The last game of the morning session has an up-and-coming team from Nagano-ken in Nagano Nichidai facing one of my favorite (and dominating teams out of Nara) teams in Tenri.
But the news for Tenri isn't good. With the score at 14-1 in the 8th inning of the blowout game against Nanto Sougou Fukuno, 3B Yasuda injured himself scurrying back to 3rd on a throw. It turns out that he has sprained his ankle and is out for the rest of the tournament. That could be a big blow for them as he was part of a full infield that supported Nakayama both defensive and offensively.
Nagano Nichidai on the other hand was in a slugfest against Sakushin Gakuin. They went up 1-0 in the first to see Sakushin tie it in the bottom half. Nagano retook the lead 3-1, just to have Sakushin tie it in the 4th. Once again 2 more runs in the 5th for Nagano, but then Sakushin takes the lead with 3 in the bottom half once again. But then Nagano roars back with 4 in the 6th and 1 in the 7th to take a 10-6 lead. Sakushin would pull within 2 in the 8th but would come no closer.
But they may have to depend on their offense here. Katou didn't look all that sharp on the mound, and relief pitcher #10 Nishiyama was given one batter before he was pulled. 3B Itou has proved his worth going 2-5 with a double. CF Hiraguri wasn't bad either going 2-3 also with a double.
Nagano Nichidai (Nagano)
CF Tachibana (#17)
LF Nakamura (#15)
C Hatano (#14)
11:00 AM - First pitch!
Nakayama not getting ground balls early on. After striking out Niimura, Yano and Itou fly out to left and center...
Katou begins the inning with a strikeout of Harada. But then he walks Tachibana to give Tenri a baserunner!
Ah! Katou is called for a balk! Tachibana goes to 2nd!
Tachibana walks! Runners on 1st and 2nd!
Nishiura up now... and he's hit! Manrui for Tenri!
Yasuda up and I'm interested to see how he does given the reports he had a sprained ankle.
AH!!! He's hit! Katou brings in a run without a hit! 1-0 Tenri!
Tokuyama up now and things are getting ugly for Nagano Nichidai!
But Tokuyama swings away and grounds to 2nd! Kitazawa feeds to Itou who throws to 1st to complete the double play!
Katou gets fortunate to get out of the inning with only 1 run!
One down for Nagano adn Kobayashi singles past Yasuda to left!
Nakahara calls for the hit and run! But Hondou grounds to short! Nishiura starts the 6-4-3 double play!
Nishigawa with a hard grounder to 1st! It's off Hondou! Kitazawa goes to retrieve it, but Nishigawa reaches 1st!
Nakayama bunts him along for Hatano. But he goes after the 1st pitch and pops out to 2nd! 2 down!
And Harada pops out to left to end the inning! Tenri lets Katou get away with only 1 in the 1st and he seems to have settled down now!
Nakayama is really hitting his spots with his pitches. May not be getting the calls, but the batters can't necessarily hope for that. He gets Hiraguri to ground out to 1st, while both Katou and Hirabayashi strike out.
One down for Tenri and Nakamura hits a pop up to shallow center. Itou and Yano converge, Yano takes over, but misjudges the ball! He makes a last minute correction, but drops the ball! Nakamura in with a double!
Ah! They have Nishimura caught! But the throw is mishandled by Kitazawa! Nishimura goes to 3rd! Chance for Tenri!
But Nishiura grouds back to Katou! He looks Nishimura back to 3rd and throws to 1st! 2 down!
Yasuda up and he hits a blooper to center! NItou and Hiraguri charge in, but it drops in! Nakamura scores and it's 2-0 Tenri!
Tokuyama grounds to 2nd to end the inning, but Tenri tacks on another run!
Niimura with a drive to deep right! Tokuyama backpedals, then turns around as the ball goes behind him! Niimura with a leadoff double!
Yano up looking to bunt. He lays it down, but Nakayama is there quickly! He fires to 3rd and they have Niimura easily! 1 down!
Itou up now and Yano breaks for 2nd! Hatano with the throw but it's on the other side of 2nd and Nishiura can't make the tag!
Itou grounds back to Nakayama! He turns to 3rd and makes the throw! But it's low and wide and Yasuda can only go over to get it! All safe!
Runners at the corners for Kitazawa!
Morigawa-kantoku calls time and has a conference on the mound. Can Nakayama get out this mess?
SQUEEZE!!! On the 2-1 pitch, Nakahara-kantoku calls for the squeeze! The bunt falls in and Nishikawa's only play is to 1st! 2-1!
Kobayashi up and he lines one just fair down the right field line! Itou comes around and he scores! Nagano Nichidai has tied it up! 2-2!!
Hondou flies out down the right field line, but thanks to a bad throw by Nakayama leads to 2 runs!
Katou plunks his 3rd batter in Nishigawa to start the inning. Nakayama certainly up to bunt the runner along like last inning. But first they try the hit and run to no avail. Then at 1-2, he lays down the sac bunt!
Hatano up again looking for the timely hit. He hits a liner down the right field line.. foul! And then he can't hold up on a pitch in the dirt! 2 outs!
Up to Harada again. Last time in the 2nd he flew out to left.
But this time he lines one to right! Nishigawa comes home without a throw! Tenri retakes the lead, 3-2!
And Harada's off for 2nd! Kobayashi with the throw, and it gets Itou and Kitazawa! But Harada holds up as Hiraguri backs up the play.
Tachibana up, works the count full, and grounds one to short. But Itou double clutches the ball! His throw to 1st is late and the inning continues.
AH! Katou hits Nakamura and its manrui for Tenri! All this happening with 2 down!
Cleanup batter Nishiura up for Tenri. Another chance to blow it open.
And he lines one through the infield! Harada scores! Tachibana around 3rd, he scores! It's 5-2 Tenri!!
Yasuda grounds out to short, but the double clutch by Itou proves costly!
After Hiraguri grounds out to short, Nakahara pinch hits #14 Tsukada for Katou meaning the end of the day for him on the mound.
Tsukada though strikes out swinging on a pitche down and away.
And Hirabayashi grounds to 3rd to end the inning.
#10 Nishiyama now takes the hill in relief for Katou.
He gets Tokuyama to hit a comebacker to him to start. But then Nishigawa drives a ball to deep left center! That goes to the wall and he's in with a double!
Nakayama moves him to 3rd with a grounder to 1st.
Hatano stands in, 0-2 on the day with a K. Can he deliver?
Nishiyama though falls behind 3-1, then gets him to swing on a pitch a bit lower than the catcher wanted. In fact he completely whiffs on the catch and it catches his leg.
But Hatano draws the walk for leadoff bater Harada!
And Nishiyama walks Harada on 4 straight! Manrui for the 3rd time this game for Tenri!
But Tachibana grounds out to short to end the inning. Tenri though has a 5-2 lead heading into the break.
Niimura with a hard hit grounder to 1st! It's off Nishikawa, but right to Harada! Nakayama comes over to cover and they get the out!
Nagano Nichidai starts to work the count on Nakayama. Niimura and Yano take the counts deep before being retired. Itou does the same before he draws a walk.
But then cleanup batter Kitazawa blasts one to deep right! Tokuyama to the wall and it's off the top of the wall! It takes a hard bounce back towards home and Tokuyama's in with a triple! 5-3!!
AH!! With Nishiyama up 0-2 on Kobayashi, he hits him! Runners on the corners now and Nagano Nichidai brings the go-ahead run to the plate in Hondou!
They're really making Nakayama work now, he's nearing or has passed 100 pitches.
Hondou works the count full and now Kobayashi will take off!
Grounder up the middle! That sneaks through! Kitazawa scores and Kobayashi goes to 3rd! 5-4!!
Morigawa-kantoku calls a conference on the mound. He's now at 99 pitches.
Hiraguri with a liner to right! Tokuyama charges in, dives and MAKES THE CATCH!!!
WOW! What a catch by Tokuyama to keep the lead for Tenri!!! But Nagano has pulled to within 1!
Against a lefty which should help this right-handed lineup, Nishyama gets a 1-2-3 inning!
#17 Akahane comes in to pinch hit for Nishiyama. He singles to right to start the inning.
Hirabayashi up to bat now and he draws a walk after a 7 pitch at bat! Runners now at 1st and 2nd for Nagano! Pinch again for Nakayama!
Niimura up, but Nakayama strikes him out!
Next up is Yano, and Nakayama strikes him out! 2 down!
If he can get Itou out, he'll escape with no damage!
AH! But with the count 1-2, he hits him! Manrui for Nagano Nichidai! Big pinch for Tenri!
Kitazawa lines one to left! Akahane scores! Hirabayashi is waved around, and he scores! Gyakuten!!! Nagano Nichidai has taken the lead, 6-5!!!
And that's it for Nakayama, Morigawa pulls him for #11 Numata. He comes in with runners at the corners and 2 outs.
He gets Kobayashi to ground out to 2nd to end the inning, but Nagano has rallied to take the lead!
Akahane stays in to play right, while #11 Satou Jyou come in Hirabayashi's spot and takes the hill. And Tenri can't figure him out either! He retires the heart of the Tenri order 3 up, 3 down.
Hondou keeps the offense going with a single through the left side to start the inning! Hiraguri tries to bunt the runner along but fails! 1 down!
The next two batters swing away but are retired.
Tenri is running out of time as they trail Nagano Nichidai 6-5.
Harada leads off the inning though with a single through the left side! Tachibana bunts him along to 2nd!
AH!! Jyun picks him off at 2nd! Harada didn't really scurry back and he's out! Possibly a fatal mistake for Tenri! 2 outs!
But Jyun then hits Nakamura! And then hits Nishiura!!
Runners at 1st and 2nd now! Can Tenri take advantage?
Yasuda with a comebacker! It's off Jyun! But it goes right to Itou who goes to 2nd to end the inning! What a bad break for Tenri!!
With one down, Yano draws a walk for Nagano. Then Itou flares one to left center! Runners on 1st and 2nd! And then Numata walks Kitazawa! Manrui for Nagano!
Kobayashi then hits a fly to left! Nakamura comes in makes the catch and the runners can't advance!
Hondou with a grounder back up the middle! That's into center! Yano scores! Itou heads home! Tachibana up with the throw home! That's on the money!! Itou is thrown out at home! But Nagano Nichidai scores an insurance run to go up 7-5!!
Tenri finds themselves down 2 now in the 9th.
Tokuyama gets ahead 2-0, but grounds to 3rd! One down!
Nishikawa though, lines one through the right side! Runner on for Tenri!
#7 Yamazaki comes in to pinch hit for Numata.
He takes the first pitch down the left field line! Yano with it quickly! Runners at 1st and 2nd!
Hatano representig the sayonara run up now... But he grounds to 2nd! Kitazawa goes to 2nd, but that's all he can get! 2 down!
Last chance in Harada... First pitch outside... so does the second. He's ahead 2-0! Swings at a ball low and away! Holds off on another pitch down and away, 3-1!
Liner down the left field line... foul!! Full count! Fouled off again! Still alive!
Hits one up the up the middle, that's through to center! Nishikawa scores! 7-6!!! Hatano advances to 3rd and the tying run is 90 feet away!!
#13 Iwasaki in to pinch hit for Tachibana.
He takes a called strike. Fouls one off... now down to their last strike... High for ball one... Low for ball 2...
And he hits one to deep left! Yano back, and makes the catch! Nagano holds on to upset Tenri 7-6!!!