Thursday, November 19, 2009

40th Meiji Jingu Tournament - Semifinals

So, we move onto our Best 4 matchups. One is an all-Kanto matchup featuring 2 probable stars on the mound, the other a matchup of fairly strong, established teams.

Semifinal 1 - Teikyou vs. Toukaidai Sagami
Things had to be getting serious now. Against Hokushou, Teikyou's Itou Takurou was nowhere to be found. But here in the all-Kanto matchup, he would take the hill.

And why not? They were after all playing against ace Hifumi.

But early on, it was Hifumi's bat - not his pitching - that was on. In the 2nd inning a timely hit against Itou would give Sagami the 1-0 lead.

Of course, that isn't to say that Hifumi wasn't unhittable on the mound. In fact, he made Teikyou's bats fall silent to the tune of just 5 hits in 9 innings. Combined with 8 K's and you have one heck of a performance.

Teikyou also did themselves no favors by committing 3 errors, a couple of which led to 3 late runs by Sagami for insurance. Hifumi and Toukaidai Sagami would advance with an impressive 4-0 win.

Semifinal 2 - Imabari Nishi vs. Oogaki Nichidai
Imabari Nishi with the tandem of Hino Reona(??) (日野 玲央奈) and Hayashi Shouya(?) (林正也) has managed to rally against Kobe Kokusaidai and Kaisei. Next up would be Kassai Yukiya (葛西侑也) and Oogaki Nichidai.

This time though, it was Imabari Nishi that would get on the board first. An error on a ball hit by Hamamoto would allow him to get on base. A timely hit by Inoue would drive in the opening run.

But perhaps this reversal of roles for Imabari Nishi would not be so good...

Top of the 3rd, manrui with 2 down. Gotou up to bat and he delivers a timely 2-RBI hit.

Kassai would be on his game after the 1st marking his membership on Team Shut-it-down giving up only 4 hits thereafter. And for insurance, timely hits by Gotou and Takada would drive in 2 more runs in a 4-1 win and a spot in the finals. When all was said and done, Kassai would give up 5 hits and strike out 12.

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