Heian, outside of their cleanup batter Hashimoto, do not appear to have any parts that particularly stand out. Whether that means they have a well-balanced team or merely average players is yet to be seen.
For Chuukyoudai Chuukyou, it's their ace Doubayashi Shouta that seems to garner the attention. He not a hard thrower though, so it'll be intersting to see what distinguishes him from others.
Even with the lack of "star power" as it were, these are still 2 solid traditional ballclubs. This should be a good game.
Ryuukokudai Heian (Kyoto)
Chuukyoudai Chuukyou (Aichi)
10:59 AM - First pitch!
Aoki starts off the game with a single past a lunging Kawai! Tsumadori bunts him over on a bunt-and-run - perhaps to prevent the lead runner being thrown out.
And then Aoki heads for 3rd on the 1-2 pitch! Maeda strikes out, but the throw to 3rd isn't in time! But it looks like a spike has torn the pants of Aoki and he has a small cut. He's heading to the dugout to get it fixed.
To prevent further delay, Maeda goes to 3rd to sub run for Aoki.
The count goes to 1-2 and Hashimoto starts fouling off pitches.
And he's handcuffed! It's a blooper to center! Iwatsuki charges in and... makes the shoestring catch!!! Nice play to deny Heian a run!
Yamanaka guns right back at Heian with a liner to center! That's past Tsumadori and Yamanaka is in with a double!
Kunitomo immediately bunts him over to 3rd and Chuukyou threatens in the 1st!
And Kawai walks on 4 straight... not a good start for Nawata. Cleanup batter Doubayashi comes up looking to help his cause...
And he blasts one down deep down the left field line, but it just goes foul! If the wind wasn't blowing from right to left, that would've been a 3-run HR!
But instead he flies out to right! Yamanaka looks to tag, but Maeda makes a strong throw and he has to hold up! 2 down!
Isomura blasts one to left, but it hangs up there and Saitou makes the catch! 3 out! Nawata has to be fortunate to get out of that mess!
Doubayashi settles down nicely in the 2nd with a K and 2 groundouts.
Itou with a line drive to center! Tsumadori starts back, then has to leap! He's fooled and the ball goes over his glove and to the wall! Itou sprints around 2nd and has the easy triple!
Now a sac fly gets the run in!
But Chuukyou isn't going for the squeeze! Shibata swings away, but grounds to short! That won't do...
Kaneyama is also swinging away! And with the count full he laces one into right-center! That's to the wall for a RBI double and Chuukyou takes the 1-0 lead!
Iwatsuki with a chopper, that's over a leaping Uratani! Kaneyama has to stop at 3rd, but a lapse in attention allows Iwatsuki to take 2nd! Nawata's in a big pinch now!
And Yamanaka reaches down and bloops one to right center! That's in for a base hit! Kaneyama scores! Iwatsuki scores! 3-0 Chuukyou!
Kunitomo grounds to 3rd, but a bad feed to 2nd means that they can only turn the first part of the double play. 2 down for Kawai.
And Kawai makes them pay! He drives one to depp left and that's off the padding! Kunitomo scores all the way from 1st and it's 4-0 Chuukyou!
That's it for Nawata. Harada-kantoku pulls him for #11 Demura. A rough start for Nawata that just didn't get any better...
Demura's first batter is Doubayashi, and he goes and chops one over Demura's head into center. That scores Kawai and that closes the book on Nawata. 5-0.
Isomura flies out to center, but I think we have may have our answer regarding Heian's team. Chuukyou has staked Doubayashi to a 5-run lead.
Demura with a chopper up the middle. Yamanaka makes a fine stop and a great throw, but it's not in time. But a fine play nonetheless!
Sakamoto bunts him along into scoring position, looking for the timely hit.
Aoki grounds to Doubayashi. He turns around and has Sakamoto trapped! They begin the rundown and AH! Doubayashi throws it away! Demura goes to 3rd and everyone's safe!
Tsumadori grounds to 2nd, toss to Yamanaka for 1, and throw to 1st is high! Shibata secures it, but he has to leap off the bag! Tsumadori is safe and it's 5-1!
And a wild pitch by Doubayashi sends Tsumadori to 2nd! Can Chuukyou stop getting in its own way?
Kind of. Maeda can't hold up his swing and the inning is over.
Chuukyou continues their torrid hitting. Itou starts it off with a single to center. After a sac bunt, Kaneyama lines another one to center! They're really seeing the ball well!
But Iwatsuki grounds to 1st! Naka goes to Sakamoto for one, back to Aoki, double play! Nice double play by Heian's infield denies them another run!
Hashimoto starts it off with a grounder that handcuffs Kawai! It gets past him and into left for a double!
And a wild pitch by Doubayashi brings their 2nd run within 90 feet!
But Naka pops it up in the infield for the 1st out! And then Saitou lits a liner, but right at Shibata for the 2nd out! And Uratani grounds out to 3rd...
Heian can't bring in the runner from 3rd base with no down. Can't be a good feeling...
Hey! Demura gets a 1-2-3 inning thanks to Sakamoto! He fields all three outs, including a liner that he reach up his glove to get!
Doubayashi in full control. 3 groundouts and Chuukyou is at bat again.
Demura has yet to give up a run here to Chuukyou! He registers K's on both Doubayashi and Isomura on his way to a 1-2-3 inning!
Tsumadori starts the 6th with a blooper to left!
And then it's a bunt-and-run! But Maeda misses, and Isomura fires to 2nd! The throw is offline, but Yamanaka somehow snags it and sweeps down to tag Tsumadori for the out!
With the runner gone, Heian then goes down quietly.
One down, and Kaneyama gets into a battle with Demura. He continues to foul off pitch after pitch after pitch. Then on the 11th pitch he hits a chopper in front of the plate. Hashimoto goes to field it, but then the ball takes a weird bounce and rolls away from him! Kaneyama gets a base hit!
But after a sac bunt, Yamanaka grounds out to 3rd.
Doubayashi continued to cruise, retiring the first 2 batters. But then he hits Uratani, and then Demura singles to right to put runners at the corners for Sakamoto.
He battles Doubayashi, fouling off pitches, but in the end he grounds to 1st to end the inning...
Demura continues to shutdown Chuukyou as Aoki fields all 3 outs.
Tsumadori gets his 2nd base hit with a single to right. But then Maeda grounds into a well-turned 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.
One out for Chuukyou and Itou collects his 3rd base hit, a double down the right side. But Aoki airmails the throw and Itou heads to 3rd.
#17 Morimasa pinch-runs for Itou.
Shibata hits a liner, but Sakamoto dives and makes the catch! And a toss to 3rd completes the double play! A fine play for Heian, even if it's all for naught.
With 2 down, pinch hitter #13 Matsuda doubles to left center! One last good feeling for the Heian squad as Uratani lines out to short to end the game.
While Heian goes down in defeat, it was only the result of one bad inning that turned the tide of the game against them. Otherwise, they can hold their heads high for having played a great game against another, kindred powerhouse.
Tsumadori (Ryuukokudai Heian) - 2-3
Yamanaka (Chuukyoudai Chuukyou) - 2-4, 2B, 2 RBI
Doubayashi (Chuukyoudai Chuukyou) - CG, 1 R, 0 ER, 7 H, 4 K