Thursday, August 14, 2008

Day 13 - Game 3 - Osaka Toin (Kita Osaka) vs. Toho (Nishi Aichi)

Our matinée game features Osaka Toin and Toho. Osaka Toin looking for their 2nd Best 8 appearance in the past 5 years. For Toho, it would be their first since 1992.

Osaka Toin had an easy first round matchup against Hita-rin Kogyo 16-2, but had to rally from behind late against Kanazawa to win 6-5 in 10 innings.

For Toho, they were in a barn burner against Hokkai winning 15-10. Then against Seiho, they were trading runs back and forth, with Toho scoring the final run in the bottom of the 8th to win 5-4.

Key in this game is Fukushima Yuuto's pitching. Osaka Toin always has offense to spare. But they've never really had good pitching. As long as Yuuto is solid, Osaka Toin should advance.

Osaka Toin (Kita Osaka)
SS Asamura (6)
3B Sano (5)
2B Morikawa (4)
1B Hagihara (3)
RF Okumura (9)
LF Nakatani (12)
CF Fukushima Kouhei (7)
C Ariyama (2)
P Fukushima Yuuto (1)

Toho (Nishi Aichi)
C Yamada (2)
LF Ayake (7)
1B Shimizu (3)
3B Nonokawa (5)
RF Iwada (9)
CF Hashimoto (8)
2B Furuuchi (4)
SS Matsunaga (6)
P Shimodaira (1)
1:40 PM
First pitch!

Top 1st
One down for Sano, and he singles to left. And instead of bunting, they have Morikawa swinging away! He singles to center!

Runners on 1st and 2nd for Hagihara! Ah! Yamada can't hold the ball! Runners advance!

And that hurts as Hagihara hits a fly to center. That's deep enough to get Sano in, and Osaka Toin leads 1-0!

Bottom 1st
Yamada starts the inning with a bloop single to left. Ayake follows that with a grounder through to right! Yamada goes for 3rd, and Okumura fires to 3rd! It's a rocket! And it beats out Yamada!!!! Sano with the tag and he's out! What a throw!

Yuuto then gets Shimizu to strikeout looking, and Nonokawa to pop-up to 2nd.

Top 2nd
Nakatani starts the inning with a single through to right. Kouhei tries to bunt him along, but he fouls out!

Ariyama up and he hits a slow comebacker to Shimodaira. He goes to 2nd, but he drops the ball! Picks it up, throws to 1st instead. Shimizu is off the bag, tries to make the tag, but the ball comes out! Nakatani advances to 3rd!

And Yuuto lifts the first pitch to center, and again that good enough for the sac fly! Osaka Toin leads 2-0!

Bottom 2nd
One down, Hashimoto lines one past a diving Hagihara into right! He's in with a double!

Furuuchi up, and he hits a chopper over the pitcher! But Asamura comes up with it and throws to Sano and they tag Hashimoto! So 2 down now for Matsunaga.

He hits a soft liner over Asamura for a base hit! Runners at 1st and 2nd!

But Furuuchi is caught away from 2nd! Ariyama fires to 2nd and nails him!

Top 3rd
Sano starts off the inning with a single to center. Morikawa looks to bunt him along, Shimodaira fields it, throws to 2nd, but it tails away from Matsunaga! Sano goes to 3rd!

Hagihara up again and just like the 1st he hits a sac fly, this time to left, and Sano comes home again. 3-0 Osaka Toin!

Okumura up, looking to put the bunt down, but he misses! Morikawa was heading for 2nd and is easily thrown out.

And now that Okumura is swinging away, he hits a ball to the right center gap! And he's in with a double!

Nakatani flies out to center, but Osaka Toin is slowly piling up the runs on Toho!

Bottom 3rd
Not good for Toho as Yuuto posts 2 K's on his way to a 1-2-3 inning.

Top 4th
One down, and Ariyama singles through to right. After a sac bunt, Asamura draws the 4-pitch walk. Runners at 1st and 2nd for Sano!

Maybe Toho can get out of this inning with a donut on the board.

Or not...

Sano singles to right! Ariyama rounds 3rd and he scores! 4-0!

Shimodaira then falls behind Morikawa 3-0! But fights back with 2 strikes to fill the count. And strikes him out on an inside fastball!

If this keeps up, it'll be a 9-0 win for Osaka...

Bottom 4th
Toho is making Yuuto throw a lot more pitches this inning, but unfortunately the result is the same - a 1-2-3- inning.

Top 5th
#13 Momose takes over in right for Iwada.

Hagihara starts the inning with a walk. Okumura tries to bunt him over, but instead pops up to 3rd. Nakatani is swinging away and hits a fly ball to center.

Kouhei, not wanting to ruin the pattern of scoring a run per inning, singles through the infield to right. Runners at the corners for Ariyama.

But Ariyama can't do it. He pops to 2nd and Toho has held Osaka Toin scoreless!

Bottom 5th
Hashimoto starts the inning with a blast to right center! Okumura runs back, and it's all the way to the base of the wall!

He's moved to 3rd when Furuuchi grounds to 2nd. Great chance for Toho to get on the board!

But Yuuto comes back to strikeout Matsunaga.

And it looks like Shimodaira's day is done. #15 Yoshino comes in to pinch hit for him. But Yoshino can't bring him in. He pops up to short to end the inning.

Top 6th
#10 Wada comes in to relieve Shimodaira.

He gets off to a rocky start. First, he walks Yuuto on 4 straight. Then Asamura hits a rocket to the left side, and a diving stop by Matsunaga prevents it from going to left.

Sano up, and he gets his 4th hit! It's a drive to right! Momose runs back, dives... but it's past him! Yuuto comes in! 5-0!

Morikawa up. First pitch from Wada is wild! Asamura comes home! 6-0! Morikawa then hits a fly ball that gets caught in the wind and falls between Ayake and Hashimoto! Sano scores. 7-0.


After Hagihara bunts him along, Wada gets Okumura and Nagatani out to end the inning. But it seems pretty clear who's going to advance now.

Bottom 6th
Toho goes down in 7 pitches.

Top 7th
Wada gives up a leadoff single, but afterwards prevents Osaka Toin from scoring. A small victory if nothing else.

Bottom 7th
With 2 down, Hashimoto gets hits 3rd hit of the game with a single to left. Furuuchi follows that up with a grounder to left! Chance for Toho!

Matsunaga up. Double steal! The runners take off and there's no throw! Big chance!

And Matsunaga walks! Manrui for Wada!

Ah! #12 Ikuta comes in to pinch-hit! He falls behind 2-2.

Sanshin! Aaaaa~~~~ Ikuta strikes out looking to end the inning!

Top 8th
#11 Sasaki comes in to relieve Wada after he was pinch-hit for.

And he gets a 1-2-3 inning!

Bottom 8th
One down, Ayake up. Gets the bathead in front! Driven to right, just foul! Next pitch.

Doesn't miss this time! That's driven down the right field line!


Ayake gets the same pitch and knows what to do with it! And that's hard to hit a homerun to right with the wind blowing as it is! Toho's on the board, 7-1!

Shimizu lines one to left! Nonokawa with a hit to right! The offense is starting to come to life!

Osaka Toin's manager decided that's enough. He pulls Okumura in from right to pitch and Yuuto heads out to right.

#14 Morita comes in to pinch-hit for Momose. And Morita hits one to center! Manrui for Hashimoto!

And Okumura falls behind Hashimoto 3-0! Gets one back. Pitches him inside, and he pops him up! Kouhei running into foul territory, slides and makes the catch against the wall! Shimizu tags up and scores! 7-2. (Augh! Take the walk!)

But 2 down for Furuuchi. And he's fooled on an outside pitch and grounds to 2nd.

Toho gets on the board, but they still have a ways to go.

Top 9th
Sasaki gives up a 2-out single to Kouhei, but nothing else.

Bottom 9th
Toho down to their last 3 outs now.

Matsunaga grounds to short, but the throw to 1st is wide! E6!

#16 Takahashi comes in to pinch hit for Sasaki. He lines one to the right center field gap! Runners at the corners for Yamada!

And Osaka Toin's manager has changed his mind! Yuuto and Okumura return to their original places!

Doesn't help! Yamada shoots one through to left! Matsunaga scores! 7-3!

Still no out for Ayake. Falls behind 1-2. High chopper to 2nd! Asamura with the ball, snap throw, in time!

Runners at 2nd and 3rd, one down for Shimizu. Sharp grounder to 1st! Hagihara with the ball and the putout. 2 down, and the sun is starting to set on Toho's Koshien run....

Nonokawa with the last chance. Yuuto falls behind 3-0. Fastball inside corner. 3-1. Jammed foul. Full count. Fly ball to deep left! Nakatani running back.

That's over his head! Takahashi scores! Yamada scores! Nonokawa with the 2-RBI double! 7-5!

Still some ways to go. Morita up. Goes ahead 2-0, but then is 2-2. Last chance! What can Morita do here? Pops it up! Nakatani with the catch!

Game set! Toho stages a late inning rally, but it just falls short as Osaka Toin holds on to win 7-5!

For Toho, they can take heart in the fact that they were able to rally against Osaka Toin and give hope to their oen-dan.

For Osaka Toin, they can be relieved that they are advancing to the Best 8, but their glaring weakness has been shown of fatiguing on the mound late in the game. Whomever they draw in the Best 8 match may want to consider trying to work the pitch count as high as possible.

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