Japan battles back from 3-0 first-inning deficit to beat Curacao

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- Tokyo rallied from a 3-0 first-inning deficit to defeat Willemstad, Curacao, 10-3 on Friday.

Kanta Hiraide hit a liner to the left field wall
with the bases loaded to cap a six-run third inning for the Tokyo
Kitasuna squad from Japan.

This is the first year that Japan's national Little League
tournament winner automatically qualified for South Williamsport.
Japan (1-0) hadn't played a game since July 21 and looked a little
rusty before the offense kicked in.

The Pabao Little League team from Curacao (0-1) isn't a slouch
either. A team from that league has qualified for the series seven
straight years, winning a title in 2004.