Friday, August 22, 2014

Jyunjyunkesshou Game 4 - Nihon Bunri (Niigata) v. Seikou Gakuin (Fukushima)


Nihon Bunri (Niigata)
RF Hoshi Kenta
SS Kurodai Naito
1B Kodachi Otowa (#8)
3B Ikeda Takamasa
LF Kobayashi Masaya
2B Arai Makoto
CF Takeishi Ryou (#16)
C Kamakura Wataru
P Iidzuka Satoshi

Seikou Gakuin (Fukushima)
LF Yaoita Takumaru
2B Fujiwara Issei
3B Yaginuma Kentarou
1B Yasuda Kouki
CF Isagi Shun
SS Ishigaki Mitsuhiro
RF Harada Genki (#17)
C Takano Kouki
P Funabasama Taiga


15:30 - First Pitch!

Top 1st
Funabasama walks leadoff batter Hoshi, and is promptly bunts the runner over.

Kodachi with a ball to left center splits the defense! Hoshi comes in on the double and Nihon Bunri leads 1-0!

Ikeda singles to left! Kodachi has to hold at 3rd, but things looking dire already. Saitou-kantoku calls for time.

Kobayashi pops it up! Yaginuma under it for the 2nd out!

But Funabasama goes and walks Arai to load the bases! Big chance for bench starter Takeishi!


He just watches as the slider goes over the plate for strike 3! Nihon Bunri leads but it could have been more!

Bottom 1st
Yaoita grounder to left side, Kurodai chases it down, quick throw to first goes off Kodachi's glove! Infield single to start for Seikou!  And as expected he's bunted over.

Yaginuma with a single to right center! Yaoita comes home and just like that we're all tied at 1-1!

2 down now and Yaginuma takes off for 2nd! He's in safely and Seikou looks to take the lead!

But Isagi grounds to 1st! Kodachi makes the play to retire the side.

A bit shaky for the converted outfielder and Seikou has tied the game!

Top 2nd
Kamakura needs a moment after an attempted bunt hits him in the hand.

But he'll feel much better after he singles past Funabasama to center!

Iidzuka with a pop fly to left. Yaoita running towards the line, still running! It falls in! Kamakura goes to 3rd, but Nihon Bunri is threatening again!

But on Hoshi's grounder to 2nd, Kamakura gets himself hung up! He's run down, but perhaps prevents the double play instead. Still runners on 2nd and 3rd, 1 down.

Kurodai pops it up! Ishigaki behind the mound makes the catch, 2 out!

Kodachi delivers again! He singles to center and Iidzuka can score giving Nihon Bunri the 2-1 lead!

Ikeda flies out to right, but now we know why they're keeping him in the lineup!

Bottom 2nd
One down and bench starter Harada lines a ball down the left field line all the way to the wall for a double!

Takano single to left! Harada holds up at 3rd, but it's clear opportunities are to be had on both sides!

Grounder to 2nd! Arai goes for the double play, 4-6-3 and Iidzuka is out of the inning!

Top 3rd
Funabasama finally has a clean inning. Bunri hits a couple of fly balls but nothing of consequence.

Bottom 3rd
Yaoita with his 2nd hit in as many ABs with a single up the middle. Fujiwara moves him over, but then puts Yaginuma on with a free pass.

Yasuda can't get the timely as he pops out to Kodachi in foul territory.

Isagi grounder to 2nd, Arai has trouble fielding it, but does go to 1st for the 3rd out.

Top 4th
Kamakura with a basehit back up the middle, but neither Iidzuka, Hoshi or Kurodai can do anything to get him around. More specifically Hoshi his a hard shot to the left side, but Ishigaki makes the diving catch.

Bottom 4th
(Sorry, nodded off missed 5th-6th innings and hurt my wrist in awkward position. Still keeping score and will have writeup once hand regains range of movement)

Jyunjyunkesshou Game 3 - Osaka Touin (Osaka) v. Kendai Takasaki (Gunma)

People may not realize that back in 2012 these two teams faced off. Kendai back then was like the Kendai now, free running and exciting the crowd.

But when they faced Osaka Touin, they got thrown out once and we never saw them try again as they fell 3-1.

If they have to running game, they are lost. That's all I think it really boils down to.

Osaka Touin (Osaka)
LF Nakamura Makoto
2B Minemoto Takumi
3B Katsuki Kazuya
1B Shouzui Yuuya (#8)
RF Aoyagi Kouki (#13)
C Yokoi Yuuya
CF Mori Shinnosuke (#9)
SS Fukuda Kouki
P Fukushima Kousuke

Takasaki Kenkoudai Fukushi (Gunma)
CF Hirayama Takayuki
2B Hoshino Yuusuke
RF Wakimoto Naoto
1B Nagashima Ryouhei
C Tsuge Sena
LF Yamagami Takashi
3B Shibahiki Ryousuke (#15)
SS Yokomizo Takuto
P Kawai Tomoya (#11)


13:10 - First Pitch!

Top 1st
Kawai gets an easy popup from Nakamura to start.

Minemoto hot shot to 3rd, Shibahiki with a great stop and throw gets him out.

Katsuki high chopper up middle, Yokomizo ranges, gets it, spins, throws.. but not in time!

He took an extra step and that probably cost him the out.

Shouzui with a single through the left side and could they be in trouble like Kousei?

No! Kawai snaga the comebacker from Aoyagi and goes to 1st to retire the side!

Bottom 1st
We'll see if they can run right off the bat as Fukushima walks Hirayama!

And he does! Throw from Yokoi is high and he's in safely!

Hoshino with the bunt! Yokoi can only go to 1st. 1 down.

Wakimoto does his job! He hits a ball to center! Mori catches, fires home as Hirayama tags up, but it's not in time! Kendai leads 1-0!

Nagashima bloops a ball to center that falls in front of Mori.

But Fukushima with a quick toss to 1st gets Nagashima to end the inning!

Top 2nd
Yokoi hot shot to 3rd! Shibahiki with a wave of the hand picks the high bounce! He loses it on the way down, but gathers it and throws to 1st... out!  Nice play by the 2nd year!

Mori with a liner to center, but Nakamura comes in and is there to make the catch.

Fukuda a bit early on the ball, controls his swing, but grounds to 1st. Nagashima takes it to the bag for the 3rd out.

Bottom 2nd
So the only thing that can derail Kendai is simply not having any baserunners.

And I'm not sure if they'll be able to hit for one, because here in the 2nd both Tsuge and Yamagami both are fooled on Fukushima's pitches and ground out while Shibahiki can't hold up his swing on a ball in the dirt.

Top 3rd
Osaka Touin not having as hard of a time getting on base. Fukushima singles back up the middle, and is bunted along to 2nd.

Kawai climbs the ladder on Katsuki and he swings! Yokomizo camps under it for the 2nd out.

Shouzui liner to center, Hirayama charging in, reaches out.. AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hirayama misses the ball and it gets by! Fukushima scores! Minemoto being waved around and he scores on the lucky triple! Osaka Touin leads 2-1!

Aoyagi fouls out to Nagashima, but that decision to go for it by Hirayama costs them the lead!

Bottom 3rd
2 Ks at the bottom of the lineup and we're back to Hirayama.

He tries the safety bunt! Katsuki charging in and fires to 1st... SAFE!! He barely head slides in ahead of the throw.

And then he takes of for 2nd! Yokoi's throw... Fukuda can't secure it! Hirayama trying to manufacture another run on his own.

Hoshino with a ball to right, Aoyagi backing up makes the catch to retire the side.

Top 4th
Osaka Touin is playing small ball??!!

After Yokoi singles to center, Mori bunts him over! This feels odd coming from them.

Because Fukuda strikes out swinging on a slider in the dirt, and Fukushima simply grounds out to 1st for the 3rd out. I guess they figure those 2 can't normally hit.

Bottom 4th
Wakimoto with a slicer down the right field line! Aoyagi runs it down, but he's in with a double! Nagashima with the push bunt forces Katsuki to field it and Wakimoto advances to 3rd.

Tsuge takes a pitch the other way... and that's in for a basehit! Wakimoto can walk home and we're all tied at 1-1!

2 down for Kendai and Aoyagi-kantoku calls the hit-and-run! Shibahiki takes the ball to right and there's runners at the corners!

Shibahiki takes off to 2nd! Yokomizo swings and misses! Throw to 2nd and Tsuge takes off for home! Minemoto's cuts the ball but loses the grip! Tsuge scores!!


The home plate umpire calls Yokomizo for batter's interference on the throw and he's out! We're still tied at 2-2!

(Personally, I don't know if that was the right call...)

Top 5th
Aoyagi-kantoku figures 4 innings is enough for Kawai and #10 Matsuno comes in to take over.

But he walks Nakamura to start the 5th.

Minemoto not bunting, but kinda throws the bat at the ball down 1-2 and dribbles it to the left side like a bunt. He advances the runner nonetheless.

AH! Pitch from Matsuno is high and deflects off Tsuge's glove! Nakamura takes off for 3rd and reaches with no throw!

Katsuki hits a ball to left, but it's too shallow and Nakamura can't score.

Matsuno gets out of the pinch as Shouzui grounds out to short! Yokomizo's completes the play at 1st and Kendai holds serve.

Bottom 5th
Hoshino with a 2-out liner to center brings up Wakimoto. But will Hoshino run?

Wakimoto swings!!!

Drive to right! Aoyagi heading towards the foul pole! Still going!  He's in front of the fence!

Makes the catch!!!

The hamakaze finally wins a match and it's at the expense of Wakimoto!

We hit the break and so far Kendai has been able to run, but not to the extent of other games, but some bad luck has prevented them from taking the lead. But they have proven that they will try the double steal!

Top 6th
Aoyagi becomes Matsuno's 1st K victim as he chases the slider.  Yokoi becomes the 2nd after swinging at a ball in the opposite batters box!

Mori flies out to left, and it's another scoreless inning for Kendai!

Bottom 6th
Kendai's batters continue to mostly struggle against Fukushima. 2 down, Yamagami gets on base as a short chopper forces Minemoto to charge in and his underhand flip is too high and takes Shouzui off the bag.

Yamagami takes off for 2nd but Yokoi tries to frame the pitch for the K instead! Doesn't get the call and Yamagami is in scoring position!

But Shibahiki flies out to right and that ends things in the 6th.

Top 7th
Matsuno on the verge of walking leadoff batter Fukuda, but gets him to chase the slider inside for the out.

Fukushima with a single to right turns the lineup over for Nakamura.

He hits a drive to left! Yamagami heading to the fence, but he's pulling up!


Leadoff batter Nakamura puts Osaka Touin ahead with one swing! 4-2!

Ah! And now Matsuno hits Minemoto! Aoyagi-kantoku quickly scrambles the bullpen.

Minemoto takes off for 2nd! Throw from Tsuge... not in time!! Katsuki with a flyout to right advances the runner to 3rd.

Oy, Matsuno walks Shouzui.

After an 0-1 pitch up and in, Aoyagi-kantoku calls time.

It doesn't help! (I think) Matsuno walks Aoyagi and the bases are loaded! Perhaps they figure that marginal run they would score is worth getting a force at any base.

Yokoi swings on the first pith though and hits a pop fly to Nagashima for the 3rd out.

Bottom 7th
One down and #17 Kinjyou hits for Matsuno, but he goes down on 3 pitches all on the slider it seems. Really a waste of an AB.

2 down, and while Hirayama draws a walk, his run would only make it a 1-run game.

He goes for 2nd, and with it ties the record for SB at Koushien!

The record is nice, but I think he wants the win.

Liner to right side, Shouzui dives, makes the catch!! That denies them the run!

Top 8th
Grounder to short, AHHH!!!

It takes a high hop and hits him in the head! Mori is safe, but how is Yokomizo?

Oh, the replay shows the ball hitting his neck, but that still hurts.

Fukuda grounder up middle! Yokomizo knocks it down but can only go to 1st.

Mori advances to 3rd with a fly ball to right.

Nakamura shot at 3rd... And Shibahiki can't pick it! It goes to left and Mori scores to make it a 3-run margin at 5-2.

Takahashi gets Minemoto to end the inning, but 3 runs in 2 innings is a lot to ask of Kendai.

Bottom 8th
Hoshino liner up right side, but Shouzui snags that one too!

2 down, Tsuge with a shallow fly to left center. Mori charges in, dives but can't get there. It kicks awa and Tsuge is in with a double.

Yamagami with a drive to center, but Mori going back easily fields it and Kendai may fall once again to the powerhouse.

Top 9th
#5 Nakasuji comes in for Yokomizo.

Takahashi retires the side in order, but his team is against the wall.

Bottom 9th
Kendai goes quietly in 9th and Osaka Touin defeats Kendai Takasaki once again 5-2 to advance to Best 4.

Kendai didn't deviate from their plan, but you could say they were partially a victim of bad luck. The batter's interference on the double steal, Wakimoto's deep fly that just missed being a HR, the two liners that Shouzui were able to snag. It just wasn't their day.

And it's too bad because their baseball is so fun to watch and something you just don't see everyday. There are parts of their team that are young, so perhaps we'll see this team again soon.

Jyunjyunkesshou Game 2 - Hachinohe Gakuin Kousei (Aomori) v. Tsuruga Kehi (Fukui)

Mie makes their first foray into the Best 4, who will join them next?

Kousei has barely survived their two games, needing some help from Bushuukan to win late, then only prevailed against Seiryou in 10 innings. It certainly doesn't feel like the teams from several years ago that reached 3 consecutive calendar finals.

And worse yet, they're facing the offensive juggernaut this year.

No, not Osaka Touin (again), but Tsuruga Kehi!

The Fukui representative have outscored their opponents 42-2! And simply put, until a team can prove that they're not who we see they are, they have to be considered one of, if not the favorite.

Hachinohe Gakuin Kousei (Aomori)
3B Houjyou Hiroyuki
SS Adachi Yuuya
1B Moriyama Hiroki
2B Fukae Taisei
RF Arai Katsunori
LF Nakazaki Jyukiya (#16)
CF Arai Katsutaka
C Baba Ryuusei (#12)
P Goya Kai (#11)

Tsuruga Kehi (Fukui)
1B Shinohara Ryou
3B Shimomura Takamasa
SS Asai Kouya
C Okada Kouta
CF Mine Kentarou
RF Oyana Shou
P Hiranuma Shouta
LF Yamamoto Akihiro
2B Nakamoto Takahiro


10:55 - First Pitch!

Top 1st
Interesting! After Houjyou grounds out to 3rd, he walks up to Moriyama in the on-deck circle and relays info about Hiranuma!

Meanwhile, Adachi draws a 4-pitch walk.

Moriyama not bunting.. works the count, and he draws a walk!

Fukae decides to go for it, but uppercuts the 2-1 pitch. Shimomura in foul territory makes the catch for the 2nd out.


Hiranuma gets out of the inning as Katsunori is twisted on a fastball down and in for the 3rd out! Kousei certainly trying to work the count against Hiranuma, but can't get the timely to drive in the run.

Bottom 1st
Goya getting the bench start, definitely a bit tentative, but still attacking the Kehi batters.

Shinohara liner, but right at Moriyama. Shimomura with a foul fly, and Moriyama makes that catch near the fence for the 2nd out.

But then he walks Asai and Okada bak to back and without having to swing a bat they have a chance to score.

Ah, well....

Mine with a drive to right. Nakazaki not even moving.

That, my friends is a no-doubter. 3-0 Tsuruga Kehi.

Oyana follows that up with a single to center.

But thankfully for Goya, he strikes out Hiranuma to retire the side. But the Tsuruga Kehi offense is already up and running.

Top 2nd
Looks like the bottom of the lineup has abandoned the patient strategy. 9 pitches Hiranuma needs to retire the side in the 2nd.

Bottom 2nd
Yamamoto with a single to right to start the inning.

Ah.... Goya hits Nakamoto on the head. He looks ok, but is replaced at 1st for an injury runner in Oyana.

Goya meanwhile makes way for #10 Yagi.

And including a sac bunt, Yagi retires the side in order!

Top 3rd
10 pitches to retire the side - this game feels like it's over already.

Bottom 3rd
And one down, Mine and Oyana both single to left, Nakazaki's defense a bit shaky.

Yagi gets out of the inning as Hiranuma lines to 2nd and Fukae doubles off Oyana.

Top 4th
Fukae grounder up the 3rd base line... fair!! Shimomura can't make the diving catch and he's in with a double!

AH! And now a balk is called on Hiranuma! He never gets set.

But Hiranuma comes right back to get Katsunori to chase a slider in the dirt and jams Nakazaki into a short fly that he catches himself.

Bottom 4th
Yamamoto comes around to score when after a leadoff hit and a bunt+groundout move him to 3rd, Shimomura singles to center. 4-0.

Top 5th
More of the same from Kousei. Sadly nothing of note.

Bottom 5th
Leadoff single from Okada comes in after a bunt and double off the wall in center. 5-0.

Yamamoto with 2 down goes to deep right center and off the wall for a triple, 6-0.

Ace Nakagawa comes in for Yagi.

Nakamura welcomes him with a single through the right side, 7-0.

Shinohara grounds out to end the inning, and as we hit the break the only question left to ask is can Kousei prevent Kehi from scoring double digits?

Top 6th
3 up, 3 down...

Bottom 6th
#17 Takaku in for Nakazaki in LF.

Kehi is on the verge of scoring another run when Asai gets hit by Nakagawa, steals 2nd and takes 3rd on Baba's throwing error. Mine grounds to 3rd, so no run.

Top 7th
Fukae with the leadoff walk. One down, Takaku singles through the right side.

2 down and Takaku goes for 2nd and gets no throw from Okada.

Baba with a single to left, Fukae and Takaku score preventing the shutout at 7-2.

Bottom 7th
Nakagawa walks his counterpart, but otherwise pitches a clean frame. Kehi still siting at 7 runs.

Top 8th
Moriyama gets a 2-out single, but that's all that Kousei can muster.

Bottom 8th
#7 Kitanuki getting playing time in RF for Arai Katsunori.

PH #17 Matsuoka, in for Shinohara, draws a walk and is replaced by #16 Yonemitsu.

With 2 outs, #18 Matsmoto comes in for Katsutaka and goes to 1B, Moriyama goes to LF and Takaku goes to CF.

Top 9th
Didn't even need notice it was raining at Koushien.

Yonemitsu stays in to play 1B.

Captain Chiba gets an AB in the final frame, but like so many other innings, they go down in order as Tsuruga Kehi wins 7-2.

Sadly for Kousei their run ended about as quickly as it could have as Mine hit the 3-run HR in the 1st inning. After that they played a catchup game they couldn't win.

And so the same story repeats itself...

Kehi perhaps looked a little more "vulnerable" with Nakagawa shutting them down, but it could also be because they know they're playing in 2 days.

Jyunjyunkesshou Game 1 - Mie (Mie) v. Okinawa Shougaku (Okinawa)

And then there were 8. The contingent of Tokoku and Hokushinetsu teams are still there, though depleted over the last couple of days.

Mie, though not in those regions, probably shares some of the hopes they do in that they're not a prefecture known for strong baseball. And yet they're here in the Best 8 and got there their own way - by making sure they grinded their way there. Whatever the score, they will wind up playing a close game.

Okinawa Shougaku showed it had some backbone when stood up by Nishougakushadai Fuzoku. There has always been a feeling of not performing to their potential, but this year they've seemed to buck that by defeating not Nishougakushadai Fuzoku and in the first round Sakushin Gakuin.

But there's still something that makes me a non-believer. Whether it was the fact they couldn't keep their lead, or the fact that they've shown promise before. Winning this game might start pushing people towards believers.

Mie (Mie)
CF Nagano Hayato
2B Sada Taiki
SS Utsunomiya Touma
1B Nishioka Musashi
LF Yamamoto Youma (#10)
3B Uchida Ren
RF Seko Ren
C Nakabayashi Kengo
P Imai Shigetarou

Okinawa Shougaku (Okinawa)
CF Akamine Ken
2B Nakamura Masaki (#13)
LF Nishihira Daiki
3B Asato Takeru
RF Kubo Shuuto
1B Uehara Kouta
SS Sunagawa Osamu
P Yamashiro Daichi
C Irabu Shouta


08:00 - First Pitch!

Top 1st
Nagano with a base hit past a diving Nakamura into center. Sada bunts him along.

おっと! Yamashiro hits Utsunomiya (who hasn't done a lot at the plate!) Okishou in some trouble early!

Nishioka single to right! Nagano being waved home! Throw goes to 3rd and Mie leads 1-0!


Yamamoto tries the squeeze, but bunts it foul! That puts him at 2 strikes and probably swinging.

Perhaps he should have three-bunted....

He makes a very poor swing on a slider almost in the other batter's box for the 2nd out.

Uchida does the same, and perhaps wishes he didn't make contact as he just rolls a ball to short where Sunagawa just tosses it to 2nd for the 3rd out.

Yamashiro prevents further damage, though even if Mie scored runs, they'd probably give them back in the name of grinding out the game.

Bottom 1st
Akamine hits a ball to right for a base hit, but Seko is a bit lazy in getting the ball in, allowing Akamine to take 2nd!

After a sac bunt, Imai making things really hard on himself as he hits Nishihira.

Asato grounder to 3rd! Akamine going home stops and he's in a rundown! But he's alertly smart about it and gives the runners enough time to advance as far as they can before being tagged out.

So a base hit is still dangerous.

First base is still open, but Imai decides to fight against Kubo. Count runs full..


Kubo sprints out of the box but the home plate umpire rings him up for the 3rd out! Imai wiggles out of another one!

Top 2nd
Seko can't help out at the plate right now either as Yamashiro puts one at the knees for the first out.

Nakamura simply hits a ball back to Yamashiro for the 2nd out, and then Mie's batters need to know the proper way to stay alive as he just take a slow swing and hits it right to Sunagawa.

Bottom 2nd
Imai also having an easier time of it after the opening frame. Uehara strikes out on the outside slider, and then he gets 2 groundouts for a 1-2-3 inning.

Top 3rd
2 down and Utsunomiya singles to right. Yamashiro tries to be careful with Nishioka, but winds up walking him.

Small chance for Mie, but Yamamoto can't get the base hit as he grounds to 3rd to end the inning.

Bottom 3rd
Akamine with his 2nd hit of the game, a one-out single to left. But Imai gets himself out of the inning quickly as Kubo grounds into the 6-4-3 double play.

Top 4th
Yamashiro and his control again coming into play as he gives up a one-out walk to Seko. Nakabayashi not bunting with 1 down, bloops one to shallow center. Ken coming in, but he won't get there in time! It falls in and everyone's safe as Seko scrambles into 2nd.

That gets Higa-kantoku to call time.

Iimai grounder to 1st, Uehara goes to 2nd for 1, but Sunagawa sees no play at 1st and snap throws to 3rd just in case Seko went too far (he didn't).

Nagano drive to right! Kubo sprinting back to the wall! It'll fall in near the wall! Seko scores, Imai all the way from 1st scores on the 2R triple! 3-0 Mie!

Sada grounds to 3rd, but Mie's captain giving his team some insurance runs!

Bottom 4th
Which Imai starts giving back!

Asato with a deep drive to left! Yamamoto back towards the left field foul pole...


Mie is never comfortable with a big lead and Asato helps dent that large lead a little. One out solo HR from Okishou's cleanup batter and it's 3-1!

Kubo follows that up with a single to center! And then Uehara with a seeing-eye single sends Uehara to 3rd and Okishou threatens again!

Nakamura-kantoku calls for time.

But Sunagawa hits a drive to left! Yamamoto scrambling back to the wall, turns, and makes the catch right at the wall!

Kubo tags up and it's a 3-2 ballgame!

Imai strikes out his counterpart for the 3rd out, but once again, Mie makes it a tenuous situation for itself.

Top 5th
Utsunomiya having a great game at the plate so far, gets his 2nd hit of the game with a single through the left side.

Then promptly gets himself thrown out by a very wide margin at 2nd. Boy that looked odd.

Nishioka with a drive to left! Nishihira going back to the wall! He gives up!


Not to be outdone, Mie's cleanup batter says to Asato, "Hey, I can do that too!" And the ball goes up about 10 rows for a 4-2 lead!

And now Yamamoto finally gets his basehit when there's no runners in scoring position (sic). Single to center and Yamashiro is getting hit hard - not to mention he's already at 94 pitches!!

Uchida with a blooper to left, Nishihira comes in, but has to play it on a hop!

Seko chopper to 3rd, Asato has it goes to AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

He loses the ball on the transfer! And by the time he picks it back up everyone's safe!!

But Yamashiro comes right back and blows a ball past Nakabayashi for the 2nd out.

Imai drive to left center! Nishihira won't get this one!  Everyone will come around to score on the bases clearing triple by Imai! 7-2 Mie!!

Nagano single to center! Imai being sent home and Mie takes a 8-2 lead! Nagano takes 2nd on the throw and it certainly looks like they're trying to break that cycle!

Well, we'll see. Sada grounds out to short, so we'll see if this lead can stick, or like all the other ones they start giving it right back.

Bottom 5th
Well... Irabu leadoff single to left...

Imai gets Akamine to regrettably swing on a slider for strike 3.

Nakamura with a short liner to left, but Yamamoto is there for the catch for out number 2.

And at least for an inning Mie seems to have held the large lead... Nishihira swings over the slider for strike 3.

So, we hit the break with Mie all over Okishou ace Yamashiro. But their penchant for close games makes any lead seem unsafe.

Top 6th
Higa-kantoku makes the pitching change. Kubo comes in from right to take the hill while Yamashiro goes to take Kubo's position in RF.

Utsunomiya with a soft liner up the middle, his counterpart Sunagawa stretches out and makes the leaping catch.

Mie's batters seem to be swinging way too early on Kubo's pitches as evidenced by their repeated reaching out to the ball. Yamamoto is able to take a pitch down the right side for a double, but Uchida right afterwards is early too and just pops it up for Sunagawa.

Bottom 6th
Well, Imai walks leadoff batter Asato, thought that's understandable.

Kubo chopper to 2nd, Sada charges turns and backpedal flips to 2nd for one, Utsunomiya to 1st for the double play.

Uehara rolls a ball to 1st and it's another clean inning.

Top 7th
Seko with a blooper to center that falls in for a base hit. Nakabayashi tries to bunt the runner along, but winds up with 2 strikes. Goes for the bust-and-run, singles through the open left side.

Now Imai is able to get a bunt down, but it's not good at all. Kubo goes to 3rd and they almost double off Imai at 1st.

Nagano fares worse as he hits into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.

Bottom 7th
Leadoff batter reaches yet again as Sunagawa singles up the middle.

あ。 #10 Kinjyou hits for Yamashiro, officially ending his nightmare day.  Kinjyou though goes down swinging.

Irabu, ahead 3-1 lines a single to left and they're in business here in the Lucky 7.

Akamine with a liner to right, but right at Seko for the 2nd out.

Nakamura liner up middle, off Imai's glove! Utsunomiya there to pick it up, fires to first for the 3rd out!

Top 8th
Kinjyou stays in the game to play RF.

Sada with his first basehit of the game, lines a single to left. Utsunomiya bunts him along.

With first base open, they're careful with Nishioka and wind up walking him.

Yamamoto liner, but right to Nakamura. Sada straying a bit too far is doubled off at 2nd and the side is retired.

Bottom 8th
Again, Okishou gets the leadoff runner on. This time Nishihira's hot shot eats up Uchida and it goes into foul territory.

Asato grounder to 2nd, AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

Sada just whiffs on the ball and it goes to right! Nishihira takes 3rd on the error!

Kubo with another grounder to 2nd! Sada has this one, goes to 2nd for one, but Utsunomiya double clutches and the throw to 1st isn't in time! Nishihira scores to make it 8-3.

Uehara grounder to 1st, but Nishioka has it! Tags 1st, throws to 2nd where Utsunomiya tags Kubo for the 3rd out.

Top 9th
Higa-kantoku sends another person to the hill, this time 1B Uehara. Kubo goes back to RF and Kinjyou goes to 1B.

Uchida with a really awkward swing on a ball inside hits it to right. Kubo going back towards he foul pole??!!


That ball went out? That didn't even look like a HR swing to me, it felt more like a stay alive swing.

Uehara only yields a 2-out walk to Imai, but gets out harmless otherwise.

Bottom 9th
#18 Matsumura in the game now to play RF.

2 down, Irabu gets a base hit up the middle, and is replaced by #12 Akamine Taku.

Ken grounds to 1st, Nishioka goes to the bag, and Mie is in the Best 4 for the first time in school history with a 9-3 win!!

Mie, long a participant at Koushien, has never been able to make a deep run until now. Starting with their win over Kouryou they have persevered through the field and are now into the Best 4 with this win. This win seemed uncharacteristic in that Mie was actually able to keep a big lead. One would hope that doesn't mean that they've peaked too early. They are after all just 1 game from the finals!

Alas, for Okinawa Shougaku the run falls short yet again. It's odd, they've had the team to challenge for the Koushien title, but whether it be the schedule or the weather, they just not been able to break through. That'll be it for this team of players, the kouhai's will have to step up and sooner rather than later because aki taikais are underway.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Day 11, Game 4 - Yamagata Chuo (Yamagata) v. Kendai Takasaki (Gunma)


Yamagata Chuo (Yamagata)
2B Takahashi Yuusuke (#14)
LF Takahashi Ryuusei
RF Nagai Daichi
3B Aoki Riku
1B Takahashi Kazuki
SS Nakamura Ryuu
CF Takahashi Ryousuke
C Abe Koutarou
P Satou Ryousuke (#11)

Takasaki Kenkoudai Fukushi (Gunma)
CF Hirayama Takayuki
2B Hoshino Yuusuke
RF Wakimoto Naoto
1B Nagashima Ryouhei
C Tsuge Sena
LF Yamagami Takashi
3B Shibahiki Ryousuke (#15)
SS Yokomizo Takuto
P Ishige Rikito (#18)


15:50 - First Pitch

Top 1st
After Yuusuke strikes out looking, Ryuusei hits one clean back up the middle for a single.  But while Nagai also hits one back up the middle, it's much slower and Yokomizo starts the 6-3 double play to end the inning.

Bottom 1st
The last thing you want to do is give Kendai a free baserunner... and yet Ryousuke walks Hirayama!

But instead of stealing, with a lefty on the mound, Hoshino bunts the runner along.

But now on 2nd, Hirayama breaks for 3rd! Abe tries to be too quick and the ball goes all the way to the backstop!

Wakimoto grounds to short, and Nakamura goes to 1st ceding the run! Wakimoto is barely beaten out, but his team leads 1-0!  Nagashima fouls out to Abe to end the inning.

Top 2nd

Aoki with a drive to right center!  Hirayama going back to the wall!!!


Where did this power come from?? Aoki completely laughs at the hamazake and drives a douten HR to the right side of the field! 1-1!

Ishige needs just 7 pitches to retire the next 3 batters, but Yamagata Chuo immediately gets the run back!

Bottom 2nd
Ryousuke is apparently going between his fastball and slow curve to try and throw off the batters.

Seems to be working as Kendai's batters are unable to make good contact on the ball and thusly reach base.

Top 3rd
Meanwhile, Yamagata's batters are having a hard time with Ishige's slower fastball (he only hits the high 120s). Koutarou and Satou Ryousuke both strike out.

Yuusuke hits a chopper to the right side, Nagashima tosses to Ishige but Yuusuke beats him out to the bag!

Ryuusei with a single down the left field line! Yamagami is up with it quickly and Yuusuke can only take 2nd on the hit.

Nagai giving Ishige a long AB, spoiling pitch after pitch.

Finally on the 11th pitch, Ishige gets him to pop it up! Tsuge in foul territory on 1st side makes catch!

Bottom 3rd
Well, this isn't good. Satou Ryousuke is giving free passes! First he hits Yokomizo... and then walks Ishige!!

Hirayama with the bunt, Aoki with it fires to... nobody!!!

Nobody is covering 1st!  All safe!!

Shouji-kantoku calls for time. And Aoyagi-kantoku sends in #16 Mochida to run for Ishige, his day is done!

Hoshino grounder to 1st, Kazuki double clutches but goes home! They get the force. 1 down.

Wakimoto down 1st base line.. FAIR!!!! It gets by Kazuki and the runners are off to the races! One in..2 in! AHHH!!!

Nagai throws the ball away! Hoshino comes in and it's 3 runs to the good! 4-1 Kendai on Wakimoto's triple!

That's it for Satou. Ace Ishikawa comes in to take the hill.

He gets the second out by getting Nagasima to line out to left.

Tsuge with a ball back up the middle! Wakimoto scores and its 5-1.

Yamagami with a ball through the left side, and that's for a base hit.

Ishikawa re-loads the bases! He walks Shibahiki and it really can be an early end for Yamagata Chuo!

He falls behind Yokomizo 3-1 before filling up the count. Grounder to 3rd, Aoki takes it himself for the 3rd out.

Top 4th
Ace Takahashi Kazuki takes over on the hill. And already he makes a bid for best Takahashi in the game as he strikes out Aoki, the other Takahashi Kazuki, then gets a groundout from Nakamura.

Bottom 4th
Kendai's Kazuki gets a base hit to center, but he doesn't try to steal a base, and Ishikawa retires the next 3 batters.

Top 5th
Takahashi Ryousuke sends a ball down the right field line for a double.

Koutarou reaches down and lines a ball down the left field side! Yamagami has to chase after it and Ryousuke scores! 5-2!

Yuusuke singles through the left side! Koutarou goes to 3rd, but halts there.

Ryuusei with a ball back up middle! Ryousuke scores and its a 2-run ballgame! 5-3!

Big chance for Yamagata Chuo to pull within 1 or tie it, but Nagai hits one to short! Yokomizo starts the 6-4-3 double play to finish the inning.

Bottom 5th
Ishikawa playing with fire again. He walks Nagashima to lead off the inning, and the Yamagami with one down! But Kendai is not doing their running game at all with Ishikawa on the hill! He gets the next 2 batters out and we hit the break with Kendai Takasaki playing a much different game but tentatively still ahead.

Top 6th
It's a quick inning for Kazuki as he retires the side in just 8 pitches.

Bottom 6th
Hirayama with a one out single to right, and now they start running! He takes off for 2nd, but Koutarou gives no throw!

Hoshino singles to center and that will score Hirayama! Kendai gets back one of the runs and lead 6-3!

And he takes of for 2nd, and again with no throw!

Ishikawa retires the next 2 batters but Kendai starting to show their speed.

Top 7th
Kazuki gives up a one out walk to Koutarou, but Yuusuke's bid for a basehit with 2 outs is robbed by Yokomichi.

Bottom 7th
Yamagami with a ball to the left side. Nakamura runs it down, quick throw to 1st, but Kazuki's stretch can't quite get the ball!

Shibahiki follows that up with a single up the middle and they threaten to open the game up!

But Yokomizo grounds into the 4-6-3 double play and the deficit remains at 3.

Top 8th
Nagai with a 1-out bloop single, but they're hitting everything into the air but not hard. They're easy plays for the defense and Yamagata Chuo is running out of time.

Bottom 8th
(I held on as long as I can, but it's pretty much it for me today)

Besides, it kinds of goes awry as Kendai adds on 2 more runs and should be on their way to the Best 8.

Top 9th
Yamagata Chuo goes quietly in order and Kendai Takasaki hits the best 8 with an 8-3 win.

Day 11, Game 3 - Oumi (Shiga) v. Seikou Gakuin (Fukushima)


Oumi (Shiga)
LF Horiguchi Yuuka (#9)
CF Oda Kaito
SS Ueda Kai
3B Hibi Ryousuke
2B Nakaya Jyunpei
1B Yamamoto Daichi (#18)
C Minobe Naoki
P Ogawa Ryouken
LF Sasaji Kenta (#17)

Seikou Gakuin (Fukushima)
LF Yaoita Takumaru
2B Fujiwara Issei
3B Yaginuma Kentarou
1B Yasuda Kouki
CF Isagi Shun
RF Iijima Tsubasa
SS Ishigaki Mitsuhiro
C Takano Kouki
P Imaizumi Keita (#18)


13:20 - First Pitch!

Top 1st
Horiguchi with a chopper up the middle, Imaizumi leaps but it goes off his glove! He loses where the ball went to and Horiguchi is on with an infield single!

Taga-kantoku goes for the bust-and-run, but Oda fouls it off. 2 strikes, but he's still showing bunt.

It's another hit-and-run, but Oda goes down swinging. Horiguchi is able to take 2nd.

But he's left stranded there after Ueda hits a comebacker to Imaizumi and Hibi feebly waves at a pitch well outside for Imai's 2nd K.

Bottom 1st
Yaoita with a single back up the middle. Fujiwara with the push bunt and Ogawa takes a bad angle! He falls behind, but Nakaya charging in makes the quick throw... just gets him!

Things get slightly easier after that as Yaginuma chases a low slider, and he snags a quick chopper back up the middle from Yasuda.

Top 2nd
The top of the 2nd has been brought to you by Ishigaki. Because he records/assist on all three outs from the Oumi lineup.

Bottom 2nd
2 down and Ishigaki hits a single to the left side that Ueda runs down, but can't finish the throw to 1st. But Ishigaki tries to steal 2nd and a nice swipe tag from Ueda.

Top 3rd
Sasaji gets on the board with a 1-out single to left, and Taga-kantoku elects to go for the one-timer as Horiguchi moves him along.


After a prolonged AB, Ogawa freezes Oda on a changeup!

Bottom 3rd
One down and Imaizumi hits one back at Ogawa! He deflects it with the glove towards short, but Ueda can't do anything with it!

Yaoita with a drive to right center Sasaji running back, loses his hat and it falls in! He barehand the ball, fires it back in! Imaizumi being waved home! Nakaya to Yamamoto to Minobe... OUT!!!

It's a perfect relay for Oumi as they get Sasaji at the plate! 2 out!

Fujiwara grounds to 1st and they successfully defend the 0!

Top 4th
Ueda hard shot at 3rd, Yaginuma can't keep it in front of him and it bounces into left for a basehit!

Hibi swinging, right at Imaizumi! He makes the reflex catch! Boy, not much time to react there!

Nakaya blooper to center, Fujiawara, Ishigaki and Isagi converge, but it falls in! Oumi with a great chance with one out!

AH!!!! Yamamoto hits a grounder to short! Ishigaki starts the 6-4-3 double play to end the inning and Oumi comes away with nothing (except for a very dirty jersey for Yamamoto now).

Bottom 4th
Isagi gets another 2-out single for Seikou, but once again the next batter is retired and nothing comes out of it.

Top 5th
Imaizumi seems to be back on track after the last couple of innings. Also helps facing the bottom of the lineup as well. He retires the side in order and has righted the ship.

Bottom 5th
Ogawa with a wide pitch hits a ducking Ishigaki in the helmet. Not serious thankfully.

The temporary baserunner gets 2nd on a sac bunt and 3rd on a groundout.

But Yaoita can't plate him as he grounds out to Nakaya.

It's scoreless at the break, but Seikou has had a better time of it getting baserunners.

Top 6th
Horiguchi with his 2nd single, a lined shot to left center. Isagi is shaded that way and fires it in, leaving Horguchi with a long single.

AH! Imaizumi is called for a balk! On a pickoff throw he's called for the balk and Oumi has a runner in scoring position!

Saitou-kantoku calls for time, but can't stop the bunt from Oda.

Ueda with a drive to deep left!!  Yaoita running back to the fence, still running! Leaps!

Makes the catch as he runs into the fence! Horiguchi will score, but Yaoita prevents more damage! 1-0 Oumi!

Hibi with a clean hit to center and Seikou could be in trouble.

Saitou-kantoku senses it too and sends in ace Funabasama to hold the line.

And he does striking out a frustrated Nakaya on a slider to end the inning. But Oumi has the lead as we emerge from the break!

Bottom 6th
Ogawa just needs 5 pitches to retire the side as the Seikou batters are swinging early and often.

Top 7th
Yamamoto earns a leadoff walk but Minobe pops up his bunt and Yasuda makes the running catch! Taga-kantoku has Ogawa lay one down as well - that goes down successfully.

Sasaji with a liner to left, but it's too hard as Yamamoto has to hold at 3rd. 2 down but Oumi challenging again!

Funabasama jams Horiguchi! He skies one to rigt and Iijima secures it for the out!

Bottom 7th
Ishigaki with 2 outs again for Seikou hts a deep ball to left! That bounces in front of the fence and he has a double!

Takano with a grounder to left side, Ueda charges, throws to 1st... and they get the out!

Top 8th

Oda with a lingle to left to start the inning, but Taga-kantoku tries the bunt and run!  Ueda misses the ball and Takano throws to 2nd and they have Ishigaki easily!

Ueda and Hibi can't do anything after that and the side is retired.

Bottom 8th
Ogawa walks Imaizui and now the gyakuten runner steps into the box.

No bunt, but Yaoita hits it back to Ogawa! He goes to 2nd, Ueda doubletaps the bag and throws to 1st to complete the double play!

Ogawa walks another batter and that gets Taga-kantoku's attetion. Saitou-kantoku sends in #16 Minemura to run at 1B.

And they try to do it again! Minemura tries to steal 2nd, but Minobe cuts him down with an excellent throw once again!

Top 9th
#14 Fujita in for PR Minemura to play 2B.

Funabasama going on a quick pace retires Oumi in order, and allows his team one last chance to equalize.

Bottom 9th
Yaginuma gets his first hit of the game, a clean single through the right side and the douten runner is on base! Will Yasuda bunt?

He does! It's a safety bunt! Hibi charges, fires to 1st, but not nearly in time! Sayonara run in scoring position!!

Taga-kantoku calls for time.

Isagi bunts the runners along and it's #13 Ebinuma to hit for Iijima. With the runner on 2nd being the only runner that counts, I would walk the batter.

But they fight! Ebinuma grounds to 2nd, Nakaya fires home, but the throw delays Minobe's tag and everyone's safe! 1-1!


Ishigaki lays down the squeeze, Yamamoto fields it, but it's too late! Yasuda scores and Seikou Gakuin wins 2-1!

Oh, how a great game goes awry so quickly. Oumi perhaps failed to grasp the situation and play it differently.  With Ebinuma in as the PH and runners and 2nd/3rd, walking him would have created a force play at any base. It would also have opened the possibility of a double play which would have ended the game.

Seikou Gakuin played that final inning to perfection and as a result are moving on.

Day 11, Game 2 - Osaka Touin (Osaka) v. Yazu (Tottori)

I don't have time for a writeup, but god speed Yazu...

Osaka Touin (Osaka)
LF Nakamura Makoto
2B Minemoto Takumi
3B Katsuki Kazuya
1B Masazui Yuuya (#8)
RF Aoyagi Kouki (#13)
C Yokoi Yuuya
CF Mori Shinnosuke (#9)
SS Fukuda Kouki
P Tanaka Seiya (#10)

Yazu (Tottori)
CF Nishihara Tomoya
2B Oomoto Takahisa
SS Nakao Naoya
1B Ookubo Ryouhei
C Nishigaki Masaki
LF Takeuchi Shun
RF Kawada Kenichirou
3B Fujiwara Naoki
P Kamatani Kouhei


10:40 - First Pitch!

Top 1st
Well, Kamatani going after Nakamura and gets him looking on a fastball on the inner half!

Minemoto grounder to short, Oomoto with the throw, but just not enough on it to get the out.

Katsuki a simple fly to left and there's 2 out.

Minemoto takes off for 2nd! Nishigaki's throw to 2nd... In time! 3 out!

Bottom 1st
Nakao gets Yazu their first base hit after 2 quick outs. But he tries to steal 2nd... and backpedals as he's tagged.

Top 2nd
Masazui looks like he waited until the last minute to decide on swinging, flies out to center.

Aoyagi clean single through the left side.

Tokunaga-kantoku must have done a great coaching job on Kamatani as he's going right after Osaka Touin! Yokoi strikes out on a changeup on the outside edge!

Mori with a liner, but right to Takeuchi and it's another clean inning!

Bottom 2nd
Yazu's batters to start are stubborn at least. Nishigaki goes 7 pitches before he strikes out. Takeuchi goes 8 before finally placing one in right center for a base hit.

Kawada sharp shot up 1st base line, but Masazui makes a great backhanded stop! Goes to 1st for 3rd out.

Yazu in the early stages is holding their own. But this is a marathon and there are many innings to go.

Top 3rd
Kamatani getting 2 quick outs from the bottom of the lineup. He's have a clean inning, but an irregular bounce on a ball up they middle by Nakamura catches Nakao off guard and it goes into center.

Kamatani walks Minemoto... could this be where Osaka Touin strikes?

No! Katsuki gets jammed and he just rolls an easy ball to Ookubo! Tags 1st and Kamatani is out of the mini-pinch!

Bottom 3rd
Yazu meanwhile, cannot get any traction against relief starter Tanaka and go down in order.

Top 4th
One down for Osaka Touin and Aoyagi hits a single right in front of Takeuchi.

Yokoi with a blooper to center, Nakao and Nishihara converge, but it falls right in between them!

AH! Mori liner to left for a base hit! It's manrui for Osaka Touin! There's no place to put Fukuda as he steps in.

And Kamatani bends down as he thought for sure he had Fukuda on the 2-2 slider inside.

OSHIDASHI!  His slider just misses outside and he walks in a run! Osaka Touin takes a 1-0 lead!

Tanaka grounder to 1st! Ookubo goes home and they get the lead runner. 2 down and Kamatani can still get out of the jam.

No!!  His full count pitch to Nakamura goes low and he walks in another run! 2-0 Osaka Touin!

And now he hits Minemoto on the elbow! That brings in another run! 3-0 Osaka Touin and the dream for Yazu is crashing down hard.

Katsuki grounder up middle, Oomoto with a diving attempt, but can only deflect it! 2 runs are going to score on the play and they've blown it open now leading 5-0.

Masazui up for the 2nd time, records the 1st and 3rd outs of the inning, grounding out to short. But Kamatani, who had been strong all game has finally broken.

Bottom 4th
Trailing big now, Yazu still goes with their patience strategy, but it's still not producing any results. They are retired in order.

Top 5th
C Nishigaki removes the gear and will take the hill! Ace Kamatani gives way for #12 Ooishi who will do the receiving work now.

First up he strikes out Aoyagi on a fastball on the outer half.  And then it's back-to-back flyouts from Mori and Yokoi! The C has a 1-2-3 inning!  Good for him!

Bottom 5th
Sadly it's much of the same for Yazu. 3 up, 3 down.

It was a great first couple of innings as Yazu held serve with Osaka Touin, but with the 5 runs and the inability to get any hits by the Yazu offense the game looks all but over.

Top 6th
Nishigaki not exactly with great control either, as he walks Fukuda to start the inning. 2 down, he walks Nakamura as well.

And he can't keep a clean sheet. Katsuki singles to right scoring Fukuda from 2nd without a throw.

He does get the 3rd out after that, but it really does feel like formalities.

Bottom 6th
Nishihara with the one of the harder hits by a Yazu batter, but he lines out to Fukuda for the 3rd out. Bench starter Tanaka with a 2-hit shutout going.

Top 7th
Runner on 3rd, no out, Nakao makes a great sliding stop on a hard shot from Yokoi. He's able to hold the runner and make he play at 1st.

Mori iwth a ball right at Ookubo. He looks the runner back and goes to the bag for the 2nd out.

And Nishigaki strands the runner! Fukuda pops up the first pitch and Nakao is there on the foul line to make the catch!

Bottom 7th
16 straight retired by Tanaka after he finishes up his 5th consecutive clean inning.

8th-9th Innings
More players come in, Osaka Touin scores more runs. Final score 10-0.

To be honest, asking Yazu to win would be like asking any AA squad to beat a major league team. Sure, it's possible, but not probable. But you should dream for at least a little that you could beat them. But I'm sure there was a collective groan when they found out they were facing them. All you can do is shrug your shoulders, go out there and do what you can.

Day 11, Game 1 - Toyama Shougyou (Toyama) v. Nihon Bunri (Niigata)

While perhaps these teams on this side of the bracket were worried about having to face Osaka Touin, perhaps they're relieved they didn't have to play Tsuruga Kehi.

Our 2nd half of Round of 16 games starts with another regional matchup, this time from the Hokushinetsu region. It's mainstays Nihon Bunri, versus a team stronger in their older days Toyama Shougyou.

Of course, don't let them hear me say that. They've actually done well so far slaying two big prefectures out of the tournament Nichidai Tsurugaoka and Kanzei giving up just 1 run in the process.

Now, they've scored only 5 runs in those games so that may be an issue later on if the pitching starts to falter a bit (They've only used Morita so far and he's starting today).

Nihon Bunri's had a slightly easier time of it, defeating Oita then coming back to edge out Touhou. Iidzuka looked much more in control in the 2nd game than the first lending some evidence that perhaps the walks were planned after all.

They have roughly the same offensive issues as Toyama Shougyou, so Iidzuka will need to do heavy lifting as well.

So on paper 2 similar squads.

Toyama Shougyou (Toyama)
CF Shiina Kouhei
2B Yokomichi Eiji
RF Sakamoto Jyunichirou
LF Kutsuwada Takuma
1B Katou Daisuke
C Tomikawa Seiya
3B Iwase Daiki
SS Yanase Kazuya
P Morita Shunya

Nihon Bunri (Niigata)
RF Hoshi Kenta
SS Kurodai Naito
CF Kodachi Otowa
3B Ikeda Takamasa
LF Kobayashi Masaya
2B Arai Makoto
1B Kataoka Yuuto
C Kamakura Wataru
P Iidzuka Satoshi

08:00 - First Pitch!

Top 1st
Not a great start for Iidzuka as he hits Kouhei, giving Tomishou a chance for a run early.

Maekawa-kantoku going for the hit-and-run instead of the bunt, but Yokomichi fouls it off.

Kouhei takes off for 2nd! Yokomich watches the fastball down the middle and he strikes out! Throw from Kamakura in time for the strike 'em out, throw 'em out double play!

Iidzuka though hits another batter in Sakamoto, but it doesn't wind up hurting him as Kutsuwada grounds to short to end the inning.

He's wild again today to start. Is there a plan in place?

Bottom 1st
Morita also starts off with a walk to the leadoff batter. Ooi-kantoku though has Kurodai bunt the runner over.

Kodachi perhaps expecting a slider outside, sees a slider go over the inner half and just freezes. 2 down.

But Morita gives 4 straight balls to Ikeda in a possible unintentional intentional walk to bring up Kobayashi.

He flies out to right and the inning is over. But both pitchers have throw quite a few pitches early.

Top 2nd
Katou with a single to center. Tomikawa showing bunt, but fouls a pair off and has to swing away it seems. A slider down and away sets him down.

Iwase grounder to short, Kurodai flips to 2nd from one knee, Arai's relay as Katou comes in.... and a great pick from Kataoka complete the 6-4-3 double play!

Bottom 2nd
Morita with another leadoff walk here in the 2nd.

Kataoka not bunting, but ends up surprised when he's rung on a changeup called on the outside edge.

Kamakura goes down swinging, but when Tomikawa throws to 3rd, Morita takes off and reaches 3rd!

Iidzuka a little early on the swings, actually slows the bat down and he single to right!  Arai scores and Nihon Bunri leads 1-0!

Maezaki-kantoku calls for time.

Hoshi grounds out to Katou, and they almost blow it as Morita takes a little too much time to make it slightly uncomfortable.

Top 3rd
So this must be a plan. He walks the leadoff runner this game apparently and try to get Tomishou to bunt. This time around they do.

But Iidzuka comes back with the slider outside to nail Kouhei, and then Yokomichi get a slider in the middle, but he just grounds to 1st.

Bottom 3rd
No leadoff walk this time, instead he goes straight to retiring the 2-3-4 batters with no issues.

Top 4th
Neither side making any type of decent contact. Tomishou can't get the ball out of the infield and they're just switching places back and forth.

Bottom 4th
Kobayashi ball back up middle. Yanase runs it down, but his throw to 1st short hops Katou and unfortunately brings him into a running Kobayashi. He takes a tumble past the bag, but seems to be ok. As expected, he's bunted to 2nd.

Morita though continues to go to the hammer that is his slider, and it continues to work. Kataoka and Kamakura go down swinging for what is now Morita's 6th K!

Top 5th
Tomikawa ball up middle, Iidzuka stops it with his foot! throws to 1st and he gets the out! Now that's new! And it looks like he did it on the bottom of his cleat where there is a lot of protection.

2 down, Morita tries to hit a ball through the right side, but Arai runs it down near the grass, and makes a spin throw to 1st to retire the side.

Bottom 5th
Hoshi with a high chopper up middle, Yokomichi charges, makes throw, but not in time!

Kurodai shows bunt, but Morita puts it in the dirt! Tomikawa can't block it cleanly and Hoshi takes off for 2nd and reaches safely!

Kurodai still without a hit as he buster hits a ball to 2nd, though he advances he runner.

Kodachi with a single to left! That'll score Hoshi and Nihon Bunri tacks on another run to make it 2-0!

Ikeda fouls out to C Harada near the netting and we're at the mid-game break.  Nihon Bunri has done the most with the little opportunities they've been given and it'll be up to Iidzuka to bring them home!

Top 6th
Morita with a drive to center! Kodachi has to turn back and chase after as it take a bounce to the wall! He's in with a double!

He's bunted to 3rd, and with Yokomichis fly to center he's able to tag up and score! Tomishou is still in the game here at 2-1!

Sakamoto drive to deep left center! The fielders won't get to this one either! He's flying around the bases and is in with a triple! Tomishou threatens to tie the game with a base hit!

Liner to left! Kobayashi coming in, dives... makes the catch! Kobayashi prevents the douten run from scoring!

Bottom 6th
Kobayashi singles to center to start off the inning. Arai though can't lay down the bunt and there's 2 strikes! He goes for the three-bunt but fouls it off! One down.

Ooi-kantoku sending in #16 Takeishi to hit for Kataoka. He grounds to short though and Yokomichi goes to 2nd for the force! 2 down.

Kamakura with a single past Iwase for a base hit! Takeishi holds at 2nd.

And Morita doesn't want to deal with Iidzuka and walks him, but it does make it manrui for Burri.

The plan works as Hoshi hits one back up the middle where Yokomichi awaits, he tosses to 2nd and Morita's out of the inning!

Top 7th
Takeishi stays in to play CF, Kodachi goes to 1B.

Iidzuka showing that he had a slider too, takes Katou and Tomikawa down.  He jams Iwase but his blooper falls in the right side and almost dies like a chip shot! No one can get to it in time and Iwase's on with a base hit!

Maezaki-kantoku decides to send Iwase, but Kamakura makes another strong throw and Tomishou has just 2 innings left!

Bottom 7th
Another leadoff walk as Kurodai takes 1st. He goes for 2nd! Throw from Tomikawa to 2nd is wide and Yanase can't stop it! It goes to center and Kurodai takes 3rd!

Maezaki-kantoku calls for time...


Morita throws a ball in the dirt and Tomikawa can't block it! Kurodai comes all the way home by himself and it's 3-1 Nihon Bunri!

2 down now after Morita racks up 2 more K's and Kobayashi takes a ball the other way to right for a base hit. Arai follows that up with a single through the left side! Nihon Bunri threatens again, but Takeishi's liner is snagged by Katou for the 3rd out.

Top 8th
#12 Shiina Kouhei comes in to hit for Yanase. Iidzuka hits him to start the inning!

Another PH! And it's for Morita! #14 Ookura comes in to swing the bat!

And its a bounder to the left side, Kurodai ranges to his right, dives, but it gets by! The pinch hitters are bringing Tomishou back!

Kouhei lays down a bunt to move the runners along, and Ooi-kantoku calls for time.  Maekawa-kantoku sends in #18 Koshiba to run for Ookura.

Yokomichi grounder up first base line, FAIR!!!!  It's fair as it gets by a diving Kataoka!  Hoshi running it down but both runners will come into score!!  Yokomichi hustling around the bases slides into 3rd... SAFE!!!

In almost no time flat Tomishou has come back and tied the game at 3-3!!


Kutsuwada with a comebacker up the middle and drawn in infield has no chance! Yokomichi scores and Tomishou has the 4-3 lead!!!!

Katou flies out to center, and that's just the 2nd out.

Tomikawa single to left! Sakamoto has to hold at 3rd and it's manrui for Tomishou!!

Iwase single through left side! Sakamoto scores! They're sending in Kutsuwada!  Throw from Kobayashi... in time! Kamakura makes the tag and the side is finally retired!

But not before Tomishou rocks Iidzuka and takes a 5-3 lead with just 2 innings to go!

Bottom 8th
#16 Wakagi comes in for Kyouhei and takes over at SS. #10 Iwaki comes in for PR Koshiba and takes over on the hill.

Kamakura liner to center, Kouhei charging in, dives but can't secure the ball! Leadoff hit for Bunri!

Iidzuka not swinging, hits one back to Iwaki! He starts the 1-6-3 double play and there's quickly 2 down!

Hoshi not giving in, takes a slider down the right side for a double!

And now Iwaki walks Kurodai! Douten runner on base!

Kodachi drives a ball to left center! Kouhei running over, but can't catch it! Hoshi scores! They're sending in Kurodai! Relay throw from Yanase....


Tomikawa comes over and makes the tag! Kurodai slams the helmet into the ground while Tomikawa looks injured!  He's holding his glove hand that collided with Kurodai on that slide! He's finally helped up, but his play preserves the lead! Tomishou leads 5-4!

Top 9th
Kouhei gets a 2-out single, but otherwise Iidzuka sets down the Tomishou offense...

Bottom 9th
...but they're down to their final 3 outs!!

Tomikawa is coming out for the last, but if Bunri gets a baserunner, they WILL test him.

4-5-6 batters up for Bunri starting with Ikeda.

He takes a ball off the end of his bat to center for a leadoff single!  Kobayashi is not bunting!

But he flies out to right! Just 2 outs left...


Arai with a drive to left! Kutsuwada isn't chasing it!!!

HAITAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  SAYONARA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The ball lands almost 20 rows up and Nihon Bunri pulls it off again right at the end 6-5!

It's a time to celebrate, but at the same time,  the cameras point to Iwaki tasked with holding the lead, and it's a slow disintegration as he uncontrollably sobs...

And sadly that is the world that we enter into when we watch these games. It's great to celebrate, but when it comes to these types of endings, I tend to remember more the side that loses....

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Day 10, Game 4 - Tsuruga Kehi (Fukui) v. Moriokadai Fuzoku (Iwate)

Moriokadai Fuzoku had a really tough matchup against Toukaidai Sagami and then had to play in less than desirable playing conditions. They held on 4-3, but there's not much you can take given that the conditions could have affected play.

Tsuruga Kehi has had no such trouble in their first two games, seemingly bucking the trend that scoring double digits leads to a letdown the next game as they defeated Sakaide Shougyou 16-0, then Kasukabe Kyouei 10-1.

Hiranuma has been shutting down the offenses inducing bad contact while also still striking out a fair number of batters.  Moriokadai Fuzoku, and more specifically Matsumoto should provide a good challenge for a team that hasn't apparently seemed to have faced one yet.

Winner goes to Best 8, but faces Hachinohe Gakuin Kousei. Go!

Tsuruga Kehi (Fukui)
1B Shinohara Ryou
3B Shimomura Takamasa
SS Asai Kouya
C Okada Kouta
CF Mine Kentarou
RF Oyana Shou
P Hiranuma Shouta
LF Yamamoto Akihiro
2B Yonemitsu Nagisa (#16)

Moriokadai Fuzoku (Iwate)
LF Takahashi Ryou
RF Itou Wataru
CF Nabana Hiroki
P Matsumoto Yuuki
2B Endou Makoto
1B Makishima Kento
SS Tachinami Ukyuu
3B Shibuya Yuuya
C Kozaki Fuuga


16:15 - First Pitch!

Top 1st
One down for Tsuruga and Shimomura lines a single to left.

Asai not bunting, hits a deep drive to left. Ryou back against fence makes the catch. 1 down.

Having not advanced, Shimomura takes it upon himself and steals 2nd! That becomes redundant though when Matsumoto walks Okada.

But he avoids damage when Mine chases the 3-2 fastball outside of the zone.

Bottom 1st
Morioka's first couple of batters can't even get the ball past the mound.  Two quick outs for Hiranuma, before he turns around and walks Nabana.

Matsumoto can't do anything with it though as he flies to 2nd to end the inning.

Top 2nd
Oyana with a blooper to shallow left. Ryou charging in makes, but can't make catch. Oyana hustles and is in with a double.

One down now after a foul fly and Yamamoto hits a ball down the 1st base line... fair!  Oyana will score on that and Tsuruga Kehi takes a 1-0 lead!

Yonemitsu lays down the bunt, Matsumoto throws it away! Itou backs up so runners can't advance.

And now Shinohara gets hit by Matsumoto! He's in deep trouble early!

Liner! But Shibuya snares it, tags on 3rd and it's a 5 unassisted double play to end the inning! But Tsuruga Kehi takes the early lead!

Bottom 2nd
Endou drive to deep left! He's pumping his fist!  Yamamoto looks up!


One pitch is all Endou needs to tie the game at 1-1!

2 down now, and Shibuya singles to center looking for the gyakuten run.

But Sekiguchi-kantoku has him try to steal 2nd, but Okada throws him out to retire the side. However, Endou ties the score!

Top 3rd
Asai with a ball to left. Ryou running back to the fence! He looks up!!


And with one swing Asai takes the lead back for Tsuruga Kehi! 2-1!

They're not done yet! One down Mine singles back up the middle. He tries to steal 2nd, but on the hit-and-run, Oyana's bat hits Kozaki's glove! Catcher's interference is called and Oyana is awarded 1st!

Hiranuma single back up the middle! Mine being waved around! He'll score and it's 3-1!!  Still only one out for Matsumoto!

Yamamoto another single up the middle! Nabana already playing up, gets it in quickly.  Manrui for Tsuruga Kehi.


Matsumoto hits Yonemitsu! That'll drive in a run and it's 4-1!

Shinohara sharp grounder up 1st base line! Makishima makes stop, twirls, fires home... AHHHHHHHH!!!!!

He throws it too high! 2 runs will score on that error and it's 6-1!

Shimomura flyball to left, Ryou stumbles, but makes catch! Yonemitsu tags up and scores and its 7-1!

Asai up again, and he blasts one to right center! That's all the way to the wall for a triple and it's 8-1!

The last straw is  Okada's blooper just fair down the right field line. 9-1 and he is relieved. He goes to RF while #11 Sakurakouji comes in for Itou and takes the hill.

Mine liner to right, Matsumoto makes the leaping catch to finally retire the side. But Tsuruga Kehi once again puts the hurt on their opponents!

Bottom 3rd
Kozaki tries to help get Moriokadai back in the game with a single to center. But soon enough there's down after Ryou strikes out and Sakurakouji grounds into a fielder's choice.

Nabana gives the team a shot when he doubles to right center.

But nothing is going right for Matsumoto as he flies out to center to end the inning.

Top 4th
The woes continue for Moriokadai. Oyana's grounder to 2nd is flubbed allowing him to reach base.  After a sac bunt, Sakurakouji hits Yamamoto and then walks Yonemitsu, making it manrui.

Shinohara with another ball to 1st, but this time Makishima is ready and he goes home for the force.

Sakurakouji though hits Shimomura and that will force in a run. 10-1.

Moriokadai finally get 3 ours after Asai grounds to 2nd, but the long game is getting longer.

Bottom 4th
I'm having a hard time staying awake for some reason.

Back-to-back singles by Makishima and Tachinami provide some hope. But Hiranuma retires the next 2 batter and they're back to where they started.

(At this point my body basically said you're not staying up any longer, which was fine considering that by the time I opened my eyes it was 12-1, and then before I had put everything away and hit the sack it was 14-1. Needless to say Tsuruga Kehi is wearing about the blackest hat I've seen at Koushien having defeated scored double digits in 3 straight games and not letting up - even when sending in their bench players. Yikes.)

Day 10, Game 3 - Jyouhoku (Kumamoto) v. Mie (Mie)

Mie is the ultimate blue collar team, and perhaps can't be comfortable with a big lead.  In their most recent game against regional for Oogaki Nichidai, they broke out to a 4-0 lead, immediately gave up 2 runs afterwards and then grinded the rest of the way.  And as mentioned before against Kouryou in the first round they came back from 2-run deficits twice to win 5-4.

Heck, even their pitcher embodies that too.  Imai with only 3 K's last game made his defense work. There was nothing easy about the game on either side of the ball.  And while it put the team under continuous stress, I don't think they'd have it any other way.

Jyouhoku won a miserable, rain-soaked, muddy game against Toukaidai Bouyou. They certainly took advantage of the field conditions when they placed the suicide squeeze to tie the game and then used that momentum to take the lead.  Conditions won't be like that again, so we can't use that game as a complete comparison, despite the fact the offense did manage 10 hits. And we won't know if the conditions affected the pitching either.

But given that this is Mie, this will be a hard-fought game.

Jyouhoku (Kumamoto)
CF Adachi Yuuki
SS Adachi Rei
1B Yamaguma Takumi
3B Narahara Isamu
LF Oyama MasatomoRF Kurumi Rintarou
C Yoza Kouhei
P Yasutake Yuuki (#10)
2B Tsujigami Akimasa

Mie (Mie)
CF Nagano Hayato
2B Sada Taiki
SS Utsunomiya Touma
1B Nishioka Musashi
LF Yamamoto Youma (#10)
3B Uchida Ren
RF Seko Ren
C Nakabayashi Kengo
P Imai Shigetarou


13:50 - First Pitch!

Top 1st
Yuuki hard grounder to 1st. Nishioka fields it for the out,

No one's going to get this one though!  On the fly anyways.  Rei booms one over the drawn in defense and he races around for a triple! Early chance for Jyouhoku!

Yamaguma shot at 1st! Again Nishioka blocks it! Tags Yamaguma and Rei can't score.


Imai out of an early jam as he gets Narahara to chase the slider in the dirt for the 3rd out!

Bottom 1st
Nagano with a fly to center to start.

Sada comebacker off Yasutake's left leg and pops over short into left!

Yasutake took a shot there. But he says he's fine. Just in case, Oonishi is warming up.

But he seems fine as he gets Utsunomiya to fly out to center and strikes out Nishioka to retire the side.

Top 2nd
One down and Kurumi slices one over Uchida and down the left field line!  He's in for a double!

Yoza grounder to short, Utsunomiya going to 3rd and they get Kurumi on the contact play! 2 down!

Yasutake grounds to 1st and the inning is over.

Bottom 2nd
4 pitch walk to Yamamoto to start the inning. Uchida bunts him along.

Uh oh, 4 pitch walk to Seko. Could he be hurt or that liner affecting him?  Suetsugu-kantoku calling for time.

Nakabayashi single though the left side! Yamamoto being sent home and there's no throw! Mie leads 1-0!

Imai with a base hit to left! That's by a diving Oyama! Yuuki has to run it down as Seko and Nakabayashi scores! 3-0 Mie!

And that's it for Yasutake.  Perhaps being hit affected him as his timing may have been off after that. #11 Oonishi comes in to take the hill.

He gets Nagano to fly out to left for the 2nd out, but Sada singles through the right side. Imai scores and tumbles but he seems to be ok. 4-0.

Sada then goes and steals 2nd, and on the next pitch, Utsunomiya drives it over Yuuki for a double scoring Sada to make it 5-0.

Nishoka pops out to end the inning, but Mie finds themselves with a big lead!

Top 3rd
Tsujimoto with a ball back up the middle. Utsunomiya gets there, but Tsujimoto hustles up the line and beats the throw.

Yuuki manages to advance the runner with a hard grounder to 1st, but Jyouhoku can't do anything with it thereafter as Rei K's on 3 straight, and Yamaguma flies out to center.

Bottom 3rd
Yamamoto with a single to right to leadoff.  He's bunted to 2nd, but can't advance to 3rd when Seko grounds to 3rd.

Nakahara hits grounder to 3rd, but Narahara whiffs on the ball! It goes through his legs and into left allowing Yamamoto to score. 6-0 Mie.

Imai flies out on the next pitch, but Mie tacks on another run.

Top 4th
#14 Makino comes in to hit for Narahara. Hopefully it's not for the error, but I bet it is.

Jyouhoku goes down in order and it really doesn't look that great for them.

Bottom 4th
#18 Tomita comes in for Makino to play 3B.

Nagano with a single to right, and then promptly steals 2nd. Sada with the sac bunt, but Tomita stumbles! But he turns around and fires to 3rd where Nagano overran the ball! He's tagged out, but Sada does advance to 2nd.

But after that he hits Usunomiya and puts himself in a jam after Nishoka hits a slow roller to 1st advancing the runners.

At this point Suetsugu-kantoku sends in ace Morodomi to relieve Oonishi.

And he gets Yamamoto to ground to 3rd to end the inning.

Top 5th
Imai hits Yoza to start the inning and needs a bit of itai spray on his right elbow.

Morodomi with a single splitting the defense into left.  Nakamura-kantoku calls for time.

But Imai walks Tsujigami on 4 straight! Manrui for Jyouhoku!

And Yuuki hits a chopper up the middle for a base hit! Everyone moves up a station and its 6-1.

One down now after Rei strikes out.

Yamaguma grounder to 1st... AH!!!!!!!!!

Nishioka fails to field the ball cleanly and it gets past him! Morodomi and Tsujigami both come in to score and it's 6-3!!

Tomita grounder to 2nd, but Sada throws to 2nd instead of tagging the runner! Throw to 1st not in time and Yuuki scores! 6-4! Mistake there by Sada!

Oyama grounds to 2nd to end the inning, but Jyouhoku has closed the gap significantly!

Bottom 5th
Seko draws a one out walk, and promptly takes 2nd! Throw from Yoza... not in time!

With 2 outs, it's funny to see Imai walk to 1st on a 3-1 pitch only to be called back, then Morodomi walk off the mound on the next pitch only to find it's ball 4.

Nagano liner to left for a base hit, but it's right to Oyama and Seko can't go home!

Suetsugu-kanoktu calls for time.

And Sada pops it up! Rei under it, makes the catch, and we hit the break!

Mie had taken a commanding lead, but Mie being Mie, they've let Jyouhoku back into it and they'll have to grind it out again.

Top 6th
Now that the game is close, Imai is comfortable again and retires the side in just 7 pitches.  Assist goes to Utsunomiya who runs down a ball up the middle by Yoza and makes the running throw for the out.

Bottom 6th
Looks like we're entering an entrenchment period.  Utsunomiya falls behind 0-2 and grounds to 2nd.  Nishioka watches a slider for strike 3 and it's a 7 pitch inning.

Yamamoto drive to left center! Oyama sprinting back, dives.. and makes the catch! Great play by Oyama to end the inning!

Top 7th
I can barely keep up with how fast the innings are going. Trying to catch up again, Imai once again retires the side in 10 pitches!

Bottom 7th
Both teams free swinging at this point. Morodomi also needs just 10 pitches to retire the side.

Top 8th
Yamagami the first batter to take pitches in a while, and draws the leadoff walk!

But instead of bunting, Suetsugu-kantoku sends in #16 Abe to hit for Tomita, which means he's swinging?

He swings on the first pitch but pops it up! Nishoka makes the catch on the line for the first out.

Oyama comebacker to Imai! He goes to 2nd for one, relay throw... not in time! Oyama prevents the double play.

And now he takes off for 2nd! Pitchout! But it's too far out and Nakabayashi 's late with his throw!

Kurumi single to center! Oyama rounding 3rd, throw to Imai and he holds onto it! 6-5!!

Yoza hits back to Imai and he throws to 1st for the 3rd out, but Jyouhoku pulls within 1!

Bottom 8th
#15 Tsutsumi comes in for Abe and takes over at 3B.

Imai grounder to 2nd, but Tsujigami throws it away! Imai hustles to 2nd. He gets to move to 3rd when Nagano hits a hard grounder to Tsujigami and all he can do is block it and go to 1st.

Sada with a fly to left! Oyama with the catch and Imai takes off for home! Throw in... not in time! 7-5 Mie!

Utstunomiya with a scorcher to 3rd! Tsutsumi can't field it and it kicks to foul territory! Utsunomiya takes 2nd and Mie is threatening again as Suetsugu-kantoku calls time.

Nishioka single up the middle! Yuuki is on the ball quickly, and that makes Utsunomiya hold up at 3rd.

But Morodomi can't seem to buy a strike when he wants one and walks Yamamoto on a full count!

Uchida fly ball to right, Kurumi running towards the foul pole, still running.... Makes the catch at the padding! 3 out! He saves several runs, but they've got one more to make up.

Top 9th
Morodomi turns around in frustration after he strikes out looking on a pitch on the outer half of the plate.

Tsujigami flies out on the next pitch and they're down to their final out.

Yuuki falling behind 1-2, fouls one off, then another, then checks his swing.. and fouls off another.

But the war is lost as Yuuki chops one to short. Utsunomiya fires to 1st and Mie holds on (what's new?) to win 7-5!

Mie has another one of their type of games. Despite taking a big lead, they for some reason or another let their opponent back in the game. And yet when they do that, they tend to play better. Go figure.

Give credit to Jyouhoku for not giving up. Mie let them back into the game, they took it and almost found their way back to level. They fell short, but shouldn't be disappointed with their play.