Thursday, August 14, 2008

Day 13 - Game 1 - Urasoe Shogyo (Okinawa) vs. Kanto Daiichi (Higashi Tokyo)

The 2nd set of games to determine the best 8 has a fan favorite in Urasoe Shogyo facing Kanto Daiichi.

Kanto Daiichi got here by defeating Jyoso Gakuin handily 13-5, then getting ahead of Naruto Kogyo early and shutting them down in the late innings to win 5-2.

Urasoe breezed by debutants Iidzuka 7-0, then stunned Chiba Keizaidai Fuzoku by scoring 5 runs in the first inning and 10 by the 3rd. While Chiba fought back to 10-9, Urasho put 3 more runs on the board en route to a 12-9 win.

The teams from Okinawa have been strong as of late, and for Urasoe, defeating Chiba Keizaidai Fuzoku is definitely a confidence builder. I'll go ahead and choose Urasoe, since they've shown they can do things on both sides of the ball. Plus they're the last representative from the western regions of Japan.

Urasoe Shogyo (Okinawa)
RF Kanna (9)
SS Ueji Toshiki (6)
P Iha (1)
C Yamashiro (2)
LF Miyahira (7)
3B Nakama (5)
1B Touyama Kazuma (18)
2B Niita (12)
CF Nakasato (14)

Kanto Daiichi (Higashi Tokyo)
CF Izumizawa (8)
LF Arai (7)
RF Hirose (9)
3B Egawa (5)
2B Tanabe (13)
1B Tanabe (4)
C Nakamura (2)
P Oshikubo(14)
SS Tsuchiya (6)
8:31 AM
First ptich!

Top 1st
Kanna leads off the game with a single to right! After a sac bunt, Okubo throws a wild pitch! Kanna heads to 3rd!

And Iha hits a fly ball to center! But it's too close! Izumizawa secures it and Kanna can't tag up!

Yamashiro pops to 1st to end the inning.

Bottom 1st
Hirose with a infield single to 2nd as Iha can't cover the bag in time. But Hirose gets thrown out at 2nd to end the inning.

Top 2nd
Oshikubo retires Urasoe in order. Looks like for now his submarine style is working.

Bottom 2nd
Tanabe gets a 2-out single to right. He too though gets thrown out stealing 2nd by Yamashiro.

Perhaps they should stop trying for now?

Top 3rd
Niita starts the inning with a ground through to left. One down, runner at 2nd for Kanna.

He hits a hard grounder to 2nd! Tanabe with it, but can't make the throw! Runners at the corners for Toshiki.

And Toshiki puts on the squeeze! Oshikubo running has a beat on it! Glove toss to Nakamura, and he doesn't secure the ball first! Niita scores! 1-0 Urasoe!!

Sill a big pinch for Oshikubo, but he gets Iha to pop up to short, and Yamashiro to fly out to center.

Bottom 3rd
Nakamura lines one past Nakama for a single. Then Kanto decides to bunt him over. Twice! So now there's a runner and 3rd and two out for Izumizawa!

Grounder to 3rd. It's off Nakama and trickes to the outfield! Nakamura scores and we're tied at 1-1!!

Top 4th
Miyahira starts the inning with a grounder back up the middle. With Nakama up, they decide to start the hit-and-run! But Nakama lines out to 2nd, and Miyahira is easily doubled off 1st.

Bottom 4th
Hirose gets his 2nd single of the day to lead off the 4th. After a flyout by Egawa, Hirose tries to steal 2nd and, well... I don't think I need to tell you what happened.

Top 5th
Oshikubo's pitching continues to baffle Urasoe hitters as they are retired in order. Gotta love the sumbariniers.

Bottom 5th
Iha strikes out 2 en route to a 1-2-3 inning. As we head to the break we have a bonafide pitchers duel between Iha and Oshikubo!

Top 6th
Wow. I blink and the top of the 6th is over. 3 pitches, 3 outs! Can't be any easier than that!

Bottom 6th
Izumizawa with the drag bunt up 1st! Iha chases, dives, but the ball trickles by him!

Well this is a start. They're not trying to steal 2nd.

Arai pops a bunt, but it drops in front of Iha! Izumizawa is frozen though because of the possibility that Iha might catch it. And thus Iha has an easy throw to 2nd for the out. Perhaps Iha knew what he was doing...

Hirose strikes out looking, so 2 down for Egawa. And they decide to start the hit-and-run! Egawa lines one to center! Arai heads to 3rd. Runners at the corners for Inomoto.

And he swings on the first pitch... and grounds to 3rd. What a waste.

Top 7th
Miyahira starts the inning and lines one past Inomoto into right! He's in with a leadoff double!

Nakama swings away! It's a pop-up! Nakamura runs back and makes the catch! One down!

Kazuma also swinging! That's a grounder through to left! Miyahira has to stop at 3rd, but runners at the corners for Niita!

And Niita looks to squeeze! Oshikubo is being careful, but now falls behind 2-0! Pitchout for 3-0! Are they going to walk him for a force at the plate? Intentional or not, Oshikubo walks him and we have a manrui situation for Nakasato!

Conference on the mound. This could be the game for Kanto Daiichi!

And Urasoe sends in #4 Kayou to pinch-hit for Nakasato. But it doesn't look like he's bunting! 0-1. WAIT!! He is! But the pitch is outside and he bunts it foul! 0-2! Oshikubo still wary of the squeeze. Pitch outside for a ball 1-2.

Sanshin! Kayou swings at a pitch way outside! 2 down!

Leadoff batter Kanna up now. Just one more out to go for Oshikubo.

But he grounds one to left! It's through the infield! Miyahara scores! Arai with the throw home! Kazuma scores! Nakamura fires it to 3rd and they get Niita.

However, Kanna with the timely single scoring 2, and Urasoe takes the lead, 3-1!!

Bottom 7th
#17 Miyashita comes in with 2 out to pinch-hit for Oshikubo, so his day is done. And he lines one to right for a single. #15 Sayawaki comes in to pinch-run for Miyashita.

Tsuchiya to try and keep the inning going. Wild pitch by Iha! Sayawaki advances to 2nd.

But Tsuchiya grounds to 2nd and ends the inning.

Top 8th
#11 Shirai come in relief of Oshikubo.

One down, Iha with the chopper up the first base line. Inomoto with the ball, but Shirai can't cover in time!

And Yamashiro puts down the safety bunt! Egawa charges and makes the throw, but Yamashiro beats it out! Runners at 1st and 2nd with one out for Miyahira!

Miyahira work the count full. He hits a ball to 3rd! They go to 2nd, but Yamashiro's already there! And Miyahira is already at first!! All safe!!!!

Chance for Nakama! Liner! Caught by Tsuchiya! Toss to first to double up Iha! Inning over! Nice play by Tsuchiya! But, Kanto Daiichi is still down by 2 with 2 innings to go!

Bottom 8th
Iha plunks Hirose with 2 down, but comes back to strike out Egawa to end the inning.

Top 9th
Shirai gives up a leadoff walk to Kazuma, but that's all Urasoe can get.

However, all they really need are the last three outs in the 9th to move on to the Best 8!

Bottom 9th
#3 Touyama Yuuya comes in to play 3rd after #17 Kuniyoshi pinch ran for Touyama Kazuma.

Kanto Daiichi cannot put anything together, and is retired in order to end the game.

So Urasoe Shogyo advances to the Best 8 with the 3-1 victory! Okinawa Shogaku won the Spring Koshien. Could it be that we may have the Spring and Summer champions coming from the same prefecture??!

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