Sunday, August 3, 2008

Day 2 - Game 3 - Chiben Gakuen (Nara) vs. Oumi Koukou

The afternoon session begings back in the Kinki region. Chiben Wakayama's bretheren Chiben Gakuen of Nara-ken facing Oumi Koukou of Shiga-ken. These two were here last year as well, with Chiben Gakuen falling to Teikyou in the round of 16, while Oumi lost to Imabari Nishi in the 2nd round.

Edge has to go to Chiben Gakuen, but who had the deeper bench from last year to step up this year?

Chiben Gakuen (Nara)
RF Komeda (10)
LF Sougou (7)
C Doi (2)
1B Shigeyama (3)
CF Sakamoto (8)
3B Nagae (5)
2B Tsuji (4)
1B Touhou (13)
P Sakaguchi (1)

Oumi Koukou (Shiga)
CF Hayashi (8)
2B Nishida (4)
RF Ueda (9)
SS Aoyama (6)
3B Yumoto (5)
1B Katou (13)
C Kyouyama (2)
P Oguma (1)
LF Masuda (18)

1:30 PM
First Pitch!

Top 1st
Oguma with not-overpowering stuff, but good location early on as he strikes out Yoneda and Doi for a 1-2-3 inning.

Bottom 1st
Hayashi starts by grounding to Sakaguchi. Nishida pops to Shigeyama, but whoops! The ball glances off his glove! E3!

Kids, remember - 2 hands. 2 hands to secure the ball!

Ueda up now. 0-1, and a liner just foul down the left field line! But he grounds to 2nd. It's a high hop! He keeps it in front of him and makes the play at first. 2 down.

And Aoyama swings and misses on a curveball for 3 outs.

Top 2nd
Shigeyama starts the inning with a leadoff walk. Sakamoto squares to bunt. Pops his first attempt, but Kyouyama can't get it. Squares again, but 3 high pitches mean the count is 3-1. Sakamoto finally puts the bunt down and advances Shigeyama to 2nd for Nagae. But Nagae gets fooled on a pitch inside and is the 2nd out of the inning.

Tsuji up to bat, and the first pitch is about his head! Whoops.

Hey, I hear Jock Rock from the Chiben band! Yay!

Back to Tsuji, he gets ahead in the count 2-0. Slow curve for a strike. Curve again misses low, 3-1. Late on a fastball, count goes full. Another foul, this time back to the screen.

And he lines one to center! Shigeyama rounds 3rd and easily scores! 1-0 CHiben!

Touhou grounds to 2nd, and the inning is over. But Chiben Gakuen scores first!

Bottom 2nd
One down, Katou singles up the middle past a diving Tsuji! Kyouyama bunts him over leaving it up to Oguma to get the timely hit.

But he lines to Touhou to end the inning...

Top 3rd
I've got Train-Train stuck in my head now... It's one of those catchy tunes that I'm not sure you want stuck in your head.

Gosh, it almost looks like Oguma is flirting with an eephus pitch at times.

Sakaguchi takes one of those slow pitches up the middle for a base hit. That's good.
But Komeda pops a similar pitch while bunting to Kyouyama. That's bad.

Sougou falls behind 1-2 and grounds into a fielder's choice. 2 out.

With the count 2-2, Sougou goes for 2nd! But he's gunned down by Kyouyama 2-6.

Bottom 3rd
The crowds look pretty full at Koushien. And most people in the stands either have towels, umbrellas, or a LOT of water. Trust me when I say it's really, really hot and humid out there.

Hm. It looks like the times I though the wind was from right to left, it might have been more of a wind out to left field. It can be hard to tell as the winds do swirl around at Koushien.

With one down, Sakguchi hits Hayashi. Oumi's manager puts on the hit and run, and Nishida's grounder to short advances Hayashi along.

Ah! Ueda gets a hold of one! Deep to left! Sougou back, and it's gone! A 2-run homer by Ueda gives Oumi the 2-1 lead!! That pitch was right down the middle.

Uh oh, Sakaguchi plunks his 2nd batter of the inning in Aoyama. And now he's behind 2-1 to Yumoto. But he grounds to short to end the inning. But, Oumi has responded big time and has taken the lead!

Top 4th
Doi back up to the plate as Sougou was caught stealing to end last inning. He's been very patient at the plate, seeing 6 pitches in the 1st, 5 in the 3rd and 5 so far here in the 4th. The full count pitch to Doi, and he lifts it to left! But this time the park holds it and Masuda makes the catch in front of the wall.

Shigeyama hits a shallow fly to center, but Hayashi runs in and makes the catch.

Two down for Sakamoto, and he takes the pitch away to left field for a double! Tying run in scoring position for Nagae.

But he hits a high fly to center to end the inning.

Bottom 4th
Settling down, Sakaguchi strikes out the side, keeping Chiben Gakuen in the game.

Top 5th
Touhou draws the one-out walk, and Sakaguchi looks to bunt. He puts it down, and Kyouyama makes the throw to 1st. But Komeda grounds to short to snuff out that threat.

Bottom 5th
Sakaguchi continues to pitch well, again going 1-2-3. Chiben is definitely in for a fight! And the heat could become a factor as well.

Top 6th
Right out of the break, Sougou takes the first pitch to the right center field wall! Great chance here for Chiben Gakuen!

And patient Doi is up to bat. But he goes after the 2-1 pitch through the left side! Sougou rounds 3rd, and Masuda bobbles the ball in left! Sougou stumbles! But he comes home to score!! 2-2!! Doi advances to 2nd and nobody out!

Shigeyama up now looking to push the go-ahead run in. But he strikes out swinging. Sakamoto reaches on a walk, so one down runners on 1st and 2nd for Nagae.

Oguma buckles down, gets ahead 0-2. He grounds to first, but does advance the runners along. Now a base hit by Tsuji can give Chiben a 2-run advantage.

What's this? Dead ball? That looked close. But manrui now for Touhou.

0-1, 0-2, and looking for the strikeout! Oguma leaves the bases loaded! But Chiben has tied the game up!

Bottom 6th
Ueda leads off the 6th, and while it's not a home run, he singles through the left side. Aoyama looks to bunt here, but pushes the first one foul. He's squaring up again, but it's outside. Once again, and he fouls it off again. He should be swinging away now.

And does for the strikeout...

Yumoto walks up. 0-2 so far. And then as I write that, sends the first pitch past Nagae for a base hit. Runners at 1st and 2nd with one out.

There's a conference on the mound as #11 Niita warms up in the bullpen.

Katou up now looking for the timely hit. Count runs to 2-2. And he gets caught swinging at a curve out of the zone. 2 out.

Kyouyama comes up and lines to 2nd. A good opportunity lost by Oumi, and meanwhile, Sakaguchi has worked his strikeout total to 7.

Top 7th
While I like the white uniforms, there's something to be said for the powder blue uniforms of Oumi.

And a defensive change by Oumi, #3 Tsujiyama comes in at first for Katou.

One down, Komeda singles past the glove of Aoyama. Sougou hits the ball hard, but right at Nishida. 2 down for Doi.

And now he's a free swinger! He takes the pitch deep to left center! It's off the wall! Komeda runs home! The relay throw in, and he's safe! He arches his back just enough to avoid the tag! 3-2 Chiben!

And what's this? Shigeyama takes the pitch away, Masuda runs to the left field wall, and IT'S GONE! Shigeyama with the 2 run blast to left and Chiben has opened up a 5-2 lead!!

Sakamoto flies out to left, but the damage is done. Oumi will be hard pressed to come up with 3 runs in 3 innings.

Bottom 7th
Hayashi manages a 2 out walk, but that's it. Can they muster one more rally?

Top 8th
Touhou manages to reach on an error by Yumoto, but nothing come from it.

Bottom 8th
Ueda once again leads off the inning, but pops out to 2nd. Aoyama has better luck, lining one past Nagae for a single. Yumoto is hit on the very next pitch! And now Tsujiyama is ahead 3-0! Sakaguchi get a strike in. Then he makes a pickoff throw to 2nd is high and into center! Runners advance! And Tsujiyama gets the walk to load the bases!

Oumi is going for broke. #14 Suwa comes to pinch hit for Kyouyama. But he falls behind 1-2. Next pitch.. in the dirt! But Doi makes the great stop! 2-2 pitch... sanshin! Suwa goes down swinging, and now it's up to Oguma.

But he hits a ground back to Sakaguchi! He makes the play at first and the inning is over! Oumi leaves the bases loaded and probably their best opportunity to get back in this game goes by the wayside.

Oumi's manager elected to pinch hit for Kyouyama, who had hit .556 in the prefectural tournament. Was it the right move? Should he have left him in, even though he was 0-3 so far? We'll never know.

Top 9th
Sougou gets a one out hit, but while he manages to advance to 3rd, he's stranded there. Oumi's down to their final 3 outs.

Bottom 9th
Yagi comes in to pinch hit for Masuda to start the inning. But he grounds to third. Hayashi is up next. He too falls behind 1-2, and just gets a piece of a pitch to stay alive. Sakaguchi tries to paint the outside corner but misses!

Next pitch is lined and ricochets off him hard! He's down! Nagae gets the ball, tries to throw to 1st, but the ball is wide! Hayashi reaches 2nd, but the focus goes back to the mound where Sakaguchi is still down! The replay shows that he was hit almost squarely on the knee. The manager comes up, and they help him off the field. But at least he can walk.

While they see if Sakaguchi can return, #11 Nitta warms up.

And Sakguchi emerges from the dugout! He's going to continue! He gives it a couple of warmup tosses and he looks fine.

So the game continues with Hayashi on 2nd and Nishida up to bat.

He takes the first pitch through the left side! Runners at the corners! And Ueda is coming to the plate!

But Sakaguchi goes after him. Gets ahead 1-2. Big at bat here for Ueda. Tries to paint the corner, just misses! 2-2. He takes it deep to right! Going, going, just foul by meters!!! Wow!!

And then he lines the next pitch down the left field line!!! Hayashi scores! 5-3 and runners on 2nd and 3rd!

Cleanup batter Aoyama up. Tying run on base! Goes ahead 2-0. Now 3-0! And walks him to load the bases! Manrui, 1 down for Yumoto!! What a 9th inning!

Strike 1. Outfielders playing deep. Strike 2, Doi framed that one. Fastball just outside! Curve outside! 2-2! Sakaguchi steps off, grabs the rosin bag, resets. 2-2 pitch, sanshin!! Yumoto strikes out! 2 down!

It's down to Tsujiyama! Curve outside, 1-0. Fastball low, 2-0. Curve in there for a strike, 2-1. Curve outside, 3-1! Got to take this pitch, right? No! Swings away! Full count, 2 out, manrui, runners will take off! 3-2 pitch...

Fouled off! Geez, this is nailbiting.

Resets now, and again... high! Ball 4! Nishida scores! 5-4!!

And my connection is on the fritz! No! Not now!

I'm skipping over to the framed broadcast on ABC.
Tomio up now. Oumi is close. Count goes to 1-1.

And it's over! Tomio grounds to 3rd and Chiben Gakuen holds on! Wow, what a game! It looked like Sakaguchi was going to give it all away after being hit with that liner by Hayashi, but he holds on by the skin of his teeth! This easily is the best game of the tournament.

While Oumi Koukou has to go home, they fought valiantly, and when all seemed lost, came close to taking it all back. Give credit to Sakaguchi yes, but tip your hat to the kids from Oumi.

Chiben Gakuen (Nara)
RF Komeda (10) - 1-5, R, 2K
LF Sougou (7) - 2-5, 2B, R
C Doi (2) - 2-5, 2B, R, RBI, K
1B Shigeyama (3) - 1-4, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, K, BB
CF Sakamoto (8) - 1-3, 2B, BB
3B Nagae (5) - 0-4, 2K
2B Tsuji (4) - 1-3, RBI, BB
1B Touhou (13) - 0-3, K, BB
P Sakaguchi (1) - 1-3, 2K

Oumi Koukou (Shiga)
CF Hayashi (8) - 1-3, 2 R, 2 BB
2B Nishida (4) - 1-5, R, K
RF Ueda (9) - 3-5, 2B, HR, R, 3 RBI
SS Aoyama (6) - 1-3, 2 K, 2 BB
3B Yumoto (5) - 1-4, K, BB
1B Katou (13) - 1-3, 2 K
1B Tsujiyama (3) - 0-0, 2 BB
C Kyouyama (2) - 0-2, K
PH Suwa (14) - 0-1, K
C Tomio (12) - 0-1
P Oguma (1) - 0-4, K
LF Masuda (18) - 0-3
PH Yagi (16) - 0-1


Okposo Island said...

Ueda power!!

Goro Shigeno said...

No kidding. As soon as it left the bat, I knew it had a chance. Oumi's making a game of it, aren't they?

Okposo Island said...

My connection stopped just as we were listening to Yagi-san. I'm back now, unfortunately in time to see the misplay in LF for 2-2.

Do you know what, if any, relation Chiben (Nara) has with Chiben Wakayama?

Goro Shigeno said...

I know they're sister schools. I mean, they share the same logo and songs and all. Looking into it further, it seems like their part of Bentenshu, but I don't know what that is.

Goro Shigeno said...

Looking into it further, it appears Bentensho is a branch of Buddhism. So I guess it would fall under the realm of religious schools.

Okposo Island said...


Wow, Sakaguichi went down in a heap.

I think it's curtains for Ohmi. I think I'm skipping game 4 in favor of the Seibu game...

Keep up the good work. Catch you tomorrow.

Okposo Island said...

The reverse psychology didn't work. Nice game. I guess that win was the definition of giri-giri?

Be well.

Goro Shigeno said...

Giri-giri is right. Man, I was on the edge of my seat there. I really thought Oumi could at least tie it up.

If nothing else, I thought it was a mistake to have Sakaguchi come back. Niita should have come in to pitch. But who knows what would have happened then?