The sun rises on the second day of quarterfinals here at Koushien. And first off is the game between Toukaidai Sagami and Kyushu Gakuin.
This was for the most part the Toukaidai Sagami that we thought we were supposed to see in senbatsu - with the headline pitcher carrying his team to victory. And while they are here in the best 8, they don't quite the look of a championship team. Suijyou gave them a good run, and while Hifumi pitched a 1-hitter against Toki Shougyou the offense just managed 6 hits and 3 runs. Hifumi though in 17.2 IP, has issued 12 walks/hit batters.
For Kyushu Gakuin, while they had to play 3 games, they were really only tested in the 3rd against neighboring Kagoshims Jitsugyou where they showed they could still score runs, the pitching wasn't all that effective either.
The winner of this games has the unenviable task of facing Narita and ace Nakagawa Ryou. But better to advance, than to go home, right?
Toukaidai Sagami (Kanagawa)
RF Watanabe Masaru
LF Ijyuuin Jyun
2B Tanaka Shinta
C Ooshiro Takumi
P Hifumi Shinta
3B Fukuyama Ryou
SS Someya Ryuutarou
1B Ooshiro Kenji
CF Idzichi Akira (#18)
Kyushu Gakuin (Kumamoto)
RF I Shouhei
SS Mizowaki Hayato (#15)
CF Yamashita Tsubasa
1B Hagiwara Eiji (#14)
2B Tomitaka Hirotaka
3B Matsunaga Rem
C Sakai Koushirou
P Watanabe Masataka
LF Shimoda Hayato
11:00 - First Pitch!
As the siren sounds, Watanabe Masaru pulls the first pitch past the glove of Tomitaka into right.
Monma-kantoku will play for the run as Ijyuuin bunts the runner along. A grounder to 1st by Tanaka give the 2-out, run on 3rd situation.
Takumi with a ball to left. Shimoda charging in, but it drops in front! Masaru scores and Sagami is up 1-0!
Hifumi strikes out to end the inning, but Toukaidai Sagami takes the early lead!
I with a leadoff single through the infield to left! Mizowaki pops up his bunt and Hifumi with the catch makes it 1 down!
Yamashita swinging away, grounder to 2nd! Tanaka flips to 2nd for one, but the relay is late.
Hagiwara with a single through the right side and it's runners at the corners!
...but Tomitaka grounds out to 2nd and the inning is over.
Seems like Kyushu Gakuin's going after Hifumi early in counts, which given his wildness issues may help him.
Fukuyama with a comebacker up the middle! Interestingly, the bottom of the lineup isn't bunting. And that makes it easy for Watanabe Masayoshi has he retires them fairly quickly to end the inning.
Matsunaga with a chopper up the right side. Kenji goes to field it, but his toss to Hifumi is behind him! It goes off his glove and Matsunaga is safe! E3! Sakai bunts him into scoring position.
Two down after a Watanabe strikeout and Shimoda hits a grounder to left! Outfield is playing way in and Matsunaga has to hold at 3rd.
Back to the top of the order and I. He's patient against Hifumi working the count and running it full...
He strikes out on a low slider and Hifumi gets out of the jam!
Masaru starts off the inning with a 4-pitch walk. Ijyuuin with the push bunt. Hagiwara fields, but neither Tomitaka or Masayoshi are there to cover 1st! All safe!
Tanaka with the real sac bunt and now a sac fly will drive in a run.
And Takumi does just that with a drive to center! Yamashita is easily under the ball, but Masaru tags up making it 2-0 Sagami!
Hifumi hits a ball to left center, but Yamashita runs in and makes the catch to end the inning - but not before Sagami adds a run.
One down for Kyushu and Yamashita draws a walk. After Hagiwara strikes out, Yamashita takes off on the first pitch! The tag from Someya is just a tad late as Yamashita slides in safe!
Tomitaka though flies out to center and the inning is over.
Fukuyama with a single to center.
Someya not bunting hits one back to Masayoshi! He goes to 2nd for one, but relay from Nakamura is low and gets by Hagiwara! Someya takes off for 2nd, but Tomitaka backing up the play throws back to Nakamura who tags Someya out!
Can't really fault Someya too much for going, but perhaps the 1st base coach might want have to assessed that situation a bit.
Kenji grounds out to 2nd and that's the inning.
Patience seems to be the theme now for Kyushu. Matsunaga works the count full and takes the 7th pitch inside, and goes to 1st, but is called strike 3! Can't really tell how good that shuuto is, but it certainly did the job there!
And Sakai is hit by Hifumi! Sakai-kantoku looks to advance him along but Watanabe ends up three bunting out. Last batter Shimoda grounds into a fielder's choice at short to end the inning.
One down and top batter Masaru lines one into center for a single.
And Masaru takes off on the 2-2 pitch! Throw from Sakai is good, but Watanabe barely slides in safely!
Ijyuuin with a grounder to 3rd. Matsunaga looks at 2nd (?) and throws to 1st... HIGH! Hagiwara has to jump to field it and can't tag Ijyuuin! Runners at the corners!
Tanaka with a grounder to 3rd. Matsunaga throws to 2nd... OFFLINE! It goes into the outfield and Watanabe scores! 3-0 Sagami!
Takumi with a grounde to 2nd. Tomitaka tries to go to 2nd, but Tanaka's in safe. Nakamura goes to 1st to get one out, but Ijyuuin scores to make it 4-0 Sagami!!
Hifumi gets the 3rd out popping up to 1st, but two errors by Matsunaga double Toukaidai Sagami's lead!
Kyushu trying to make Sagami work. I grounds to 2nd after a 6 pitch AB, Mizowaki draws a walks on 5 pitches.
Surprisingly Yamashita swings on the first pitch and flies to left.
Unfortunately, taking pitches this inning doesn't quite work as Hagiwara strikes out looking on 5 pitches to end the inning sending us to the break.
But the principle of taking pitches is to make the pitcher tired later, or put him in unfavorable counts. If they keep this up, they may not see the benefits until later...
...although that may be too late by that time.
Two down and Kenji lines one back at Masayoshi, knocking his glove off! He picks it up and underhands the ball to 1st, but he's in considerable pain, holding his left wrist.
The replay shows the ball hitting his wrist flush just under the glove. He's getting the spray, but it may take more than that to make that feel better.
Tomitaka is hit by Hifumi to start the inning, and #6 Nakamura Ryuunousuke PH for Matsunaga bunts him along.
Sakai steps in, but Masayoshi hasn't come out to the on deck circle just yet.
And Sakai goes down looking on a low ball... 2 down.
Uh oh... this could be bad for Kyushu. #12 Maekawa Kazuhiko comes in to PH for Watanabe, which means he's out for the game!
Maekawa hits a grounder to the left side! Tomitaka tries to shield the ball from Someya, but he makes a great diving stop! He pops up and his throw to 1st is in time to get the out! 3 out!
So, Nakamura stays in the game to play 3rd, and #10 1st-year Ootsuka Naoto takes over on the hill.
And he does a great job here, retiring the 9-1-2 hitters in just 7 pitches!
Two down for Kyushu when Mizowaki hits one down the left field line. Ijyuuin heads to the foul pole, slides, but it lands in front of him! Mizowaki in with a double.
Yamashita with a hard shot at 3rd! Fukuyama drops the ball. Recovers, throws to 1st....
The throw just beats out a hustling Yamashita and that ends the inning!
Ootsuka walks Tanaka on 4 straight to start the inning, but when Takumi tries to lay down the bunt, it's right on front of home. Sakai fields it quickly and throws to 2nd for the force. Relay by Mizowaki is just a tad late for the double play!
Hifumi with his first hit as he hits a roller past Mizowaki into left.
Sakai-kantoku calls a conference as Fukuyama steps in. 4 runs is tough to come back from, but any more and it's pretty much over.
Karaburi sanshin! Fukuyama strikes out on a fastball outside!
Ootsuka's having to pitch with all he's got as he doesn't have the fastest fastball (~130 km).
Hit and run! Someya lines one down the right field line... fair!! I runs it down at the wall as both Takumi and Hifumi score on the double making it 6-0!
Kenji grounds out to short to end the inning, but it's probably too late now for Kyushu Gakuin down 6 with just 2 innings left to play.
Hagiwara with a grounder back up the middle past a diving Tanaka for a leadoff single. After Tomitaka goes down swinging, #17 Ueno comes in to run for Hagiwara.
Nakamura with a single to left, runners on 1st and 2nd.
Sakai with a shot into the left center field gap! The runners fly around the bases as Idzichi slides over to cut it off in front of the wall! Ueno scores, and Nakamura scores all the way from 1st on the double by Sakai! Kyushu Gakuin is on the board at 6-2!
#16 Nishiura Ryouhei comes in to PH for Ootsuka. But he grounds one to 1st. Kenji underhands to Hifumi who just beats a diving Nishiura for the 2nd out.
#13 Iwata Naoki comes in to PH for Shimoda. Sakai-kantoku throwing everything he has into the inning. Takes the 1-2 pitch just outside. And then singles back up the middle! Sakai scores from 3rd to make it 6-3.
I is jammed by Hifumi, but he gets enough of it to put it into center for another base hit!
That finally gets the attention of Monma-kantoku as he sends someone out to talk to Hifumi.
Mizowaki steps in.
Chopper to the left side. Hifumi fields it! Throws to 1st and that ends the inning! Kyushu gets 3 runs, to cut the deficit in half, but they still have 3 runs to make up...
Changes for Kyushu. #18 Motomura (Yuu) comes in for PR Ueno, #3 Miyazaki (Kazushige) comes in for PH Nishiura and takes the hill.
Idzichi lays down a safety bunt! Nakamura charges, but the throw doesn't beat a sliding Idzichi!
Masaru not bunting, hits one just to the right of Mizowaki. He continues running towards 3rd as Idzichi realizes he's stuck and he's run down 6-5-4.
Ijyuuin with a single through the right side. That puts runner on 1st and 2nd.
Tanaka reaches down and laces one to right center! That'll go all the way to the wall! Masaru and Ijyuuin score to make it 8-3.
Takumi with a grounder to 2nd. Tomitaka goes home with the throw, but it's high and Sakai has no chance at the tag. 9-3 Sagami.
AH!!!!! Sakai with a snap throw to 1st gets away from Kimura and goes into right! Takumi advances all the way to 3rd on the error!
And on the very next pitch, Hifumi lifts one to deep center, allowing Takumi to tag up from 3rd. 10-3 Sagami.
That'll be it for Miyazaki as Kyushu's last bench player, #11 Oyamada Shunsuke comes in to relieve him on the mound. He gets Fukuyama to ground out to 2nd to end the inning.
But it's all but over for Kyushu Gakuin as they're down 7 with just 1 inning to go, and have used all their bullets.
As expected, Kyushu goes down in order to end the game.
While Kyushu Gakuin was able to slow down Toukaidai Sagami's offense down early, they weren't able to capitalize on their chances early on to keep themselves in the game. And an unfortunate injury to their ace pitcher at the end of the 6th inning didn't help their cause either. As a result, the game wound up breaking down for them late despite scoring 3 in the bottom of the 8th.
Still it was a good effort put forth by Kyushu, especially scoring those runs in the 8th already down 6-0. They can take pride in that they advanced to the Best 8 for the first time in 47 years, but it will be a Kanto semifinal as Toukaidai Sagami advances to meet Narita.