Friday, March 27, 2009

Day 6 - Game 2 - Chūkyōdai Chūkyō (Aichi) vs. Kurashiki Kōgyō (Okayama)

This game stars the 2nd round of games here at the Spring Koushien...

Kurashiki Kougyou in their 1st round game versus Konkou Osaka had to come from behind several times before defeating them in extra innings 11-10. As for Chuukyoudai Chuukyou, they had an easy time against Kamimura Gakuen cruising to a 5-1 victory. If Kurashiki is to have a chance in this game, their pitching will have to do better this time around.

11:50 AM - First Pitch

Top 1st
Yamasaki hasn't seemed to have solved his pitching issues from the first round. He hits Yamanaka, who is moved over. Then he walks Kawai on 4 straight! He continues to miss the zone against Doubayashi throwing 2 balls before having him hit a sharp liner foul down the 1st base line. But he doesn't miss the next pitch, shooting a grounder through to left! And it goes under the glove of Yamamoto and continues toward the wall! Yamanaka comes in from 3rd to score! Kawai takes off from 2nd, he comes into score! A two base error by Yamamoto gives Chuukyoudai Chuukyou the quick 2-0 lead!

Not a good start for a team that has to play perfect baseball to get the win.

Yamasaki's struggles continue as Isomura earns Chuukyou's 3rd walk (1 hit batter). But he finally settles down and retires the next 2 batters. But once again, Kurashiki Kougyou will have to work from behind.

Bottom 1st
Kurashiki has no response to Doubayashi as he strikes out the side. He certainly has his own control issues to start against Yori, but quickly settles down - with a little help from swinging bats.

Top 2nd
Morimoto with the chopper to Uchiyama, and it deflects off of him and behind a covering Mimura! E5 and Chuukyou has another leadoff runner!

Morimoto is moved over to 2nd as the lineup turns over to Yamanaka.

A wild pitch by Yamasaki sends Morimoto to 3rd. And then he plunks Yamanaka for the 2nd time in as many innings. Runners at the corners with 1 down for Chuukyou.

As Kunitomo steps up, it sounds like the band is playing a version of Dash Keio... Strange...

Anyways, Kunitomo hits a slow grounder to 2nd. Miki's only play is to 1st and Morimoto scores extending their lead to 3-0. Kurashiki has not done themselves any favors this game so far.

Kawai with a drive to deep left-center! It one-bounds the wall!! Yamanaka scores and Chuukyou takes a commanding 4-0 lead!

And they're not done! Doubayashi takes the first pitch back up the middle past a diving Mimura! Inoue up with the throw, but it's not nearly in time! It's now 5-0 and Doubayashi takes 2nd on the throw home!

Isomura flies out to center, but the game has quickly slipped away from Kurashiki.

Bottom 2nd
The first two batters are retired quickly before Yamagata lines the first pitch to right giving Kurashiki its first baserunner.

Yamasaki tries to work the situation, and earns a walk after the count runs full. Runners on 1st and 2nd for Kurashiki.

Uchiyama too works the count, but he hits a grounder to first. But it takes a very high hop and glances off of Morimoto's glove! It goes into shallow right, and Yamagata scores! A favorable bounce gives Kurashiki their first run of the game, 5-1! Yamasaki advances to 3rd on the play. Yamamoto now with a chance to tack on another run.

He strikes out, but the ball gets by Shibata! Yamamoto dashes to 1st! Shibata gathers it, throws to 1st, just in time to get him out! Almost another fortunate break for Kurashiki. But they are at least on the board.

Top 3rd
Shibata hits a blooper to right, Miki chases and dives, but doesn't come up with it! Itou moves him over. Morimoto with a base hit past a diving Kusaka! Shibata rounds 3rd, but is held up as Yamagata makes a strong throw home! Yamasaki in yet another pinch with runners at the corners! Oofuji-kantoku elects not to put on the squeeze, and Kaneyama grounds into the 4-6-3 double play! Yamasaki gets out of this pinch with no further damage!

Bottom 3rd
Kurashiki's batter are making Doubayashi work, taking a lot more pitches. He retires the side in order, but they're taking the right approach.

Top 4th
Chuukyou gets their 4th straight leadoff batter on base as Yamanaka gets a base hit to right (instead of getting hit). Yamasaki is having control issues again has he throws 3 balls to Kunitomo who's showing bunt. He gets a low strike before Kunitomo successfully puts the bunt down. He falls behind Kawai too, sending the count full before striking him out on an outside fastball.

2 down for Chuukyou with Doubayashi up. And he hits a comebacker that goes through into center! His 3rd hit of the game scores Yamanaka and the lead goes back to 5 at 6-1!

Bottom 4th
Kusaka gives Kurashiki their 3rd base hit as he lines one to right. Nakayama-kantoku isn't being careful here, calling for the hit-and-run! It doesn't work, and later in the AB, he grounds to 1st. They get Kusaka at second, but can't complete the double play. But Yamasaki flies out to center to end the inning.

Top 5th
Morimoto hits a flare to left with two down. Kaneyama follows that up with a single back up the middle! Inoue fumbles with the ball, but Morimoto holds up at 3rd. 2 down, and runners at the corners yet again for Chuukyou!

And we're back to the top of the order and Yamanaka! Yamasaki goes after him though and gets ahead 1-2. But Yamanaka hits a sharp comebacker!! Miki dives, and makes the stop!!! He toss to 2nd and they get out of the pinch!! Miki's fine play prevents another run from scoring!!!!!

Bottom 5th
Kurashiki once again goes in order, and has yet to mount their comeback.

Top 6th
Kurashiki's defense continues to keep them in the game. With one down Kawai hits a hard grounder down the 1st base line, but Kusaka makes the diving grab to prevent an extra-base hit!

Then Doubayashi hits a ball deep to left center! But Yamamoto runs over and makes the leaping catch!!! 2 more fine plays by the defense!

Bottom 6th
Inoue with a liner off the glove of Kawai goes into left for a base hit! Nakayama-kantoku had Mimura showing bunt, but after a throw to 1st, is swinging away.

Oofuji-kantoku calls for a conference on the mound - this being the first time Kurashiki has gotten its leadoff batter on. Doubayashi can't throw a strike now, and a ball in the dirt allows Inoue to advance! And Doubayashi walks Mimura! Big chance developing for Kurashiki!

But Miki is fooled on two straight and is down 0-2. Then he hits a grounder to short, AH!!!!!

The ball takes another high hop, and it goes off of Yamanaka up the left field line!!!!! Inoue scores, Mimura advances to 3rd and Miki to 2nd! Yet another favorable infield bounce scores another run!! 6-2!! Runners at 2nd and 3rd for Kusaka!

And he hits one deep to center!! Itou goes back to make the catch, but the runners advance! Mimura scores and it's now 6-3!

Yamagata with another deep drive to center! This time Itou can't get to it! That one hops the wall!! Miki scores on the double and it's now 6-4!! Is this the rally that Kurashiki is looking for?

YES!!! Yamasaki lines the first pitch over Kawai's head and into left!!! Yamagata scores and Kurashiki is within 1!! 6-5!!

Oofuji-kantoku calls a conference on the mound - part to slow Kurashiki's momentum, part to slow down Doubayashi.

Uchiyama looks to bunt, but instead swings away! It's a chopper to the right side!! But Kunitomo makes the fine stop and gets Yamasaki at 2nd for the 2nd out!

Yamamoto with a grounder to 3rd, but the slightly high hop is taken by Kawai and he makes the play at 1st! BUT!! Kurashiki explodes for 4 runs, and they have cut the lead to 1!

Top 7th
With new life, Kurashiki plays with confidence! Yamasaki retires the side in order!

Bottom 7th
With two down, Mimura hits a grounder to the left side! Yamanaka makes the stop, but the throw isn't in time!

However, Miki grounds to 1st and Kurashiki is running out of time.

Top 8th
Once again, Yamasaki and Kurashiki retire Chuukyou in order. Momentum is definitely with them, can they take advantage of it?

Bottom 8th
Kurashiki appears to be pressing though. Yamagata with a hard hit up the middle but Kunitomo makes a diving stop and completes the play at 1st! Kurashiki quickly goes down in order and find themselves 3 outs for being eliminated!

Top 9th
Yamasaki retires the first 2 batters with some help from Mimura as he corrals an irregular hop for the 2nd out. But when Doubayashi hits a slow grounder to Mimura, it goes under his glove!

And then Isomura lines one down the right field line! Doubayashi advances to 3rd and Chuukyou looks to add an insurance run!

Grounder to short again! Mimura makes the running grab and steps on 2nd for the final out!

Bottom 9th
Kurashiki down to their last outs. This is it for them now! Kurashiki's oen-dan cheers, hoping they can mount yet one more comeback.

But Uchiyama flies to center for the first out...

Doubayashi seems to have picked up his pace since Kurashiki scored their 4 runs. Is it throwing off the Kurashiki batters?

Yamamoto takes the 1st pitch through the right side! The tying run is on base!!

Yori steps up, hitless on the day. Can he get a hit? No! He flies to center!

It's all down to Inoue... Is the cinderella run over for Kurashiki Kougyou?

Yes. He swings at a slider in the dirt, Shibata makes the throw to 1st and Chuukyoudai Chuukyou holds off Kurashiki Kougyou for the 6-5 victory!!

Kurashiki fought hard, and seemed to have the baseball gods on their side... but it was not to be. An amazing story indeed for Kurashiki, but it ends here in the 2nd round.

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