Saturday, August 16, 2008

Day 15 - Best 8 - Game 2 - Seiko Gakuin (Fukushima) vs. Keio (Minami Kanagawa)

The last game of the Best 8 matchups pits the always strong Yokohama and Seiko Gakuin. It'll be a tough hill to climb for Seiko if they want to advance to the best 4.

Seiko Gakuin has had probably the easiest schedule out of the Best 8 participants facing Kakogawa Kita and Shiritsu Gifu Shogyo.

But this time their opponent is Yokohama, and their road has been anything BUT easy.
  • def. Urawa Gakuin 6-5
  • dek. Koryo 7-4
  • def. Sendai Ikuei 3-2
It's hard for me to handicap this game (although recently I've been wrong more than not). I just haven't seen Seiko really tested so far. On the other hand, Yokohama has been repeatedly tested.

So I'll go to what I know. Tsuchiya can be prone to control issues. The only way Seikou can really get to Tsuchiya will probably be to run the pitch count high and hope that they can wear him down.

Otherwise, it may be a long game.

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Seiko Gakuin (Fukushima)
LF Kanno (8)
2B Satou Takuya (4)
1B Sekine (3)
RF Kuroba (9)
3B Yasuda (5)
CF Watanabe (16)
SS Tamura (6)
C Takezawa (2)
P Nakada (1)

Yokohama (Minami Kanagawa)
3B Kuramoto (5)
SS Ooishi (6)
2B Matsumoto (4)
1B Tsutsugo (3)
LF Iwama (7)
RF Ogawa Kenta (9)
C Oda (2)
P Tsuchiya (1)
CF Nakahara (8)
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2:13 PM
First pitch!

Top 1st
After Tsuchiya gets Kanno to strike out to start the game, Takuya laces one past the infield and into left for a double! But Tsuchiya goes on to strike out Sekine and Kuroba to line to short.

Bottom 1st
Nakada, for being his first appearance, looks good. He's going after batters, and getting ahead in the count. While he walks Matsumoto with 2 down, a flyout by Tsutsugo ends the inning.

Top 2nd
Not what you want to see from Seiko. Tsuchiya gets a break with an 8 pitch inning.

Bottom 2nd
Iwama starts the inning off with a single to the left center field gap for a double!

Looking for the quick score, Kenta bunts him along to 3rd.

AH!! Nakada hits Oda! Runners at the corners now for Tsuchiya! And he lines one into right! Iwama scores! Kuroba has trouble fielding the ball and Tsuchiya advances to 2nd! Yokohama does get on the board early! 1-0!

Nakahara next with a pop to shallow center! Watanabe comes in makes the catch.

And Oda's going home! Thrown in by Watanabe is not in time! How the heck was Oda able to tag up on that shallow fly! 2-0!!

#11 Satou Tatsuya begins to warm up in the bullpen...

Then Nakada walks Kuramoto! Definitely not looking good!

However, he does get Ooishi to ground to 2nd to end the inning. But Seiko Gakuin has staked Yokohama a 2 run lead!

Top 3rd
Seiko's taking more pitches, and Kanno did single to right with 2 down. But they still need to make good contact, and that's not happening yet.

Bottom 3rd

Matsumoto starts off the 3rd with a single to center. Tsutsugo swings while ahead in the count and pops it up to 3rd.

AH! Nakada has Matsumoto picked off 1st! They run him down for the 2nd out!

And Nakada with a great 3-2 pitch on the inside corner for the strikeout! That's a good inning for Seiko!

Top 4th
Sekine opens the frame with a single to center! Then Seiko puts on the hit-and-run! Kuroba grounds to 2nd and Sekine advance to 2nd.

Yasuda with a liner to center! Sekine has to hold up at 3rd! Runners at the corners for Watanabe!

Watanabe gets directions as Yokohama has a conference on the mound.

SQUEEZE!!! FOUL!!!

Looks like they were trying for the safety squeeze there.

Not bunting now! Watanabe with the sharp comebacker! It's off Tsuchiya and to Matsumoto! He goes for Yasuda, has the tag. Throw to 1st... not in time!! Sekine comes home to score on the play and Seiko has narrowed the deficit to 1! 2-1!

Tamura bidding for a hit as he hits a grounder to left. But Ooishi slides over, makes the sliding catch and pops up to get the out .

Bottom 4th
Kenta with a shot to the left center field gap! Kanno cuts it off, but not before Kenta goes to 2nd with a double! And he raises his arms in joy! Why? Because that was his first hit at Koshien!

Oda falls behind 1-2. Reaches out and dribbles the ball! But it's called foul! The ball bounced off off Takezawa before going into fair territory.

So Oda continues to battle at the plate. On the 8th pitch, they put on the hit-and run! Oda strikes out! Throw to 3rd is low and off line! Kenta in safely!

One down for Tsuchiya. But he pops it up! Nakada under it. 2 down!

One more bullet to dodge from Nakahara. Grounder to 3rd! Past a diving Yasuda! Kenta comes in to score and it's a 3-1 game now!

But another baserunning error by Yokohama! Nakahara takes off early and Nakada throws to 2nd for the out!

Top 5th
Takezawa draws the leadoff walk, and then bunted to 2nd.

Top of the order now for Seikou, but Kanna grounds to short. However, Ooishi bobbles the ball so while he gets Kanna out, Takezawa advances to 3rd. 2 out for Takuya.

But Tsuchiya buckles down and strikes him out! Takezawa is left stranded at 3rd!

Bottom 5th
Kuramoto gets another leadoff runner as Kuramoto singles to center.

Now, runner on 2nd and 1 out for Matsumoto.

AH! Nakada has Kuramoto picked off between 2nd and 3rd! He's run down! That's the 3rd one this game! How is this possible!

Matsumoto flies to right center. Watanabe casually moves in on the ball. And it drops in! What the heck happened there? That should have been an easy pop fly, but instead Matsumoto is standing at 2nd! Still though, it's 2 out as Tsutsugo steps up.

UAAAA!!!! Tsutsugo drives one to right! Kanno runs towards the foul pole. He looks up!

HAITAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tsutsugo makes Seiko pay for the fielding mistake, blasting a hanging curve for a 2-run homerun! 5-1 Yokohama as we head to the break!

Top 6th
Tsuchiya with an easy 1-2-3 inning, and one has to wonder about Seiko's chances at this point...

Bottom 6th
#11 Satou Tatsuya comes in to relieve Nakada.

Kenta again gives Yokohama a leadoff batter with a grounder to center.

Oda with a blast to dead center! Watanabe running back to the wall, looks up!

That's off the top of the fence and bounces back into play! Kenta scores on Oda's double! That was centimeters away from a home run! 6-1!

Tsuchiya follows that up with a single to left! Oda rounding 3rd, he's coming home! Throw from Kanno not in time! 7-1.

After a flyout to right by Nakahara, Kuramoto elects to bunt Tsuchiya to 2nd.

So 2 down for Ooishi. But Tatsuya throws a wild pitch! Tsuchiya advances to 3rd!

Tatsuya can't find the zone and walks Ooishi on 4 straight! Then he falls behind Matsumoto 3-1 and loses him too!

Manrui for Tsutsugo! Uh oh... This can't be good.

And the clouds starts to drizzle upon the field.

Oh dear.... That's well hit. Tsutsugo's raising his arm already... Kuroba stopping and looking up....

MANRUI HOMERUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That was a no doubt about it home run. And Yokohama has blown it wide open! 11-1!

That's it for Tatsuya. #13 Yokoyama relieves him on the mound.

Iwama up as the 9th batter to the plate. Hits a chopper up the middle! Takuya with the stop, but can't get the throw to 1st in time!

But Yokoyama gets Kenta to pop up to Takezawa to end the enning.

Top 7th
During the break, the clouds open up on the grounds. Everyone runs for cover or puts on a raincoat as the rain comes down. The fields crew put the small tarps on the mound and at home and in a rain delay.

It is important to the note the following:

Called games due to rain are different for high school baseball. The game will only count IF they've played more than 7 full innings.

We've only played 6.

The implications are staggering... Seiko could get a 1-day reprieve...

-----------------------------------4:00 PM RAIN DELAY-----------------------------------

UPDATE - 4:26 PM -
The grounds crew are out putting the quick dry powder on the field. It looks like the rain has stopped, perhaps unluckily for Seiko.

But there's still quite of work to be done as there are water puddles all over the field.

4:38 PM - Yokohama starts playing catch ball. We are probably close to resuming the game now.

The grounds crew is spreading the quick dry behind the plate. Seiko too is stretching and warming up.

The umpires come back onto the field and Yokohama takes the field to begin the top of the 7th.

-------------------------------4:42 PM GAME RESUMPTION-------------------------------

Top 7th
The lights also are being turned on as we reach 5 PM.

And unfortunately the offensive woes for Seiko continue as they can only manage a one-out single from Tamura.

Bottom 7th
It also appears that the offensive outburst from Yokohama hasn't stopped either.

Oda and Tsuchiya open the inning with grounders to left and right. Both are moved over on Nakahara's bunt, bringing us back to the top of the order.

Yokoyama strikes out Kuramoto, but then hits Ooishi.

Manrui for Matsumoto... and Tsutsugo is on deck.

GET OUT OF THE INNING NOW!

Yokoyama gets ahead of Matsumoto 1-2, but he fouls off pitch after pitch. Then Yokoyama misses on 2 straight. Full count!

And Yokohama lines to center! Oda and Tsuchiya score. 13-1 now and runners at the corners for Tsutsugo... Hoo boy...

This time he takes a ball away to left! Kanno running back, leaps up and it's off his glove! Ooishi and Matsumoto score, and Tsttsugo now has 8 RBI's on the day! 15-1.

And #16 Ariizumi comes in to pinch-run for Tsutsugo. Guess they figure he's done enough damage on the day.

#17 Ogawa Ryouma comes in to pinch hit for Iwama and flies to right.

Top 8th
#13 Kudou replaces Tsutsugo at 1st, while Ryouma stays in to play left.

One down, Takuya hits a liner down the right field line for a double.

Sekine up now. He hits a pop up to shallow left center! Ryouma and Ooishi converge, but neither of them get it! Takuya heads to 3rd - he's heading home?! Iwama with the throw home, and Oda applies the tag for the out! And Seiko is denied yet again at the plate.

Bottom 8th
Yokoyama gives up a single to Oda, but thankfully for Seiko, Yokoyama retires the next two batters.

Top 9th
#12 Suzuki comes in to replace Oda at C, #10 Tayama replaces Tsuchiya on the mound, and Tsuchiya moves to center.

With one down, #12 Ogata pinch-hits for Watanabe. And he pokes one down the right field line for a single. He's then replaced by #7 Fukaya.

Tamura follows that up with a single to left! Perhaps they can get another run or two...

#14 Saitou comes in to PH for Takezawa. He grounds to short, and just beats being doubled up at first.

Last chance for Seiko is with Yokoyama, and he strikes out to end the game.

Seiko Gakuin was unfortunately overmatched by Yokohama today, but can go home knowing they made it into the Best 8.

2 comments:

veronica said...

I'm a lurker who's been keeping up with your journal from the start, and just wanted to mention how thankful I am for this! Thanks for giving us all such complete and detailed updates on things!

So far, for all of the Best 8 games, I've been at the edge of my seat as I read, and this is no exception! I really can't wait to see how things turn out!

Goro Shigeno said...

Well, thanks for reading! I'm glad you are able to enjoy my writings. It's not great, but at least it's something.

You can also watch the games if you have a good internet connection at http://koshien.asahi.co.jp/live/