Japan beat Venezuela today to make a winning start to the super round at the World Baseball Softball Confederation Under-12 Baseball World Cup in Taiwan.
Having carried over two victories from Group A in the opening round, the Asian team moved onto three from three with a 4-1 triumph at the Tainan Asia-Pacific International Baseball Stadium.
Japan showed impressive pitching and when Venezuela’s bats got to starter Sakuma Aoki, a superb defence prevented runs.
The young Samurai showed they can manufacture runs and also rely on power.
Hosts Chinese Taipei defeated South Korea 9-3 later in the day and both teams will now go into tomorrow's matches with a record of two wins and one loss.
The game was delayed by rain after one inning, with Chinese Taipei leading 6-0.
Play resumed a few hours later after two thunderstorms and the home nation went onto seal victory.
Today's other super-round game saw Cuba thrash Mexico 10-0.
Cuba relied on a dominant effort by starting pitcher Alejandro Prieto, who was almost untouchable, and first baseman Christian Saez, who went four for four with a home run and five run batted ins.
Venezuela are set to play Cuba in tomorrow's first clash before South Korea face Japan and Mexico go up against Chinese Taipei.