A surprise during the Lancaster contest was middle inning reliever Shiori Akiya, the only girl on the 32-player Saitama squad, reported promoter Carroll Lee Ashburn. She blanked the local boys for two innings after giving up back-to-back hits. She is the daughter of team interpreter Akiko Akiya.
The Japanese visitors also brought umpires along. Yoji Usukura joined Joe Hudnall and C.D. Hathaway on the field as a third official and was eventually needed as a second when Lancaster umpire Jack Shelton went down with a knee injury during the Richmond game.
After the game, the teams exchanged gifts and enjoyed a picnic at the Haydon building, said Ashburn. The team departed Richmond Saturday for the flight back to Japan.
Tom Beatley threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
Thanks go out to all who worked so hard to make the event the success that it was, said Ashburn.