Day 4 begins with a returning team in Kurashiki Shougyou facing off against a very well known team in Tohoku. Not much is known in for each team, although Kurashiki had little trouble in the Okayama qualifiers.
Tohoku certainly has the name recognition, but whether that has equated to a strong team (all 3rd years?!) is yet to be seen.
Kurashiki Shougyou (Okayama)
CF Ueda (#13)
3B Itou Wataru
RF Ooba Yuuji
SS Shinotsuka (#14)
8:30 AM - First pitch!
Satou looks a bit shaky to start. Tomiya leads off the game with a walk. After a sac bunt, he strikes out Uemori. And just when he's about to get out of the inning, he plunks Oka.
Fortunately, Yamagami grounds to 2nd to end the inning.
Sano starts Tohoku's inning with a chopper back up the middle. Kikuchi bunts him along into scoring position.
Kunishima with a chance to get Tohoku up early, but he hits a grounder back to Oka! He turns around and goes to 2nd! Sano scurries back, but it's too late! An early baserunning mistage from Tohoku!
Sonobe flies out to deep center to end the inning, and we're scoreless through 1.
Once again, Kurashou gets its lead runner on. But Ueda fails to move him along, bunt fouling into a K.
Morimitsu-kantoku though calls for another bunt which Yamada puts down. Now only a base hit can score the runner.
But Tanaka flies out to right.
Tohoku also gets its leadoff runner on base as Wataru singles back up the middle! Satou lays down the bunt, and Oka goes to 2nd again! But Wataru's slide knocks out the ball! All safe!
Ooba up and first pitch, Tanaka fires back to 2nd! Wataru is caught off the bag! He's run down! Another baserunning error! Satou though moves up to 2nd.
That proves to be costly though as Ooba singles to left! Satou advances to 3rd.
Runners at the corners for Ooba Yuuji.
Yuuji puts down the squeeze! Oka gets it, but has no play at home! He goes to 1st and it's 1-0 Tohoku!
Shinotsuka then walks on 4 straight. Runners on 1st and 2nd for the top of the order.
And Sano grounds one back up the middle! Ooba rounds 3rd, throw home by Ueda gets there, but its on the wrong side of home! Ooba slides in safely and its 2-0 Tohoku!
Oy... Now Kikuchi draws a walk to give Tohoku a manrui chance for Kunishima.
And he drives down down the right field line! That has a chance to score everyone! Ooba scores, Shinotsuka scores, Kikuchi rounds 3rd and he does indeed score. 5-0 Tohoku and the game already looks to be over.
Indeed after falling behind to Sonobe, the 9th batter this inning, he gives up a triple to right center making it 6-0.
Oka walks Wataru before Satou mercifully ends the inning with three bad swings.
Tomiya leads off the inning with a grounder to 2nd. But Kunishima throws the ball wide! E4 to start the inning.
Shintani follows that up with a chopper over Wataru's head into left! Runners at 1st and 2nd with no down. Uemori sets the table for Oka with a sac bunt.
But Satou works around him to load the bases for Yamagami. Being down 6, they figure he'll swing away and they have a DP chance.
But as they try to paint the corners, the ump isn't giving them the call!
Sure enough, Yamagami hits a chopper up the middle. Kunishima secures it and starts the 4-6-3 double play to end the inning...
Oka seems to have settled down after the big inning, retiring the first 2 batters. But then he walks Shinotsuka to flip the order back to Sano.
And he crushes one to deep right! Uemori back, and that's off the padding! Shinotsuka scores on Sano's triple and it's 7-0 in favor of Tohoku!
Oka stops the bleeding with a grounder to short from Kikuchi, but the lead continues to grow...
Another 1-2-3 inning from Satou...
Oka finally gets his 1-2-3 inning, but perhaps too the Tohoku batters are trying to save their strength for later rounds.
1-2-3 again for Satou.
Oka records 2 K's on the way to his 2nd 1-2-3 inning. It's a bit late though.
Satou gives up the leadoff walk to Uemori. He tries to steal 2nd, but is thrown out by Sonobe.
After a groundout by Oka, Yamagami drive one to left! Kikuchi to the wall, and haita!! Yamagami with an opposite field HR! Kurashiki is on the board, 7-1!
Kondou strikes out, but at least Kurashiki isn't shut out!
Once again, getting that 3rd out continues to be a bugaboo for Oka. For after getting the first 2 batters out, he walks Kikuchi - who subsequently steals 2nd. Kunishima follows that up with a single to right, plating Kikuchi, 8-1. With Sonobe at bat, a wild pitch sends Kunishima to 2nd.
It takes a good pick off the ground on a throw from Tomiya to Yamagami to end the inning.
A very quick 1-2-3 inning for Satou as he only throws 5 pitches.
Wataru leads it off with a single, but gets thrown out trying to steal 2nd. #13 Morioka pinch-hits for Satou, marking the end of his day - well warranted. Morioka strikes out and Ooba grounds out to 2nd to end the inning.
Defensive changes for Tohoku. #18 Kiyohara comes in for 1B Ooba and takes the mound. Wataru moves from 3B to 1B, and #15 Kiryuu comes in for PH Morioka and mans 3B.
Tomiya draws a walk after working the count full. Shintani too works the count full and singles through the right side! Runners at the corners with no out.
With Uemori up, Shintani takes 2nd on indifference.
But now Kiyohara walks Uemori! Manrui for Oka! He gives it a ride to center! But it's not far enough. It does count for a sac fly and it's now 8-2.
And oddly enough the batter who hit the HR, Yamagami, fares the worst, looking at strike 3 for 2 down.
Kiyohara finishes the job by striking out Kondou.
#8 Shiraga comes in for Ueda in center.
Yuuji works a leadoff walk, and is replaced on the basepaths by #17 Abe. After a sac bunt though, Oka retires the next 2 batters to end the inning.
Abe stays in to play right, #10 Takahashi comes in to pitch.
Shiraga leads off the inning with a single up the middle. #17 Inamura comes in to pinch hit, but he strikes out. 1 down.
#12 Miyaji also comes in to pinch hit. But Shiraga goes to steal 2nd! He's in! But on the very next pitch, he's caught off 2nd! 2 down!
And Miyaji K's to end the game.
Kurashiki Shougyou sadly was overpowered in the game against Tohoku. But they can take heart having made it here once again... Perhaps a 3rd consecutive year at Koshien is in order?