FIGHTERS WIN TO FINISH 1st
Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters earned a come-from-behind win over third placed Fukuoka Softbank Hawks in the Fighters' final game of regular season. The victory meant Nippon-Ham's finished the first place in the Pacific League and would face the winner between Hawks and Seibu Lions in playoffs of the second stage.
Fighters coach Trey Hillman employed all the usable players in the team to want one victory. He switched Yu Darvish from starter Masaru Takeda, who had six hits and one run with three strikeouts in five innings. Darvish, who is first relief this season, pitched strongly to rellay the winning formula, Hisashi Takeda and closer Micheal Nakamura.
In a while, Softbank, who had been confirmed the third place before the game, was usual in style when starter Tsuyoshi Wada did his job to have seven hits and four runs with five strikeouts in 96 throws and seven innings. The lefty was fired two solo shots by Kensuke Tanaka and Fernando Seguignol in fourth inning and gave two straight RBI doubles by Jose Macias and Makoto Kaneko in seventh after Takeshi Tsuji hit an RBI single for Hawks to take a lead in third.
Fighters seemed to be an one-for-all team. Matching power of all the players, I expect Fighters to go for it with the Dosanko fans' dream.
Softbank 1-4 Nippon-Ham (27 Sep)
*1st Place Nippon-Ham Entering Playoffs from 2nd Stage
*Hawks on 3rd Place Meeting Lions in Playoffs 1st Stage