This matchup gets moved to the morning game to give Kochi and Jyousuikan some extra rest given they've played 7 innings in 2 days all for naught.
There isn't a lot of star power on either team, but both pitchers have shown ability to shut down the opposition. Kakita with change of speeds, Shouji with speed. You know who I'm rooting for, but something tells me it's far from a lock.
Asahigawadai (Kita Hokkaido)
Tokoha Tachibana (Shizuoka)
8:31 AM - First pitch!
Yay for no rain! And sun! Whoo hoo!
And after the 1st pitch, the umpire talks to Shouji, but about what I don't know.
Then then a grounder to short somehow gets under or around Inazumi for an E6.
And then on a bunt by Morohashi, Shouji quickly fields it and fires to Inazumi to get the lead runner!
With the count 0-1, Morohashi takes off for 2nd! The throw by Ushiba is in time and Inazumi makes the tag! 2 down!
And to complete the circle, Kakita grounds to Inazumi to end the inning.
Dr. K starts off the game true to his name, striking out Konota.
But then Koizumi lines one past a diving Kawakami and down the right field line for a double!
Oh! And then a balk sends Koizumi to 3rd! And wouldn't you know it, Shouji sends one through the right side and it's 1-0 Tachibana!
Kakita rings up Kawaguchi for his 2nd K, but then plunks Ushiba on a 3-2 count...
The ball bounces away from Okuno, and the runners try to advance, but it's not far enough away! Okuno throws to 3rd and they get Shouji!
Kakita has been a bit wild, and finds himself partially fortunate to be down 1-0.
Shouji hits Okuno to start the inning... then throws a wild pitch on the next ball! That's followed up by a shot through the left side and it's quickly runners at the corners with no down!
And Kadomae puts down the squeeze! But it's right at Shouji! He dashes, glove tosses the ball and they get Okuno at home!
Shouji then gets Shimotsu and Ozeki to ground out to 2nd and the innings is over! That's a big save by Shouji to keep the lead.
The game is speeding along thanks in part to Kakita's quick tempo. Grounder to short, bunt fielded by Shimotsu to get a diving Hayakawa (he'd be safe if he just ran through it), a single up the middle and a fielder's choice.
One down, and leadoff batter Fujimori singles to center. Morohashi tries to bunt, but can't and has to swing away... and flails at a pitch up and away. Then with Kakita up, they try srealing 2nd again, but once more Ushiba guns him down and ends the inning!
The pace of the game is going really quickly. And I can't tell if Tachibana doesn't mind the fast pitching of Kakita. I can see why he gets as many K's as he does with all the quick pitching. May behoove Tachibana to call time once in a while.
I say this because were 30 minutes in, and we're already done with 3!
Well, Shouji kinda likes the fast tempo too - although not as much as Kakita. He strikes out the side impressively. He's hitting locations and the batters are flailing.
A quick out is followed by a single to left. And Inazumi hits a grounder to 2nd, but Kadomae muffs the ball and it goes into right! Ushiba advances to 3rd and there's trouble for Kakita again!
Inazumi then puts the pressure on even further by stealing 2nd on a 2-2 pitch! But Hayakawa K's and there 2 down. Yamagishi can add to Tachibana's lead with a base hit.
And he scorches one to center! But Kawamura is ther to make the catch and the lead remains at 1!
I swear Shouji made 2 good pitches on the outside corner for the K, but they were called balls. Kadomae takes advantage with a single to right.
Ozeki with a scoring chance with after a sac bunt moves Kadomae along.
And a pitch handcuffs Ozeki, hits the bottom of the bat below his hands and dribbles into fair territory! They make the out at 1st, but now the tying run is 90 feet away!
But another handcuffer gets Kawamura and he grounds to short to end the inning!
Tachibana gets the lead runner aboard with a single by Yamada to left. He's moved along for Koizumi. They're certainly playing small ball more than their sister school.
And in a baserunning mistake, Yamada runs on a grounder to short and he's easy prey for Ozeki. 2 down.
And to complete the baserunning gaffes, Koizumi is caught stealing 2nd to end the inning. 5 innings, 55 minutes.
Fujimori with a surprise bunt after the break, and takes everyone by surprise! Kawaguchi charges in and makes a great attempt, but it's not in time. The Morohashi bunts on a full count and gets it down.
But then Kakita flails at a pitch down and in and strikes out. Okuno grounds out to 2nd. Inning over...
After a rare error on a throw after a dropped 3rd strike, Yamaguchi is stranded on 1st as the next 2 are retired quickly.
With the way the pace is going, Asahigawadai is quickly running out of time...
And just as quickly, they go 1-2-3.
A routine grounder to 3rd by Hayakawa gets airmailed by Shimotsu and now there's a runner in scoring position! Furthermore, after getting ahead of Yamagishi 0-2, he walks him!
So runners on 1st and 2nd with no... runners on 2nd and 3rd with one down, Konota has a chance to give Shouji some cushion!
And interestingly enough, Kurosawa-kantoku isn't asking for the squeeze!
But then Konota lifts one to center! Kawamura catches it and Hayakawa is off! The throw though is cut by Ozeki and Hayakawa is allowed to score! 2-0!!
Koizumi pops out, but Tachibana tallies another precious run.
After a groundout by Ozeki, #10 Mitsuka comes in to PH for Kawamura. He grounds out to 3rd.
Fujimori singles to right, but is forced after a grounder to short by Morohashi...
Mitsuka goes to right, Fujimori goes to Left and Morohashi goes to center.
Tachibana's 3 up, 3 down, and we're at the last ups for Asahigawadai...
Quick start as ace Kakita singles to left!
Then a grounder to 3rd! Konota drops it, but throws to 2nd for one, relay to 1st, double play!! But really, Okuno helped out by sliding into 1st...
So quickly 2 down and, there goes Kawakami popping it up. Hayakawa secures it and Tachibana advances 2-0!!
The quck pitching of Kakita wasn't enough to carry Asahigawadai as their summer ends. But for the boys from Shizuoka, they get to stay and play!
Fujimori (Asahigawadai) - 3-4
Koizuki (Tokoha Tachibana) - 1-4, 2B, R
Shouji (Tokoha Tachibana) - 1-4, RBI
Shouji (Tokoha Tachibana) - CG, 0 ER, 6 H, 5 K