Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Day 11 - Game 2 - Koryo (Hiroshima) vs. Yokohama (Minami Kanagawa)

The 2nd game of the day is a definite blockbuster and should be a great matinée game. Last year's runner-up Koryo versus powerhouse Yokohama.

Koryo in it's first round match, almost had a meltdown similar to last year when Kochi scored 5 runs in the 6th and 7th innings to tie the game. But they rallied back with 3 in the 8th to advance 8-5.

Yokohama almost led wire-to-wire against Urawa Gakuin, but it never was really comfortable as they only led by as much as 2 runs and had to repel a late charge by Urawa in the bottom of the 9th.

Koryo sends #10 Morimune to start this game and Nakata goes to play 1st. Also, Tanaka and Ishihata switch place.

There's a smalll change in Yokohama's lineup as well. Tstsugo moves up to the cleanup spot, and Kenta moves down to the #6 spot.

So who will win?

Koryo definitely has the offense. And possibly more than Yokohama. Expect them to take the lead early on in the game. BUT! It will all depend on the pitching at the end for Koryo. It is almost a given that the pitching gets significantly weaker and they have to hold on for dear life.

I personally want Koryo to win, but I think the doubts about Koryo's pitching may be too much for a team like Yokohama. But expect a close game.

Koryo (Hiroshima)
SS Uemoto (6)
RF Shimokawa (9)
2B Hayashi (4)
CF Arimizu (8)
1B Nakata (3)
C Ishihata (2)
LF Hashimoto (14)
P Morimune (10)
1B Hasebe (5)

Yokohama (Minami Kanagawa)
3B Kuramoto (5)
SS Ooishi (6)
2B Matsumoto (4)
1B Tsutsugo (3)
LF Iwama (7)
RF Ogawa Kenta (9)
P Tsuchiya (1)
C Oda (2)
CF Nakahara (8)
12:51 PM
First pitch! And the wind is as strong as ever from right to left!

Top 1st
Uemoto with a drive! Iwama runs back! He's at the wall! Looks up!


Uemoto with the opening salvo! A homerun to left field! Koryo leads 1-0!

After a groundout to Shimokawa, Hayashi gets a 4-pitch walk.

The teams continue to trade shots. Tsuchiya gets Arumizu to line to 2nd, but then Nakata singles through to left field! The throw goes into 3rd, and Nakata takes 2nd on the throw!

Runners on 2nd and 3rd for Ishihata! But Tsuchiya gets the final shot as he gets him to ground back to him.

Bottom 1st
Morimune's control is shaky to start. With one down, he hits Ooishi. Then a 4-pitch walk to Matsumoto. Tsutsugo works the count full, and continues to fight off pitches, but pops to short.

And Iwama flies to left to end the inning.

Top 2nd
Hashimoto hits a grounder into the left side. Ooishi moves over and makes the grab, but his spikes give way under him and he can't make the throw!

Morimune looking to put down the bunt. But it's back at Tsuchiya and he goes to 2nd for the out!

But last batter Hasebe fires back with a liner to center! Runners at 1st and 2nd for Uemoto!

Tsuchiya is going right after him though! No being careful here! However, the count runs full. He throws one inside and he gives that one a drive to left center!!! Iwama and Nakahara run back! They're still running! It's off the base of the wall! Morimune scores! Uemoto with the RBI double!!! 2-0 Koryo!!

Shimokawa with a fly to center! Nakahara gets set for the throw home! He gets it! Uemoto tags up! Nakahara fires home! Thrown on a line! Oda with the tag, and Uemoto's out!

But Koryo now leads by 2!

Bottom 2nd
Kenta leads off the inning with a walk. One out, runner at 2nd for Oda.

Morimune falls behind him 3-1. Oda with a drive to left center! That's to the wall! Kenta comes in to score! 2-1! And still a runner on 2nd with one out!

Nagahara up. Morimune falls behind him 2-1, but gets him to pop up on the 3rd base foul territory.

Kuramoto up to try for the tying hit. And Morimune strikes him out!

Top 3rd
Hayashi starts the 3rd with a liner past Tsuchiya and into center! But then he's thrown out trying to steal 2nd! Arimizu then earns a walk.

Nagata up and he hits a sharp comebacker! Tsuchiya sticks out his glove! It's off his glove and in the air! But it stays close to him! He goes to 2nd for one, throw by Ooishi is in plenty of time for the double play!

Bottom 3rd
Ooishi begins the inning with a groundout to short. But Nakata can't handle the throw! E3!

Runner at 2nd now, one down for Tsutsugo. Grounder through to right! Ooishi comes around to score and we have a tie game! 2-2!

Morimune gets Iwama to fly out to center. But then issues a 4-pitch walk to Kenta, his 4th of the day.

Tsuchiya strikes out, but Koryo's early advantage has been wiped out!

Top 4th
Ishihata starts with a grounder to short. But Ooishi has problems with the handle! He picks it up and makes the throw, but sails it past 1st!

Hashimoto up to bunt, but again Tsuchiya makes a fine play and throws out Ishihata at 2nd!

AH! With Morimune up, Hashimoto is picked off first! How does that happen when Tsuchiya is a southpaw?!

And Morimune flies out to left. Koryo with mistakes on the basepaths!

Bottom 4th
Nakata comes in from 1st to relieve Morimune. Ace #1 Maeda comes in to play 1st.

Oda hits a grounder to short. EH? It's off Uemoto! Oda at first on the error! But then Nakahara hits a pop up! Hasebe with the catch in foul territory! One down.

Kuramoto grounds one to 3rd. Hasebe to 2nd for one, Hayashi's throw to 1st, not in time!

2 down for Ooishi. And he's as stubborn as ever. The count runs full and he fouls off Nakata's pitches! The AB keeps going, 8... 9... 10 pitches!

The 11th pitch he lines through the infield and into right center! It's past the drawn in infield! It's going all the way to the wall! Kuramoto scores! Ooishi at 3rd!


Ooishi sprints home! The cutoff throw was bad! Ooishi's dives in with an inside the park home run!!!!!! 4-2 Yokohama!!

Doesn't stop there! Matsumoto hits a grounder to the right side! It's off Hayashi! Uemoto can't get it! It's to the outfield! Matsumoto tries for 2! Arimizu up with the throw back to Hayashi, and they get the tag on Matsumoto! 3 out!

But Ooishi with the inside-the-park homerun gives Yokohama the lead!

Top 5th
Hasebe starts with a liner to left. Then Tsuchiya issues a walk to Uemoto. Runners at first and 2nd with no out! Shimokawa tries to put down the bunt, but once again Tsuchiya fields his position well again and throws out the lead runner!

Now Hayashi up. He hits a liner to center! Uemoto scores! 4-3! The throw goes home! And Hayashi heads for 2nd?!!

Oda comes back firing to 2nd and he's nailed!

Koryo is just killing themselves on the basepaths! If they lose by just a run or two, you can easily point to these blunders as a reason why.

Bottom 5th
With one down, Iwama hits a drive to left! That's falls in front of the wall for a double!

Kenta then earns his 3rd walk of the game. Runners at 1st and 2nd for Tsuchiya!

And then Iwama goes to steal 3rd! Ishihata with the throw, but not in time! Tsuchiya then grounds to 2nd! Hayashi with the ball, tries to tag Kenta. No tag called! Hayashi has to throw to 1st then to get one out, but Iwama scores! 5-3 Yokohama!

Top 6th
Exiting the break, Tsuchiya gets his first 1-2-3 inning of the game.

Bottom 6th
One down for Kuramoto. Safety bunt! It's hit past Nakata, and he beats out the glove toss! Then he goes and steals 2nd!

Nakata though gets Ooishi to ground out to 2nd. 2 down.

Matsumoto then drives one to right center! That's to the wall! Kuramoto scores! 6-3 Yokohama on Matsumoto's triple!

Tsutsugo follows that up with a grounder to right! Matsumoto scores! 7-3!

Iwama follows that up with a liner to left! Nakata's really in trouble!

There's a conference on the mound, but Maeda isn't going to take the hill.

And Nakata gets Kenta to fly out to left. But Koryo is in big trouble now.

Top 7th
Maeda with the leadoff walk. After a flyout by Maeda, Uemoto hits a grounder up the middle! But Matsumoto makes the stop. MAKES THE GLOVE TOSS TO 2ND! And Ooishi finishes the double play at first! What a defensive play turned in by Yokohama!!

Bottom 7th
Maeda does take the mound now in relief of Nakata, who returns to his spot at 3rd.

Outside of hitting Nakahara, Maeda retires Yokohama with relative ease.

Top 8th
Time is running short for Koryo now.

Shimokawa starts the inning with a grounder to short. But the ball takes an irregular bounce and gets by Ooishi!

Hayashi follows that up with a grounder to left! Runners at 1st and 2nd with no out! But Arimizu pops it up to Tsutsugo! One down.

Nakata up. Koryo in need of base hits now. Grounder to the right side! Matsumoto again with the nice play! He gets it and throws to 2nd for one! Ooishi's throw to first is short and gets by Tsutsugo! Shimokawa scores and Nagata advances to 2nd! 7-4.

Ishihata up now. Count goes to 2-2. Sanshin! Ishihata strikes out looking!

Bottom 8th
Yokohama retired in order. Now, Koryo down to their final 3 outs!

Top 9th
#13 Kudou in for Tsutsugo at 1st.

Hashimoto starts the 9th with a base hit to left! He's replaced by #7 Matsumoto at 1st.

Maeda then grounds to 2nd! Matsumoto with the toss to 2nd, that's one. Wait! Ooishi has to go back and tag Matsumoto! They get him! But it looks like they missed the bag on the toss!

So one down and runner on first for Hasebe. He hits the first pitch and flies out to left...

...and then Uemoto flies out to center right after.

Koryo's bid to reach a 2nd consecutive Koshien final falls short at the hands of Yokohama, and you can see it in the faces of the Koryo players. They wanted to live up to their sensei beforehand and give the team another chance to win. But their story ends here today.

Yokohama advances to face the winner of the next game as the evening game of Day 13.

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