We now reach the last game of day 5. Yamanashi Gakuindai Fuzoku versus another 2006 participant in Kenritsu Gifu Shougyou.
This is a matchup similar to our game just now. Two good, but low-scoring teams with aces that aren't overpowering. So again, I think this will be another interesting one to watch. But if history is any indicator, Yamanashi will be in for a tough battle.
Yamanashi Gakuindai Fuzoku (Yamanashi)
1B Yamada Ryou
P Yamada Yuuya
Kenritsu Gifu Shougyou (Gifu)
CF Matsuda Tomohiro
P Yamada Tomohiro
SS Fukuda (#16)
2:20 PM - First pitch!
Tomohiro looking good to start, retiring Yamagaku's batters in order.
Yuuya starts off the game with a 4 pitch walk to Matsuda.
Fujita looks to bunt, but no! He pulls it back and swings away as Matsuda takes off! It's a liner up the middle! Suzuki reaches out, but can't get it! Runners on 1st and 2nd with no down!
AH! With Izumida batting, the runners take off! Sugita's throw to 3rd isn't in time and now there's 2 runners in scoring position!
He grounds to 1st! Ryou up with the ball and looks the runners back! He gets Izumida at first and Gifu can't score!
Ikai up, and Yuuya walks him! Manrui for Gifushou and this could be very bad early for Yamanashi.
Ezaki with a ball into right center! That's down for a hit! Matsuda and Fujita score on Ezaki's double.
Runners on 2nd and 3rd for Kodama.
Kodama puts down the squeeze! Hata charges in, throw to 1st, not in time! AH!! Ryou's not paying attention at 1B and Ezaki comes home! Another run scores on the lack of attention and it's 4-0!
And oh boy....
Yuuya crushes a hanging pitch by Tomohiro deep into the stands in left center! It's 6-0 and the game has gotten out of control quickly.
And it continues, Fukuda crushed the next pitch to deep center. That one hops the wall for a double. Last batter Hirabayashi singles through the right side. Kobayashi up with the throw and he airmails it home! Hirabayashi takes 2nd on the error. 7-0...
Matsuda comes up for the 2nd time as Gifushou has batted around. After going up 0-2, Yuuya plunks him. Runners on 1st and 2nd now for Fujita.
Mercifully for Yamanashi, Yuuya retires the next 2 batters. But Gifushou sends 12 batters and put a 7-spot on the board.
Tomohiro has little trouble retiring the Yamanashi batters in order...
Ikai resumes the onslaught with a leadoff double to right center.
Ezaki grounds out to Yuuya, but before he throws him out he looks Ikai back.
Kodama though bloops one just over Suzuki's head and there's runner at the corners. And Gifushou stays aggressive. Kodama takes off for 2nd on the first pitch, but Sugita manages to throw him out.
Yamada steps up to the plate and he takes a pitch away to right for a double, scoring Ikai. 8-0.
Fukuda flies out to center to end the inning, but not before Gifushou tacks on another run.
One down for Yamanashi and Sugita hits a grounder to the left side! Ikai dives, but can't get it and he slightly deflects it! Fukuda goes to field it but the ball jumps on him! He gathers it back in but the throw is late! Base hit for Yamanashi!
Yuuya tries to bunt him into scoring position, but he can't and fouls out!
But then with 2 down Aoyama draws a walk! Runners at 1st and 2nd!
AH!! A ball goes under Hirabayashi's legs and to the backstop! Runners advance!
Suzuki with a grounder to 3rd. Ikai with the throw, and Izumida can't pick it off the ground! E5 and Sugita scores! 8-1.
Ryou with a single up the middle! Aoyama scores! 8-2!
Hata with a single through the left side! They're sending Suzuki home!
Ezaki with the throw home and Suzuki's out by a mile!
WHY IN THE HECK DO YOU SEND THE RUNNER HOME THERE??!
The ball was in shallow center when Ezaki fielded it, there's no reason to send him! Let the next batter take care of it!
That ends the inning and the potential rally that Yamagaku had.
Hirabayashi with a chopper down the third base line Hata with the ball, but he airmails the throw! Hirabayashi advances to 2nd on the error.
Matsuda with a bunt, but Yuuya elects to go to 3rd! Hata is out of position! He goes for the tag, but is late! All safe!
Matsuda then goes for 2nd, and the throw from Sugita is high! Suzuki knocks it down, but Hirabayashi comes in to score. 9-2.
Fujita then draws a walk to put runners on 1st and 2nd, still no down.
But Yuuya strikes out Izumida for the first out, forces Fujita on a grounder by Ikai and gets Ezaki to strike out, ending the inning.
The sharpness that Tomohiro showed earlier has gone away a little.
With one down, a comebacker by Matsuura is bobbled and thrown away by Tomohiro.
Then with 2 down, he hits Sugita.
While he gets out of the inning, the last two have not looked all that good for him even with the large lead.
Also, #15 Sumida comes in to pinch hit for Yuuya, marking the end of his day.
#11 Nakane comes in, a sidethrowing lefty.
He retires the first two batters quickly, but when #6 Sakaida (a 1st year) comes in to pinch hit for Fukuda, he singles to left.
But he strikes out Hirabayashi to end the inning! Nakane puts up a 0 for Yamanashi!
I guess Tomohiro maybe heard me. He records a 1-2-3 inning, although a liner by Ryou goes off his right leg and to Ikai who makes the play at first.
Matsuda with the drag bunt! The throw to 1st is late and he's on with a bunt single!
Fujita looking to bunt, instead goes and swings away! It's a grounder through the left side for a base hit.
Izumida pops his bunt up and Sugita pops back and makes the great catch!
But then Ikai blasts one to center right! Matsuura goes back to the wall!
Ikai with a 3 run homerun and it's now 12-2 Gifushou.
Ezaki with a grounder to short, but Suzuki short hops the ball and Ryou can't handle it! It gets by him and Ezaki goes to 2nd.
Then Kodama lays down a safety bunt. Hata fields it, but realizes he has no play instead tries to get Ezaki at 3rd. But he scrambles back and it's runners at the corners.
Tomohiro with a sac fly to center scores another, 13-2.
With Sakaida up, Kodama tries to steal 2nd, but is caught to end the inning.
1-2-3 for Tomohiro. He's settled down now, or perhaps Yamanashi is accepting it's fate.
The first year continues to impress. Sakaida bloops a pitch into center to start the inning.
Hirabayashi grounds to short, but Suzuki's feed is off line and goes into right. Sakaida advances to 3rd.
Matsude then with a grounder to 2nd. Aoyama feeds to Suzuki for 1, but that's all they get. Sakaida scores, 14-2.
Fujita-kantoku puts on the hit and run, and Fujita-kun singles to center. Matsuda has to hold at 2nd.
#13 Yokoyama pinch hits for Izumida, but pops out to short.
Ikai then hits a comebacker to Nakane to end the inning.
One down, #13 Iwashima comes in to PH for Sugita. He strikes out.
Tomohiro records 2 more in another 1-2-3 inning.
#12 Souma comes in for PH Iwashima and takes over duties behind the plate.
After Nakane records 2 K's, #12 Oohashi pinch hits for ace Tomohiro. His day is done. Oohashi is retired and Nakane has a 1-2-3 inning.
#10 Sakurada comes in for Oohashi and takes the hill.
With one down, he hits Suzuki. Then Ryou follows that up with a single to right.
Hata fouls out to 1st for the 2nd out.
But then Kobayashi hits one to deep right! Kodama goes to the wall, and it's off the top of the padding! Suzuki and Ryou score! 14-4 on Kobayashi's triple!
And a grounder to 3rd by Matsuura is thrown wide by Ikai! E5 and Kobayashi scores! 14-5!
Hosotani with a drive to left past a drawn in outfield! Matsuura scores on the double and it's 14-6!
AH! Then Sakurada plunks Souma!
Fujita-kantoku has seen enough and pulls Sakurada for #11 Matsuda Yuuki.
Nakane up, works the count full, but strikes out on a pitch down and in...
But a nice run by Yamanashi!
Sakaida start off the inning with a double to deep center. Hirabayashi lays down the bunt, but Nakane goes to 3rd and they cut the lead runner! Then Nakane catches Hirabayashi off base! They start the rundown, but Ryou throws it away! Hirabayashi goes to 3rd, but Suzuki runs the ball down and they gun him down at 3rd! 2 out!
Tomohiro then doubles to deep left center!
But Nakane gets Fujita to strike out to end the inning.
#17 Furukawa comes in for Ezaki in left.
Aoyama starts the inning with a single down the right side! After being replaced by #16 Watanabe though, Suzuki grounds into the 4-6-3 double play.
Ryou closes out the game with a flyout to center.
Sadly, this was a case where one team was just overmatched. Nothing against Yamanashi Gakuindai Fuzoku though, they faced a perennial team in Kenritsu Gifu Shougyou.
In games like this, people sometime forget the losing team. Many of the Yamanashi players are crying and for good reason. They know their summer is over for sure, but perhaps they would have liked to have given their school and fans a better game. But you know, they can only do their best, and while it may seem inadequate, that's all we can ask of them.
Yamada Ryou (Yamanashi Gakuindai Fuzoku) - 2-5, R, RBI
Kobayashi (Yamanashi Gakuindai Fuzoku) - 1-4, 3B, R
Yamada Tomohiro (Kenritsu Gifu Shougyou) - 2-3, 2B, HR, R, 4 RBI
Ikai (Kenritsu Gifu Shougyou) - 2-4, 2B, HR, 3 R, 3 RBI, BB