Monday, August 24, 2009

Day 15 - Finals - Nihon Bunri (Niigata) vs. Chuukyoudai Chuukyou (Aichi)

So, we've reached the finals. And as mentioned before, it's the viewed underdog in Nihon Bunri versus the Aichi powerhouse Chuukyoudai Chuukyou.

Will it be as one-sided as people say it is? Or are we just underestimating the team from Niigata? Surely, ace Itou has done an admirable job on the mound, and has baffled the opponent's batters. Is there one more game left for him?

Enough talking. We've seen these teams.

SO! WHO WILL WIN THE 91ST NATSU KOSHIEN TOURNAMENT??!

Nihon Bunri (Niigata)
2B Kitte
SS Takahashi Jyunnosuke
1B Takeishi
RF Yoshida
LF Takahashi Yoshihito
P Itou Naoki
CF Yumoto
C Wakabayashi
3B Nakamura

Chuukyoudai Chuukyou (Aichi)
SS Yamanaka
2B Kunitomo
3B Kawai
P Doubayashi
C Isomura
LF Itou Takahiko
1B Shibata
RF Kaneyama
CF Iwatsuki

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1:01 PM - First pitch!

Top 1st
The siren blares and the first pitch is over for a strike! Ahead 0-2 on Kitte. And popped out in foul territory to 1st for the first out.

Fastball gets over to start Jyunnosuke off, but falls behind 2-1. Another breaking pitch over levels the count. Yet another one goes outside. He's sure throwing out a lot of breaking pitches...

And he takes lines one to center!

Ooi-kantoku is electing not to bunt. And Doubayashi continues to throw breaking pitches! He falls behind Takeishi 2-0 before throwing one. Takeishi fouls one off to level the count.

Ooi calls for the hit and run! But Takeishi grounds it to 2nd! Kunitomo feeds it to short and the throw to 1st... completes the double play!!


Bottom 1st
Yamanaka just gets a hold of the first pitch and grounds it into center! Kunitomo bunts the runner over for Kawai.

First pitch swinging! Kawai lifts one to left center! Yoshihito ranges to his left, and a little more... and a little more... and makes the catch.

2 down for Doubayashi. Itou falls behind 3-1, and...

Doubayashi with a drive to right center!!!! Yumoto and Yoshida running to the wall...

HAITAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Doubayashi giving his team the early 2-0 lead with a homerun!!! Certainly not the way Bunri wanted to start this game...

And then he walks Isomura on 4 straight.

And Itou takes the first pich and sends it through the right side! Runners on the corners for Chuukyou!! Not a good start.

But Shibata flies one to left to end the inning.

Doubayashi takes a hanging breaking pitch and gives his team the early lead. It's certainly far from over, but how will they respond?


Top 2nd
Cleanup batter Yoshida up 2-0 on Doubayashi, and he with a liner down the left field line! He's in with a leadoff double!

Itou with a drive to the right-center field gap! That falls in between the fielders! Yoshida scores and Bunri has taken one back! 2-1!!!

Itou looking to tie the game with a base hit. Falls behind 1-2. Evens it up on a ball in the dirt. Inside for ball 3! SANSHIN!!! Itou's fooled on a slider by Doubayashi! 1 down.

1st year Yumoto up now. He's certainly taking his hacks, but too falls behind 1-2. And another breaking pitch results in another swing and miss! 2 down!

Down to #8 batter Wakabayashi. He falls behind 0-2. Not fooled on the breaking pitch. But is fooled on the 2nd one! Doubayashi strikes out the side after giving up leadoff doubles! Bunri gets back 1, but perhaps could have tied the game!


Bottom 2nd
Itou still up there throwing strikes. He gets Kaneyama swinging to start the inning.

But Iwatsuki lines the first one to left for a base hit.

Yamanaka with a grounder right to short! Jyunnosuke starts the 6-4-3 double play to end the inning!


Top 3rd
Last batter Nakamura falls behind 1-2 and fouls off a couple of pitches before leveling the count. But a fastball inside freezes him! One down.

Kitte grounds the first ball to short and there's 2 down.

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

Jyunnosuke with a drive deep down the left field line!! Itou to the wall!!

HAITAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2nd year Jyunnosuke ties the game with a homerun! They certainly aren't intimidated!!!! 2-2!!!!!

Takeishi grounds out to short, but we have a tie ball game!!!


Bottom 3rd
Kunitomo is returning the favor of Nakamura by working Itou full..

But he's frozen on a breaking pitch on the outside corner!!

The heart of the Chuukyou lineup is up now, and Itou continues after them.

Kawai grounds one to 1st! But the ball gets away from Takeishi! It's too late when he gets it! E3!!

And that brings up Doubayashi!

But this time Oofuji-kantoku sending the runner! Throw from Wakabayashi is high and Kawai's in safely.

Itou falls behind Doubayashi 3-1, and walks him... Runners on 1st and 2nd for Isomura!

Isomura with a shot through the left side!! Kawai holds at 3rd and it's manrui for Takahiko!

Naoki gets ahead 0-2... SANSHIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Naoki gets Takahiko swinging on a changeup! 2 down!

One more to go in Shibata! Breaking pitch over for strike 1! Fouled off and Naoki's up 0-2!!

SANSHIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WOW!! He throws a 0-2 slider and all Shibata can do is watch!!!! Naoki gets out of a bases loaded jam with 2 strikeouts!!!!!!!!!!!


Top 4th
Yoshida swinging on the first pitch and pops up to Kunitomo behind 2nd.

Yamanaka taking a 0-1 pitch past Doubayashi! But Yamanaka dives and gets it! They ball trickles away though and he can't make a throw! One on for Bunri!

Naoki with a drive to center!!!!! That's going deep!!! Iwatsuki running back.. leaps...

MAKES THE CATCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OH MY GOD!!!!

At full sprint, Iwatsuki runs back, leaps, makes the catch, crashes into the wall, and holds on!!

WHAT A PLAY!!!!!!!

Yumoto grounds out to 1st to end the inning, but Iwatsuki makes a saving catch in center!!!!


Bottom 4th
Kaneyama with a slow grounder up the 1st base side. It gets past Naoki! Kitte charges in, but his throw is late! Runner on!

Iwatsuki with the bunt! But Takeishi elects to wait to see if it goes foul... and it does!

But that's close... that could have easily stayed fair...

Iwatsuki tries it again, but Naoki has it and fires to 2nd!!! They get the lead runner! The chance pays off!!! One down!

Yamanaka first pitch swinging, pops it up! Wakabayashi behind home plate makes the catch! 2 down.

Kunitomo tries the safety bunt But Nakamura charges in and makes a strong throw to get the out!


Top 5th
Wakabayashi goes down swinging to start the inning.

Nakamura first pitch swinging, grounds to 3rd... and Kitte hits the first pitch and flies out to shallow left. A quick inning for Doubayashi as Chuukyou goes back on offense, looking for the lead.


Bottom 5th
Kawai with a chopper up the middle! Kitte charging over, and Kawai's slide just beats out the throw!

And Doubayashi with a drive deep, but foul!! Wow he got around on that ball really fast.

He doesn't miss with this one! 1-2 fastball from Naoki is driven to left!! Yoshihito has to play that off the wall! Kawai holds up at 3rd as he had to wait to see if the ball would be caught! Runners on 2nd and 3rd for Chuukyou with nobody down!

Isomura up. Falls behind 0-2....

SANSHIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Naoki gets Isomura swinging on a slider for out #1!

Takahiko up now... Count goes to 2-2... and he starts foulding off pitches. Oofuji-kantoki wants a chopper and he wants one now.

But Takahiko fouls one off, the lines one foul...

SANSHIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Naoki gets Takahiko swinging for the 2nd out!

And he's ahead fo Shibata 0-2!! Pitch outside and he doesn't chase...

Grounder to short! Jyunnosuke up with it, makes the throw to 1st...

3 OUT!!!!

How lucky (or clutch) is this guy!!!! Manrui 1 down, strikes out the next 2 batters. Runners on 2nd and 3rd with no down, strikes the next two batters out and induces a grounder!!!!

We head to the break tied at 2-2!!!!!


Top 6th
Jyunnosuke starts off the post break with a liner to left for a leadoff base hit!

Takeishi not bunting! And is hit by Doubayashi!!! Runners on 1st and 2nd for Bunri!!

And Oofuji-kantoku quickly makes a move!!

Doubayashi is being taken off the mound! He's moved to right. Kaneyama moves to center and #10 Morimoto comes in for Iwatsuki and takes the mound.

Yoshida looking to bunt to set the runners up for Yoshihito.

NO!!! He pounds one into the ground!! Kunitomo with it and goes to 1st! Just as good as it advances the runners.

And they're going after Yoshihito! First pitch fouled off!

But Isomura comes out to talk to Morimoto. And Oofuji-kantoku sends someone out.

Strike 2, inside corner! They're really going after him! Pitch outside in the dirt for 1-2. Grounder to short!! Runners taking off! Yamanaka goes home and they have Jyunnosuke out at home!! Runners at 1st and 3rd for Itou.

OHHHH!!!!

He makes good contact, sends it to left... but he gets under it and it's an easy play for Takahiko! Morimoto gets Chuukyou out fo the inning!!!


Bottom 6th
Kaneyama grounds out to 2nd after running the count full.

New P Morimoto does the same, but draws a walk.

AH!!! A wild pitch by Naoki sends Kaneyama to 2nd!!!

Yamanaka with a sharp grounder to short, and it bounces off Jyunnosuke! Morimoto was scrambling back to 2nd, and can only advance to 3rd!!

Kunitomo with anothe sharp grounder to 3rd! That bounces off Nakamura, but goes right to Jyunnosuke! Runners hold!

MANRUI, ONE DOWN FOR CHUUKYOU!!

Naoki gets ahead of Kawai 1-2... SANSHIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

He does it again!!! 2 down for Bunri!!!

But the biggest test is yet to come... Doubayashi steps up. Gets ahead 0-1!

Liner! That goes into left!! Morimoto scores! Kunitomo comes around 3rd... he scores! It couldn't last forever could it?? Doubayashi comes through again and has all 4 RBI's. It's 4-2!!

And Isomura is hit by Naoki! Manrui again for Chuukyou!

Itou with a high chopper! Itou fields it, but there's no one covering 1st!!! All safe!!! Kunitomo scores and it's 5-2 Chuukyou!!!

SHIBATA WITH A FIRST PITCH DRIVE TO LEFT!!!

Doubayashi scores! Isomura scores!! Takahiko rounding 3rd... he scores!! It's a bases clearing triple for Morimoto and Chuukyou has blown this one wide open! It's 8-2!!

Kaneyama back up once again. And Naoki walks him on 4 straight! Runners on 1st and 2nd!

But Morimoto strikes out to end the inning.

Chuukyou sends 11 batters, and scores 6 runs. Is it over?


Top 7th
Yumoto really working on Morimoto. Count goes full, fouls off pitch after pitch after pitch...

And on the 11th he singles to center!! #16 Murayama comes in to pinch run.

Wakabayashi then hits a grounder through the left side!!! Runners on 1st and 2nd!

Nakamura with a grounder! That's over Kunitomo's glove into right! Murayama comes in to score and it 8-3!!! Is there something brewing here??

AH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kitte weakly grounds to 2nd! Kunitomo goes to Yamanaka for one, throw to Shibata... double play! It's a momentum killer for Bunri!!

Sure enough, Jyunnosuke flies out to left to end the inning.


Bottom 7th
#15 Asatsuma in for Murayama and in center.

Yamanaka with a liner to left to start the inning. Playing with the lead, Oofuji has Kunitomo bunt the runner over.

Kawai with a liner down the right field line! Yamanaka scores from 2nd and they get the run back! 9-3!

But Naoki gets Doubayashi to pop up to Jyunnosuke behind 2nd base for the 2nd out.

Isomura though hits a liner to center! Kawai comes around to score and it's 10-3!

Takahiko grounds out to 2nd, but Chuukyou has extened their lead.


Top 8th
#17 Morimasa in for Itou in left.

Try as they might, Bunri can't get anything started. Takeishi grounds out to short. Yoshida pops out to Shibata in foul territory.

Yoshihito though collects his 3rd base hit with a single to right.

Naoki with a grounder to 3rd. Kawai muffs the ball, then tries to throw to 2nd. But it gets away from Kunitomo! Yoshihito advances to 3rd!

#13 Tanabe comes in to pinch hit for Asatsuma.

AHHH!!!!!!

A wild pitch by Morimoto scores Yoshihito! It's 10-4!

Tanabe is battling, fouling off pitches... but strikes out!!

They get a run back, but it's far from what they need...


Bottom 8th
#18 Yaguchi in for PH Tanabe and goes to center.

Shibata leads off with a single to left.

Kaneyama bunts him to 2nd...

But he's left stranded there as Morimoto grounds out to 1st, and Yamanaka grounds out to 3rd to end the inning.


Top 9th
Last chance for Bunri!

Doubayashi re-takes the mound for the 9th inning... Morimoto goes to 1st and Shibata goes to right...

Wakabayashi down 1-2, strikes out looking!

Nakamura first pitch, grounds to short! Yamanaka fumbles it, but has time! Makes the throw and there 2 down!

Last chance in Kitte now. Count goes full and...

Walk!

Jyunnosuke now trying to continue the game... Falls behind 1-2...

Wild pitch by Doubayashi sends Kitte to 2nd, but he's far from the tying run.

Driven by Jyunnosuke! Down the left field line!!!!

FOUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh, that was so close!!!

Fouls another one off...

Over Jyunnosuke's head... full count!

Reaches down and fouls it off!!!

BASE HIT!!! LINER TO LEFT CENTER!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jyunnosuke drives Kitte in with a double and it 10-5!

Still aways to go...

Oofuji-kantoku with a conference...

Takeishi now trying to keep the rally alive... Falls behind 1-2...

Just outside! 2-2! That was close!

Just reaches down and gets a piece of it! He's still alive!

And again gets down and reaches for it!

LINER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DOWN THE RIGHT FIELD LINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Shibata chasing it around the wall!!! Takeishi in with a triple!! Jyunnosuke scores and it's 10-6!!!!

Yoshida up trying to keep the rally alive.

Pops up a 1-0 pitch! Kawai in foul territory looking for it.. CAN'T FIND IT!!!! IT DROPS FOUL!!!

AND THEN DOUBAYASHI HITS YOSHIDA!!! Runners on 1st and 3rd!

Oofuji-kantoku has seen enough. He sends Morimoto back onto the mound! Doubayashi goes back to right and Shibata to 1st...

Yoshihito up... count runs full!!!

Reaches down and fouls one off!!

Reaches out and fould another one off!!!

LOW FOR BALL 4!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

MANRUI FOR BUNRI!!!! AND THE TYING RUN COMES TO THE PLATE IN NAOKI!!!!!!

Low and outside for ball 1!!!! Outside for ball 2!!!!

GROUNDER THROUGH THE LEFT SIDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

TAKEISHI SCORES!!!! YOSHIDA ROUNDS 3RD!!!! THROW IN..............

SAFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IT'S 10-8!!!!

#12 Ishidzuka up to pinch hit for Yaguchi...

SINGLE THROUGH THE LEFT SIDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

YOSHIHITO ROUNDS 3RD!!! TAKAHIKO MUFFS THE BALL!!! HE SCORES AND IT'S 10-9!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

NAOKI ADVANCES TO 3RD!!! THE TYING RUN IS ONLY 90 FEET AWAY!!!!!

#16 Hirano in to pinch run for Ishidzuka!

Wakabayshi up looking to tie the game with yet another base hit!!!

LINER!!!!

CAUGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! KAWAI CATCHES THE LINER AND THE GAME IS OVER!!!!!!!!!!!

Wakabayashi immediately crumples onto the Koshien grounds as the Chuukyou bench charge the field!!! Chuukyou barely holds off a 9th inning 2-out rally by Nihon Bunri and holds on to win 10-9!!!!!

Unlike so many other teams who perhaps folded up their tents, Nihon Bunri continued to fight, time and time again. Even when down 6, then 7, they never gave up. And for a moment, it seemed like it was possible.

And although they may not have won, the valiant effort they gave throughout the tournament, culminating with the last rally in the top of the 9th, is one to be appreciated. If you wish to send a message of thanks their e-mail is here.

But of course we can't forget the victors. Chuukyoudai Chuukyou in their victory brings the title back to their school, and back to the prefecture, for the first time in 43 years. Led by their ace Doubayashi, 2nd year reliever Morimoto, and Kawai, they were able to get through the 49 team field and come out as the champions. For Oofuji-kantoku it's a bit much for him to handle as he breaks down while his team rounds the field.

But who can blame him? He's watching his kids who he's worked with achieve the goal that over 4041 teams this year started off trying to obtain.

And with that, we conclude the 91st Natsu Koshien Baseball Tournament. We have seen a lot of exciting games this year from start to finish. A lot of good stories, a lot of great comebacks, and a showcase of many players we will surely see in the future.

But as this one is ending, the fall tournaments are already underway to determine the participants in next year's Senbatsu (Haru Koshien).

And so the next set of stars are being born. The tournament may have ended, but kokoyakyuu never does...

6 comments:

Michael said...

Itou seems to be getting into a rhythm. Could this be trouble for Chuukyoudai's sluggers?

Michael said...

OH MY GOD! What an exciting ending!

Goro Shigeno said...

Yes it was an amazing ending. I'm glad Nihon Bunri didn't give up at all. And they almost completed the comeback!

Limo said...

Awesome ending and a mighty coverage as usual Goro-san!!

Thank you so much!

Dan.

Patrick said...

It was fun chatting with you and the rest of the group on Japanesebaseball.com. Thanks for the great coverage and I'm looking forward to more.

Goro Shigeno said...

Well, thank you everyone for coming down and reading the blog!

I'm taking a couple of days off to rest, but I'll be back at work with the Fall tournament which is already underway!