For the first time in history, the Samurai Japan High School Team (U-18) will go up against the Collegiate National Team (Universiade Representatives) in a dream match-up. The best possible build-up match has been set up for the “Samurai Japan U-18 Players” on their way to the “27th WBSC U-18 World Cup”, the first to be held in Japan.
The Collegiate National players have just finished fighting the July Universiade Tournament (Korea / Gwangju), but they are set for a send-off game to help build up “Samurai Japan U-18”, looking to become world champions. The college generation has a pitcher towering at 190cm with a 150kmph fastball in lefty Kenta Uehara (Meiji U.), as well as sterling change-up pitcher Shota Imanaga (Komazawa U.), sluggers like Shun Takayama (Meiji U.) who has over 100 hits in Tokyo Big 6 and Seigo Yada (Keio U.), a gifted cast booked as a “hypothetical foreign powerhouse” to give “Samurai Japan U-18” valuable real-game experience. Going up against that college team, the high school generation also features a number of notable players gathering attention across Japan, whether Junpei Takahashi (Kengisho) or Ryo Yoshida (Tokai U. Sagami), who have been chosen from all across Japan for their high skills. The game is expected to be an exciting, high-level match.
In the previous tournament held in the Taiwan, the young Japan team looked for their first championship, backed by a fleet of stars such as Yuki Matsui (Tohoku Rakuten), Tomoya Mori (Saitama Seibu), and Tomohiro Anraku (Tohoku Rakuten), but they had to settle for runner-up as they were defeated in the finals by the US. Acting as manager in the last tournament, Mr. Nishitani (Osaka Toin High School) was also called back as manager in this tournament. He expressed his desire for redemption. “I feel extremely proud to serve again as the manager of Japan’s high school team in the U-18 World Cup, and also am humbled by the honor. I haven’t forgotten the feeling of narrowly losing to America in the last tournament’s final round. With that feeling in my heart, I’m of one mind about winning the long-awaited “World No.1” title for Japan’s high school team this year.”
The 12 countries/region currently scheduled to play are Japan, USA, Cuba, Taiwan, Canada, Korea, Italy, Mexico, Australia, Brazil, Czech-Republic, and South Africa, but the final announcement of members is expected to take place around the end of the Koshien Tournament. A lot of excitement is building around how these young “Samurai Japan” high school prodigies are going to fight against the baseball powerhouses across the globe.
About the “Samurai Japan Send-Off Match U-18 (High School) Japan vs. Collegiate National Team”
||Scheduled for Wednesday, August 26th, 2015
||Hanshin Koshien Stadium (possibility of rainout)
||Samurai Japan U-18 (High School) vs. Samurai Japan Collegiate Team
||Japan Student Baseball Association
NPB Enterprise, Co., Ltd.
||Japan High School Baseball Federation
All Japan University Baseball Federation
About the 27th WBSC U-18 World Cup
||World Baseball Softball Confederation（WBSC）
||Baseball Federation of Japan（BFJ）
Japan High School Baseball Federation
||August 28th (Fri) – September 6th (Sun)
||Japan (Osaka city / Hyogo prefecture)
||Hanshin Koshien Stadium, Maishima Baseball Stadium, Nanko Chuo Baseball Stadium, Toyonaka Rose Stadium
12 Participating Teams
||United States of America (2), Canada (7)
|Central America / Caribbean
||Cuba (3), Mexico (12)
||Japan (1), Chinese-Taipei (4), Korea (8)
||South Africa (29)
||Italy (11), Czech-Republic (20)
*The number in parentheses is WBSC ranking (as of March 20th)
About the Samurai Japan 18U General Manager (Mr. Koichi Nishiya’s Profile)
Main Baseball History
Hotoku Gakuen High School – Kansai University
Osaka Toin High School Baseball Manager (3 x Summer Tournament and 1 x Spring Tournament Champion)
2013 26th IBAF World Cup 18U General Manager (Runner-up)
I feel extremely proud to serve again as the manager of Japan’s high school team in the U-18 World Cup, and also am humbled by the honor. I haven’t forgotten the feeling of narrowly losing to America in the last tournament’s final round. With that feeling in my heart, I’m of one mind about winning the long-awaited “World No.1” title for Japan’s high school team this year. This is the first time Japan is hosting the tournament, so I will fight together with the players to give people the good news they want to hear.
I hope that all of you cheer us on.