02/11/2019 - 17/11/2019

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II Premier12 2019 - Official Payoff

Premier12 Replay Series | Watch Australia, Japan lead-off Super Round in Chiba

Premier12 Replay Series | Watch Australia, Japan lead-off Super Round in Chiba
Starters Shun Yamaguchi and Dushan Ruzic matched up at ZOZO Marine Stadium in Game 20 of the WBSC Premier12 2019.

No. 1 ranked Japan (1-0) opened their WBSC Premier12 Super Round campaign on 11 November 2019 with a matchup against No. 7 ranked Australia (0-1) at ZOZO Marine Stadium in Chiba City, Japan.

Japan entered the game with a perfect Opening Round record, after wins against Chinese Taipei, Puerto Rico and Venezuela in Group B. Australia came into the final day of the Group C Opening Round with a 0-2 record, but a dramatic victory over Canada (coupled with a Cuba loss) secured their place in the Japan Super Round.

Samurai manager Atsunori Inaba chose Shun Yamaguchi, a 32-year-old right-hander who won 16 games for the NPB Yomiuri Giants during the 2019 season. Yamaguchi started the Opening Round game against Venezuela, but he left with a no-decision.

Australia's National Team manager David Nilsson gave the ball to Dushan Ruzic, a 6'6" (198 cm), 37-year old right-hander who played last season for the Canberra Cavalry in the Australian Baseball League, but he spent a relevant part of his career in Europe. Ruzic made his debut in the Premier12 2019 in this game.

"It's exciting to start the Super Round against the home team," said Nilsson. "Japan is a very strong team. We need to do our best to challenge them. It would be wrong to focus on one player or the other, we need to focus on the strength of the team."

Inaba said his squad was not taking the Australians lightly: "Our confidence grew after the opening round and the three wins. I'm thrilled about the idea we are playing in front of our fans, but I also think we need to handle Australia with care."

The game between Australia and Japan will be available for free on Wednesday, 11 November, at 9 am Eastern US Standard Time (11 pm Japan Standard Time, 3 pm Central European Time) at www.youtube.com/wbsc; and 9 pm Eastern US Standard Time (12 November at 11 am Japan Standard Time, 3 am Central European Time) at www.facebook.com/wbsc.

The WBSC's GameTime.Sport OTT platform will also publish additional content such as behind-the-scenes material and other fan-focused content.

The next game featured on the WBSC Premier12 Replay Series will be a clash of titans between Japan and USA, on Thursday, 12 November at iconic Tokyo Dome.

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