Saturday, August 2, 2008

Day 1 - Game 3 - Tottori Nishi vs. Kisaradzu Sougou (Higashi Chiba)

Not really much to say on these teams, other than I hope for it to be as interesting as the first two.

Tottori Nishi
SS Yamane (6) - 1st year player!!
3B Sawano (11)
P Suzuki (9)
LF Iki (7)
RF Obata (1)
1B Hamamoto (3)
C Komiyama (2)
CF Oota (8)
2B Harada (4)

Kisaradzu Sougou (Higashi Chiba)
3B Saitou (5)
CF Iwasaki (8)
SS Saeki (6)
C Jibiki (2)
1B Arakawa (3)
RF Miyata (9)
LF Sugizaki (7)
P Tanaka (11)
2B Morita (4)
4:30 PM
First Pitch! Wind blowing from right to left only.

Top 1st
And Yamane beats out the toss to Tanaka by Arakawa for the infield single! I'd expect for him to take 2nd on a steal. Instead Sawano elects to bunt him over. But Tanaka gets Suzuki to strike out. Iki works the count full, then strikes out. Early on, the batters are flailing at wide pitches.

Bottom 1st
Saitou leads off with a nice single to left center. Both teams are playing small ball early, as Iwasaki looks to put the sac bunt down. But he gets ahead of the count 2-0, and he puts the bunt down! Suzuki gets it, is about to throw to 2nd, but Saitou is there already! He quickly turns and throws to first, but the throw is wide and everyone's safe! Runners at the corners!

What's worse for Tottori Nishi is that Suzuki's control is missing. The count goes to 2-0 on Saeki (who the announcers are saying is his birthday), and he would be on if he wasn't swinging at the outside pitches. But the count is 2-2 now. He gets the job done as he hits a sac fly to left to score Saitou. 1-0

Suzuki is throwing way too hard, his body is opening wide and his last 2 pitches to Jibiki are outside. 3-1 to Jibiki and he lines the high pitch up the middle for a single. Runners are once again at the corners.

Squeeze! Arakawa puts down the squeeze bunt! But it's too hard and right at Suzuki! He tosses it home and Iwasaki is out! With Suzuki's control problems, I would have tried to work a walk instead.

Miyata grounds to 2nd to end the inning, but Kisaradzu is on the board!

Top 2nd
Obata is plunked in the elbow to start the inning. Hamamoto looks to put the sac bunt down. But Obata takes the initiative and tries to steal it instead. But he fails 2-6.

Hamamoto then strikes out, with Komiyama right behind him. The Tottori Nishi batters are looking a bit silly early on.

Bottom 2nd
Suzuzaki again works the count full, but strikes out looking. Tanaka hits a short chopper that Suzuki fields, but his throw is bad and Tanaka is safe! Again looking for 1 run, Morita bunts him over to 2nd, turning over the lineup to Saitou. But he grounds out to first, and Tottori trails by 1.

Top 3rd
They go down in order once again, but a nice play turned by Saitou at 3rd! He backhands a ball hit by Harada, and makes the snap throw to 1st. While Arakawa has to make the tag on the high throw, that still isn't bad.

Bottom 3rd
Iwasaki leads off and grounds one to Sawano at 3rd. He makes the rush throw, but one hops first and Hamamoto can't get it! Saeki tries to put the bunt down, but again it's too hard and Sawano makes the play at 2nd.

Whoops! Saeki is caught off 1st and is picked off! And Suzuki gets Jibiki to strike out.

Top 4th
Sawano strikes out for the 6th K so far for Tanaka.

Suzuki singles through the right side! But Iki strikes out, and Suzuki is caught stealing at 2nd to end the inning.

Bottom 4th
Arakawa singles up the middle to start the inning off. Miyata bunts him along, and Suzuki hits Sugizaki! With runners at 1st and 2nd, Tanaka grounds to short, but Yamane looks ahead to the DP and doesn't get a handle on the ball! Manrui with 1 out!

Morita gets ahead in the count 3-1, then puts on the squeeze?? He pops it up to Suzuki and now there's 2 down? Why not go for the walk? And then Saitou strikes out looking to end the inning with no runs. That's definitely a shame.

Top 5th
And boy is it ever! Obata takes the first pitch (a hanging fastball) to deep left field, and it's gone! Obata hits the first HR of the tournament, and it ties the game!! 1-1

It seems to have shaked up Tanaka, as he walks Hamamoto on 4 straight, then later gives up a hit to Oota off his leg. Runners at the corners with only one out!

Harada then falls behind 1-2, but fouls off a couple of pitches. He hits one sharply to Saitou who goes home as the runners were going on contact for the out. And while Yamane grounds to 2nd, Tottori has tied the game up on the blast by Obata!

Bottom 5th
Iwasaki goes down looking, and so does Saeki (although I think the umpire is calling a lot of low strikes). Jibiki pops out to 2nd and that's that. Perhaps momentum is shifting to Tottori Nishi. But if I was Tanaka, I'd try to work the low pitches and get those calls.

Top 6th
Tottori Nishi goes back to its ways of going down in order. But at least they're tied instead of behind in the game. And Tanaka has 8 K's after 6 IP.

Bottom 6th
Arakawa and Miyata both strike out. I don't know what's gotten into Suzuki, but he's got Kisaradzu's number right now.

Check that, he just waked Sugizaki...

But they have him picked off! Hamamoto's throw is high though, and Sugizaki is safe! So now Tanaka is up to help his cause. Except that he grounds to 3rd. The game remains tied.

Top 7th
The lights at Koushien start to turn on as it approaches 6 PM.

And wouldn't you know it, it's Obata up leading off again. This time though, he strikes out. Hamamoto grounds to 2nd, and Komiyama K's as well, bringing Tanaka's total to 10.

For what it's worth, Tottori has 4 errors, and the game is tied. Not bad. But the game is starting to bog down a little. At this point I wouldn't be surprised if it went to extras.

Bottom 7th
Another 1-2-3 inning for Suzuki. The teams are struggling to get any baserunners at this point.

Top 8th
Finally, Tottori Nishi gets a baserunner. Harada singles through the right side with one down. Yamane springs the bunt down, but instead he pops it up! Jibiki pops out from behind the plate runs and makes a spectacular diving catch!! Harada winds up being stranded, and the teams continue tied 1-1.

Botttom 8th
Harada makes the fine diving stop to get Saeki at first, but again Saeki dives to the base. Just overrun it... please?

With one out, Jibiki hits a laser to Sawano at 3rd. It bounces off him and into foul territory and Jibiki easily reaches with a double! Arakawa draws a walk, creating a DP opportunity if they can get Miyata to oblige.

But Miyata wants to walk too. 2-0, 3-1, a big hack to 3-2, and he walks to load the bases!!

You have to think that he's looking for the walk too, but he's still swinging away. Two foul balls, getting closer to the lines. Suzuki better be careful.

And he hits a chopper up the middle scoring 2! Miyata breaks the tie and Kisaradzu is back on top 3-1!!

Then Tanaka hits it to Hamamoto, but his toss to Suzuki is bad! All safe! Tottori's manager has seen enough, and switches out Suzuki for Obata.

It doesn't matter as Takata then singles to right! Miyata scores! 4-1

Saitou grounds to Harada who makes the force at home. 2 down for Iwasaki, the 9th batter to the plate this inning. He falls behind 1-2, and is just late on a ball lining it foul. He gets another shot, and this time doesn't miss, sending it through the left side scoring 2 more! 6-1 and the rout is on!

And Saeki looks to add a couple on his birthday and puts a charge into a shot to left center. Iki and Oota converge and collide! Oota has the ball, and more importantly they're both okay. The collision seems to have been more of a glancing blow than a head-on collision.

Top 9th
Tottori needing a miracle now... Suzuki start it though with a grounder that takes a high hop off the Koushien infield. But that is wiped away when Iki grounds into the 3-4-3 DP!! It's up to Obata to extend the game now. But he grounds to 3rd, and the game is over.

An offensive explosion for Kisaradzu Sougou in the 8th lifts the team to a 6-1 victory. But they'll need a bit more if they want to pass Chiben Wakayama into the round of 16.

Tottori Nishi
SS Yamane (6) - 1-4, K
3B Sawano (11) - 0-3, K
P-RF Suzuki (9) - 2-4, K
LF Iki (7) - 0-4, 3K
RF-P Obata (1) - 1-3, HR, R, RBI, K, BB
1B Hamamoto (3) - 0-3, K, BB
C Komiyama (2) - 0-2, 2K
CF Oota (8) - 1-3
2B Harada (4) - 1-3

Kisaradzu Sougou (Higashi Chiba)
3B Saitou (5) - 1-5, R, K
CF Iwasaki (8) - 1-3, K, 2 RBI
SS Saeki (6) - 0-4, RBI, K
C Jibiki (2) - 2-4, 2B, R, K
1B Arakawa (3) - 1-3, R, K, BB
RF Miyata (9) - 0-2, R, K, BB
LF Sugizaki (7) - 1-2, 2 RBI, K, 2 BB
LF Kitagawa (17) - No PA
P Tanaka (11) - 0-4, R
2B Morita (4) - 0-1
2B Takada (14) - 1-2, R, RBI, K

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