Saturday, March 28, 2009

Day 7 - Game 2 - Minoshima (Wakayama) vs. Kaisei (Shimane)

That was one heck of a morning game we had there. Now as we head to our lunchtime game, it should be between another pair of evenly matched teams. Kaisei was the start of all this craziness this Koushien with their upset of tournament favorite Keiou Gijuku. They face a Minoshima squad who easily handled 21st century team Oita Uenogaoka. Minoshima had a winning history at Koushien in years past. In the 1970's they won the spring Koushien 3 times and the summer Koushien once. Now, they try to bring that history back here in 2009.

11:15 AM - First Pitch

Top 1st
Miyamoto leads off the game with a liner to left. And a balk is called on Haruki advancing him to 2nd. Suddenly Minoshima has a scoring opportunity here in the 1st!

But when Shintarou lays down the bunt, it's right at Haruki and he throws to 3rd where Itohara is easily able to make the tag. An error in execution wipes out the opportunity!

Mantani bunts him over, but Haruki shuts it down for good by striking out Nishihata to end the inning.

Bottom 1st
Itohara responds for Kaisei with a drive to deep right-center! Miyamoto gives chase, but that one hops the wall! Itohara comes in with a stand-up triple! And as if scripted, Akima immediately lifts a fly to left easily scoring Itohara. Kaisei with the 1-0 lead!

Matsubayashi follows that up with a flare to center! Doi then hits a grounder to short. But it takes a high hop on Nishihata and goes into left center! Matsubayashi advances to 3rd and there's runners at the corners with 1 down!

Morimoto then walks Honda on 4 straight! Manrui now for Kaisei with only 1 down! Inohara steps into the box. But he grounds to 3rd! Iguchi Keisuke goes home for the force and now there's 2 down, bases still loaded for Hashimoto!

But Morimoto gets him to chase on a breaking pitch in the dirt and the side is retired. Kaisei with the early lead, but it could have been easily worse for Morimoto and the Minoshima squad!

Top 2nd
Inohara makes a fine running play at 2nd for the 2nd out. Oota with a grounder up the middle, but Inohara charges, snags it, throws to 1st running away from the bag and gets him out!

However, the same cannot be said for their SS. Numa grouns up the middle on the 3B side. Matsubayashi ranges over and gets in front of it, but the ball bounces off of him. It's too late by the time he gets the ball back, and Numa reaches safely.

Then on the 2-1 count, he takes off for 2nd. The throw is high and he reaches safely! Eventually the count runs full on Yamamoto! He hits a grounder to 2nd. Inohara goes over to field it, but it takes another high hop on the Koushien infield!! That ball bounces off of him and into center! Numa comes in to score and thanks to some favorable bounces, Minoshima quickly equalizes! 1-1!!

Bottom 2nd
Kaisei continues its assault on Minoshima as Haruki hits a liner to left to start the inning! Teshima puts the bunt down and Kaisei has another scoring chance! The lineup turns over to Itohara who led off the game for Kaisei with a triple to right center.

And he takes a pitch the other way! That's fair down the left field line! Haruki scores on Itohara's double and Kaisei retakes the lead, 2-1!!

Akima tries to lay down the bunt, but can't do so. The count runs to 0-2 and he's swinging away. And he hits a fly to shallow center and cannot advance Itohara.

Morimoto gets out the inning by getting Matsubayashi to hit a slow comebacker. But another extra-base hit by Itohara gives Kaisei the lead once again!

Top 3rd
Minoshima fires right back! Miyamoto slices one down the left field line to the wall!

Matsushita-kantoku this time doesn't elect to bunt. But Shintarou grounds back to Haruki! He fields it and once again easily throws out Miyamoto at 3rd. How unfortunate!

Nishihata keeps the inning going with a single back up the middle! Another base hit can tie this game back up!

But Keisuke flies to left and Minoshima is turned away.

Bottom 3rd
Morimoto finally catches a break as Shintarou makes a fine play up the middle en route to a 1-2-3 inning. At least for one inning he's repelled the Kaisei attack.

Top 4th
Once again, Minoshima gets their leadoff batter on base as Oota is hit by Haruki and immediately moved to 2nd by Numa.

Yamamoto lines one to right! Oota has to hold at 3rd, but Minoshima has runners at the corners with only 1 down!

Ace Morimoto comes to the plate looking for at least a sac fly to tie the game.


Matsushita-kantoku calls for the squeeze on the 2-1 pitch! Morimoto squares and lays the bunt down! Haruki's only play is to first and they've tied the game! 2-2!!

And he's not out of the woods yet! Miyamoto, already 2-2 on the day with 2 extra base hits is up!

The Kaisei battery is extra careful with him, and after a 8-pitch AB they walk him. But Shintarou flies out to left to end the inning. But Minoshima has equalized once again!

Bottom 4th
Hashimoto puts a drive to deep left-center, but Mantani makes the running catch! Morimoto sits down the next two batters and it appears that Kaisei's attack has stalled!

Top 5th
In fact, it seems like Minoshima has slowly gained momentum in this game. With one down, cleanup hitter Nishihata gets a base hit to right center.

Matsushita-kantoku looks for the bunt, but Keisuke can't put it down. Swinging away, he hits a hard grounder to 2nd, but Inohara can't field it cleanly! It trickles away from him and everyone's safe!! Runners at 1st and 2nd with only one down!

Oota isn't bunting either! He hits a comebacker, but Haruki has it! He throws to 2nd for one, and the throw to 1st... is offline!!! It gets past Akima into foul territory and Nishihata comes in to score! Minoshima has its first lead of the day here in the 5th! 3-2!!

Upon reviewing the play it was 2B Inohara covering the bag, not SS Matsubayashi. It's a bit strange because you would want someone who's momentum is carrying you towards the bag, not away from it. It could have been because of the comebacker itself, but this slight little difference could be the cause of the error. Also Matsubayashi was late breaking to 2nd, so it had to be Inohara to take the throw.

Bottom 5th
Kaisei has the right batter up to start a rally. Itohara leads off the inning already 2-2 on the day. But Morimoto finally gets him out, inducing a grounder to short. He gets two quick outs before yielding a single to Matsubayashi. And on the 1-0 count, he breaks for 2nd and takes it easily.

And Doi with the hit back up the middle! Matsubayashi is coming home!! Mantani up with the ball and makes the throw! It's a laser to home! Yamamoto catches the ball and goes for the tag as Matsubayashi slides towards the inside of the plate, and he's out! A great throw by Mantani guns down the tying run! Minoshima retains the lead!!

Top 6th
Haruki finally gets his own break as he retires the side in order - including leadoff batter Miyamoto who already was 2-2 with a walk.

Bottom 6th
As Inohara steps to the plate with one down in the 6th, the band plays a melody that I know I've heard before, and I know is from an anime. It's been bugging me for all of Kaisei's games, and I finally realize where I think I've heard it. It's from Sailor Moon. No, I'm not kidding. I pretty darned sure that it is. Evangelion, automatic win. Ruroni Kenshin, sure. But... Sailor Moon??!

But I guess it works!! Inohara drives one to deep left and it one-hops to the wall! Inohara is in with a double, but the throw by Oota is over his cutoff man! Inohara makes a break for 3rd and reaches safely! Kaisei with the tying run 90 feet away!

But Hashimoto steps up to the plate, hitless so far this Koushien. Can he deliver?

What? After the 1-0 pitch, Morimoto is pointing at 3rd! Inohara is right in the middle! Yamamoto with the throw, and it hits a leaping Inohara! The ball deflect towards shortstop and Inohara scores! Yamamoto threw that right at Inohara and it hit him! On a wacky play, Kaisei has tied the score up! 3-3!!

After Hashimoto flies out, Haruki shoots one through the right side for a base hit. But Miyamoto loses the ball! He stumbles to retrieve it, meanwhile Haruki takes 2nd!!

With the wacky things happending this inning, can Teshima give Kaisei the lead once again?

No. He flies out to left. But a set of errors have allowed Kaisei to equalize!

Top 7th
Haruki with another 1-2-3 inning, but not before Nishihata puts a charge into the ball that Doi catches just in front of the wall.

Bottom 7th
Itohara starts the "Lucky 7" inning lining the first pitch to left! He's 3-4 with a single, double and triple. He's just a homerun from the cycle!

Nonomura-kantoku looks to Akima to bunt the runner along. But on a throw to first he seems to have jammed his right arm! He has to be helped off and is temporarily replaced by Teshima.

And as if to take advantage of the situation, Nonomura calls for the hit-and-run! But Akima fouls it off. Now 2-2 what will they do? On the pitch, Akima squares to bunt and lays it down! Runner at 2nd, one down!

Matsubayashi steps up, he works the count full. He hits a fly ball down the left field line, but Oota runs it down! 2 down for Doi.

And Morimoto strikes him out to end the inning. A leadoff single goes for naught for Kaisei and the score remains tied.

Top 8th
A quick 1-2-3 inning for Minoshima here in the 8th and the apparent march towards extras begins.

Bottom 8th
Apparently, Kaisei has other plans thatn enchousen!

Honda lines one right at Shintarou's feet! It bounces away from him and Kaisei has its leadoff batter on base! Inohara bunts him over and now Kaisei has 2 more chances to break the tie!

But Hashimoto grounds out to Keisuke at 3rd. Keisuke fumbles it a but but Hashimoto's dive cannot beat out the throw! He'd have a better chance running it out, but I digress...

Haruki now up, he's fared better at the plate. He hits a deep fly to left! Oota runs to the wall just in foul territory, but can't make the catch! That was close for both sides!

Count goes to1-2 on Haruki, and Morimoto gets him to strike out on a changeup! Kaisei cannot capitalize on a leadoff runner and we head to the 9th still tied.

Top 9th
Haruki strikes out 2 in a 1-2-3 inning. Once again, it's hold on time here in the 9th. Minoshima is looking for enchousen now. Kaisei, to end it here in regulation

Bottom 9th
Kaisei is making this easy for Minoshima. Teshima pops a safety bunt up to Morimoto. Itohara, instead of swinging away, tries a bunt of his own again again to no avail. And with Akima's groundout to 2nd, we enter enchousen for the 4th time this Koushien.

Top 10th
Outside of trying to test Itohara's arm after jamming it by having Mantani bunt to him, Haruki still looks good on the mound. He retires the side in order and keeps Kaisei in the game

Bottom 10th
Honda manages a two-out walk. Inohara only 1-3, does have a double and some power. And he drives one deep, but foul. Morimoto gets him to line out to left, and we move to the 11th

Top 11th
Keisuke with a drive to left center! Teshima runs over and diver, but can't make the catch! Doi runs the ball down as it gets by Teshima, and Keisuke is in with a double!

Nonomura-kantoku calls a conference on the mound. at this point 2 sacrifices get the go-ahead run in.

Oota lays the bunt down and Haruki looks to have a play at 3rd, but he instead goes to 1st for the out. Runner at 3rd for Numa. Will it be a sac fly, or will it be the proverbial squeeze?

The infield is playing in for the squeeze. After a first pitch strike, they pitch out. Numa is swinging away and hits a blooper to left center! Teshima charges after this one, reaches down his glove and it just falls in front of him!! Keisuke scores and Minoshima pulls ahead here in the 11th!! 4-3!!

Matsushita is looking for another run, and was having Yamamoto bunt, but he can't and is swinging away at 2 strikes. Haruki gets him on an outside pitch. Morimoto is retired thereafter, but the leadoff double by Keisuke comes around and Kaisei is down to their last 3 outs!

Bottom 11th
Kaisei has the bottom of their order due up here in the 11th.

Hashimoto grounds to 3rd, Itohara up with the ball and the throw to Numa, AH!!!

Hashimoto, running the ball out collides with Numa! It's a hard hit and both fall to the ground!! But Numa holds on and makes the out! One down.

Haruki next grounds out to 2nd, and Kaisei is down to their final out. Nonomura-kantoku calls on #3 Matsumoto to try and prolong the game. The infielders call a conference on the mound, just 1 out away from the Best 8. If he can get on, then top batter Itohara would come to the plate.

Morimoto gets ahead of him 1-2, and Matsumoto grounds to 2nd! Shintarou bobbles the ball! He picks it up and throws to 1st... in time to beat out a sliding Matsumoto! Game set! Minoshima, in their first appearance in 19 years advances to the Best 8 with a 4-3 victory over Kaisei!!

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