Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Day 5 - Game 1 - Oita Kougyou (Oita) vs. Nobeoka Gakuen (Miyazaki)


Oita Kougyou is led by their ace Tanaka Taichi. A power righty, he can hit 148 on the radar gun - one of the fastest in the tournament. He has a slider and curve. The speed leads to a lot of missed bats and bad contact (4.5 H/9, 9.28 K/9)

Oita Kougyou (Oita)
LF Shimokawa Tetsuji
CF Nishitani Naoki
3B Hirayama Satoshi
RF Hirano ?
1B Watanabe Shuuhei (#10)
2B Niino (Masaki)
SS Machida Taiga
P Tanaka Taichi
C Satou Kouichi

Nobeoka Gakuen (Miyazaki)
SS Kurogi (Ryouta)
LF Nagaike Shiro
1B Oshikawa (Ryouta)
3B Hamada (Akeshige)
RF Shodai Yasusada
CF Yokoyama Shouhei
C Nakashima ? (#12)
P Sakamoto Yuuki
2B Yano Takehiro


9:31 - First Pitch!

Top 1st
Two K's by Sakamoto to start, but Hirayama breaks that up with a single through the right side. Hirano follows that up with a single to center.

And then Watanabe grounds one through the left side!! Hirayama rounding 3rd and he scores! 1-0 Daiko! (I guess that's how they nickname themselves).

Niino grounds to short to end the inning, but Daiko takes the quick lead!

Bottom 1st
Tanaka gives up a two out single to Oshikawa, but retires the side with little trouble.

Top 2nd
Tanaka with a drive to center! That's past the outfield and to the wall for a one out double!

But Satou tries to bunt him along and instead pops it up! 2 down!

Shimokawa comes through! He hits a single to center scoring Tanaka! 2-0 Daiko! Tanaka is later caught trying to steal 2nd, but Daiko extends their lead!

Bottom 2nd
Tanaka hasn't hit 148, instead settling in the 143-145 range, but that will suffice. He does sometimes leave the ball up though, as evidenced by walking Nakashima on a couple of those after retiring the first 2 batters fairly easily.

Hit-and-run! Sakamoto with a single to center! Nakashima heads to 3rd! Nishitani with the hard throw to 3rd, SAFE! Not sure how, because the ball beat him, but runners at the corners with 2 down!

Touhana-kantoku calls for a conference...

Last batter Yano with an RBI opportunity, but he hits a grounder to 2nd! Niino makes the play at first and Nobeoka is denied!

Top 3rd
Sakamoto continues to struggle on the mound. He walks Hirayama with one down, and Shigemoto-kantoku makes a change?

Oshikawa comes in from 3rd to the mound, and Sakamoto goes to 1st.


Oshikawa starts off with a wild pitch, then 2 pitches later hits Hirano. His start is even worse!

But after another conference, he settles down retiring the next 2 batters. Nobeoka's staff needs to get things straight, or else they're not long for this tournament!

Bottom 3rd
Kurogi with a leadoff single back up the middle looks to try and cut the deficit.

And with one down, he takes off for 2nd, and the throw isn't even close! Now a base hit can score 1!

Hard hit by Oshikawa is snagged by Watanabe! Goes to 1st for the out, and Kurogi goes to 3rd.

Down to Hamada now.

Chopper back up the middle! Tanaka can't field it and it trickles into center! Kurogi scores and Nobeoka is on the board! 2-1!

And Hamada takes off for 2nd and he steals a base! A base hit here can tie the game! But Shodai grounds to 2nd to end the inning.

But! Nobeoka cuts the lead in half!

Top 4th
Oshikawa showing a good fastball in the low 140's, and striking out the first two batters here in the 4th.

But then he walks #9 hitter Satou and then hits his 2nd batter in Shimokawa. And then turns around to get a grounder to 3rd to end the inning.

Effectively wild perhaps, but it's not exactly a strategy you want to bank on...

Bottom 4th
Yokoyama with a grounder back up the middle for a leadoff singe! Nakashima bunts him to 2nd for Sakamoto.

And that has to be THE fastest playings of "Zankoku tenshi no teeze" I have EVER heard.

Sakamoto with a comebacker to Tanaka, looks to 3rd, but lobs it to 1st for the out. It seemed like they had a play at 3rd...

AH! Yano is hit in the back with a pitch! We go back to the top of the order and Kurogi!

But he swings at the first pitch and pops it up! Niino with the catch and Nobeoka loses another chance!

Top 5th
Hirayama with a liner to left to lead off the inning! Cleanup batter Hirano bunts him along.

Watanabe hits a soft liner to left! Runners at the corners for Daiko!


Niino puts down the squeeze, and it seems to have caught the Nobeoka defense off guard! Oshikawa runs over to get it down the 1st base line and makes the only play at 1st. Hirayama scores and it's 3-1 Daiko!

Machida pops up to shallow left, but Daiko regains their 2 run lead.

Bottom 5th
Oshikawa with a drive to deep right center! That's off the base of the wall! Oshikawa slides in with a one-out triple!

Hamada with another chance to bring the deficit back to 1.

He does it again! Takes a pitch the other way into left for a base hit! It's 3-2!!

Hamada with a great break from first on a 3-1 pitch, but it's a ball and there's a developing situation for Nobeoka!

But Yokoyama first-pitch flies out to left! 2 down!

Nakayama the last chance here. And perhaps pressure to deliver gets to him as he swings on three straight sliders away and strikes out.

Nobeoka gets within 1, but again miss out on more.

Top 6th
Again having to take the bad along with the good. Oshikawa strikes out Tanaka, but then hits Satou.

Hm? After a sac bunt by Shimokawa, Shigemoto-kantoku has Sakamoto return to the mound.

And he promptly gives up a single to Hirayama. Satou stops at 3rd, and Nobeoka is in a bit more trouble now.

Hirayama though, goes down swinging to end the inning! Sakamoto keeps the deficit at 1!

Bottom 6th
Sakamoto directs one through the right side for a leadoff single.

Shigemoto calls for his teams first bunt as Yano moves him along.

Top of the order, and Kurogi chops one through the left side! Runners at the corners for Nobeoka!

Touhana-kantoku with a conference.

And once again, the batter goes first pitch swinging, and again fails! Nagaike pops it up to shallow center and Niino is there for the catch! 2 down.

And with Oshikawa up, Kuroki takes off for 2nd! No throw! Now a base hit could give Nobeoka the lead!

Oshikawa delivers! He singles to center! Sakamoto scores! Douten! Kurogi is being sent home! Nishitani with a great throw home and Kurogi just gives up on the slide for the 3rd out. Might have had a better chance had he actually tried to go outside the line.

But Nobeoka finally equalizes at 3-3!

Top 7th
Oshikawa back on the mound for Nobeoka.

Hirano with a drive to deep center! Yokoyama chasing it down, just misses it with his glove near the wall! Hirano in with a leadoff double! Watanabe with the bunt trying to get Daiko the lead again.

Niino up and he's showing the bunt. It's a pitchout! They have Hirano caught!

AH!!!! Throw from Yokoyama goes off Hirano's back and into foul territory! Hirano comes in to score and it's 4-3 Daiko!

That's the 2nd straight year a bad throw from home costs a team a run!

Now Niino draws a walk!

Shigemoto makes the switch again as Sakamoto takes the mound.

Machida tries to lay down the bunt, but is unsuccessful and fouls out. Tanaka though sneaks one under the diving glove of Yano into center, and Daiko threatens to extend the lead!

But Sakamoto strikes out Satou to end the inning! Daiko retakes the lead though and Nobeoka is now under the clock!

Bottom 7th
Hamada getting on base for the 3rd time today, this time on Tanaka's 3rd walk.

And Hamada takes off for 2nd! Shodai strikes out swinging, and Satou's throw goes off Machida's glove and into left! Hamada advances to 3rd!

You might have been able to call batters' interference there, as Shodai's swing kinda takes him into the path of the throw, but they didn't.


Yokoyama lays down the squeeze past the charging infielders! Machida has to field it and Hamada scores! We're douten once again! 4-4!!!

Nakashime with a hard hit to left center, but Nishitani runs it down for the 3rd out. But the lead continues to change hands and now it's all up for grabs!

Top 8th
Sakamoto staying in the game here to start the 8th, and he walks Shimokawa! Nishitani lays the bunt down.

And...? Ah! Sakamoto makes a pitching change, but instead sends in #11 Odawara Toshiki to replace Sakamoto!

Hirayama with a grounder to short! Shimokawa running for 3rd, and Kurogi's throw to 3rd gets him! 2 down!

Odawara is another lefty. Doesn't throw particularly hard. Mid 130's with a change in the upper 110's.

Hirano with a slow grounder! It's off Odawara's glove! Hamada recovers the ball and underthrows the ball to 1st... OUT! Nice play but Hamada! They finally hold Daiko and now they have a chance to take the lead!

Bottom 8th
New P Odawara kinda waves at the ball and strikes out. Yano gets the gyakuten runner on with a single back up the middle!

And Shigemoto decides to play for the one-timer. Kurogi, 2-4 today, bunts the runner along.

But Nagaike golfs a ball to center! Nishitani backing up a bit makes the catch and we head to the 9th all square at 4!

Top 9th
Odawara returns to the mound trying to hold serve as the 5-6-7 batters step in.

Watanabe reaches at a ball almost in the dirt and softly lines one over Kurogi! Gyakuten runner on with no down!


Odawara has Watanabe out in no-man's land! He's run down 1-3 and Daiko loses their runner!

And how costly is that baserunning mistake now! Niino with a grounder into the hole in right. Kurogi with a great stop but his throw to 1st is late!

Touhana calls for the bunt and Niino is moved to 2nd with 2 down.

Tanaka looking for the one-timer for the lead.

Count goes full... just gets a piece of it!

SANSHIN! Odawara gets Tanaka on a high fastball! So, Nobeoka is able to hold serve, now Daiko must do the same!

Bottom 9th
Nobeoka will have their 3-4-5 batters coming up here. Not an easy task for Tanaka.

Oshikawa on a full count, gets caught looking on a borderline low pitch!

Hamada and Shodai both take the first pitch and grounds out to short. We are heading to our first enchousen game of the tournament!

Top 10th
Odawara continues with his scoreless streak in relief here, retiring the first two batters on flyouts to right, and Nishitani on a grounder to 1st. That's 4 innings of relief for Odawara.

Bottom 11th
Now can the offense deliver for him?

Yokoyama falls behind 1-2, but fills up the count and pokes one down the left field line for a leadoff single!

And Shigemoto-kantoku has Yokotama take off! Throw from Satou is late and the sayonara runner is in scoring position!

Nakajima bunts the runner along and now the sayonara run in just 90 feet away!

Touhana-kantoku (on his birthday apparently), intentionally walks Odawara.

But instead of walking Yano, they're pitching to him!


The pitch is up but Yano fouls it off!


Again they try the squeeze! The ball is again high, but Yano fouls it off again!

3rd pitch is a true pitchout.


4th pitch is high and outside, but Yano misses!


The ball gets away from Satou and goes to the backstop! Yokoyama comes in, sayonara!!!!

Nobeoka Gakuen wins on a wild pitch 5-4!!

Eh? There's a bit of confusion and Oita's players are not lining up at home. But whatever the confusion is, they finally get to the line for the final bow.

I didn't catch what the issue was, but I wonder if there was a question as to whether:

(a) Yano make contact on the squeeze attempt in which it would be a foul out and a dead ball, or
(b) It's a strikeout and because there is a runner at first he can't advance and so it's a dead ball.

I don't think (b) is correct because the ball is still live and the runners can still advance. I think.

But its a wild pitch here in the bottom of the 10th that gives Nobeoka Gakuen the win over Oita Kougyou!

It certainly was an even game throughout with both teams never really gaining a clear advantage. Shigemoto-kantoku implemented an interesting strategy that I had been thinking about for some time now. If you had a good enough L/R pitching combination, couldn't you play a platoon pitching situation, switching pitchers when the situation dictated?

We'll get to see the strategy again in their next game. For Oita, it was a great game with one fatal mistake at the end. Certainly nothing to be disappointed about at all.

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