Our brunch matchup features recent powerhouse Seikou Gakuin and upstart Riseisha.
Seikou Gakuin, under the arm of new #1 ace Saiuchi Hiroaki shut down Kouryou to the tune of 5 hits. Now, they certainly were the beneficiaries of some good luck when the wild pitch scored a run, but it doesn't discount the performance on the mound.
Blocking them from their 2nd Best 8 appearance in 3 years is Riseisha. They dominated a solid Tenri squad behind 2nd year Iidzuka Takashi who didn't particularly throw hard, but didn't get a lot of solid contact either. The middle infield of Ebara and Yamada along with C Sakamoto were especially successful against Tenri.
So 2 teams who beat 2 very solid squads. Should be a good ball game.
CF Kaifu Daito
2B Ebara Shouta
SS Yamada Testuto
3B Ishii Gen
LF Oonishi Kouhei
RF Ideguchi Daikyou
1B Masaki Kentarou
C Sakamoto Seishirou
P Iidzuka Takashi (#10)
Seikou Gakuin (Fukushima)
SS Murashima Daisuke
CF Nemoto Koichi
2B Yamaguchi Kouki
1B Endou Masahiro
RF Sanpei (Eiki)
3B Saitou Hideya
C Hoshi Yuutarou
LF Itakura Kouta
P Saiuchi Hiroaki
10:45 - First Pitch!
Saiuchi off to a roaring start as he strikes out both Kaifu and Ebara to start the game. He does give up a hard earned walk to Yamada, but gets Ishii to ground out to 2nd to end the inning.
One down and Nemoto chops one to the right side. Ebara goes in to field it, but Masaki isn't covering 1st and Iidzuka is late! Infield hit!
Yamaguchi bunts the runners along looking for a timely from Masahiro.
Grounder to 1st! Masaki with the diving stop! Toss to Iiduzka beats a diving Masahiro! 3 out!
[Insert diving into 1st rant here]
Whatever Saiuchi was doing before, he's doing it better now. He racks up 2 more K's in a 1-2-3 inning. That splitter is more than effective.
Sanpei draws a leadoff walk and is bunted along. Hoshi hit a soft liner, but Ebara is able to snag it for the 2nd out.
Amd Itakura grounds back to Iidzuka for the 3rd out.
2 down, and Kaifu hits a comebacker to Saiuchi. He reaches down, but he's too slow and the ball deflects off his glove! It dribbles to the right side for a base hit!
But Ebara goes down swinging for the 2nd time to end the inning!
Saiuchi with a liner to right center! Ideguchi runs and makes a nice sliding catch!
2 down and Nemoto this time with a push bunt! It rolls up the 1st base line, and a charging Masaki can't tag a speedy Nemoto!
Nemoto looks to steal 2nd, but Sakamoto won't have any of it! He guns him down for the 3rd out!
Yamada with a single to left to start the inning! Ishii bunts him along.
AHH!!!! Hoshi lets a ball get past him and Yamada goes to 3rd!
Saiuchi strikes out Oonishi on a 3-2 fastball! 2 outs!
Saiuchi strikes out Ideguchi on another fastball, and we're still scoreless!
Yamaguchi singles for Seikou to start the inning! He's bunted along.
Sanpei with a drive down the left field alley! Oonishi plays it off the wall! Yamaguchi comes in to score and Seikou has broken the deadlock! 1-0!!
And now Hideya singles to center! Runners at the corners!
Okada-kantoku calls a conference as ace Taira goes to the bullpen.
Seikou tries the squeeze! But the ball is down and away and Hoshi can't put the bat on the ball! Sanpei is caught and gets run down 2-5-1!! 2 outs!
And Hoshi pops out to short to end the inning, but not before Seikou takes the lead!
SAIUCHI WITH A DRIVE TO LEFT!
Oonishi to the wall!!!
Ace and #9 batter Saiuchi hits a homerun. I can't believe it! 2-0 Seikou Gakuin!
Iidzuka seems a little rattled when he hits Nemoto with 2 down, but despite Nemoto stealing 2nd he gets Yamaguchi to fly out to center to end the inning.
But a blast from the ace puts Seikou up 2 heading to the break!
Back from the break, and the top of the order is due for Riseisha. They'll have some work to do against ace Saiuchi.
Ebara draws a one out walk. Conference on the mound...
Yamada with a drive to left! Itakura running to the wall! He tries to climb on to the fence...
Yamada comes through in a big way with a douten homerun! That was about to the same place Saiuchi hit his! We're all knotted at 2-2!!!!!
Saiuchi retires the next two batters, but it's a whole new ballgame!
Pitching change as ace Taira Hirota comes in for Iidzuka.
One down, and Taira hits Sanpei.
And Saitou-kantoku puts on the hit and run! Hideya singles to center! Sanpei takes 3rd! Runners on the corners with just 1 down!
Hoshi looking for a timely hit, or a sac fly.
But he grounds to short! Yamada goes to 2nd for one! Relay to 1st, double play!!
Taira gets Hoshi to ground into the inning-ending double play!
Riseisha gets a leadoff man on as Ideguchi pokes one into shallow left center!
Masaki lays the bunt down, but it's right at Saiuchi! Goes to 2nd for one, relay to 1st... double play!!!!
Sakamoto grounds to short to end the inning, but this has turned into a great ballgame!
Itakura draws a leadoff walk, and in steps Saiuchi...
And he bunts the runner along to 2nd.
Murashima with a hit to right center, but Kaifu is there to run it down! 2 outs!
Nemoto ground out to 2nd, and we move to the 8th!
Taira with a ball off the end of the bat back up the middle for a leadoff single!
Kaifu bunts him along to 2nd.
Ebara with a comebacker to Saiuchi! He sees Taira off the bag! Runs right at him! Tosses to Murashima! He tags Taira and tosses back to 2nd!!! Yamaguchi is there and tags Ebara trying to get to 2nd!!
What a heads up play by Seikou Gakuin! First, Saiuchi looks over at Taira first and goes right at him to start the rundown. And second, on Murashima for recognizing that Ebara was trying to take the extra base!!
Now, can Seikou take advantage of the momentum shift?
Yamaguchi singles through the left side! But when Masahiro goes to bunt, Taira goes to 2nd and gets the lead runner!
Sanpei tries to lay the bunt down, but pops it up! Masaki charging in makes the catch! 2 down!
Hideya with a drive to right!!!!! Ideguchi to the wall!!!!!
Hideya with a gyakuten 2-run homerun gives Seikou the 4-2 lead here in the bottom of the 8th!!!!
And now Hoshi's been hit by a pitch. He's down on the ground and in considerable pain. Saitou-kantoku comes out of the dugout to see if he's ok, but he has to be carried off. It looks like the ball may have hit his hand flush as he had squared to bunt. Injury runner comes on while they tend to Hoshi.
It's all coming apart for Taira! Itakura singles to left!
Saitou with a blooper to left center! That falls in! Another run scores! And while Itakura is tagged off of 2nd ending the inning, Seikou puts a big 3 on the board here in the 8th! Riseisha has just 3 outs left to make up the deficit!!
Yamada flies out to right!
Ishii grounds out to short!!
1st year #16 Kobone Makoto is the last chance now for Riseisha...
Saiuchi strikes him out to end the ball game!!!
What an incredible game! Two dueling staffs with Saiuchi on one end and Iidzuka/Taira on the other, heads-up defense, and timely homeruns!
While Riseisha has to go home, certainly they cannot be disappointed with the effort their team pit on here today! Perhaps in different brackets, we would find both of these teams in the Best 8, but as it stands only Seikou Gakuin will advance.
But hats off to both teams on a wonderful performance!