Monday, August 4, 2008

Day 3 - Game 2 - Honjo (Akita) vs. Naruto Kogyo (Tokushima)

The 2nd game has one of the hard luck teams that I root for in Honjo. But in order to advance, they'll have to defeat a Naruto Kogyo team that seems to be Best 8 caliber every 3 years. And wouldn't you know it, it's been 3 years since they've been here...

Honjo (Akita)
3B Tamura (5)
1B Ishima (3)
C Katamura (2)
2B Yoshio (4)
CF Tsuchida (8)
LF Abe (7)
RF Yoshida (9)
P Ikeda (1)
SS Kawamoto (6)

Naruto Kogyo (Tokushima)
LF Sonoda (7)
CF Ueki (8)
C Satou (2)
SS Yasuoka (6)
RF Okayama (9)
1B Kagawa (3)
3B Matsuura Kenta (5)
P Minoru (1)
2B Nishiuchi (4)
11:24 AM
First pitch!

Top 1st
Shaky start for the defense as Yasuoka takes the grounder from Tamura and airmails it to the 1st base fence! Ijima promply bunts him to 3rd. Katamura grounds to Yasuoka, who catches Tamura going home! He gets caught in a rundown, but in the middle of the 6-2-5-1-4-6 rundown, Katamura advances all the way to 3rd! So 2 outs, still a runner on 3rd!

But Yoshio strikes out looking, and Katamura is stranded.

Bottom 1st
Ikeda retires the first two batters, but then walks Satou, hits Yasuoka, and then walks Okayama to load the bases!

The table is set for Kagawa. He falls behind 1-2, but then gets it full. Runners will be going. The full count pitch and he hits it to left! Abe comes in and makes the sliding catch! Honjo gets out of trouble early!

Top 2nd
Abe delivers a one-out single through the right side. But that's all Honjo gets in this inning.

Bottom 2nd
Matsuura Kenta starts the inning with a bloop to center. Minoru then looks bunt him along, and does, but Ikeda's underhand toss to first is high! Runners advance to 2nd & 3rd with no out!

Ikeda settles down a bit and gets Nishiuchi to strike out looking, but there's still only 1 down.

Sonoda pops out to 2nd. 2 down!

Falls behind to Ueki 3-1. Curve is hit foul. Full count. Fouls off another. And another. And it's a weak grounder to 2nd! Another bullet dodged, but you have to wonder how long they can keep doing that and escaping unscathed.

Top 3rd
Tamura gets a one out single, but Ishima grounds into the 4-6-3 DP.

Bottom 3rd
Ikeda continues to labor, going deep into counts.

Satou goes full before striking out. Yasuoka gets ahead 3-1, and then takes a low pitch to center. Tsuchida goes back to the wall, and it's gone! Yasuoka with the homerun to dead center field! 1-0 Naruto!

Ikeda falls behind Okayama 3-1 and walks him. Kagawa looks to put down the bunt, but it's a safety bunt! Ikeda runs to the ball, makes the glove toss... and in time to get Kagawa! Nice play by Ikeda!

Matsuura ground back to Ikeda, but Naruto is on the board!

Top 4th
Honjo looks to strike back quickly. Katamura singles to left center. Yoshio squares to bunt, but puts the hit-and-run on instead! He grounds to short, but Katamura advances to 2nd.

Tsuchida can't to it as he strikes out swinging at a slow curve. It's up to Abe now.

He grounds to 1st though, and Katamura is left stranded.

Bottom 4th
I'm hearing "When the saints go marching in" as the rally cry for Minoru. I think that's actually weirder than hearing "Popeye the sailor man". In fact I think it's weirder that Otsuka Ai's "Sakuranbo" is a rally song than those two.

Doesn't help Minoru this time. He strikes out.

...and Nishiuchi behind him.

And Sonoda flies to right. Ikeda seems to be settling down now.

Top 5th
Honjo goes down quickly in order. Like in less than 2 minutes.

Bottom 5th
Of course when I say that Ikeda is settling down, he walks Ueki on 4 straight.

And then his pickoff throw to 1st goes awry and Ueki advances to 2nd. Another self-imposed pinch by Ikeda.

Satou helps him out a little by sac bunting Ueki to 3rd. But Yasuoka is up now, and that probably doesn't help.

But Ikeda gets him to ground to short, and Ueki has to hold up.

Then he plunks Okayama for runners at the corners. Kagawa up at the plate. And he lines one past the outstretched glove of Ikeda and into center! Ueki scores and Nartuo Kogyo has extended it's lead! 2-0!

Top 6th
One down, Honjo starts a rally. Ishima gets hit by Minoru, and then Katamura lines one past Minoru. The wind is favoring the batters as a picture of the flags show them blowing out.

Before I can type anything, Yoshio grounds into the 1-6-3 DP to end the rally.

Bottom 6th
ABC's stats on Ikeda have him with 112 pitches after just 5 innings. Not unusual when it comes to koukou yakyuu.

And I know it's Minoru up by the band playing "When the saints go marching in" again.

And again, Minoru strikes out - this time looking.

And once again, so does Nishiuchi.

Sonoda refuses to replay the 4th inning over again, and instead lines out to 2nd to end the inning.

All joking aside, Ikeda isn't pitching that badly. But errors and well placed hits have given Naruto a 2-0 lead.

Top 7th
Yasuda #15 comes in for Sonoda in left.

Chance for Honjo! One out, Abe at first. They put the hit-and-run on! Yoshida singles past Nishiuchi and there's runners at the corners!

But Ikeda is up, 0-2 today. Does he have a timely hit in him?

Yes! Well it's not a hit, but he hits a high bounder to Nishiuchi, and his only play is to 1st! Abe scores! 2-1!

Kawamoto up now. Needing a timely hit now. Behind 1-2... 2-2 now. And he strikes out on a slider! But Honjo has cut the deficit to 1.

Bottom 7th
Ikeda continues cruising along getting the first 2, but then runs into trouble. He walks Satou, and then Okayama gets his first base hit lining it to center. Then he steals 2nd on the first pitch to Kagawa! Next pitch he grounds to the left side. Kawamoto with the nice stop and throw to 1st... in time!!

Top 8th
Katamura with the 2 out base hit to left. But he tries to steal 2nd immediately thereafter and is caught.

Bottom 8th
Kajiwara comes in to play third for the PH Kikuchi.

Outside of Nishiuchi being hit, Naruto goes down quietly.

Top 9th
Last 3 outs for Honjo.

Yoshio starts it off though with a single through the right side! Tsuchida looked to bunt him along, but falls behind 0-2 and has to swing away - then flails on a semi-pitchout.

AH! Abe drives one to left center! Yoshio is flying around the bases! Yasuoka's throw is high! Yoshio scores! Gakuten! 2-2!!!

Still one down, and Yoshida puts a charge into it! Deep to left! Yasuda with the catch in left!! Abe tags up! Ikeda with the chance to drive in the go-ahead run!! Goes ahead 2-0.

Drive to right! Okayama runs back, glove out, and it's off his glove!! Abe rounds 3rd and scores!! Down to their final out, and Honjo has taken the lead!! 3-2!!!!!

Kawamoto strikes out, but it doesn't matter for now. Honjo has taken the lead in the top of the 9th!!

Bottom 9th
Now it's Naruto down to their final 3 outs! But they have the heart of the lineup coming up here.

Now is not the time to lose control. Ikeda falls behind Ueki 3-0, but rallies to 3-2. Fouls one off. Then a liner just foul down the 1st base line. And his persistence pays off with a liner to right!

Conference on the mound for Honjo. Just need to calm Ikeda down.

Satou steps up now. Looks to bunt. Does! Runner on 2nd for Yasuoka. Does he have another timely hit in him? Perhaps another homerun?

Pitchout! Again? It's an intentional walk! They're intentionally putting on the winning run! I don't know about this. It does put the double play on, but the winning run is also on base!

Okayama squares to bunt? Not with one out, right?

No, looks like that was a fake. But Ikeda falls behind 3-0! And then walks him!


Oh boy. They say the hardest 3 outs to get are the final 3. Manrui for Kagawa.

First pitch single through the left side! Ueki scores! Gakuten! 3-3!!!!

Still one down for Matsuura.

And he drives one to left! It falls in! Yasuoka scores and Honjo is yet the hard luck loser once again... 4-3.


Deanna said...

I completely disapprove of your spelling of these schools but this game ending is INSANE. man, Honjo just gave up the ship!

Okposo Island said...

Honko stunned in the 9th!

Okposo Island said...

Oops, as usual my typing sucks. Honjo...

Goro Shigeno said...

Yes Deanna, I know. That's why I for most intents and purposes left the BBS to make my own blog. You don't have to come here and read it if you don't want to.

But yes, I really wanted Honjyou to win. But in the back of my mind, I knew this was Naruto, and when they're around, nothing is safe.

Deanna said...

Well, what I don't get is why you insist on spelling the names weird going against what the TEAMS HAVE ON THEIR UNIFORMS.

I mean, sure, if you want to strangely romanize the ones that have kanji that's fine but if a team HAS "Honjo" on their uniform, what's the point in insisting on spelling it "Honjyou"? That just confuses EVERYONE (including Japanese people). Same for ones like "Keio", where they even HAVE an official spelling of it in English.

I'm watching Koshien on TV and would love to talk about it with you, but I can't even tell what school you're talking about half the time.