Thursday, March 26, 2009

Day 5 - Game 2 - Tenri (Nara) vs. Waseda Jitsugyou (Tokyo)

The games so far have been exciting, and the next one shouldn't disappoint either. Through the draw, a lot of good teams find themselves playing each other, and this game had to be pegged by everyone out there. Waseda Jitsugyou, famous for Ou Sadaharu and Saitou Yuuki faces perennial powerhouse Tenri. This match could easily be a championship match, but because of the luck of the draw, they face each other here in round 1.

With Keio's loss earlier in the tournament, Tenri finds themselves as the new favorites to win it all.

11:55 AM - First Pitch

Top 1st
Onoda retires the Tenri side in order to start the game.

Bottom 1st
Nakayama yield a one-out walk to Ooya to get Waseda's offense started. Tsuchiya follows that up with a single to right! Runners at 1st and 2nd for Waseda with only 1 down!

But Nakayama gets Mori to ground to 2nd! Harada starts the 4-6-3 double play to end the inning!

Top 2nd
Onoda quietly continues to retire the Tenri line-up, getting another 1-2-3 inning.

Bottom 2nd
Nakayama too retires the Waseda batters in order. We could be looking at another pitching battle on our hands.

Top 3rd
Tenri's offense continues to struggle against Onoda. While not overpowering, it's enough to confuse the batters right now.

Bottom 3rd
With 2 down in the 8th, Nakayama walks leadoff batter Oono. And then Ooya on 4 straight! Runners on 1st and 2nd with 2 down.

A conference on the mound doesn't help! He falls behind 3-1 before filling up the count.

And Tsuchiya takes the next pitch down the left field line! Uchino gives chase to the wall. Oono and Ooya score and the walks come back to haunt Nakayama! Waseda takes a 2-0 lead to the tune of Konpeki no Sora!

Top 4th
Uchino with a liner that almost takes out 3B Rukazawa! He tumbles as the ball goes down the line and to the wall for a leadoff double!

Harada giving mixed signs, showing bunt and pulling it back. And he works a walk! Runners at 1st and 2nd with no down! Tenri with a great opportunity to close the gap.

Wild pitch by Onoda! Runners advance 90 feet! And to the tune of Wasshoi, Tokuyama walks loading the bases still with no down!!

Nishiura with the comebacker! Onoda has it! Goes home for one, back to 1st for the double play. Great play by Onoda and an unlucky break for Tenri!

Yasuda grounds out to short to end the inning, and Tenri cannot bring a runner home with a no-out manrui situation...

Bottom 4th
Nakayama still struggling with his control. Onoda works the count full and he hits one deep to left! Uchino to the wall, looks up... uh oh...

HAITA! Onoda hits the ball just over the fence and he gives himself and Waseda Jitsugyou a 3-0 lead!

Tenri finds itself in a situation it didn't want to be in, in a game they probably didn't want right away.

Top 5th
With one down, Nishikawa hits a grounder right at Oono, but he can't pick up the ball! Nishikawa reaches on the error!

Tachibana looks to bunt him over. Onoda isn't throwing a strike and falls behind 3-0. But 2 more balls and the count is full! Perhaps he was looking for the walk - but now he has to swing away. He's fighting hard at the plate fouling off Onoda's deliveries.

But then he hits a ball deep into the left center field gap! And with a timely triple, Tenri finally is on the board! 3-1!

Tachibana up now, and they call for the squeeze! But the ball is high and inside and he can't hit it! Nakayama is caught in no man's land and is run down! 2 out!

For the 2nd time in as many times I've seen Tenri (1st was back in Natsu Koushien 2006), the squeeze bunt fails at a crucial time! I thought it then and I though it now, "please don't do it..."

And with the bases empty, Tachibana strikes out. Tenri gets back a run, but still trails by 2.

Bottom 5th
Oono reaches base yet again, this time on a one-out liner to right. But that is quickly erased and Ooya grounds into the 4-6-3 double play.

Top 6th
Harada with one down pops one up, but Tsuchiya and Rukazwa collide and Tsuchiya drops it! Luckily it wasn't hard and both are ok.

But Harada takes advantage of it lining one to left! Runner on for Tenri!

And Tokuyama scorches one down the right field line! That's quickly past Kakinuma and all the way to the wall! A timely triple and the lead is cut to one! 3-2!!

Nishiura takes the first pitch to right!! That scores Tokuyama!! 同点!! 3-3!!

Yasuda follows that up with Tenri's 4th consecutive hit, a grounder through the left side! Runners at 1st and 2nd with only 1 down!

But Onoda gets Oonishi to wave at outside pitches and Nishikawa to ground to short and Tenri's rally ends there. But they have come back to tie the game!

Bottom 6th
Nakayama's conrtol issues continue as he walks Tsuchiya to lead off the inning. He's quickly moved to 2nd.

Nakano strikes out, but the ball is in the dirt! They have to throw out Nakano at 1st allowing Tsuchiya to advance to 3rd. 2 down for Onoda.

And after working the count full yet again, Nakayama gets Onoda to swing at a ball in the dirt to end the inning.

Top 7th
Onoda's day on the mound is done as #9 Suzuki comes in to pitch. Onoda shifts to right and replaces Kakinuma.

Suzuki makes short work of Tenri's batters, something that Waseda desperately needed after Tenri surged back to tie the game.

Bottom 7th
Nakayama gives his team a breather as he retires Waseda in timely fashion.

Top 8th
Tenri's batters are trying to work the count and get a good look at Suzuki, but nothing comes of it as they are retired in order here in the 8th.

Bottom 8th
Oono looking to reach for the 3rd time this game, hits a grounder to Nishiura. But he bobbles the ball and Ooni reaches safely on the error!

Ooya puts down the bunt, but Nakayama quickly fields the ball and fires to 2nd! They get Oono at 2nd, but can't get Ooya for the double play.

Tsuchiya looking for the bunt, but Nakayama isn't giving in. And he works the count to 2-2. It's a grounder to short! Nishura starts the 6-4-3 double play and Waseda is retired here in the 8th

Top 9th
Again we head into the 9th inning with a tie ball game. Both teams surely are looking to find a way to end this in regulation.

Nishikawa gets a 2-out single to left, but is quickly stranded after Nakayama grounds to 1st. Tenri can't win it here, they'll have to look towards enchousen for another opportunity.

Bottom 9th
Clean-up batter Mori steps to the plate leading off the 9th.

Chopper up the middle gets through for a base hit! Izumi-kantoku immediately looks for the bunt. After some effort, he finally puts it down!

Morigawa-kantoku gets a conference on the mound. Ace Onoda, already with a homerun on the day looks to get the sayonara hit and end it here.

First pitch swinging! That's hit deep to left! Off the wall and Onoda delivers the sayonara hit! Waseda Jitsugyou pulls the upset of Tenri, 4-3!

And with Tenri's loss, the teams from the championship match of the National Fall Tournament have both been eliminated in the first round (Tenri vs. Keiou)! The tournament is now fully wide open for all teams remaining!

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