Why does it have to be that 2 teams with good pitchers have to play now??!
Kounan's Shimabukuro who was a K machine in the spring, versus always smiling SS, but also P, Imamiya. We may see a ton of 0's.
CF Ketashiro (#18)
LF Ganeko (#15)
SS Kuniyoshi (#16)
SS Shinokawa (#16)
12:50 PM - First pitch!
Imamiya induces a 1-2-3 inning, all contact pitches. As expected for Imamiya.
While Shimabukuro K's 2 in his 1-2-3 inning. As expected from Shimabukuro.
Furikawa with a shot into the hole in left! Shinokawa with a great stop, but can't get the ball to 1st in time! Maehira goes to bunt, and Imamiya goes to 2nd! The throw isn't in time! Runners at 1st and 2nd! Ganeko tries to put the bunt down and fails! Furikawa is caught in a rundown! The ball gets tossed around and it's Maehira that eventually gets tagged out.
2 down for Yamakawa, and he hits a grounder to left! Shinokawa dives, but the ball trickles away into left! Furikawa comes around and scores! 1-0 Kounan!
Kuniyoshi grounds to short, but Kounan has the lead!
Saimaki with a grounder to short, and Kuniyoshi airmails the throw! Tying run on 2nd with one down!
Kawano ground one to short. Kuniyoshi goes for Saimaki at 2nd! He gets the tag! Throws to 1st, double play!!! What a play by Kuniyoshi to end the threat!!
Imamiya with a 1-2-3 inning. That one run in the 2nd could be all Kounan needs.
The game continues to speed along. Meihou gets their first hit, a single by Matsumoto through to left. But he's quickly doubled off when Inagaki grounds into the 6-4-3 DP. Shinokawa gets K'd to end the inning.
Inagaki with a diving stop on Ishikawa's hot shot and makes the play at 1st! Not only pitching, but defense is on display here!
But defense can't stop that one!!! Maehira crushes one down the right field line, and there's no doubt about that! 2-0 Kounan!
Ganeko is retired, but Kounan doubles their lead!
Another 1-2-3 inning for Shimabukuro, and 2 more K's for 6 total.
First error for Meihou as Inagaki mishandles a ball hit by Kuniyoshi! And then a safety bunt by Shimabukuro is thrown away by Imamiya! Runners at the corners with one down!
Yamamoto with a grounder back to Imamiya! He goes to 2nd, Shinokawa has it, double clutches and the throw to 1st isn't in time! Kuniyoshi scores and it's 3-0 Kounan!
Ketashiro K's, but Kounan is slowly pulling away.
Abe with a grounder to short, but Kuniyoshi can't handle the ball! E6!
Saimaki with a bunt, everyone converges, Yamakawa tries to field it and fails! Runners at 1st and 2nd with no down!
Make that 1 down. Kawano flails at a pitch for the first out...
Matsumoto looks at strike 3 for Shimabukuro's 8th K...
And Inagaki flies to deep left to end the inning!
Imamiya is relieved on the mound. Ace Noguchi comes in for Shinokawa's spot as Imamiya goes to short.
And Noguchi goes 1-2-3 to stop Kounan. But it's still 3-0.
And Noguchi immediately tries to help his team out with a grounder through to left! After a sac bunt, Sunagawa singles to left! Runners at the corners for Imamiya!
And after fighting off 2 pitches, he delivers! It's a grounder through to right! Noguchi scores and Meihou is on the board! 3-1!
Abe singles back up the middle!!! Sunagawa rounds 3rd, and he scores! Ketashiro can't field the ball, but it doesn't matter. 3-2!!!
The count runs full on Saimaki but Shimabukuro gets him to strike out looking! 2 down. Can he stop it here?
Yes! He handcuffs Kawano and induces a weak grounder to 1st! But Meihou has drawn within 1!
Ganeko starts the inning being plunked. He's bunted to 2nd and advances on a fly to left!
But Sunagawa snags a hot shot by Shimabukuro to keep the deficit at 1!
The defense for Kounan turns it on yet again as they make 3 great plays in the infield! Maehira with a good rush and feed to Shimabukuro, Furikawa with a charging throw to 1st, and a stop by Kuniyoshi on a hard hit ball.
And then Matsumoto can't dig out a ball from Imamiya... After a sac bunt, Ishikawa hits a scorching liner to right! Hirai charges back, leaps and MAKES THE CATCH!!! That stops a run from scoring!
And Noguchi gets Furikawa to go around! Side retired and Meihou is up to try and get that tying run!
Top of the order for Meihou.
Hirai, who made that incredible catch, immediately grounds to 3rd... doh.
But with 2 down, Imamiya blasts one down the left field line! Ganeko chases after it, dives, but can't get it! Imamiya is in with a double! Abe comes to bat. Can he come through once again?
Count goes to 2-2. Liner back at Shimabukuro! He can't field it! Imamiya rounds 3rd and scores!!! 同点!!!!! 3-3!! The captain comes through yet again!!!
Saimaki lines to right, but It's a new ballgame!!!
#18 Kotobuki takes over in left for Saimaki.
Maehira battles with Noguchi for 8 pitches, and on the 9th grounds to 1st. Ganeko lines out to center. Yamakawa challenges with a liner down the left field line, but it's foul. On the next pitch he singles up the middle for the 1st base hit off of Noguchi!
But Kuniyoshi grounds to 2nd. Meihou has a chance to put it away now! Can Shimabukuro hold them off?
Kawano works a walk to start the inning! Not a place to give up your first walk!
Matsumoto tries to bunt, but Shimabukuro throws out Kawano at 2nd! One down!
Inagaki tries the same thing, but gets the same result! 2 down!
And Inagaki steals 2nd thanks to a high throw by Yamakawa!!
And then Noguchi delivers the final blow! It's a deep shot down the left field line past Ganeko! Inagaki comes around to score!! サヨナラ!!!!! Meihou comes from behind to win against Shimabukuro and Kounan 4-3!!!!!
It has to be a crushing defeat for Kounan as they seemed to have the game in hand. But perhaps the inability of Shimabukuro to throw his offspeed pitches for strikes cost him the game.
Maehira (Kounan) - 1-4, HR
Abe (Meihou) - 2-4, 2 RBI
Noguchi (Meihou) - 2-3, R, GW RBI
Noguchi (Meihou) - W (1-0), 4 IP, 0 R, 3 K, 1 HBP