NISHINOMIYA, Hyogo Pref. (Kyodo) Highly touted prospect Sho Nakata homered twice and drove in five runs Wednesday to power Osaka Toin to the quarterfinals of the National High school Invitational Tournament with an 11-8 win over Tochigi’s Sano Nichidai.
Nakata, who was held hitless in the first round, impressed the professional scouts watching from behind the backstop with a three-run shot in a six-run rally in the third inning and a two-run drive in the fourth that gave Osaka Toin a 9-3 lead.
The cleanup hitter became the 10th player in tournament history to homer in consecutive at-bats and first since Hideki Matsui, currently with the New York Yankees, did it in 1992 for the Seiryo high school of Ishikawa Prefecture.
No player has hit more than two homers in a game at the spring tournament at Koshien Stadium, which was inaugurated in 1924.
Yuji Naka threw three innings of shutout relief after Sano Nichidai moved within two runs through six innings.
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