And onto our afternoon session!
Kansei Gakuin has come back from a 70 year hiatus and defeated Yamagata's representive Sakata Minami to advance to their 2nd round. And what a match they have in Chuukyoudai Chuukyou! If they want their run to continue, they'll have to play a great game.
In their game against Sakata Minami, Kansei's tandem of Shinkawa and Yamasaki performed well, although it seemed like Shinkawa was pulled early. Yamazaki perfomed well, but certainly was hittable - especially early in his appearance. Also, if they want to defeat Chuukyou they'll need to limit the errors.
Offensively, both Kuroki and Yamazaki Hiroki hit the ball hard all day in the middle of the lineup. They'll certainly need that to continue today.
In the matchup between the two well-established schools, it was surprisingly all Chuukyou. Doubayashi limited the Heian squad to 5 hits, while the offense jumped on ace Nuwata for 5 runs in the 2nd. But after relief pitcher Demura came in, the offense shut down. That could be some hope for Kansei.
Kansei Gakuin (Hyogo)
C Yamazaki Hiroki
1B Yamazaki Masaoki
SS Kinoshita (#14)
Chuukyoudai Chuukyou (Aichi)
1:30 PM - First pitch!
Not a solid start here from Morimoto. He walks Umemoto to start the game, but gets fortunate when a bunt by Kubo goes right to him and he goes to 2nd for the force! One down!
Then after a flyout by Hiroki, Kouma singles back through the middle and there's runners at 1st and 2nd with 2 down!
But Morimoto strikes out Kuroda to end the threat!
One down for Chuukyou and Kunitomo draws a walk!
Then Shinkawa falls behind Kawai 2-0 and gives up a single through the right side! Chance here for Chuukyou!
And Doubayashi drives one to deep left! Umemoto goes back, but it's to the wall! Kunitomo and Kawai both come in to score! Doubayashi in with a one out, 2-RBI double!! 2-0 Chuukyou early!
Hirooka apparently has a quick trigger though, as he pulls Shinkawa and sends in Hiroki to pitch. #12 Nakatsuka comes in for Shinkawa and takes duties behind the plate.
And he immediately picks off Doubayashi off 2nd! 2 down!
But then he walks Isomura! And then he proceeds to steal 2nd!
AH! Then Hiroki hits Itou! Runners on 1st and 2nd now for Chuukyou and the game could get away from Kansei here in the 1st!
But Shibata takes the first pitch and fliers out to center! Inning over! Hiroki limits the damage.
After Morimoto gives up a leadoff single by Masaoki to center, he retires the bottom of the lineup in order.
One down for Chuukyou and last batter P Morimoto drives one to deep left center!!! Umemoto to the wall, looks and...
It's off the top of the wall! Morimoto is in with a double!
But Hiroki strikes out Yamanaka, and then gets Kunitomo to ground out to 2nd! Inning over!
Top batter Umemoto with a liner to left center for a leadoff single! Kubo bunts him along much to the appreciation of Hirooka-kantoku.
But Hiroki grounds back to Morimoto. Umemoto has to hold! 2 out!
Up to Kouma now. And he bloops one to left! Umemoto rounds 3rd, is sent home! And he scores! 2-1!!
And then Morimoto hits Kuroki! Runnes on 1st and 2nd for Kansei!
AHHH!!!!! Masaoki lines the first pitch through the infield and into right! Kouma comes around and goes home! No throw!! Douten!!! Kansei comes back and ties the game! 2-2!!!!!!
Morimoto does strike Ajiki out to end the inning, but Kansei won't fold in the face of Chuukyou!
But they do try to get back the lead immediately. Kawai singles back up the middle to start. Then with Doubayashi up, Kawai steals 2nd with no throw!
AHHH!!! A wild pitch sends Kawai to 3rd! And still no out!
Doubayashi with a hard grounder to 3rd! Kuroki up with the ball, goes to 1st and Kawai has to hold! One down!
Isomura with a popup in foul territory! Kuroki over to that one and catches it! 2 outs!
Itou with a hard hit ball to the left side! Kubo lunges and has the ball! Throw to 1st.. 3 outs!!!
Hiroki gets out of a major jam!!
Morikawa finally gets an easy inning in, inducing 3 straight grounders.
Hiroki gives up a leadoff single to Shibata, but when Kaneyama tries to bunt him along, Kuroki gets it and fires to 2nd for the force!
After that, he gets the next two batters to fly out to center, and he's holding down the fort while the offense tries to put something together!
Morimoto retires the first two batters, but then walks Kouma after a 10 pitch at-bat!
Then Kuroki drives one into the right center field gap! Kouma rounds 3rd, but is held up as Doubayashi rifles the ball in!
Runners on 2nd and 3rd as Oofuji-kantoku calls a conference on the mound.
But it does him no good! He walks Masaoki on 5 pitches to load the bases!
Oofuji-kantoku has to play his card now. Doubayashi comes in from right to take the mound. #8 Iwatsuki comes in Morimoto's position and takes center. Kaneyama moves to right.
Hirooka-kantoku counters by pinch hitting #15 Toriuchi for Ajiki.
Ball high and inside, 1-0! Another in the dirt, 2-0!!! Pitch inside for strike 1... Low! 3-1!!
LOW!! Ball 4!!! Doubayashi walks in a run! Kansei takes the lead 3-2!!!!!
#17 Nagai to pinch hit for Kinoshita! But he flies out to right!
But 3 walks bring in a run and Kansei leads Chuukyou!
Toriuchi comes in and stays in right. #6 Ohara comes in for Nagai and plays short, with Kubo moving to 2nd.
And Masaoki doesn't miss a beat! He gets Kunitomo to ground to 2nd, Kawai to strike out, and Doubayashi to pop out in the infield!
We head to the break, and it's Kansei Gakuin that has the lead!!!
Nakatsuka gets his first hit today with a grounder that slides past Doubayashi into center!
Umemoto tries to bunt him over, but leaves it right in front of home! Isomura gets it and starts the 2-6-3 double play! 2 out!
Kubo grounds back to Doubayashi to end the inning.
Hiroki starts flirting with danger walking Isomura after he works the count full.
Itou makes a bid for a base hit with a push bunt down the 1st base line! Masaoki charges in, turns around and makes the throw to 1st for the out!
Shibata asked to try and get the tying run home. Grounder to the left side! But new SS Ohara snags it and makes the out at 1st! 2 down!
But he hits Kaneyama! Go-ahead run on 1st now!
New CF Iwatsuki up now.
Grounder past a diving Kuroki! Isomura rounding 3rd, being sent home! Throw from Umemoto, not in time!! Iwatsuki comes through with the timely hit! Douten!!! 3-3!!!
Yamanaka flies out to right, but we've got a new ballgame all over again!!
With one down Kouma draws a walk. Kuroki is swinging away, but he grounds to short! Yamanak goes to 2nd for one, but that's all they can get.
Masaoki up now... He gets into a battle with Doubayashi, before getting put away on a pitch on the outside corner.
Kunitomo with the drag bunt up the 1st base line! Masaoki charges in, gets it, but no one's covering! He races Kunitomo to the bag! They both dive!
He's out!!!! Masaoki tags his leg before he touches the bag! One out!
But Kawai lines one to right! That's in for a base hit! Doubayashi stepping in now!
Hirooka-kantoku calls for a no doubles defense in the outfield!
But Kawai takes off for 2nd! Throw from Nakatsuka not in time!
Now Doubayashi is called over. Perhaps told to bloop one in.
Doesn't matter! He's called out on an inside pitch! 2 outs and it's up to Isomura now!
Grounder to the left side! Kuroki dives, but can't get it! It's into left! Kawai heads home, and Umemoto can't handle the ball! Kawai would have scored anyways and Chuukyou takes the lead!!! 4-3!!!
Now it's Itou to keep the inning going. But Hiroki gets him on an inside pitch! 3 out!
But Chuukyou has taken the lead. What will Kansei do?
Toriuchi leads it off with a walk! That's Doubayashi's 3rd already!
Ohara bunts him over for Nakatsuka. Can he get his 2nd hit?
Falls behind 0-2 and swings away on a pitch in the dirt! 2 outs!
It's down to Umemoto... He falls behind 1-2... Fouls one off... Outside for ball 2... Just gets a part of it and chops it foul!! Gets a piece again!! Still 2-2!!! Another just get foul!!!!
Gets one fair, but it's a chopper to 2nd! Kunitomo with it, and throws to 1st for the 3rd out!
Doubayashi holds the lead!
#10 Oonishi comes in for Natatsuka and takes the hill, and Hiroki goes behind the plate.
Shibata takes the first pitch and sends it through the left side! Leadoff runner on for Chuukyou!
Hirooka-kantoku pulls Oonishi and puts in #10 Takahashi.
They work around Iwastsuki to set up the double play.
But with Yamanaka up, Hiroki makes a throw to 1st that gets away! Runners advance! Now a base hit can end it here!
Yamanaka gets the bat on a high pitch! But he can't control it! It goes right to
Kubo up for Kansei... gets ahead 3-1... draws the walk!!! Leadoff batter on for Kansei! What will they do now???
Safety bunt! Kawai charges in, makes the throw...
OUT!!!! The throw just beats Hiroki, YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!
Kouma with a grounder to the right side... THAT'S THROUGH!!!!
Kubo heading for 3rd! HELD!
Runners at the corners now for Kansei, Kuroki up. Sac fly would do it here! #13 Satou Yuuya comes in to run for Kouma.
Kuroki lines one... foul! Next pitch, skied to left center! Iwatsuki under it. Makes the catch, and there's no throw home DOUTEN!!!!! 4-4!!!!
Masakoki with a great chance here! Grounder to the left side, but it's off Kawai and Yamanaka and everyone's safe!!
Toriuchi up, and he hits a grounder up the 3rd base line! Kawai with the dive to get it at the bag, it's fair! Up with the throw, and Toriuchi dives in safe!!!! MANRUI Kansei!!!
Ohara up now... Hits one to deep center! Iwatsuki running back, makest the catch!
But Kansei has tied the game!!! We head to the bottom of the 9th tied at 4!!!!!
Hiroki retakes the mound. #16 Shibata comes in for PR Satou Yuuya and goes behind the plate. Takahashi goes to left while Umemoto goes to center.
Kunitomo up now... count goes full... Sanshin!! One down!
Kawai up now and...
He drives one to left center!! That's deeply hit! Takahashi and Umemoto head to the wall! Look up...
Kawai takes the first pitch opposite field for a sayonara homerun! He pumps his fists as Hiroki screams in disbelief!
Chuukyoudai Chuukyou pulls out the win in the bottom of the 9th inning! What an exciting finish!!! His team mobs him at the plate as Hiroki kneels on the mound...
And so comes to an end the run of Kansei Gakuin. The enthusiatic Hirooka-kantoku, and the team under him who shared his enthusiasm and determination. Hiroki can't hold back the tears as Chuukyou stands in front of home. If there was something that represent the spirit of Koshien, it's these guys.
Kouma (Kansei Gakuin) - 3-3, R, RBI, 2 BB
Yamazaki Masaoki (Kansei Gakuin) - 3-4, BB
Yamazaki Hiroki (Kansei Gakuin) - L, 7 IP, 3 ER, 7 H, 5 K, 2 BB, 2 HBP
Kawai (Chuukyoudai Chuukyou) - 4-5, サヨナラ HR, 3 R, RBI, SB
Doubayashi (Chuukyoudai Chuukyou) - W, 4.1 IP, ER, 4 H, 2 K, 4 BB