The last game of Day 4 features 2 more teams from the 2006 Koshien. And in an odd twist of fate, these teams faced off in 2006, with Kumamoto Kougyou defeating Mie 6-4! So! What will happen here? It's not often you see the same teams face each other in such a short period of time, but here we are!
Kumamoto Kougyou (Kumamoto)
3:51 PM - First pitch!
Seki leads off the game with a single to right and is quickly moved along by Ueno.
Gotou grounds to short, but Doi elects to try and get Seki at 3rd! The ball gets away from Hashimoto and Seki scores! 1-0 on the questionable decision by Doi!
Matsuda's troubles continue as he walks Imamura and plunks Itonaga to load the bases.
And it comes back to bite him as Hirae singles to right scoring Gotou! 2-0 Kumakou!
Matsuda settles down to retire the next 2 batters, but Mie falls behind early.
Mie quickly trying to get the runs back. Hayashi hits a grounder up the middle. Ueno dives, but the ball gets away from him! Hayashi's on with an infield single!
Shigeyama looking to bunt him along, and he does, but Kurisaki's throw to 1st takes Ueno off the bag! All safe!!
Runners on 1st and 2nd for Noro, but he's not bunting! Tsukida though gets him swinging for the first out.
Miyatake up and he hits a high fly to left. Oosako looks to get under it, but AH!
The wind takes it away from him and he misses it! The runners scramble to advance! Manrui for Mie.
Hashimoto with a single through the right side! Shigeyama scores, Mie comes back quickly to tie the game! 2-2!
And Hayashi-kantoku pulls LF Oosako for #17 Yamada. That's a bit harsh this early to pull the fielder for a mistake.
The game continues on as Baba flies out to left. 2 down and perhaps Tsukida can get out of the mess with a tie.
But Hashimoto sends a base hit through the left side! Yamada comes in and AH!
He doesn't field the ball cleanly and has to double back! Miyatake dashes home and Mie takes the lead on the error! 3-2 Mie!! Sure enough, the ball finds the new fielder...
Nakamura K's to end the inning, but Mie answers Kumakou and takes the lead!
One down for Kumako, and they start building their own rally. Seki singles through to left, Ueno singles to center! Chance for Kumako!
But Gotou ground to short! Doi feeds Shigeyama for one, but the feed to Baba is late! Gotou keeps the inning alive!
Imamura up, and with the count 2-1 Gotou steals 2nd! Now a base hit takes the lead!
But no. Imamura can't hold up his swing and he's retired.
A relatively quiet inning with the exception of Tsukida plunking Hayashi.
Kumamoto continues to press for the tying run. Itonaga softly singles to right to start. Hirae puts down the bunt, but Matsuda quickly fires to 2nd and Doi makes the snag to get the lead runner! One down!
New LF Yamada comes up to bat, but Matsuda freezes him on a fastball away, 2 down.
And Kurisaki goes down swinging for the 3rd out!
The ball continues to find left field. Miyatake singles through the left side, and when Yamada goes to field it, it runs up his glove and over him! Miyatake takes 2nd on yet another gaffe by Kumakou's LF!
Hashimoto looks to bunt him over, but can't. The count goes to 2 strikes and has to swing away.
Or not... he looks at strike 3. One out.
Baba though singles to left! This time Yamada makes a good throw back in, but at the same time Baba advances to 2nd!
However, Tsukida shuts Mie down, inducing two popups to end the inning.
First batter Tsukida gets on board after getting hit by a pitch. Seki swinging away here. Hit and run, but huh? Seki is called for batter interference and Tsukida is also out! 2 down for Kumako.
And it's too bad! Because Ueno drives one over Miyatake's head to the wall for a double! Gotou follow that up with a grounder through the left side! Ueno rounds 3rd for home, and the throw isn't in time! Douten! 3-3!! Gotou takes 2nd!
That's it for Matsuda, #18 Makita comes in for Nakamura and takes the hill. Matsuda goes to right.
And his first pitch goes behind Imamura! Gotou dashes for 3rd, but Noro throws him out! The inning is over, but Kumakou has equalized!
One down for Mie, and top batter Hayashi hit a ball down the right field line! That's in for a double!
Tsukida clamps down though and strikes out Shigeyama and Noro to end the threat!
Makita in his first actual action in relief, gets Mie's first 1-2-3 inning of the game. A welcome respite from the frenzy earlier.
More defensive changes for Kumakou... #15 Ootsuka takes over for cleanup batter Imamura at 1st?? And #14 Shimizu comes in for Yamada in LF??
So... you're 3rd LF of the day, and you replace your cleanup hitter???
Miyatake starts off the inning with a deep fly to center. After that, Hashimoto draws the walk. Baba then bloops one into right! Runners on 1st and 2nd for Mie!
A grounder by Matsuda though forces out Baba at 2nd. Runners at the corners with 2 down for new P Makita. But he grounds to 2nd and Tsukida gets out of the jam. The game remains tied as we head into the break.
Makita continues to shut down Kumako. He yields a two-out single to Tsukida, but that's it.
Kakita also is doing a great job on the mound. He has to beat out Shigeyama for the 3rd out, but it's another 1-2-3 inning.
One down for Kumako and he hits an infield single to short! Then he steals 2nd on a 40 foot pitch.
New cleanup batter Ootsuka grounds out to 2nd to advance the go-ahead run to 3rd.
And Itonaga with a shot to shallow center! Hayashi charges in, charges, slides... and has the catch!! Great catch by Hayashi and we're still knotted at 3!
Miyatake collects his 3rd hit of the day with a one-out flick single to center! And then Hashimoto follows that up with a single through the left side! Mie with a chance here in the 7th!
But once again, Tsukida clamps down and retires the next 2 batters!
The lights come on at Koshien and the field umpires take their positions.
Makita continues to pitch well, striking out two more in a 1-2-3 inning.
Tsukida matches Makita pitch for pitch, retiring Mie's batters in order. Could we see our first extra-inning game?
Kumamoto gets the go-ahead run on base as Tsukita singles to center!
Seki puts down the bunt, Makita fields it and falls! He can't make the throw to 1st in time and everyone's safe!! Chance for Kumakou here in the 9th!
Ueno looking to lay down another bunt. He successfully lays it down and now the go-ahead run is 90 feet away!
Okita-kantoku calls time as the infield plays in for the play at home. Gotou up at bat.
Strike 1 has he takes. Then he puts the squeeze on, but pushes it foul! 2 strikes! Now what?
He lifts the ball to right! Deep right! Matsuda running back, makes the catch!! But, that's more than enough to score Tsukita! Kumamoto Kougyou takes the 4-3 lead here in the 9th!!
Ootsuka grounds out to 3rd, but it doesn't matter. Kumamoto Kougyou takes the lead with only 3 outs left for Mie!
There's no time left for Mie. They have to mount something now or go home at the hands of Kumamoto Kougyou yet again!
#14 Matsuo comes in to pinch hit for Shigeyama... but he watches strike 3! Quickly one down!
Noro refuses to give up! He singles past a diving Gotou into center!
Hayashi-kantoku calls a conference. Got to shut them down...
Cleanup batter Miyatake up now. Has to swing away. Strike 1 away... Ball 1 away... Ah! He gets under it and Hirae secures it for the 2nd out!
Down to Hashimoto now...
Ball one away. Foul back...
Liner! Over Ueno's head!! That's into the gap! Noro, running for his life rounds 3rd, goes home! Relay throw, high! Tag is late!! DOUTEN!!!!!!!
ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!!
Hashimoto with a double ties the game with 2 down in the 9th!!!!! 4-4!!!!!!!!
Now Mie has a chance for a sayonara victory!
Okita-kantoku pulls Tsukida for #12 Ikeda...
Up now is Baba...
Count goes to 1-1. Foul back! 1-2... Outside, 2-2... Pitch high to backstop!!! Baba advances to 3rd!! Full count!! High pitch, fouled back!
Ikeda strikes out Baba and we are headed to enchousen tied at 4-4!!!!!!
#16 Okade comes in for PH Matsuo and plays SS.
One down, Hirae hits a ball to shallow center. Hayashi charges in and makes another great sliding catch!!! 2 outs!
But Kiyomizu hits a slow grounder to 2nd! Makita races to the bag, but Kiyomizu beats it out!
Kurisaki on the first pitch goes for 2nd, Noro with the throw, BUT NO ONE'S COVERING! The ball goes in to center as Kurisaki heads for 3rd!! Now the go-ahead run is 90 feet away!
And a liner by Kurisaki! SNAGGED BY DOI!!!!
WOW!!! What a play by Doi to prevent the run!!! 3 outs!
Matsuda opens the inning with a single through to left! Makita bunts him to 2nd.
Now it's Doi's turn at the plate. Can he complete the game?
YES!! Liner to left center! Kiyomizu up with the throw, but it's not in time! Matsuda scores!!!
Mie's Doi does it all!!! He makes the great catch to save the run in the top of the 10th, then turns around to deliver the sayonara hit to win!!!
You have to feel for Kumamoto Kougyou. They were 2 strikes away from securing a 2nd round spot, only to have that taken away. Then in the 10th you have a great scoring opportunity robbed by an amazing play, who then turns around and delivers the crushing blow.
There's no consoling the team for sure. The pain felt from losing in this manner has to be sharp. Some may ask what might have been, but hopefully they'll remember the good times as well as the bad.
Seki (Kumamoto Kougyou) - 3-5, R
Gotou (Kumamoto Kougyou) - 2-4, 2B, R, 2 RBI
Doi (Mie) - 1-5, サヨナラ RBI
Miyatake (Mie) - 3-5, R
Hashimoto (Mie) - 3-4, 2B, 3 RBI, BB
Makita (Mie) - W, 6 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 2 K