Ibata, Japan rally past Brazil at WBC

Mar 2, 2013 - 2:38 PM Fukuoka, Japan (Sports Network) - Hirokazu Ibata tied the game with a single and scored the go-ahead run on a fielder's choice by Shinnosuke Abe, as Japan rallied for three runs in the eighth inning to capture a 5-3 win over Brazil in the World Baseball Classic.

Brazil was six outs away from pulling off a stunning upset of the two-time WBC champs in the Pool A opener, but Seiichi Uchikawa led off the top of the eighth with a base hit off Oscar Nakaoshi (0-1) and advanced on a bunt before scoring the tying run on Ibata's single into right field.

Kelsey Kondo took over on the mound for Brazil and promptly yielded a single and a walk to load the bases. Abe then plated Ibata with a force out before Nobuhiro Matsuda singled home another run to make it 5-3.

Brazil went down quietly in the home eighth before bringing the tying run to the plate in the ninth after Tiago Magalhaes singled off Kazuhisa Makita with one out. Makita then fanned JC Muniz and got Iago Januario on a fly ball to center to close it out.

Tadashi Settsu (1-0) picked up the win for Japan, allowing a run on two hits with four strikeouts in three innings. Hayato Sakamoto and Yoshio Itoi also drove in a run apiece in the victory.

Leonardo Reginatto went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and two runs batted in for Brazil. Reinaldo Sato also knocked in a run in defeat.

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