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Japan win baseball bronze

Japan's all-professional team outpowered newcomers Canada 11-2 to win the baseball bronze, restoring some of their pride following a shocking 1-0 loss to Australia.
PTI | By Agence France-Presse, Athens
PUBLISHED ON AUG 25, 2004 06:43 PM IST

Japan's all-professional team outpowered newcomers Canada 11-2 to win the Olympic baseball bronze medal, restoring some of their pride following a shocking 1-0 semi-final loss to Australia.

It was Japan's third Olympic baseball medal following bronze in 1992 and silver in 1996.

Japan finished fourth in Sydney when professionals were allowed to play in the Olympics for the first time. Following the disaster, Japan formed an all-professional team for the first time for the Athens Games.

Canada, beefed up by players from the US minor leagues, finished fourth in their first Olympic outing since the game became an official sport at the 1992 Barcelona Games.

Japan sparked up with a two-run homer by catcher Kenji Jojima off Canadian starter Mike Johnson in the top of the first inning.

In the third inning, Kazuhiro Wada singled for another run with bases loaded, sending Johnson off the mound.

Canada's first reliever, Eric Cyr, also allowed Shinya Miyamoto and Takuya Kimura to single and double for three more runs.

In the fourth inning, Jojima smacked a hard line-drive past third base to put Japan ahead 7-0.

But Canada struck back in the bottom of the same inning as Andy Stewart plated Danny Klassen on a no-out double-play grounder to shortstop.

In the fifth, Edmonton Trappers leftfielder Jeremy Ware slammed the ball into the upper leftfield post for a solo home run to cut the deficit to 7-2.

Japan reignited with another four-run scoring binge in the eighth off Cyr, Mike Kuisiewicz and John Oglitree.

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