Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Day 12 - Game 4 - Kagoshima Jitsugyo vs. Hotoku Gakuen (Higashi Hyogo)

The first day of the round of 16 matches ends with Kagoshima Jitsugyo, who last reached the Best 8 12 years ago facing Hotoku Gakuen, who has had success in the Spring Koshien, but the last time they reached the Best 8, they won it all... in 1981.

Kagoshima Jitsugyo got here by soundly defeating Nichidai Tsurugaoka 14-1, then outlasting Miyazaki Shogyo's ace Akagawa in 12, 4-1.

Hotoku Gakuen rallied from behind and needed a sayonara 2-run homerun by Inoue to defeat Niigata Kenou Kogyo. Then against Chiben Gakuen, they gave up a 2-run lead in the 9th and got a sayonara sac fly by Ujiie to win in the 10th.

Extra inning games tend to take a lot out of a team, even though in Kagoshima's case they had 2 days rest. One has to wonder how that will affect them.

For Hotoku, continuing to have to fight in late innings could be bad in the sense that they're using a lot of energy, but good in the sense that it builds confidence.

This game, I'll take the intangibles and choose Hotoku to advance.

Kagoshima Jitsugyo
RF Nakao (9)
SS Uebou (6)
CF Morita (8)
C Minatozaki (2)
2B Fukunaga (4)
P Iwashita (10)
LF Fukuda (7)
1B Arikawa (13)
3B Tanoshiri (5)

Hotoku Gakuen (Higashi Hyogo)
2B Imura (4)
3B Saigou (5)
C Itoi (2)
CF Inoue (8)
P Chikada (1)
1B Ujiie (3)
LF Nakamura (7)
RF Nakagawa (13)
SS Momiyama (15)
5:04 PM
First pitch!

Top 1st
Chikada gives up a one-out single to left. After a sac bunt, he walks Minatozaki. But he gets out of the small pinch by striking out Fukunaga.

Bottom 1st
Iwashita with the help of 2 K's sets Hotoku down in order.

Top 2nd
The Kagoshima batters are making contact early on pitches.

Iwashita lines one off Momiyama and into center. After a sac bunt, Iwashita strikes out Arikawa.

Then hits Tanoshiri... another pinch for Chikada, but Nakao grounds to 3rd to end the inning.

Bottom 2nd
With one down, Chikada hits a bloop down the left field line. Tanoshiri, Uebou and Fukuda all converge on it, but it falls in between all of them!

Ujiie follows that up with a single to left! Runners at the corners for Nakamura!

And he delivers! He hits a ball deep to right. That's over Nakao's head! Chikada comes in to score! 1-0 Hotoku!

Nakagawa up now. He's swinging away. Count goes to 2-1.


Nakagawa dives forward as the pitch goes outside! It's hard hit, but it's fair and down the 1st base line! Ujiie comes in to score! 2-0 Hotoku! And Nakamura is 90 feet from making it 3-0!

Momiyama continues the barrage! He lines one to left! Nakamura scores! Ah! The ball bounces off Fukuda and Momiyama advances to 2nd! 3-0 Hotoku!!!

Top 3rd
Chikada continues to struggle with his control. He opens the inning by walking Uebou After he's bunted over, he gets Minatozaki to ground to short. Almost out of the mess, Chikada walks Fukunaga. Runners at 1st and 2nd for Iwashita.

Iwashita with the comeback through the middle! Uebou rounding 3rd, heading home! Inoue up and throwing hard! Itoi with the ball dives to make the tag! Uebou slides around! Asks for the safe signal! No call! He dives to the plate! Itoi does too! Uebou's called out! Inning over! Nice play!

Bottom 3rd
One out Itoi. And after he makes the play at home, he turns around and drives one to left center! Morita runs back! That's off the top of the fence and bounces back into play! Itoi in with the triple!!

Inoue with a short pop to left! Uebou and Fukuda converge, but again it falls in between! Itoi scores! 4-1!

Top 4th
Chikada almost has a 1-2-3 inning, but plunks Tanoshiri for the 2nd time this game.

Bottom 4th
Iwashita comes back after those two shaky innings and retires the side.

Top 5th
As we approach the midpoint of the game, the lights turn on at Koshien.

Uebou starts the inning with his 2nd walk of the game. Chikada still has yet to get his control under control.

After a sac bunt, Minatozaki comes up and singles to right! Runners at the corners!

Fukunaga up to try and drive in at least a run. He hits a fly ball to center! And it's deep enough to get Uebou in with the sac fly! 4-1!

Bottom 5th
One down, Saigou gets his first single, a liner to center. Itoi pops it up to short. 2 down for Inoue.

And Inoue with the drive to left center! That's a one-hopper off the wall! Saigou running on contact, scores all the way from 1st! 5-1 Hotoku!

Iwashita walks Chikada! Runner at 1st and 2nd!

Ujiie though can't deliver another timely as he grounds to 3rd to end the inning. As we enter the break, Hotoku holds a 4-run lead. The big question will be how Chikada's pitching holds up.

Top 6th
Chikada seems to have gotten the message about his control - at least for this inning. He retires the side in order.

Bottom 6th
A one-out error by Fukunaga leads to nothing for Hotoku as Nakagawa is stranded at 2nd.

Top 7th
Nakao leads off the inning with a 4-pitch walk. He's moved along to 3rd by a bunt by Uebou and a fly to right.

But Chikada freezes Minatozaki on a 1-2 pitch!

Bottom 7th
Saigou leads off the inning with a ground ball to short. Uebou moves and makes the stop, but he can't get up to make the throw! Itoi bunts him along.

Inoue with another timely hit! He sends a bullet through the infield and into right! Saigou rounds 3rd! He going home! Nakao up with the ball. Throws on a rope back home! Minatozaki with the ball, tries to make the tag... safe!!! 6-1 Hotoku!

Hotoku continuing to put pressure on Kagoshima! Inoue takes off for 2nd and gets in safely! Chikada follow that with a single to left! Runners at the corners!

Iwashita struggles with Ujiie, but eventually gets him to strikeout looking.

But the first pitch to Nakamura is wild! Inoue walks home on the wild pitch! 7-1!

Nakamura pops out to end the inning, but the game continues to slip away from Kagoshima.

Top 8th
One down, Iwashita draws a walk. #1 Matsukubo pinch-hits for Fukuda. And he hits a liner to center! Runners at 1st and 2nd for Kagoshima!

Defensive changes mid-inning. Nagakawa moves from right to left, and #17 Morosawa takes over in right.

#15 Imafuku pinch-hits for Arikawa. But Chikada strikes him out.

Tanoshiri hoping to get a timely hit, and he hits a hard groundball to 1st. But Ujiie smothers the ball and makes the nice play at 1st for the 3rd out!

Bottom 8th
#3 Matsuo replaces PH Imafuku and goes to 3rd. Nakao moves from right to left and #1 Matsukubo moves to right.

Iwashita gets into trouble again as he gives up a triple to Imura with 2 down. But he comes back to freeze Saigou to end the inning.

Top 9th
Kagoshima down to their last 3 outs unless they can score 6 this inning.

Nakao leads it off with a single through the left side. But Uebou grounds to 2nd.

Morita comes up and takes a blast to left! Nakagawa runs back! Haita!!!!! Morita with the 2-run homerun! It's certainly not enough, but it's a start! 7-3!

But that would be all that Kagoshima would get. Minatozaki would pop-up to right, and #14 Katou pinch hitting for Fukunaga strikes out to end the game.

Hotoku Gakuen's adventure continues onto the Best 8 as they defeat Kagoshima Jitsugyou 7-3!

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