Friday, August 8, 2008

Day 7 - Game 3 - Seiko Gakuin (Fukushima) vs. Kakogawa Kita (Nishi Hyogo)

The first game of the afternoon has our last debut team of the tournament, versus a loser to last year's runner-up.

Kakogawa Kita comes to us from Nishi Hyogo-ken. Their road to Koshien was filled with low scoring games, never scoring more than 5 in any game. Instead, like Sakata Minami, they depended on their pitching tandem of Iwasaki (5 G, 31 IP, 22 H, 5 ER, 21 K, 9 BB) and Miki (3 G, 23 IP, 16 H, 2 ER, 8 K, 9 BB) to bring them to Koshien for the first time. They are not a slugging powerhouse, instead depending on timely hitting to get the win.

Seiko Gakuin, as opposed to last year when they could score runs, is a similar type team. Not many extra base hits, just a lot of singles. Their trio of pitchers, Satou Tatusya (3 G, 23 IP, 17 H, 6 ER, 13 K, 1 BB), Nakada (4 G, 17.2 IP, 15 H, 19 K, 0 BB) and Yokoyama (2 G, 8.1 IP, 10 H, 2 ER, 11 K, 1 BB), use great control to get their men.

Should be a great pitcher's duel here for game 3! Edge may go to Seiko Gakuin.

Seiko Gakuin (Fukushima)
3B Yasuda (5)
2B Satou Takuya (4)
1B Sekine (3)
CF Kuroba (9)
SS Tamura (6)
LF Kanno (8)
RF Shike (17)
C Takezawa (2)
P Satou Tatsuya (11)

Kakogawa Kita (Nishi Hyogo)
C Kubo (2)
CF Okunou (8)
SS Fujii (6)
P Miki (1)
RF Oonishi (9)
2B Kanki (4)
LF Murata (12)
1B Yoshida (3)
3B Ishiguchi (5)
2:11 PM
First Pitch!

Top 1st
Seiko looks to strike early. With one down, (Satou) Takuya hits a blooper down the right field line! Sekine follows that up with a liner to left! Runners at 1st and 2nd with one down!

Kuroba hits the ball hard, but right at Yoshida who makes the play at first. However, the runners advance into scoring position.

Tamura then gets a walk, and its manrui for Kanno! Miki in an early pinch!

He falls behind Kanno, 2-0, then 3-1! Nowhere to put him! Strike on the outside! Full count! Laser to the right field! All the way to the wall! The runners wheel around the bases, and when the dust settles, it's a bases clearing triple for Kanno! 3-0 Seiko Gakuin! Then a 4 pitch walk to Shiko!

Takezawa up now, and Shike takes off for 2nd! The throw is there in plenty of time and they have him in a rundown! But in the meantime Kanno heads for home! The throw by Yoshida, Kubo can't field it! Kanno scores! 4-0 Seiko in the 1st!

Takezawa pops to 2nd, but Seiko explodes for 4 in the first thanks to the bases clearing triple by Kanno!

Bottom 1st
Kakogawa's hats look interesting with the mirror image K's.

Kakogawa looks to strike back! Kubo with the single through the left side! Okunou puts down the bunt, but instead pops it up! Sekine with the catch and they double off Kubo! Fujii grounds to 3rd to end the inning.

Top 2nd
(Satou) Tatsuya starts off the inning with a single through the right side! Yasuda tries to put the bunt down! Kubo with it! Throw to 2nd, wild and into center! Runner at the corners!

Takuya singles through the right side! Tatsuya scores! 5-0!

Sekine with a flyout to center. Yasuda walks home! 6-0. Hoo boy.

Kuroba with another single! Runners at 1st and 2nd! But Takuta gets careless at 2nd, and is picked off!

The offense keeps rolling though! Tamura with the single to left! Runners at 1st and 2nd again! But Miki gets Kanno to fly out to Murata in foul territory to end the inning. But it's looking apparent early which team is the better team here.

Bottom 2nd
Kakogawa Kita down in order.

Top 3rd
The cameras point to the flags as they blow hard denoting the wind from right to left.

And it appears that Miki's day is done. #18 Iwasaki comes in to relieve him.

First pitch Shike takes to deep right! But as we saw earlier, the wind isn't blowing that way and he flies out to right. And while he gives up a single to Tatsuya, Iwasaki does a fine job in his first inning of relief and keeps Seiko off the board.

Bottom 3rd
Tatsuya continues to cruise along, retiring the first two batters. He's about to retire the 3rd, as Ishiguchi grounds to 3rd. But Tamura's throw to first is high and into the camera well! Ishiguchi advances to 2nd.

And Kubo singles to left! Ishiguchi rounds 3rd and scores! Kakogawa Kita's on the board! 6-1.

Top 4th
Seiko gets their first hit on Iwasaki as Takuya reaches out and pokes the ball into left! Sekine follows that up with a double to right center. Looks like Seiko is on the hunt again for more runs.

Kuroba hits a sac fly to center and Takuya clumsily slides into home to make it 7-1. Seriously, that looked like it's got to hurt a little.

Iwasaki though, keeps the damage minimal as he gets the next 2 batters to ground to 1st.

Bottom 4th
Fujii starts the inning with a single to left. After new P Iwasaki strikes out, Oonishi hits it to short. But just when Tamura is going to start the double play, the ball takes a high hop over Tamura and into center!

Kanki follows that up with a single to right! Manrui for Murata!

Single to left! Fujii scores! 7-2 now, still manrui for Yoshida! But oy, he had a meager 0.050 batting average in the qualifiers.

...and he strikes out. 2 down for Ishiguchi.

Count goes 3-1! Take the walk if you can Ishiguchi! Ah, strike 2! Runners in motion now!

AH!!! Sanshin! Ishiguchi is frozen on a pitch right down the middle! Kakogawa Kita with the bases loaded and one out can only score one!
They may have missed their best chance at getting back into this game.

Top 5th
Seiko is retired in order, thanks to a nice diving catch by Kanka on a high liner!

Bottom 5th
Kakogawa Kita also goes in order.

Top 6th
With one down, Takuya hits a drive to right center. It goes all the way to the wall for a triple! Takuya is 4-4 on the day! Sekine then hits a grounder to 1st, allowing Takuya to score. 8-2.

And the Kuroba hits a drive to right! Oonishi to the wall, climbs it, reaches over the fence, but it's gone! Haita!! With the wind blowing hard to left, Oonishi hits a home run to right field!! 9-2.

Bottom 6th
Kakogawa Kita goes in order again. Their time here may be short.

Top 7th
#14 Saitou, pinch hits for Shike in the 7th. And he singles to right! But that'll be it for
Seiko here in the 8th.

Bottom 7th
#16 Watanabe enters the game i ncenter. Kuroba moves to right.

Kakogawa Kita breaks up the monotony as Ishiguchi gets a 2-out double...

Top 8th
#7 Takeuchi enters the game in left.

Iwasaki gives his team a small scare with 2 2-out walks, but escapes with no runs scored.

Bottom 8th
#13 Kawata comes to PH for Iwasaki. Looks like his day is done.

Top 9th
#11 Okamoto comes in to pitch the final inning.

You can't say these guys don't try hard all the the time. Watanabe fouls the ball off, but Kubo races back, dives up onto the rooftop and makes the catch!

And while he struggles a bit on the mound, Okamoto keeps Seiko off the board as they get their final at-bats.

Bottom 9th
Kakogawa Kita goes through their final ups, running all out and of course diving into 1st base. But their time on the Koshien grounds ends as Seiko Gakuin easily advances 9-2.

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