TOKYO (TR) – The Fukuoka Softbank Hawks clinched the most coveted prize in Japanese professional baseball by shutting out the Chunichi Dragons 3-0 in Game 7 of the Japan Series, news service Kyodo reported.
Left-handed pitcher Toshiya Sugiuchi frustrated the Dragons by throwing seven shutout innings for the title win Sunday at Yahoo Dome in Fukuoka, Kyodo said. The lefthander struck out eight and gave up three singles and a pair of walks, according to the news service.
The Hawks fell 2-0 to Chunichi in the first two games of the series before winning the next three.
“I think all of the players are tired after playing until Game 7. Chunichi really never gave up. But my players really gave it their all till the end,” Softbank manager Koji Akiyama said, according to Kyodo.
Hard-throwing American reliever Brian Falkenborg struck out three consecutive batters in the eighth inning only to leave the game in the ninth when a line drive by the Dragons’ Hirokazu Ibata hit the right-hander in his pitching arm.
The Sofbank Hawks last won the Japan Series in 2003.