Shohei Otani shows off batting prowess with disappearing hit

Author: AP
Published: Updated:
Japan’s pinch hitter Shohei Otani watches the flight of his ground-rule double with Netherlands’ catcher Dashenko Ricardo in the seventh inning of their international exhibition series baseball game at Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

TOKYO (AP) – Japanese pitcher Shohei Otani added to his reputation as a powerful hitter on Sunday when he hit a fly ball that didn’t come down.

Otani’s towering fly ball in the seventh inning of an exhibition game against the Netherlands got lodged somewhere in the roof of Tokyo Dome.

As Otani rounded the bases, teammates, opposition players and umpires looked up in search of the ball that disappeared into the panels lining the ceiling of the domed stadium.

What certainly would have been a home run in an open-air stadium was ruled a ground-rule double.

While Otani is widely regarded as one of the best pitchers in the world, he is proving his batting abilities are just as impressive. The 6-foot-4 righthander hit 22 home runs this season for the Nippon Ham Fighters.

Japan won Sunday’s game 12-10 to improve to 3-1 in the four-game series that included two games against Mexico and is a tune-up for next year’s World Baseball Classic.

Otani hit a leadoff homer in the fifth inning of Saturday’s 9-8 win over the Netherlands.

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