Sunday, August 10, 2008

Day 9 - Game 2 - Chiben Gakuen (Nara) vs Hotoku Gakuen (Higashi Hyogo)

With the nailbiter we had in the first game of the day, it'll be hard for these teams to beat that performance!

Chiben Gakuen won its first round matchup agains Oumi, but not without needing smelling salts. Leading 5-2 in the 9th, Oumi puts together 3 consecutive hits. Combined with 2 walks by Sakaguchi, and they had pulled it to 5-4, bases loaded with 2 down. But a groundout by new C Tomio ended the game.

Hotoku Gakuen in their game against Niigata Kenou Kogyo, fell behind 2-0 and didn't even get a hit until the 5th inning. But then in the 6th, Niigata elected to switch pitchers since they used a 2 pitcher system. But the new P Furumura, was rudely welcomed with a tying 2-run HR by Ujiie. The score would remain tied until the bottom of the 9th where after a 2-out triple by Itoi, cleanup batter Inoue hit the sayonara homerun to right center!

So, who will win this game? With the determination I've seen from Hotoku, I'll pick them to defeat Chiben Gakuen.

Chiben Gakuen (Nara)
RF Komeda (10)
LF Sougou (7)
C Doi (2)
1B Shigeyama (3)
CF Sakamoto (8)
3B Nagae (5)
2B Tsuji (4)
P Sakaguchi (1)
SS Touhou (13)

Hotoku Gakuen (Higashi Hyogo)
3B Saigou (5)
2B Imura (4)
C Itoi (2)
CF Inoue (8)
P Chikada (1)
1B Ujiie (3)
LF Nakamura (7)
RF Nakagawa (13)
SS Momiyama (15)
11:50 AM
First pitch! And the wind has picked up again going the usual right to left.

Top 1st
Not a good start for Chikada as he hits Komeda to start the game. Sougou moves him over.

That brings up Doi, and he hits a grounder to Momiyama. But Komeda shields the ball and gets out of the way just in time! Momiyama has no time to react and the ball goes to left! Runners at the corners, 1 down for cleanup batter Shigeyama!

Chikada buckles down though. He goes 2-2, and strikes him out! 2 down!

And then Sakamoto grounds to 3rd! Saigou with the ball and makes the putout to retire the side.

Bottom 1st
Sakaguchi returns the favor to Hotoku by hitting Saigou. Imura looks to bunt him along, but can't as Doi makes the putout at 2nd instead.

Undaunted, Imura takes it on himself and steals 2nd during Itoi's at bat. And when Itoi flies to center, Imura advances to 3rd. 2 out , runner at 3rd for Inoue.

Sakaguchi gets the count to 2-2 and... AH! The ball gets by Doi! Imura comes home, the throw by Doi, not in time! Imura scores on the passed ball! 1-0 Hotoku!

Top 2nd
Chikada gives up a one-out double to Tsuji, but neither Sakaguchi or Touhou can make contact with the ball and strikes out.

Bottom 2nd
Chikada looks to help his own cause now as he singles up the middle. He's moved to 2nd for Nakamura.

And inexplicably, when Nakamura hits it to short, Chikada runs to 3rd??? And not surprisingly, he's thrown out by a mile.

Top 3rd
Ah, finally a break for Chikada - he retires Chiben in order.

Bottom 3rd
Same goes for Sakagichi as he retires Hotoku in order as well.

Top 4th
Chikada gives up a 2-out walk to Nagae, but that's it.

Bottom 4th
2 down for Hotoku, when Chikada comes to bat. And once again he gets a single.

Ujiie the hits a fly ball to right. Komeda comes in, looks to have it, but doesn't account for the wind! It knocks it down for a base hit!

Then Nakamura singles to left! Chikada comes home! 2-0 Hotoku!

Ah! Sakaguchi hits Nakagawa. Manrui now for Momiyama.

? They're putting in a pinch-hitter! It's #14 Nitta. Chance for Nitta!

But he grounds to 1st! Inning over!

Top 5th
#6 Kotani takes over at short for PH Nitta.

With one down, Touhou grounds one to right field. Instead of bunting, they have Komeda swing away. That works because he singles to left! Runners at 1st and 2nd.

Sougou comes up, but it looks like he isn't bunting as well. And he strikes out to make it 2 down.

That brings up Doi to keep the inning going. But Chikada is out in front 1-2. He's shaking off Itoi several times. Finally agrees on a pitch. Looks to be something inside.

Fastball inside! And Doi knows it! He chops one past the pitcher! It's through to center! Touhou scores, Komeda scores! Doi with the timely hit and we have a tie game!!! 2-2!

Bottom 5th
Saigou manages another walk, this time of the less painful variety. Imura this time gets the sac bunt down successfully.

Itoi though grounds to 3rd, but fortunately for him, the only play Nagae has is to retire him at 1st. Runner at 3rd, 2 down for Inoue.

And he delivers again with the timely hit to right! Saigou scores and Hotoku regains the lead 3-2 as they head into the break!

Top 6th
Sakamoto starts the inning off with a single up the middle. Nagae looks to bunt him along, but Saigou is crashing the plate! He picks it up, fires to Kotani at 2nd for one. And Kotani throws to 1st... double play! Wow! What great defense by Hotoku!!

Bottom 6th
#6 Inamori takes over at 3rd for Nagae.

Ujiie starts the inning with a single to right. Nakamura bunts him to 2nd. However, Nakagawa flies out to left, 2 down for Hotoku.

Kotani up for his first AB. Gets ahead 2-1 and then reaches down and pokes a liner to center! Ujiie rounds 3rd and comes home to score! 4-2 Hotoku!

Top 7th
Chikada picks up 2 more strikeouts en route to a 1-2-3 inning.

Bottom 7th
Sakaguchi also retires the side, as he tries to keep the team in the game.

Top 8th
Chiben's oen-dan sensing the urgency, starts playing Jock Rock to try and get the offense started.

But it doesn't work. Chiben once again goes down in order. Now they'll have only have 3 outs to make up at least a 2 run deficit.

Bottom 8th
With one down, Ujiie hits a liner over a leaping Inamori and down the left field line for a double! Nakamura then hits a deep fly to center advancing Ujiie to 3rd.

But Nakagawa twirls on an inside offspeed pitch to end the inning.

Top 9th
#17 Morosawa comes in to play left for Nakamura.

Chiben Wakayama's bretheren is in danger of going home in the 2nd round unless they can get 2 runs here in the 9th to at least extend the game.

Sakamoto flies out to a charging Nakamura in left. Inamori flies out to Nakagawa in right.

Tsuji doesn't give up though! He singles to center!

#9 Yoshida to pinch hit for Sakaguchi. Drive to center! Inoue charges, dives! DOESN'T GET IT! It's past him and to the wall!! Tsuji rounds 3rd. He scores! Yoshida in with a triple! 4-3!


You're up 2! Count them 2! You can let the ball fall in in front of you! If you let it get behind you, you end up in a situation like this!

And Touhou grounds a single to right! Yoshida scores! Tie game!! 4-4!!! Chiben Gakuen with the help of a questionable decision by Inoue, ties the game!!

Bottom 9th
#11 Nitta comes in to pitch since Yoshida came in to pinch-hit for Sakaguchi.

Hotoku does nothing in the 9th, and goes down in order! Enchousen! We go into our 2nd consecutive extra inning game!

Top 10th
2 down, Shigeyama gets a single up the middle.

#14 Nagaoka comes in to pinch hit for Sakamoto...

Ah! Wild pitch! Shigeyama advances to 2nd!

As there is a conference, the Hotoku's manager calls the outfield in.

Nagaoka with the liner over Saigou's head and down the left field line! Morosawa rushes over to the ball! Shigeyama rounds third for home! Morosawa with the throw home! Itoi gets it, goes for the tag and...


Morosawa with the great throw home! He keeps the game tied going into the bottom of the 10th! Give credit too to the manager! If he hadn't called the outfielders in, that throw may have come too late!

Bottom 10th
Outfield shifts around. PH Nagaoka stays in the game and plays right. Komeda goes from right to left, and Sougou goes from left to center.

With that taken care of, Itoi steps up to the plate. First pitch driven to right! Nagaoka running back, it's off the wall! Itoi in with a leadoff double!

Inoue, the sayonara hero of last game steps up. Can he do it again!

He singles to right! Itoi rounding 3rd! Throw in, he stops! Runners at the corners for Chikada!

But he won't get the chance as Chiben creates the force at home by intentionally walking him.

So now it's up to Ujiie. All he needs is a sac fly. The outfield is in for a play at the plate.

First pitch he lifts to left! Komeda gets ready for the throw home! He gets it! Itoi dashes home! The throw is up the 1st base line! There's going to be no play! Sayonara! Sayonara! Sayonara!!!

Hotoku pulls out another sayonara victory here in the 10th inning! Can this run of good luck continue for them?

For Chiben Gakuen, their summer is over. They, like Miyazaki Shogyo fought wonderfully today, never giving up, not even when things seemed lost. But in the end, it just wasn't enough.

Let's once again raise our glasses to Hotoku Gakuen for advancing, and for Chiben Gakuen, whose efforts remind all of us why we like 高校野球.

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