SAPPORO, Japan (AP) Shohei Otani struck out 10 batters over six scoreless innings as Japan beat South Korea 5-0 in the opening game of the Premier12 baseball tournament on Sunday.

Otani, billed as Japan's ace, lived up to expectations in the game played at Sapporo Dome. The 21-year-old right-hander notched three consecutive strikeouts in the fifth inning after South Korea had runners at first and second with no outs.

The quadrennial tournament, which features the top 12-ranked nations, is being organized by the World Baseball Softball Confederation.

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Japan enters this year's event as the top-ranked team followed by the United States and Cuba.

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