2003 Japan National Little League® Tournament Results
Unpage Home | Japan Main Page

All-Japan Tournament
Major Baseball Division

Toward the past

Toward the present

37th Annual All-Japan Tournament
Championship Game at Edogawa-Ku Stadium; Tokyo

Participating Teams Prefecture League
Hokkaido Champions Hokkaido Obihiro LL
Tohoku Champions Miyagi Sendai Higashi LL
Shinetsu Champions Nagano Matsumoto Higashi LL
Kitakanto Champions Saitama Kawaguchi LL
Higashikanto Representative I Chiba Choshi LL
Higashikanto Representative II Chiba Chiba City LL
Tokyo Champions Tokyo Musashi Fuchu LL
Tokyo Runner-Up Tokyo Chofu LL
Kanagawa Champions Kanagawa Midori Chuo LL
Tokai Champions Shizuoka Fuji LL
Tokai Runner-Up Mie Matsusaka LL
Kansai Champions Hyogo Takarazuka LL
Kansai Runner-Up Osaka Daito LL
Chugoku Champions Okayama Okayama LL
Shikoku Champions Ehime Saijo LL
Kyushu Champions Kumamoto Kumamoto Otsu LL

Tournament Results:

Opening Round (Saturday, July 5):
Fuji 3, Midori Chuo 0
Musashi Fuchu 37, Obihiro 0 (score is correct)
Matsumoto Higashi 6, Chiba City 5
Daito 1, Sendai Higashi 0
Kawaguchi 2, Matsusaka 0
Takarazuka 16, Okayama 3
Saijo 4, Kumamoto Otsu 0
Chofu 2, Choshi 1

Quarterfinal Round (Saturday, July 5):
Musashi Fuchu 17, Fuji 1
Daito 6, Matsumoto Higashi 1
Kawaguchi 6, Takarazuka 3
Chofu 7, Saijo 2

Semifinal Round (Sunday, July 6):
Musashi Fuchu 6, Daito 2
Chofu 10, Kawaguchi 3

Championship Game (Sunday, July 6):
Musashi Fuchu 6, Chofu 0 (TITLE)


Following the exploits of the 2003 Musashi Fuchu Little League all-star team was a bit like watching the movie Groundhog Day.

June 2002: Eleven-year-old Yuutaro Tanaka homered and pitched solidly in relief as Musashi Fuchu rallied from a 4-0 first inning deficit to down Chofu 8-4 in the final stage of the All-Tokyo tournament and advance to the All-Japan tournament as the Tokyo runner-up.

April 2003: Yuutaro Tanaka homered and threw a complete game shutout as Musashi Fuchu downed Chofu 7-0 to win the Tokyo Spring Cup championship tournament at Chofu's field near Tokyo. Musashi Fuchu outscored five opponents 86-0 to win the annual tournament, which plays a similar role in Japan as county or interlock tournaments in North America.

June 2003: Yuutaro Tanaka fired a complete game shutout to lead Musashi Fuchu to a 3-0 victory over Chofu in the All-Tokyo tournament winner's bracket finals at the host team's field near Tokyo. Tanaka's efforts returned his team to the All-Japan tournament, this time as the prohibitive favorite, while Chofu later won a three-team playoff to claim the second Tokyo slot in the All-Japan tournament.

July 2003: Yuutaro Tanaka homered and pitched a complete game shutout to lead Musashi Fuchu to a 6-0 victory -- again over Chofu -- in the championship game of the All-Japan tournament at Edogawa-Ku Stadium near Tokyo.

Chofu wasn't the only league to feel the sting of Musashi Fuchu's efforts at the 37th annual All-Japan tournament. Superb defense and pitching are seemingly prerequisites for leagues hoping to contend for the Japanese championship, but manager Masume Ohmae's team also featured an exceptionally potent offense. Musashi Fuchu opened the two-day tournament with a record-shattering 37-0 rout of Obihiro, and later that day blasted Fuji 17-1 in a quarterfinal round matchup. By the close of the day, Musashi Fuchu had slammed twelve home runs, and eclipsed the previous All-Japan tournament single-game scoring record of 32 runs in their opening round win over the champions of the traditionally weaker Hokkaido district.

Ohmae downplayed the show of strength, pointing out that the performance meant little unless his team won the tournament. The next day, Musashi Fuchu did just that. Shigeki Umeda and Tanaka both homered as Musashi Fuchu eliminated Daito in a 6-2 semifinal round encounter. Hirofumi Yamazaki used his slow, deliberate wind-up to shut down Daito through the first three innings, and after a homer helped slice Musashi Fuchu's lead to 5-2, Masato Komuro closed out the game in relief.

Later that day, Tanaka struck out twelve batters and allowed only three hits while downing Chofu for the fourth time in thirteen months. Hokuto Nakahara -- who delivered a key home run as an eleven-year-old in Tanaka's first win over Chofu -- again haunted the West Tokyo team, setting the tone with a leadoff home run in the bottom of the first inning. Tanaka later homered and doubled, while catcher Jun Onozawa also doubled as Musashi Fuchu won its second All-Japan championship in four years.

The newly-crowned Japanese champions faced an old foe in their opener at the Asian Region tournament on Rota in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands: Chinese Taipei returned to the Little League family in 2003 following a six-year absence. No Japanese champion had defeated a Chinese Taipei team since the early 1980s, but when Nakahara led off the game with a home run, it was clear that the roles had shifted. Musashi Fuchu scored in every inning and collected 20 hits in a 19-1, four inning rout of their longtime nemesis. Tanaka homered twice as part of a 4-for-4 afternoon, and was Musashi Fuchu's starting pitcher before giving way to a parade of three relievers as the Japanese champions pulled away.

Musashi Fuchu quickly swept its other pool opponents, downing both Hong Kong and South Korea in five inning, 10-0 contests. Tanaka and Nakahara homered in each of the games, while Umeda added a pair of round-trippers against Hong Kong. Ohmae continued to closely manage his pitching staff, using a total of seven pitchers in the two games.

The next day, he used only one: Tanaka. The powerful right-hander struck out fifteen batters and held South Korea to two hits in a 6-2 championship game victory. Tanaka and Nakahara were unable to continue their home run streaks -- Tanaka was walked in each of his plate appearances, while Nakahara drilled a pair of doubles and scored a run. Onozawa and Umeda also doubled, while Takeru Ohmae had three singles and Yamazaki added a pair of singles. The win meant Musashi Fuchu would return to the Little League World Series for the second time in four years.

Masume Ohmae was also at the helm in 2000, when Musashi Fuchu swept its pool games but suffered a 5-4 loss in the international championship game to eventual champion Sierra Maestra Little League (Maricaibo, Zulia, Venezuela). This time, his team won the championship. After hitting sixteen home runs at the All-Japan tournament and nine more at the Asian Region championships, Musashi Fuchu slammed fifteen home runs and outscored six opponents by a 59-9 margin to bring the Little League championship flag back to Japan for the sixth time in the tournament's 57-year history. Musashi Fuchu's three pool victories included a 17-0 four inning perfect game win over Arabian American Little League (Dhahran, Saudi Arabia), and the Japanese team then won the international championship by defeating Olmeca Little League (Mexico City, Federal District) 7-1 and Pabao Little League (Willemstad, Curacao, Netherlands Antilles) 14-6. Umeda hit his fourth Little League World Series home run in the win over Olmeca, while Tanaka (2), Ippei Endoh and Eito Ono all cleared the Lamade Stadium fences against Curacao.

The next evening, Musashi Fuchu faced United States champion East Boynton Beach Little League (Florida) in a game that turned from tense to a rout in the span of a few batters. East Boynton Beach was one strike away from escaping a bases-loaded threat in the top of the fourth inning when Ono was hit by a pitch to force in the game's first run. That opened the floodgates: Shortstop Kazumasa Sakamoto drew a walk to force in another run, and Nakahara drove the next pitch over the center field wall for his first Little League World Series home run and a 6-0 Musashi Fuchu lead. Tanaka followed with a two-run homer to complete the eight-run outburst, and Yamazaki's two-run blast in the fifth completed the Japanese scoring. Tanaka issued an uncharacteristic eight walks, but allowed only four hits and struck out fourteen batters as Musashi Fuchu claimed the Little League World Series championship with a resounding 10-1 victory.


  Semifinal Round 1 2 3 4 5 6 R H
Daito 0 0 0 2 0 0 2 -
Musashi Fuchu 3 0 2 0 1 x 6 -
  Semifinal Round
Kawaguchi 0 3 0 0 0 0 3 -
Chofu 3 1 2 4 0 x 10 -
  Championship Game
Chofu 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
Musashi Fuchu 2 0 0 2 2 x 6 7

Toward the past

Toward the present

The Unpage brings you unprecedented tournament coverage.
Thank-you for visiting
Unpage Publications!
Contact the Unpage.
Copyright © 2004, Unpage Publications. All rights reserved.
Last revision: 04/22/2004