Baseball: Sasaki brings heat as Okamoto leads Japan past Hawks
Roki Sasaki’s fastball had mid-season velocity, and Kazuma Okamoto drove in three runs as Samurai Japan beat the Pacific League’s SoftBank Hawks 8-4 in its first World Baseball Classic warm-up game Saturday.
Before a sell-out crowd of 26,212 at southwestern Japan’s Sun Marine Stadium Miyazaki, Sasaki quickly ratcheted the radar gun up to 162 kilometers (100.7 miles) per hour. The right-hander allowed one infield single while striking out three in two scoreless innings.
“My fastball had good life on it today,” Sasaki said. “My feel for the ball with my breaking pitches was better than it was in...