Sunday, August 10, 2008

Day 9 - Game 3 - Naruto Kogyo (Tokushima) vs. Kanto Daiichi (Higashi Tokyo)

We've had two exciting, extra inning games so far today! It makes you wonder what Naruto Kogyo and Kanto Daiichi may have in store for us now!

Kantou Daiichi easily handled Jyoso Gakuin routing them 13-5. On the flip side, Naruto Kogyo had a heck of a time agains Honjo. Up 2-0, they gave up 1 run in the 7th, and then 2 in the 9th thanks to a defensive error. They then rallied in the 9th for 2 runs against what had to be a nervous ace in Ikeda for the 4-3 victory.

So who's going to take it? Hm. Statistically, while Kanto Daiichi's pitching isn't overpowering, their batting, and more importantly their running (30 SB) is. Gut feeling is to never underestimate the power Naruto Kogyo... at least every 3 years.

For this game, I'm going to go with Kanto Daiichi. But don't expect this to be a low scoring game.

Naruto Kogyo (Tokushima)
CF Ueki (8)
LF Sonoda (7)
C Satou (2)
SS Yasuoka (6)
RF Okayama (9)
1B Kagawa (3)
3B Matsuura Kenta (5)
P Minoru (1)
2B Tanaka (14)

Kanto Daiichi (Higashi Tokyo)
2B Tanabe (4)
LF Arai (7)
RF Hirose (9)
3B Egawa (5)
1B Tamai (3)
CF Izumizawa (8)
C Nakamura (2)
P Matsumoto (1)
SS Tsuchiya (6)
2:36 PM
First pitch, and the seems to be blowing even harder from right to left!

Top 1st
With one down, Matsumoto hits Sonoda... then walks Satou.

But he settles down and gets Yasuoka to pop to short and Okayama to ground to 2nd.

Bottom 1st
Also with one down, Kanto gets a runner as Arai walks. Electing not to bunt, Hirose swings away.

Instead, Arai looks to steal second for himself! And he's in safely! Hirose then hits a grounder through the right side! Arai scores and just like that Kanto Daiichi is up 1-0!

And while Egawa is up, Hirose goes to steal 2nd. He's in safely! Wow, the speed of Kanto is definitely in display here! Egawa then draws a walk! Pinch for Naruto!

Minoru though gets Tamai to strikeout looking and Izumisawa to fly to left. But Kanto Daiichi strikes first!

Top 2nd
With one down, Naruto's offense again gets started. Kenta singles to left, and then Minoru follows with a walk when Matsumoto doesn't oblige in throwing a good bunting pitch.

Tanaka up now and he puts down the bunt. Satou points to 3rd, but Matsumoto goes to 1st?? Egawa was waiting at 3rd for the throw which would have been in time, but Matsumoto did his own thing! Now there's runners at 2nd and 3rd with two down!

But lucky for him, it leads to nothing. Ueki grounds to short.

Bottom 2nd
It's a better inning for Minoru as he only gives up a two-out walk to Tsuchiya.

Top 3rd
While Yasuoka proves to be a stubborn batter, he eventually lines out to 2nd to end the inning.

Bottom 3rd
Arai walks to lead off the inning. Will he take off?

Yes! But the throw from Satou is in time! Safe?! 2nd base umpire calls safe! I don't know about that call! Looking at the replay it seems like he's out.

Hirose strikes out, so it's up to Egawa.

Single to left! Arai rounds 3rd and scores! 2-0 Kanto!

Tamai up now. And Egawa takes off for 2nd! Throw, tag, safe! Another bang-bang play at 2nd! Then Tamai draws a walk! Runners at 1st and 2nd with one down!

Izumisawa to bunt. But he pops it up! Minoru with the catch and there's 2 down!

Nakamura comes to the plate to try and extend the lead further. And he hits a grounder to left field! Egawa comes around to score! 3-0!

Top 4th
Apparently Naruto likes starting their innings after one out. Because with one down, Kagawa lines a single to right.

Kenta follows that up by getting a walk. Now Naruto elects to bunt, with Minoru sending both runners into scoring position for Tanaka.

And he follows through with a single to right! Hirose up with the ball, AH! The ball bounces off of him and behind him! Kagawa scored! Kenta comes around to score! Naruto Kogyo comes back with 2 runs of its own! 3-2!!

Bottom 4th
Tanabe starts the offense going with a one-out walk.

Instead of bunting, Arai swings away and pops up to 3rd. 2 down for Hirose.

First pitch driven to center! Ueki running back, still running back. HAITA!!!!!!!

Hirose makes up for his error with a blast to the right side of the netting in center! WOW! 5-2!!

Top 5th
Naruto gets a one out runner after Satou is hit by Matsumoto. But he's wiped out when Yasuoka grounds into a 6-3 double play.

Bottom 5th
It looks like Minoru's day is done. #10 Hayashi comes into Sonoda's position in the lineup and takes over on the mound. Minoru moves to left.

And it's a shaky start for Hayashi. Izumisawa grounds to 3rd! Kenta up with it, but drops it on the transfer!

Then Hayashi hits Nakamura. Runners at 1st and 2nd for Matsumoto. He puts down the bunt, but it's right at home plate! Satou with the throw to Kenta and they get the lead runner.

Tsuchiya steps up and this time is swinging away. The count goes full and...

Grounder to left field! Nakamura heads home! Minoru up with the throw. Satou with the ball.

COLLISION! Big time collision at home! But Satou holds onto the ball and Nakamura is out! 2 outs!

The offense keeps going though, as Tanabe draws a walk.

Hayashi finally shuts the door on the 5th as he strikes out Arai. Heading into the break, there certainly have been chances on both sides, but Kanto's aggressiveness on the base paths has made the difference.

Top 6th
Matsumoto takes 7 pitches to retire the side.

Bottom 6th
For the first time this game, Kantou Daiichi is retired in order.

Top 7th
With one down in the inning (does this sound like a broken record to you?), Tanaka hits a soft liner to center. After advancing to 2nd on a hit-and-run groundout, he's left stranded when Hayashi flies to left.

Bottom 7th
Another easy 1-2-3 inning for Hayashi. The question now becomes whether the offense can put runs on the board.

Top 8th
Yasuoka starts the 8th with a grounder to center... with one out. *sighs*

#17 Kawano comes in to pinch-hit for Okayama. He hits a short liner to center! Runners on 1st and 2nd! #15 Yasuda comes in to pinch run for him.

Ah! Kagawa grounds to short, and Tsuchiya starts the 6-4-3 double play!

Bottom 8th
Yasuda stays in to play right.

Hayashi's pitching has been wonderful! He retires the side in order and has given 4 innings of 1-hit ball!

Still, they're down to their final 3 outs.

Top 9th
#11 Hirayama to pinch hit for Kenta. He falls behind 1-2, but keeps fighting. Fouls off pitches and works the count full!

Drive to left center! Izumisawa running back! Still running! Reaches up and makes the great catch!

#13 Bessho to pinch hit for Minoru. He grounds to 2nd.

Last chance goes to Tanaka, and he grounds to 2nd as well to end the game.

So Naruto Kogyo's run ends here in the round of 32 as Kanto Daiichi, with aggressive baserunning early and power later, move on with the 5-2 victory.

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