An early Japan rally was too much to overcome, as the Kansas baseball team (USA Team) lost its first contest of pool play action in the 2018 World University Baseball Championship, 5-1, Sunday morning in a seven-inning weather-shortened game at Chiayi City Baseball Field.
Kansas left-hander Steve Washilewski allowed three runs in 1 2/3 innings of work. Japan tacked on two more runs off right-hander Jonah Ulane before the weather ended the contest. Kansas moves to 1-1 in pool play, while Japan improves to 2-0.
"I couldn't have asked for anything more from our bullpen," head coach Ritch Price said in a team release. "We got in trouble early, but they went out there and threw up the four zeroes to give us a chance. Unfortunately, the rain came, and washed away any chance at a late rally."
Nolan Metcalf, who will be a sophomore next spring, got the Jayhawks on the board with a solo home run. It marked the first blast for Kansas in the tournament and the first for Metcalf during his collegiate career.
Kansas plays Russia at midnight on Monday at Chiayi City Baseball Field. The game will be streamed live on YouTube.com/SSUtv.