Friday, August 8, 2008

Day 7 - Game 1 - Sendai Ikuei (Miyagi) vs. Komono (Mie )

Day 7 hopes to see some better weather... In the meantime, the games continue on!

We're winding down the 1st round matches. First up today pits Komono from Mie-ken versus Sendai Ikuei of Miyagi-ken. For Komono, this is only their 2nd appearance in the tournament. For Sendai Ikuei, this is their 3rd straight appearannce.

Both teams depend on their staff aces to carry them through the tournament. And both aces were pretty dominant. Sendai Ikuei's team is a little quirky in that the majority of their starting 9 throws right, but bats left! Perhaps to take advantage of the shorter distance perhaps?

In terms of offensive production, Komono had the more well rounded offense with all players hitting well, while Sendai's batters are more of a slugging bunch.

But the advantage has to go to Sendai Ikuei in this matchup... (although I'd like to see Komono do really well today)

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Sendai Ikuei (Miyagi)
CF Hashimoto (8)
SS Endou (6)
2B Ono (4)
1B Katou (3)
3B Suzuki (5)
RF Sasaki (9)
LF Akawa (7)
C Tozawa (2)
P Hozumi (1)

Komono (Mie)
SS Inagaki (6)
3B Kasai (5)
CF Kawabata (8)
RF Hanai (9)
P Nishi (1)
1B Kotani(3)
LF Okuno (7)
C Uebu(2)
2B Nishiya (4)
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8:31 PM
First pitch!

Top 1st
And like we've seen so far this tournament, the leadoff batter quickly starts up the offense! Hashimoto drives a ball to deep left center and boy does he have wheels! He flies in with a triple!

Endou up, grounder to short! Inagaki has it! Throw home is high and wide! Hashimoto scores! 1-0 Sendai Ikuei!!

Ono bunts him along, but then he gets careless and with 2 down gets picked off 2nd. But Sendai has opened the scoring!

Bottom 1st
Hozumi gives up a 2-out walk, but that's it for Komono.

Top 2nd
After getting Suzuki to strikeout on 3 straight, Nishi hits Sasaki right on the knee. And instead of bunting, Ikuei's offense elects to hit away! That is rewarded as Ogawa singlees through the left side! Runners at 1st and 2nd! Early pinch for Nishi!

But Sasaki is still hurting from that dead ball! They have to apply the spray again to help keep the pain down!

But Tozawa with the grounder to short! Inagaki to 2nd for one! Throw by Nishiya, in the dirt!
Tozawa is safe!

Komono still in trouble! But Nishi gets counterpart Hozumi to ground to short, ending the inning.

Bottom 2nd
The bottom of the 2nd is delayed as the Sendai Ikuei staff work with Sasaki's knee. It appears to be still bothering him. (8:53 AM)

Ikuei's ace Hozumi continues to warm up on the mound. Wonder if that's a good idea considering the weather and fatigue factor...

9:01 AM... Sasaki appears from the dugout and he appears to be fine! Game on!

After the delay, Nishi is able to draw the leadoff walk. Kotani with the sac bunt, but Hozumi and Katou collide! The ball goes by! All safe!

Okuno now up. Tozawa with the snap throw to 2nd! Nishi is caught off 2nd! What a mistake by Komono! Nishi is run down 6-5-4-1!

Even more of a shame as 1st-year Okuno singles through the right side! Runners at the corners!

Uebu with the safety squeeze! But it's too hard! Katou has it throws home... and Kotani is out at home! Another misplay by Komono's offense! A squeeze rather than a safety would have done just fine!

As it stands, Komono is turned away. And it may be a precursor of things to come...

Top 3rd
Hashimoto starts the inning with a shot to the left side! Inagaki has it, but is too far to make the throw! Endou with the sac bunt to move him along.

Then Nishi hits Ono! But it looked like he picked up his foot to get hit! Just kidding, he was probably using it as a timing mechanism to swing. Another pinch for Komono!

But as quickly as it appeared, it disappears as Katou grounds into the 6U-3 double play!

Bottom 3rd
Inagaki gets Komono's offense started again with a liner to left. Kasai bunts the ball hard, but still manages to move Inagaki along.

Kawabata with the flyout to center. Inagaki going for 3rd! Hashimoto with the throw! It's on a line directly to 3rd! But Suzuki is too eager to tag him out and the ball glances off his glove!

Hanai now with the chance to tie the game, but he pops it up. After a "Billy"-type trip (from the strip Family Circus), Endou makes the catch.

Top 4th
Now THERE's something you don't see everyday. After Nishi retires Suzuki, you see him on the mound shaking his butt to the Ikuei oen-dan's music! Funny, yet somewhat strange...

But he's got a smile, and why not? Even though he's down 1-0, he's pitching well. Sasaki sees that as he strikes out.

But Ogawa is all business! He puts down the safety bunt! Nishi with the stop and throw, but not in time!

No matter though, as Nishi gets Tozawa to ground to short. Komono's really handling itself well on defense!

Bottom 4th
#17 Itou replaces Sasaki in right.

Now let's see if their offense can shape up a bit with their fundamentals...

Of course they need to get on to show those fundamentals. Hozumi retires the side in order.

Top 5th
One down, Hashimoto does what a good 1st batter does. Get on base. Another single up the middle. Kawabata goes to field it and it's off his glove! Hashimoto advances to 2nd on the error!

And Sendai Ikuei immediately makes them pay for it! Endou finally gets a chance to swing away and hits one up the middle! Inagaki has a beat on it, but the ball takes a funny bounce and it gets by him! Hashimoto scores! 2-0!

Ono then with the shot to the right side! Nishiya with the diving stop, but he can't get up and finish the play in time!

Is it bad luck? Suzuki with the slow grounder up the middle. Nishiya charging, misses colliding with Ono tries to flip the ball to 2nd, but he can't get a handle on the ball! All safe on the error by Nishiya! Manrui! Perhaps it was just bad defense (I think I jinxed them... >.< ) And it looks like Nishiya wlll be pulled. But as he goes to the dugout, the manager has some words for him then tells him to get back onto the field. A double play could still end the inning with no damage. Suzuki with the chopper to 3rd! Sakai with the tag on Ono for one! Throw to first... not in time! Endou scores and it's 3-0 Sendai Ikuei!

Itou K's to end the inning, but now his team leads by 3. Could this be too insurmountable for Komono?

Bottom 5th
Outside of a a one-out single by Nishiya to partially redeem himself, Komono fails to get anything started. Hozumi seems to be settling down nicely now.

Top 6th
Ogawa starts the inning off with his third hit of the day - a single up the middle. After a sac bunt, Nishi gets Hozumi to pop to short. 2 down... for Hashimoto...

And as we've almost come to expect from the center fielder. He gets another base hit. This time its a blast to left! Okuno and the outfield is drawn way in as the ball bounces off the wall for his 2nd triple of the game! 4-0 Sendai!

Bottom 6th
Kawabata tries to rally the troops. He hits a chopper over Suzuki's head! Endou covering gets it, but can't make the throw.

Hanai kills the momentum as he pops his bunt to the 1st baseman. Nishi works to get it back as he hits a bloop single down the left field line.

And Sendai has a conference on the mound...

Seems to work as Hazumi retires the next 2 batters.

Top 7th
Katou gets the one out single to through the right side. After a popup, Itou grounds one up the middle! Ingaki with the ball, but his throw is bad! All safe!

Nishi though buckles down and stikes out Ogawa to end the inning.

Bottom 7th
Uebu starts off the inning getting hit on a 3-2 count. Ouch.

After a sac bunt, Hozumi strikes out Inagaki. 2 down.

Then he gives up a single to Kasai, and his day is done.

#11 Kimura comes into Itou's slot and takes over on the mound. Hozumi moves to first, Katou moves to right. Also, #12 Takahashi takes over for Tozawa behind the plate.

And Kimura quickly gets Kawabata to ground back to him for the final out.

Top 8th
With one down, Hozumi gets hit by Nishi. Up steps Hashimoto, already 4-4.

Make that 5-5! A liner past Nishiya! What a performance by Hashimoto!

The scoring opportunity is short lived as Endou grounds into the 1-6-3 DP.

Bottom 8th
Komono tries to get something started with 2 down in the 8th. Kotani starts with the infield single to short. Then, Okuno draws a 4-pitch walk. And Uebu on a very close pitch, also walks! Manrui for Nishiya! Can he redeem himself again?

Behind 1-2, just fouls off the pitch! Ball way high, 2-2. Ball outside, but he swings! Slow hit to 3rd and Suzuki throws home for the force! That's got to be the end for Komono now...

Top 9th
#14 Kudou replaces Nishiya at 2nd...

Nishi gets himself into a 2-out jam giving up consecutive singles to Suzuki and Kimura before getting Ogawa to ground to 2nd.

Bottom 9th
Last ups for Komono...

Inagaki grounds to 3rd, but Suzuki's throw is off! Inagaki advances to 2nd! Then Kasai follows that with a single past a diving Suzuki. Runners at the corners for Kawabata.

And he grounds into the 6-4-3 DP. Inagaki scores, but 2 down. 4-1.

And Hanai strikes out to end the game. A nice try by Komono, but Sendai Ikuei as expected advances. Doesn't change the fact that Komono's day is over, as shown by the expression on Nishi's face. Happy as he was on the mound at Koshien, painful it also is when you have to leave.

1 comment:

Okposo Island said...

Hashimoto is a one man wrecking crew!