Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Day 11 - Game 3 - Fukui Shogyo vs. Sendai Ikuei (Miyagi)

The 2nd round finishes with 2 experienced squads taking the field.

Fukui Shogyo held Sakata Minami to a 4-hit shutout in their first round game. Sendai Ikuei led wire-to-wire against debutants Komono.

Fukui Shogyo is generally well known for their all-around solid play. Sendai Ikuei's strength is definitely their pitching.

I think the last team to make it to the round of 16 will be Sendai Ikuei. An all-around average to above average team in Fukui Shogyo can only get you so far...

Fukui Shogyo
LF Kawai (7)
2B Matsuda (4)
RF Matsunaga (9)
C Nakamura (2)
1B Uhara (3)
CF Arakawa (8)
3B Noji (5)
SS Shimano (6)
P Takezawa Keita (1)

Sendai Ikuei (Miyagi)
CF Hashimoto (8)
SS Endou (6)
2B Ono (4)
1B Katou (3)
3B Suzuki (5)
RF Sasaki (9)
LF Ogawa (7)
C Tozawa (2)
P Hozumi (1)
3:51 PM
First pitch! And the wind looks like it's going to rip off the flags!

Top 1st
Hozumi's location looks good early. He retires Fukui Shogyo in order.

Bottom 1st
Hashimoto starts Sendai Ikuei off with a single down the left field line for a double!

Runner at 2nd, one out for Ono. He drives one to the gap in left center! Hashimoto scores! Sendai Ikuei quickly up 1-0!

Katou up and lines one to left! Ono rounds 3rd, he scores! 2-0!! Katou tries to move to 2nd on the throw home! But Nakamura throws back to 2nd and he's out!

#18 Fujita starts warming up in the bullpen.

Suzuki continues the hitting parade with another single to left!

Sasaki up. The count goes even, and he hits a dribbler to short! But Shimano is confused! And Sasaki is at home in pain! What happened? According to the replay, when Sasaki swung at the inside pitch, the ball hit his hand! He's called for a strikeout by the umpiring crew and the inning is over.

Top 2nd
There's a delay as Sasaki is still in the dugout having his left hand tended to. After a bit of a delay, he returns to the field.

Hozumi starts by retiring the first 2 batters.

Then Arakawa hits a drive to deep left center! That's at the base of the wall for a double!

Noji swings and grounds one foul, but Tozawa is called for catcher's interference. Runners at 1st and 2nd with 2 out!

And Shimano grounds one past a diving Suzuki down the left field line! Arakawa comes in and scores! Timely hit by Shimano! 2-1!

And while Keita grounds to 1st, Fukui comes back and cuts the deficit in half!

Bottom 2nd
Akawa starts off the inning with a grounder to right! One down, runner on 2nd for Hozumi. But he strikes out swinging.

2 out for Hashimoto, and he draws the 4-pitch walk.

Endou up, and Keita's control is suffering. He falls behind 2-0, works it to 2-2, but then gives up a single to center! Akawa scores! 3-1!

Top 3rd
Kawai blasts one to left center! That one hops the wall and Kawai is in with a triple!

Matsuda with a fly to center. But it's short! Hashimoto with the ball and throws it in. Kawai has to hold.

AH! But Hashimoto air mails it over everyone by a wide margin! Kawai now comes home on the throwing error by Hashimoto! 3-2!

Although he issues a 2-out walk later, he gets out of the inning with no further damage.

Bottom 3rd
Katou gets plunked to start the inning. Then Suzuki hits one over Noji and all the way to the wall! Katou heads to 3rd, and the ball takes the contour of the wall and passes Kawai! Katou heads home! 4-2!

And that's it for Fukui Shogyo's ace. #18 Fujita (a 1st year!) comes in to pitch for Takezawa. The manager tries to ease Takezawa's pain of being pulled as Fujita warms up.

The odd thing is that Fujita never pitched in the prefectural qualifying. And they used 4 other pitchers besides Takezawa!

But after Sasaki bunts Suzuki along, he gets Akawa to fly out to left, and he strikes out Tozawa to end the inning! Perhaps this is a way for him to get experience on the mound for later years? But I find that hard to believe since the game is far from decided. Secret weapon perhaps?

Top 4th
Hozumi missing his location a little with his pitches, but retires the side in order.

Bottom 4th
Fujita looks really good on the mound! He retires Sendai Ikuei in order!

Top 5th
With one down, Kawai stats the offense with a single to the right side! Ono has it, but then doesn't and it trickles to the outfield!

Matsuda up, and they pull the hit-and-run! Matsuda singles to left! Runners at the corners for Matsunaga!

Hozumi is losing his control! He walks Matsunaga! Manrui for cleanup batter Nakamura.

And he hits him! That forces in Kawai! 4-3!

Look like that'll be it. #11 Kumura Kengo (another 1st year!) comes in to relieve Hozumi! Hozumi moves to 1st, Katou moves to right. Also #12 Takahashi replaces Tozawa behind the plate.

He gets ahead of Uhara 0-2 and gets him to fly to shallow center! 2 outs! 1 more to go!

Arakawa up and he's not going to let Kimura have it that easy. After falling behind, he works the count full. There's nowhere to put him!

And Kimura misses outside! Matsuda comes home! Tie game! 4-4!!

Bottom 5th
Sendai Ikuei has given up its early lead. Can they get it back before the break?

Ono reaches base after being hit by Fujita. Katou tries to bunt him along, but instead he pops it up to Nakamura!

Suzuki though, responds with a single to left center! Runners at the corners for Sendai Ikuei!

Kimura up to help his own cause. Grounder to 1st! Uhara charges, gets it! Goes home! Nakamura with the tag! OUT! 2 down and Fukui is almost out of the mess!

But Akawa has other plans! He drives one to deep left! It's past Kawai and to the wall! Suzuki scores! Kimura comes around from 1st to score! Akawa with the 2-run triple and they regain the 2-run lead! 6-4!!!

Top 6th
Kimura gives up a 2-out single to Kawai, but that's it.

However, #16 Arai pinch-hit for Fujita, so his day is done on the mound.

Bottom 6th
#17 Hasegawa (1st year) comes in as the 3rd pitcher used by Fukui Shogyo this game.

He walks Hozumi to start the inning. Hozumi is replaced at first by #16 Nakamura. Then Sendai Ikuei starts the hit-and-run! Hashimoto hits a grounder to right, and Nakamura cruises to 2nd!

And with Endou up, Hashimoto steals 2nd! Big chance for Sendai Ikuei!

Count goes full on Endou! And he misses! Manrui now for Ono!

And that's it for Hasegawa. #10 Tsujioka comes in for relief. Meanwhile #11 Sanga warms up in the bullpen.

Ono with the fly to left! Kawai prepares for the throw. He catches it! Nakamura tags up! Relay by Shimano home! And Nakamura makes the swipe tag! OUT! Double play!

But then he walks Katou on 4 straight! Manrui pinch again as Sukuki comes up to bat! He's 3-3 so far today! Can Tsujioka get him out! Meanwhile, the bench is trying to shift the outfield over.

Tsujioka gets ahead 1-2. Curve outside. 2-2. Outside again! Full count! Runners will be taking off! Check swing foul! And he hits a pop to right! Matsunaga under it, and Fukui Shogyo gets out of the manrui pinch!

Top 7th
#17 Itou Keisuke stays in to play right with Katou moving back to 1st.

Kimura retires the side in order. Time is starting to run short for Fukui Shogyo.

Bottom 7th
The lights at Koshien begin to turn on as we hit 6 PM.

Kimura turns around and hits a single through the left side to start. Akawa then draws a walk, with Takahashi moving the runners into scoring position.

But (Itou) Keisuke grounds to 2nd, and Hashimoto grounds to 1st to end the inning!

Top 8th
Kimura retires the side in order, highlighted by his snaring of a sharp comebacker by Shimano!

Bottom 8th
Ono starts with a one out single back up the middle. Then with 2 down, Tsujioka walks Suzuki!

But after a conference, He gets Kimura to ground back to him for the final out! But now, Fukui Shogyo has 3 outs to get at least 2 runs.

Top 9th
Matsuda with the two out single. But then he's picked off first to end the game?!

While Sendai Ikuei does advance to face Yokohama, Fukui Shogyo definitely made a game of it. However, they were almost always chasing, and that is definitely a hard thing to do.

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