Sunday, August 10, 2008

Day 9 - Game 1 - Miyazaki Shogyo vs. Kagoshima Jitsugyo

The 2nd round matches continue as we have another all-Kyushu matchup pitting Kagoshima Jitsugyo versus Miyazaki Shogyo.

In the first round, both teams advanced with healthy wins - Kagoshima Jitsugyo defeating Nichidai Tsurugaoka 14-1, while Miyazaki Shogyo defeated Jyohoku 7-1.

After seeing their performance in the first round, it's hard to tell who would have the advantage here. So figuring it's roughly a coin flip, I'll go with Miyazaki Shogyo, even though I think Kagoshima Jitsugyo will probably win.

Kagoshima Jitsugyo
LF Nakao (9)
SS Uebou (6)
CF Morita (8)
RF Iwashita (10)
2B Fukunaga (4)
C Minatozaki (2)
P Matsukubo (1)
1B Arikawa (13)
3B Tanoshiri (5)

Miyazaki Shogyo
SS Kawakami (6)
RF Sasaki (9)
3B Ikeda (5)
1B Matsumoto (3)
LF Kokubo (7)
P Akagawa (1)
C Nagata (2)
2B Shintome (4)
CF Ooshima (8)
8:30 AM
First pitch!

Top 1st
Akagawa, with the help of 2 K's retires the side to open the game.

Bottom 1st
Kawakami starts it off by getting hit. Ouch. Then he tries to steal 2nd! And after a little dancing around 2nd base to try and avoid the tag, he's eventually tagged out.

Sasaki then gives Miyazaki another baserunner by drawing a walk.

After a flyout by Ikeda, Miyazaki puts on the hit-and-run! Matsumoto hits a grounder through to left! Runners at the corners!

But Kokubo grounds to short and a nice play turned in by Uebou ends the inning.

Top 2nd
Akagawa early on is impressing me. Outside of yielding a hit to Minatozaki, he registers 2 more K's to put up another donut.

Bottom 2nd
As Matsukubo steps up to bat, I do a double take as I think I hear "Zankoku na tenshi no teze" from Miyazaki's oen-dan. And upon further review, I do! Now that automatically gives them the win for me! ^_^

Back to the game, Matsukubo singles through the right side. Arikawa bunts him along.

And then Matsukubo falls behind Shindome 3-0, and it's a 4 pitch walk.

Now it's "Sakuranbo" by the oen-dan for the win!

But Ooshima strikes out... 2 down for Kawakami... He grounds one to left! Manrui for Sasaki!

And he goes ahead 3-0! Matsukubo fires two back to fill it up. Runners will go now! Pitch... grounded to 2nd! Fukunaga with the throw to 1st and Matsukubo gets out of the jam!

Top 3rd
Akagawa yields his first walk of the game, walking Arikawa to start the inning. Tanoshiri looks to bunt him along, but cannot! But the pitch is wild and Arikawa advances on the strikeout. Good enough!

And Nakao hits a liner to left! Arikawa holds up at 3rd, and there's runners at the corners for Uebou!

Uebou with the sharp grounder to 3rd! Ikeda smothers the ball, fires home! They have Akagawa! He's run down and tagged out! Nice play!!

Runners now at 1st and 2nd for Morita. Akagawa falls behind him 2-1, but manages to fill up the count. Runners will be taking off now.

Grounder to 1st! Matsumoto, AH! It's off his glove and to right! Nakao heads for home and he scores! Kagoshima Jitsugyo on the board 1-0!

And Akagawa is having problems getting the ball up, falling behind 3-0 before filling up the count again. Morita will be taking off here! Grounder to short, and Kawakami makes the play at first. But a matter of centimeters stood between an out and a run!

Bottom 3rd
The pitchers for Kagoshima switch places, Iwashita moves to the mound and Matsukubo moves to right.

Apparently Ikeda likes the change. He singles past a diving Uebou and into center.

But Iwashita fights on, and gets Matsumoto to ground into the 5-4-3 DP!

He then tops that off with a grounder to short, and it's your normal 1-2-3 inning?!

Top 4th
Minatozaki gets another hit off of Akagawa, but once again it leads to nothing as Matsukubo strikes out (again), and Minatozaki is thrown out at 2nd soon after.

Bottom 4th
Ah! "Zankoku na tenshi no teze" is Akagawa's rally song! Cool! ^^

He strikes out looking. Doh..... -_-

And the next two are retired quickly. Aw...

Top 5th
And what in the world is Tanoshiri doing at the BOTTOM of Kagoshima's lineup? With one down, he blasts one into the right center field gap all the way to the wall for a triple! A homerun in the last game, a triple here!

They elect to have Nakao swing away, and Akagawa strikes him out! 7th of the game!

Uebou up now. Falls behind 1-2 but fights off Akagawa's pitches. But he flails at one high and outside for a comebacker to Akagawa! He makes the play at first and Tanoshiri is stranded at 3rd!

Bottom 5th
Iwashita continues to dominate the Miyazaki Shogyo batters facing only the minimum over 3 innings so far.

5th Inning Stretch
The obaa-chan they interviewed in Kagoshima's oen-dan was so, well... grandmotherly! ^_^

Top 6th
Akagawa still looks good on the mound retiring the side in order.

Bottom 6th
Ah yes, the vendors calling out their wares, with the famous "...ikaga desu ka?" heard at the end.

Matsumoto with the walk, and is forced out at 2nd on Kokubo's grounder. Akagawa up now.

C'mon channel the power of Asuka and get a base hit!

Aaaaaaa~~~~~ You struck out looking AGAIN??!

Top 7th
Minatozaki with his 3rd base hit of the game! Matsukubo to put the bunt down, but Matsumoto gets it and throws to 2nd! Kawakami with the nice pick off the one bounder!

Stubborn as always, Arikawa bunts again sending Matsukubo to 2nd. And Tanoshiri is up. Hoo boy.

He signals bunt... yeah right. As if HE'S going to bunt. Sure enough, he pulls it back and swings! But it's a popup to left.

Bottom 7th
We have ourselves a true pitching battle here between Kagoshima and Miyazaki. Can Miyazaki break through in the next 3 innings?

Iwashita is about to retire the side when he walks Ooshima, who prior had struck out twice.

And apparently, because he hasn't been on base all day, he forgets about how to take a lead at 1st... oy.

Top 8th
2 down, Morita drives a ball to deep left center! That's to the wall for a double!

Iwashita to try and extend the lead. Count goes 2-2 and starts fouling off pitches. On the 8th pitch, he swings, but the ball hits him right on his right knee! He's out, and he can't get up!!

He's being helped off the field, but what will Kagoshima do if he can't return?!

Bottom 8th
The camera dramatically focuses on the empty mound, as Iwashita is still not there.

But about a minute later, he returns to the mound. Will it bother him at all? After all, it's the leg he drives forward with.

Perhaps the one good thing about Ooshima being picked off is that the top of the lineup starts the inning.

His control is shaky, and the count goes full on Kawakami. But Iwashita gets him to fly out to center.

Iwashita is still working out that knee a bit between batters...

He falls behind Sasaki 3-1. But an inside fastball fills the count. Tries it again, but doesn't get the call! Runner on 1st, one out for Ikeda.

Bunt? Are they really calling for the bunt? Whoa! The 1-0 pitch almost took off Ikeda's head! Now it's 3-0! Low! Ball 4!! Runners on 1st and 2nd!!

Conference on the mound. He stays in, but is that the best thing?

Matsumoto up. Chopper to 3rd! Tanoshiri with it! Foul! It's foul!...

Count now 2-1. Matsumoto with the drive to right! Matsukubo running, running back! Leaps! It's in and out of his glove! He fumbles for it but it drops in!!!!!!! Sasaki scores!!!!! Tie game!!!!!!! 1-1!!! Matsumoto with the guts pose!

Runners at 1st and 2nd, one out for Kokubo!

Liner to 2nd! Fukunaga has it! AH!! Ikeda is caught off 2nd! He's doubled off!

Top 9th
Akagawa retires Kagoshima in order! Now, what will Miyazaki do???

Bottom 9th
Akagawa, Nagata and Shindome due up for Miyazaki.

Akagawa strikes out... again.

Nagata singles past a diving Uebou into center!

Bunt?! Really??! You need only one, but you'll be putting the bat in Ooshima's hands!

Yes, Shindome puts the bunt down and advances Nagata.

Conference on the mound...

And Ooshima steps up, without a hit so far this game, or the tournament...

Sharp grounder to 1st! Arikawa has it! Steps on 1st! Enchousen! We're going to extra innings for the first time this tournament!

Top 10th
Tanoshiri chopper up the middle! Shindome with the grab! Tries to flip it with his glove to Kawakami! Miss! That was his only chance! Runner on 1st!

He's moved along by Nakao. Uebou with the chance now.

Grounder up the middle! Shindome with another great stop. Pops up, throw to 1st, in time!!! Shindome with some nice plays!!

Bottom 10th
Iwashita still on the mound. He falls behind 3-1, now 3-2, but loses Kawakami!

Now everyone in the world knows Sasaki is going to bunt! He does! Arikawa up with it, but the only play is at first! Runner at 2nd, one down for Ikeda!

Iwashita gets ahead 1-2. Sanshin!! 2 down!

But Matsumoto is up! Can he deliver one more timely hit? Ara? Are they intentionally walking him?

They are! They are intentionally walking him!!

So now it's up to Kokubo! 0-4 today.

Ground ball to the right side! Fukunaga with it, and he makes the play at 1st!

Top 11th
Miyazaki with the glove this inning! One down, Iwashita with the slow grounder to short! Kawakami with the charging throw, in time!

Two down, Fukunaga grounder straight up the middle! Shindome with the diving stop, his throw, just in time!!!!

Bottom 11th
Akagawa up again. He makes contact, but it's a flyout to center.

Nagata with another single, this time a liner to center.

Will Shindome bunt again? Yes! Minatozaki up with the ball, throws to 2nd...

SAFE!!!!! Nagata's safe at 2nd! But Ooshima's up again....

AHHH! NOOOOOOOO!!! Grounder to 3rd! Tanoshiri with it, throws to Fukunaga at 2nd for one, throw to Arikawa at first, double play!!

Top 12th
Minatozaki leads off the 12th. And like he's done so many AB's, he gets another single. Matsukubo tries to bunt him along, but then falls behind 1-2. Will he do it again?

Yes, but he misses it! Sanshin!

Arikawa looks to bunt. Can't put it down. Goes to 1-1. He pulls it back and swings away! But it's foul! 1-2. Ball low, 2-2. Minatozaki takes off! Swing, foul! Pops it up! Kawakami with the catch.

Up to Tanoshiri. Always a threat. Deadball! Akagawa hits him! Runners on 1st and 2nd, but 2 down!

Top of the lineup and Nakao now. Single to left! Through the infield! Minaztozaki comes around 3rd, he scores! Kagoshima Jitsugyo leads 2-1 in the 12th!

Uebou with another single just like Nakao's!! Tanoshiri rounds 3rd, he scores! 2 runs for Kagoshima now as they lead 3-1!!

Morita with the liner to left! Nakao comes around, he scores! 4-1 Kagoshima!

Could Akagawa just be plain out of gas?

Fortunately, he gets Iwashita to fly out to right. But Akagawa and Miyazaki find themselves down 3 runs with 3 outs to go...

Bottom 12th
Final chance for Miyazaki. Kawashima works the count full and is called out on an outside fastball! (I think that was ball 4)

Sasaki up. He falls behind 1-2, and he's caught looking at an inside pitch. 2 down!

Ikeda up. Pops it up! Minatozaki who started the 12th inning, makes the catch, and that's the ballgame!

Kagoshima Jitsugyo breaks through in the 12th inning against Akagawa for 3 runs to advance to the round of 16!

For Miyazaki Shogyo, they fought hard. Akagawa kept them in the ballgame for so long, allowing the offense the time to breakthrough in the 8th. But could there have been something different done along the way. A pinch hitter perhaps? We'll never know.

But regardless, give Miyazaki Shogyo a round of applause for their efforts. They at least deserve that much.

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