Opening Series Recap @ SoftBank

Photo from Steve, cheering Rhee from the Lotte ouendan.

Photo from Steve, cheering Rhee from the Lotte ouendan.

Game 1 – Lotte WINS 3-1

W: Hideaki Wakui L: Tadashi Settsu S: Yuji Nishino
Full report HERE

Game 2 – Lotte Loses 4-2

W: Jason Standridge L: Chen Kuan-Yu S: Dennis Sarfate

Game 3 – Lotte WINS 5-4

W: Rhee Dae-Eun L: Kenichi Nakata S: Yuji Nishino

Our Marines took the first series of the year two-games-to-one over the Hawks in Fukuoka. That’s wins for Wakui and Rhee, with Chen taking the tough luck loss in game 2. All three of these guys weren’t even on the team two years ago, with Chen and Rhee coming over as free agents this year. Not bad way to start the season in the defending champ’s building.

Steve did an excellent write up from game 1 you can READ HERE. Game 2 was not so great, memorable mostly for a blown call at first base that eventually led to two SoftBank runs. Those two runs ended up being the difference in the game, with SoftBank winning 4-2.

Lotte took the rubber match with a comeback 5-4 win on Sunday. Rhee was the hero striking out 9 in 6 1/3 IP versus the formidable SoftBank lineup. Our Marines came back from an early 3-0 hole starting with RBI singles by Cruz and Nemoto in the 5th. Lotte completed the comeback in the following inning with an infield RBI single for Kakunaka, RBI double for Iguchi (Imae thrown out at home), and RBI single by Cruz. Ohtani, who inherited a 1-out runner at 2nd, teamed up with Masuda for 1 2/3 scoreless innings in relief, followed by Nishino who inked his 2nd save in the ninth.

Nemoto is the only Marine batting over .300 thus far. His 3-for-3 day in game 3 puts him at an even .400 for the season. Iguchi has the team’s only HR in three games.

Play of the Series:

First, I have to give it up to our middle infield. The double play combination of Cruz and Daichi are already in mid-season form, making even difficult “get twos” look routine this weekend time and time again. The Lotte defense turned 7 DP’s on the weekend. The play of the series goes to Okada though, and his leaping catch Friday night in the 9th.

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