Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Day 3 - Game 1 - Keiō Gijuku (Kanagawa) vs. Kaisei (Shimane)

Day 3 begins with the fall champions, Keiō Gijuku facing Kaisei in rural Shimane. In recent years, Keiō has become a strong team in the nation and looks to continue the trend here at Kōshien. They should be pegged as the odds on favorite to win, so Kaisei has their work cut out for them.

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9:01 AM - First Pitch

Top 1st
Haruki yields a 2-out single to Watanabe, but otherwise pitches a solid inning.

Bottom 1st
Hakumura also works through the Kaisei batters quickly for a 1-2-3 inning.

Top 2nd
Ah... the familiar sound of the Keiou band.

And once again, Keiou with the two-out base hit, this time by Haruyama. And to the tune of "Dash Keiou", he's stranded as Haruki gets Miyashita to strike out looking. I must admit, Haruki looks really good early on in this game.

Bottom 2nd
Hakumura is really mowing down the Kaisei batter. His delivery seems different than the vids earlier. It seems to hide the ball for a longer time. It's working as he already has 4 K's.

Top 3rd
Haruki has his first 1-2-3 inning. I'm not sure what's going on, but he's locating well with his pitches and Keiou seems to be playing a bit flat to start out this game.

Bottom 3rd
Hakumura continues to retire Kaisei batters left and right. But last battter Teshima puts down the safety bunt and easily reaches 1st! It's a bunt single, but it's also the first baserunner for Kaisei!

And on a pitchout he breaks for 2nd, and still makes it in time! Teshima is definitely fast! Kaisei with their first chance of the game. Hakumura plunks Itohara! Runners at the corners now for Kaisei!

Akima fights hard at the plate, but on the 8th pitch of the AB grounds to 1st.

Top 4th
The only threat was a Hakumura drive to deep right, but Honda easily camps under that one. Keiou is suddenly finding themselves in a battle against Kaisei!

Bottom 4th
And almost before you can say "Play ball", Hakumura has Kaisei retired in 8 pitches.

Top 5th
Arakawa makes a bit for a hit fisting one up the middle. But Inohara makes the fine defensive play for the out. Haruyama will not be denied though, blooping one into shallow center for Keiou's first baserunner since the 2nd inning!

And Miyashita make a fine play on a pop-up in foul territory! Two down for Keiou. Sugiyama grounds to first and Keiou cannot scratch anything together against Haruki.

Bottom 5th
Inohara gives Kaisei their first baserunner since the 3rd with a grounder that takes a bad hop off of Ishiguro. Nonomura-kantoku asks for the bunt, but then tries the hit-and-run! That doesn't work though and Hashimoto has to swing away. He strikes out looking, but Inohara steals 2nd on the strikeout!

Teshima can bring him in though as he hits a soft liner to Satou, ending the inning.

Top 6th
Satou leads off the 6th with a grounder past a diving Itohara and down the 3rd base line! A great chance for Keiou Gijuku to finally get on the board!! As expected, Ueda-kantoku is looking to bunt him over and Ishiguro succuessfully puts one down.

One down for Watanabe. And it's a fly ball to deep left center. Teshima runs to catch it, and that will easily score Satou giving Keiou the 1-0 lead!

And Ueda with a single to center! Could Keiou be finally getting to Haruki? High chopper back to Haruki though and the inning is over. But Keiou has finally gotten on the board.

Bottom 6th
Kaisei gets their first leadoff runner on base as Hakumura yields his first walk of the game to Itohara. And Hakumura is having trouble finding the strike zone falling behind 2-0 to Akima, and then 3-1. And then walks Akima! Runners at 1st and 2nd with no outs for Kaisei! Great chance here to tie the game!!

Matsubayashi squares up to bunt, but he pops it up! Hakuyama easily gets it and a wasted out for Kaisei!

Doi looks to swing away now with one down, and swing away he does striking out. 2 down and it's up to Honda to not waste this great opportunity. Hakumura falls behind 2-0.

AHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Honda hits a liner over Ishiguro and down left field all the way to the wall!!! Itohara scores!! Akima rounding 3rd, the relay comes in too late and Kaisei has taken the lead!!! 逆転!!! 2-1 Kaisei!!!!!

And while Haruki strikes out, Kaisei has surprised everyone and Keio finds itself down with only 3 to play!

Top 7th
Haruyama with one down gets plunked by Haruki. And instead of the bunt, they put on the hit-and-run, but Miyashita grounds to 3rd. 2 down, runner on 2nd. The outfield is in for a possible play at the plate. But Sugiyama grounds to 3rd to end the inning. Keiou can find no answer to Haruki.

Bottom 7th
Kaisei quickly goes down in order. But Keio is running out of time and outs. They need to mount a rally and soon.

Top 8th
Satou grounds to 3rd. Ishiguro gets ahead 3-0, but Haruki equalizes and gets him to ground to 3rd. Watanabe flies out to left. The sense of urgency is finally coming upon them now, but will it come too late?

Bottom 8th
Itohara with a grounder past a diving Sugiyama and into center for a leadoff single! Akima with the sac bunt but Ishiguro airmails it right into foul territory! Both runners advance and Kaise has runners at 2nd and 3rd with no down! A base hit could crush Keiou.

Matsubayashi steps up to bunt, but pulls it back for ball 1. And again, he swings away on a high fastball. It's to deep left! Miyashita furiously runs back, but it's over his head!!! Itohara scores, Akima comes around, he scores!!!! A double by Matsubayashi scores 2 and Kaisei has a commanding 4-1 lead!!!!!

What a shock this is for Keiou! Ueda-kantoku's face says it all, this team is facing a desparate situation now! The players now realize it too - that their Koushien could be coming to an end sooner than anyone expected.

And while the next 3 Kaisei batters are retired, Keiou looks at the scoreboard and a 3 run deficit. Is it even possible?

Top 9th
Keio has their 4-5-6 batters up, and the oen-dan is cheering louder than they have all game. The gravity of the situation is finally upon them.

Ueda pops it up to Haruki, one down...

The TV cameras pan down the Keiou oen-dan filled with alumni and fans willing the team on hoping for a miracle.

Hakumura grounds to 3rd, and Akima makes the play. 2 down for Keio...

Down to their final out, it's up to Arakawa. He hits one to the right center field gap - that's in there for a double! Still some life for the team from Kanagawa.

Haruyama, 2-2 on the day steps up. Conference on the mound. Is there a rally left in them?

Hakumura waits to see if his team can pick him up. Count goes to 1-2 on Haruyama... 2-2... Hit to center, but Teshima is there and Kaisei has pulled off the upset!! They have defeated the Fall Champion Keiou Gijuku 4-1!!!

Kaisei played a solid game against what had to be a flat Keiou squad and comes up with the victory. With the upset, the tournament is blown wide open!

2 comments:

nietzschesass said...

Hi,

It is sometimes astounding to see what you can find on the internet. A blog about kokoyakyu in English!

Anyway, the magnitude of this upset increases when you find out that Shimane is the second smallest prefecture with the population of 0.74 million (65+ years old population per capita just as bad) and 90% of the Kaisei roster actually comes from jr. highs in Shimane. Insane things happen in kids' baseball, huh?

Keep up the good work.

Goro Shigeno said...

Thanks for stopping by! Yes, there are times where I root for rural prefectural teams because they generally are not as strong as those in urban areas. There are exceptions, but few and far between.

And while the Waseda upset of Tenri isn't of the same magnitude, it does once again point to the fact that in a single elimination tournament, anything can happen.

Again, thanks for stopping by and hope you continue to follow the blog!