We hit our final day of round 2 games, and headlining the day is Mie and Teikyou.
Mie had their hands full with Imabari Nishi, a team that has had a long history of participating in the spring Koshien, but only recently has emerged as the team out of Ehime. But they continued to fight, rallied and came back to win in extra innings.
Matsuda led the team, going 4-5 with 2 RBI's and being the sayonara run in the 10th.
Ace Masuda held his own in the game, although he did give up 5 runs.
He'll have to dig deep down as he now faces the offensive powerhouse Teikyou.
While one of the favorites to win it all, they had their hands full with Kobe Kokusaidai Fuzoku and Okamoto Ken and were trailing 2-0 late into the game. But a possible premature pulling of Okamoto led to a Teikyou rally and and eventual victory.
In recent years, the offense has looked uncharacteristically quiet as perhaps the events of 2006 led to the team switching to a more pitching oriented team.
If anything, that at least helps Mie in that Teikyou won't necessarily run away with it. But they're still facing sensation Itou Takurou...
Mie (Mie) - Meiji Jingu Tournament Bid
CF Yamaguchi Yuudai
3B Aoki Shou
2B Jinushi Kazuma
RF Matsuda Shougo
1B Tanigawa Koutarou
LF Doukai Masayuki
SS Shigeyama Eiji
P Masuda Daiki
C Katou Takuma
Teikyou (Tokyo) - Tokyo Champions
3B Taguchi Masaki (#4)
2B Yoshioka Shun (#5)
LF Sonoda Takato
CF Kubota (Hirotomo)
RF Okabe (Michiori)
1B Suzuki Shouta (#1)
SS Matsumoto Gou
C Yasuo Toshiya
P Itou Takuro (#11)
9:02 - First pitch!
Itou turning down the heat a little to start against Mie, but is just as effective. He's sitting in the low 140's with his fastball, but quickly racks up 2 K's on Yamaguchi and Aoki.
Jinushi with a hard shot to Yoshioka, but he blocks it and makes the throw for the 3rd out.
Taguchi takes a high fastball to center, but the defense is playing back and Yamaguchi is ther for the catch.
Groundout to short by Yoshioka and there's 2 down.
Sonoda gets a 2-out single to left, but Kuboto grounds to 1st to end the inning.
Tanigawa with a one-out single to left.
Doukai with a liner down the right field line, fair! Okabe over to get it, but bobbles it! Runners now at 2nd and 3rd with one down!
Shigeyama lays down the bunt and Itou has no other play than 1st! Tanigawa scores and Mie strikes first! 1-0!
Masuda hits a slicing ball going foul. Sonoda over near the fence makes the play to retire the side. But it's Mie who gets on the board first!
Okabe with a hot shot at Tanigawa, but he fields it and takes it himself to the bag.
Suzuki with a comebacker just out of Masuda's glove and into center for a base hit.
Matsumoto hits a grounder to 2nd. Jinushi feeds to Shigeyama for one, but the throw to Tanigawa is low and he can't make the pick.
Maeda-kantoku sends Matsumoto! Throw from Katou a bit high and Shigeyama can't field it! No advance as Yamaguchi is there to back it up.
SANSHIN! Masuda strikes out Yasuo looking and that's the inning!
#9 batter Katou up for hist 1st AB.
And he drives a high fastball to deep right center! That falls in between the fielders and Katou's in with a leadoff double!!
Yamaguchi bunting, but Itou is quickly on the ball and throws to 3rd! Katou easily tagged out!
That was a questionable bunt by Yamaguchi. Itou had been falling off and charging to the 3rd base side each time he delivered the pitch to Yamaguchi. Why then bunt into where he is charging into?
And now Okita sends Yamaguchi! Throw from Yasuo, not in time! Yamaguchi slides in just before the tag and Mie once again has a runner in scoring position!
But Aoki can't check his swing on a slider away and there's 2 down!
Hm? Itou is readuy to deliver his pitch, but time is called as Maeda-kantoku calls for a conference.
Jinushi takes a fastball to left center! That's in the gap for extra bases!!
Yamaguchi scores on the 2nd double this inning and Mie is up 2-0!!
Matsuda again grounds out to 2nd, but Mie tacks on another run and leads by 2 against Itou!
I can understand if Itou took a couple of kph off the fastball to add control, but right he he's taken a couple kph off and has shaky control!
Itou with a grounder through the right side for a leadoff single. Tagiuchi bunts him over into scoring position.
Yoshioka grounds out to Masuda and there's 2 down with Itou still standing at 2nd.
Sonoda with a grounder just wide of Masuda's glove and back up the middle! Yamaguchi fires the ball in quickly and Itou holds at 3rd. Runners at the corners for Kubota.
Kubota with a hit that shoots past Aoki into left and Teikyou is on the board! 2-1!
Okabe grounds out to short to end the inning, but Teikyou gets a run back!
Itou's control issues continue! He walks Tanigawa on 4 straight to start the inning!
Doukai with a drive to deep center. But Kubota parks a couple of steps in front of the fence for the 1st out. That's still a good hit.
Shigeyama with a ball back up the middle. Yoshioka with it, tosses from his knees for one, Mastumoto's relay to 1st completes the double play!
Suzuki with another hit back up the middle for a single. He's seeing the ball well. Matsumoto puts the bunt down to advance him along.
OH! Masuda hits Yasuo putting runners on 1st and 2nd!
Itou up and a base hit could tie the game. But he pops it up! Tanigawa in foul territory makes the catch for the 2nd out!
And Taguchi grounds out to 2nd to end the inning! Teikyou certianly getting the baserunners, but Masuda is shutting it down so far when he's gotten into trouble.
Itou finally gets his first 1-2-3 inning inducing 3 groundouts to the 8-9-1 batters. Like Arihara, it seems strange that he gets such an inning this late in the game.
After Yoshioka strikes out looking on 3 straight, Sonoda singles to right.
Kubota immediately grounds to short, and while they get the out at 2nd, Jinushi double clutches and can't make the throw to 1st.
No matter though. Okabe hits one back to Masuda who makes the play at first to retire the side.
We head to the break with Mie ahead of Teikyou by one run. Teikyou's making good contact on the ball for base hits, but can't seem to string them together.
Aoki with a high chopper over Itou. Matsumoto fields it throws to 1st. Suzuki falling over to his right, makes the catch and keeps contact with the bag for the out!
Jinushi collects his 2nd hit with a single to left.
Cleanup batter Matsuda hits a grounder past the infield into right for his first hit! Runners on 1st and 2nd for Mie!
Tanigawa with a grounder to 1st. Suzuki with it, but only play to first. Runs it over, then tosses to Itou covering for the 2nd out.
Runners at 2nd and 3rd now for Doukai. Base hit here would be really helpful as insurance runs against Teikyou are an absolute necessity. He's certainly trying, fouling off several pitches.
And Itou gets Doukai swinging on a slider! He's out of the jam, but he still less than dominating.
Masuda with the easiest inning one could have!!
Suzuki first-pitch swinging grounds out to 2nd.
Matusmoto first-pitch swinging flies out to center.
Yasuo first-pitch swinging grounds out to 3rd.
3 pitches, 3 outs!
Defensive substitution for Teikyou. #3 Shimada comes in for Okabe and goes to 1st while Suzuki goes out to RF.
Shigeyama with a shot back at Itou. It's off his glove and deflects to the right side! Yoshioka comes in, but it's way too late.
Masuda bunting and it's right back at Itou! He goes to 2nd for one, and the relay to first completes the double play!! That's the 2nd failed bunt attempt by Mie!
Katou strikes out to end the inning and Mie continues to be stuck at 2 runs.
Masuda, after falling behind Itou 3-0, works the count full and gets him to fly out to right.
Ow. Taguchi with a pop fly in foul territory, Tanigawa running over, doesn't notice the bullpen mound and stumbles and falls.
Taguchi with a grounder to Tanigawa! AH! The ball takes an irregular hop and gets by him! Jinushi tries to get the ball back to 1st, but it's too late.
Maeda putting on the hit-and-run! Yoshioka though fouls it off.
And again! But again, the pitch is fouled off...
SANSHIN!! Yoshioka looks at a fastball on the outside corner for strike 3! 2 down!
And Sonoda flies out to left to end the inning! Masuda continues to hold off Teikyou!
Itou retires the first two batters as his pitch count stands at 99.
Jinushi with his 3rd hit of the day! He singles to center!
But that's all Mie gets. Matsuda grounds out to short. Matsumoto making a nice throw going away from the bag gets the force at 2nd to end the inning.
Time is quickly running out on Teikyou, they still trail by 1 with only 6 outs to go!
But Masuda continues to shut them down!
Kubota grounds out to short.
Then he strikes out Shimada swinging!!
And strikes out Suzuki swinging to end the inning!!!!!
Itou continues to keep the Mie offense at bay, retiring the side in order, but they're out of time. If they're going to make a comeback, it has to be now!
Matsumoto shoots one through the infield to left! Yasuo bunts him over.
Itou with a fly to deep center! Yamaguchi back to the fence, with his back to the fence, makes the catch!! Matsumoto touches up and heads to 3rd, but there's 2 down!
Masuda needs to get one more batter. And that is top batter Taguchi. Katou goes out to talk to Masuda...
Taguchi with a hit to left! That falls in and Teikyou has tied the game up!!!
Masuda left a slider up in the zone and Taguchi takes it to left, tying the game with just one out to go for Masuda.
Yoshioka grounds out to 3rd, but the damage has been done. We head into extras tied at 2-2.
The question for Mie is how will they respond? Is there still any fight left in them?
There seems to be the will, but the execution just isn't there. 3 groundouts later and they have to pick up the gloves once again.
After scoring the tying run in the 9th, the momentum has shifted over to Teikyou's side. Masuda will have to hold off the rush, otherwise it may be over quickly.
Sonoda gets jammed but fists one past Masuda! Aoki comes in to field it, but his throw is way late and Sonoda is on with a leadoff hit!
Masuda hits Kubota on the chest with a fastball as he squares to bunt! He's on the ground in pain and Maeda-kantoku goes out to check on him. He's a bit slow to get up, but afterwards makes his way to 1st.
But this is slowly getting away from Masuda now. Okita-kantoku calling time, but with the sayonara run in scoring position with nobody out, it doesn't look good.
Shimada showing bunt, but pulls it back and fouls it off!!
He does it again and fists one over the infield into left! Sonoda stops at 3rd, but Teikyou now with the winning run 90 feet away and possibly 3 chances to get him in!
They'll only need one!! Suzuki with a hard hit at 3rd! Aoki there, but he can't field it! It bounces away from him and Sonoda scores!! サヨナラ!!!
Teikyou advances to the Best 8 with a 3-2 win over Mie in extra innings!
Masuda can only crouch on the mound, looking at home and wondering, "Really?"...
While Mie is certainly no newcomer to Koshien, the chance at beating one of the big names on such a stage doesn't come often, and Masuda knows it. He was just one out away from closing the deal, and then here in the 10th a fielded ball could have resulted in a double play and possibly living for another inning.
But instead it goes down as a crushing loss...
Hopefully Mie will get another chance to come back and make another run at a big team.