Monday, August 4, 2008

Day 3 - Game 4 - Chiba Keizaidai Fuzoku (Nishi Chiba) vs. Kinkidai Fuzoku (Minami Osaka)

This game has two university schools pitted against one another. I saw Chiba Keizaidai back in 2006 when they lost to Kinjyou and Yaeyama Shoko. They've become a strong team in Chiba over the past couple of years.

Meanwhile, Kinkidai is making its 4th appearance, and first in 15 years. Chiba Keizaidai is one of the teams I like to root for, so let's see how they do - shall we?

Chiba Keizaidai Fuzoku
SS Shigetani (6)
3B Kawashima (5)
RF Naitou (9)
P Saitou (1)
CF Inaba (8)
C Tani (2)
LF Yasaka (7)
1B Kubota (3)
2B Higuchi (4)

Kinkidai Fuzoku (Minami Osaka)
1B Kameyama (3)
2B Sonoki (4)
3B Matsumoto (5)
RF Naitou (9)
LF Kaneda (7)
CF Kaidou (8)
C Ueoka (2)
SS Adachi (6)
P Imai (1)
4:58 PM
First Pitch! Wind has died down for this game.

Top 1st
Shigetani opens the game with a drive to deep left center! Kaidou fumbles with the ball at the wall and Shigetani goes in with a stand up triple!

Then with one down, Naitou walks on 4 straight and proceeds to steal 2nd! Runners at 2nd and 3rd!

But Imai gets Saitou to strikeout leaving it up to Inaba.

He works the count full! Ueoka sets up inside, but it's high and fouled off! And he fouls off another pitch. The longer this AB goes on, the more the advantage shifts to Inaba.

And just as I write that, Imai gets Inaba to swing at an inside curve for strike 3!

Bottom 1st
3 batters, 3 groundouts. Nice start for Saitou

Top 2nd
Nice play by Matsumoto! Tani hits a rope to Matsumoto and he makes the diving stop! And a great throw to 1st completes the play!

Imai retires the next 2 batters, and quickly gets the team back on the bats.

Bottom 2nd
Ugh. My knees are killing me from watching games all day.

Meanwhile, Kinkidai goes down in order again. This time a strikeout and two flyouts.

Top 3rd
Higuchi goes down swinging.

Back to the top of the order and Shigetani and his triple. Ripped to the right side, but Sonoki stumbles and gets it! Nice play by Sonoki!

And another! Adachi makes the diving stop on a ball hit by Kawashima! He can't make the throw in time, but that is definitely some range!

Naitou flies out to deep center, but at least Chiba Keizaidai has another hit.

Bottom 3rd
I'm not sure I like the more parade pace of Kinkidai's "Train-Train" song. From my time at Koshien back on 2006, my favorite bands to hear were:
  • Seiho (Nice, crisp music from them. Notes were very clear from the other side of the stadium.)
  • Chiben Wakayama/Gakuen (Did I mention I liked Jock Rock?)
  • Komadai Tomakomai (Loved their rally song)
  • Waseda Jitsugyou (When you hear the ENTIRE oen-dan singing Kanpeki no sora, it's an impressive sight to see)
  • Kagoshima Kogyo (It was interesting having what seemed like a military band playing)
  • Yaeyama Shoko (Really, this applies to all of Okinawa's teams. It's like a party in their oen-dan all the time)
Ah, right. The game. Nothing new. Kinkidai goes down in order yet again.

Top 4th
Chiba continues on its momentum.

Saitou singles to right. Inaba sacrifices him along to 2nd.

But Tani pops to 2nd. Up to Yasaka now.

And he delivers! Scorcher down the 3rd base line past a diving Matsumoto! Saitou rounds 3rd and scores easily! 1-0 Chiba Keizaidai!

Kubota up at the plate, hits a ball into foul territory. Ueoka and Kameyama converge, but neither of them reaches to make the catch! 2nd chance for Kubota!

However, he strikes out. But Yasaka delivers with the timely hit and Chiba Keizaidai takes the lead!

Bottom 4th
Kinkidai just needs a baserunner in any way. Walk, deadball, strikeout with wild pitch, anything.

Kameyama strikes out...

Sonoki strikes out...

And Matsumoto gets on base! By getting hit. Still, it's a baserunner and sometimes that's all you need to get things started.

But Ishimaru falls victim to Saitou's fork. K.

Top 5th
Higuchi after falling behind early, draws a walk. Shigetani up to bat, and the first pitch is in the dirt! It doesn't go far, but Ueoka loses sight of it and Higuchi advances to 2nd! Then Shigetani, who is swinging away now hits one to right! Runners at the corners, no out!

But Kawashima pops to short. Double play now ends the inning. Naitou up, 0-1 with a walk so far.

Hit-and-run! Shigetani takes off and Naitou hits a ball to deep center! It's caught by Kaidou and Higuchi scores from 3rd! But Shigetani never returned to 1st! He's out 8-4-3, but the out is made after Higuchi scores, so the run counts! 2-0 Chiba Keizaidai, but they could still be batting if Shigetani got the message to go back.

Bottom 5th
That was strange. Kaidou flies out, but Yasaka runs almost all the way to center to make the catch.

Anyways, Kinkidai goes down in order again. Still no hits for the team.

Top 6th
As we move to the 6th, the lights at Koshien turn on.

With one down, Inaba lines one past Imai into center. Tani pops up again, this time to 3rd.

It's Yasaka up again. And he delivers again with a drive to deep right! A one-hop to the wall and Inaba is rounding 3rd. He stumbles! But he manages to get home on Yasaka 2nd timely double! 3-0!

That's curtains for Imai. Kinkidai's manager pulls him for #11 Tanaka.

His start is shaky as he walks Kubota. Runners at 1st and 2nd for Higuchi.

He flies out to center, but Chiba Keizaidai continues to add onto their lead.

Bottom 6th
The oen-dan is really pushing on for the players to get a hit, chanting Adachi's name... bsut he strikes out looking.

Tanaka falls for the forkball as well. 5 K's for Saitou.

Kameyama goes ahead in the count 3-1. Shot to the right side! Higuchi running to his left, dives... just out of his reach and into right! Kinkidai has their first hit! But they can't stop there, they need to string a couple together to get back in the game.

And now the oen-dan chants Sonoki's name, urging him on. But he flies to center to end the inning. Saitou may have lost his no-hit bit, but he still has the 3-0 lead.

Top 7th
Kawashima gets his 2nd hit of the day with a one-out single up the middle. Naitou has an extended AB until they put the hit-and-run on. Ishimaru makes the diving catch and easily doubles Kawashima at first.

Bottom 7th
With 2 down, Kinkidai gets its 2nd hit as Kaneda lines a forkball back at Saitou and into center. But Kaidou grounds to 2nd.

It really seems like Higuchi for Chiba is playing back for a 2nd baseman, but it's working out for them.

Top 8th
Defensive changes for Kinkidai. Kaneda moves from LF to pitch. #15 replaces Tanaka's spot in the order and goes to left.

Chiba Keizaidai goes down in order.

Bottom 8th
It's gotten kinda dark at Koshien, a definite sign that the seasons are about to change.

And now a word from out sponsor...

This half inning has been brought to you by 2B Higuchi. When you absolutely, positively need to get an out.

That's how it might go since Higuchi fielded all three outs.

Top 9th
Chiba goes down in order. Now it'll be up to Saitou to close out the 2-hitter.

Bottom 9th
Boy, I have a way of jinxing things, don't I? Kameyama shocks everyone in the stadium by hitting a homerun to left center!! 3-1

Sonoki gets a solid hit, but it's right to Higuchi who makes the putout at 1st.

They're not dead yet! Matsumoto with a drive down the left field line for a double! Remember, this is the team that came back against PL Gakuen to make it here!

There's new energy on the Kinkidai bench. Can they string together a couple more hits?

Not if Saitou has anything to say. He strikes out Ishimaru. 2 down for Kinkidai, and it's up to Kaneda.

He gets ahead 2-0. Saitou gets one back, then misses outside. And again outside! Kaneda now represents the winning run at 1st!

Kaidou at the plate. He pops up the first pitch, and Higuchi secures it for the win! It's a bit of a scare in the 9th, but Chiba Keizaidai Fuzoku advances to the 2nd round.

Chiba Keizaidai Fuzoku
SS Shigetani (6) - 2-4, 3B
3B Kawashima (5) - 2-4
RF Naitou (9) - 0-2, RBI, BB
P Saitou (1) - 1-4, R, 2 K
CF Inaba (8) - 1-3, R, K
C Tani (2) - 0-4
LF Yasaka (7) - 2-4, 2 2B, 2 RBI, K
1B Kubota (3) - 0-3, K, BB
2B Higuchi (4) - 0-3, 2 K , BB

Kinkidai Fuzoku (Minami Osaka)
1B Kameyama (3) - 2-4, HR, R, RBI, K
2B Sonoki (4) - 0-4
3B Matsumoto (5) - 1-3, 2B, BB
RF Naitou (9) - 0-4, 3 K
LF Kaneda (7) - 1-3, BB
CF Kaidou (8) - 0-4
C Ueoka (2) - 0-3
SS Adachi (6) - 0-3, K
P Imai (1) - 0-3, K

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