

News photoKomadai Tomakomai High School hurler Masahiro Tanaka talks to reporters on Wednesday.

“I’ve always wanted to be a professional player since I was a child,” said the 17-year-old right-hander, who submitted a form stating that he wishes to play in the pros two days after championship winning pitcher Yuki Saito of Waseda Jitsugyo announced his plan to attend university.

“To each his own. Hopefully, I have a matchup with him sometime, somewhere,” Tanaka said.

Teams such as the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters are expected to name Tanaka as their first-round pick, baseball sources say.

Tanaka led Komadai Tomakomai to its second straight national title in the summer of 2005, and the school came one win away from becoming only the second team to win three straight titles.

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