Nichidai Daisan wins summer Koshien title


Shun Takayama homered and drove in five runs, Kentaro Yoshinaga threw a shutout and Tokyo’s Nichidai Daisan routed Kosei Gakuin of Aomori Prefecture 11-0 in the final of the National High School Baseball Championship Saturday.

The Nihon University affiliate school finished at the top of 4,014 participating teams across the country from the regional preliminaries, winning the summer tournament for the first time in 10 years and the second time overall.

Takayama, batting fifth and playing right field, gave the Tokyo school a 3-0 lead in the third inning with a three-run shot over the center-field wall at Koshien Stadium.

He added a run-scoring grounder to make it 4-0 in the fifth and an RBI single in a five-run seventh that included a two-run home run by catcher Takahiro Suzuki.

Nichidai Daisan cleanup hitter Toshitake Yokoo went 4-for-5 with three RBIs as the team pounded out 13 hits.

“As manager, I’ve won this prestigious tournament twice here, and I should say there is no one as happy as I am,” Nichidan Daisan manager Masayoshi Ogura said.

“I kept telling my players: don’t miss good pitches to hit. They hit the ball really well throughout the tournament. We wanted to show quality baseball to raise the spirit of people affected by the earthquake and tsunami. I think we were able to do that.”

Yoshinaga scattered five hits, walked four and struck out eight in a 125-pitch outing.

The right-hander pitched in all of the team’s six games at the 15-day event, starting five times and working 4⅔ innings in relief in Friday’s 14-4 win over Kanzei of Okayama Prefecture.

“I’m glad I managed to keep them scoreless in the final,” Yoshinaga said. “We are a team with a strong offense. I was able to pitch comfortably until the semis because of plenty of run support, so I’m satisfied with the way I finished the tournament.”

Kosei Gakuin ace Noriyoshi Akita was roughed up for nine runs on 12 hits in 6⅔ innings.

The Aomori school was attempting to become the first school in the Tohoku region ever to win a spring invitational title or a summer championship.

Drop Madoff suit: lawyer


A $1 billion lawsuit by the trustee liquidating Bernard Madoff’s firm against the owners of the New York Mets should be dismissed, a lawyer for the baseball team’s owners told a federal judge.

Karen Wagner, an attorney for owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz, argued to U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff that the trustee, New York lawyer Irving Picard, has failed to show evidence they ignored red flags that should have alerted them to Madoff’s fraud.