Well, games today have been pushed back an hour thanks to a system resulting from Typhoon 4.
Nuts. If you're going to rain, do it enough to cancel the games, or don't do it at all!
After perhaps a bit of a slow start to the Koushien tournament with respect to excitement (outside of the Narita-Chiben Wakayama game - yes that was an interesting game), yesterday delivered quite the exciting (if not overly aggravating in my case) set of games. Perhaps as we close everyone's first set of games, the pace will pick up.
That said, we enter today's slate of games with a matchup between two smaller towns as Toki Shougyou squares off against Yazu.
Toki Shougyou was fortunate to not draw some of the major teams until the finals when they faced off against Kenritsu Gifu Shougyou where they held on for a 4-3 win. There's not much information on ace Maeda Takuma other than his peripherals (8 H/9, 4.25 K/9, 2 BB/9) which indicate that he's probably along the lines of your average pitcher. No notables on the hitting side, but the more consistent performers are 2B Yasukabe (who wears #14), and 1B Yada Ryouichi .
Tottori counters with their ace Kamikawa Kazuma. A light tosser (he only hits a max of 135), he counters that with excellent control and his multitude of pitches (curve, slider, and screwball). That leads to a relatively high amount of strikeouts for such a tosser (8.25 K/9) while still giving up his expected hits (8 H/9).
Since there isn't a whole lot of information, let's wake up, take our cup of coffee and enjoy!
SS Sakamoto Rikiya
LF Fuke Makoto (#10)
CF Ichimura Naoki
P Kamikawa Kazuma
C Higasa Keisuke
RF Nakao Keigo
1B Nakashima (Akira)
2B Yamaguchi Masaki
3B Kadowaki Hirotaka
Toki Shougyou (Gifu)
RF Takahashi Yuuya
3B Kaneko (Atsumi)
CF Katou Hidekazu
1B Yada Ryouichi
SS Tanake (Kenji)
LF Hayasaka Shun
2B Yasufuku (Taketo) (#14)
P Maeda Takuma
C Fujita Tsubasa (#12)
9:30 - First Pitch!
Maeda with a pretty standard 1-2-3 inning, although Ichimura has a 7-pitch AB before flying out.
Takahashi with a grounder to left. Sakamoto stops it in the gap, but the throw isn't in time to 1st.
Then with one down, Katou hits a comebacker to Kamikawa, he goes to 2nd for one, but the throw from Sakamoto pulls Nakashima off the bag.
And Katou takes off for 2nd! Higasa with the throw, but it's not in time. Now Ryouichi walks! Runners on 1st and 2nd, Tokunaga-kantoku calls time.
AH!! Wild pitch by Kamikawa goes over the glove of Higasa and the runners advance!
Tanaka with a grounder to 2nd. Yamaguchi with it and he throws to 1st, AH!
His throw is low and goes to the 1st base wall! Katou and Ryouichi score and it's 2-0 Tokisho!
Hayasaka now with a single though the left side! Runners at 1st and 2nd!
Yasufuku with another single, this time to right! Tanaka scores, making it 3-0 Tokisho! He gets thrown out trying to steal 2nd, but Tokisho is on the board in a big way here in the 1st!
Yazu unable to do anything against Maeda, going down in order.
Things not going well for the small team from Yazu.
Maeda starts off with a single to right. After a sac bunt, Takahashi is plunked by Kamikawa. Then Kaneko with a drive down the right field line gets past Nakao and goes to the wall. Maeda and Takahashi score on the triple, making it 5-0.
The next 2 batters are retired, but Tokisho extends their lead.
It continues to work from him as he retires the batters in order for the 3rd straight inning.
It appears that the fastball generally sits in the low 130's, the slider and screwball in the low 120's and the curve in the low 100's.
Tanaka leads off the 3rd with Tokisho's 6th hit. But after a sac bunt, Kamikawa retires the next 2 batters in order for the first scoreless inning.
Maeda with a quick pace to his pitching hitting his spots.
Sakamoto with a base hit to left! That breaks up the clean sheet for Maeda! Fuke tries to bunt him over, but pops up to Maeda for the first out.
With 2 down, and cleanup batter Kamikawa up, Sakamoto goes for 2nd! The throw is late and he steals the base!
And after Kamikawa earns a walk, the runners take off on the 1st pitch and both reach! A base hit now can score 2!
But Higasa grounds to 2nd, ending the inning.
Kamikawa finally gets a break as he retires the side in order for the first time this game!
So finally paying attention to Maeda, I haven't seen him throw a ball over 130. Generally his fastballs that sit in the upper 120's, a slider in the high 110's and a curve/change in the low 100's.
Whatever he's doing it's working, as he has his 4th 1-2-3 inning.
One down, Kamikawa walks Ryouichi. Tanaka with the bunt, and it gets by Kamikawa! Yamaguchi charges in, but his throw to 1st goes over Nakashima's head! Runners advance a base!
And now Hayasaka walks! Manrui for Tokisho! Tokunaga with a conference on the mound.
Yasufuku puts down the squeeze. Kadowaki up slightly double clutches with the throw, and...
Huh? Tanaka isn't stopping as he rounds 3rd!!!
The out is made at 1st, but Nakashima fires home to try and get Tanaka, but he slides in safe! 2 score on the squeeze, making it 7-0!
Maeda with a hard grounder to 3rd. Kadowaki gets in front of it, but loses his balance! Everyone's safe and Hayasaka scores making it 8-0.
Fujita grounds to short to end the inning, but Yazusadly is outmatched.
One down, Sakamoto gets his (and Yazu's) second hit of the day as he singles to center!
But after being stolen on before, Maeda doesn't allow him to do it again, picking him off.
And now Fuke singles to left.
Ichimura with a drive to left center! Thats falls in and goes to the wall! Fuke comes in to score on Ichimura's double and Yazu is on the board at 8-1!
Yazu's baserunning is aggressive! Ichimura goes to steal 3rd and the throw is low!
But Kamikawa pops out to short behind the bag at 2nd. But Yazu avoids the shutout!
Changes for Yazu.
#11 Ogawa Yuuta comes in for Nakashima and takes over on the hill. Kamikawa moves to 1st. #7 Taketa Akihiro comes in for Nakao and goes into left, shifting Fuke to right.
Takahashi with a single to center to start the inning. After a sac bunt and groundout, we have the runner on 3rd with 2 out situation.
You know, I haven't seen a ball pitched faster than 120 from Ogawa so far. And the other pitch is something in the low 100/high 90's.
Grounder to short, AH! Sakamoto can't field it! Takahashi comes in to score, making it 9-1.
Hayasaka flies out, but not before Tokisho adds another run,
Yazu with a 2-out single from Tamaguchi, but that's all they get this inning.
Yasufuku with a single to center to start the inning. A hit and run situation avoids the double play as Maeda grounds out to 2nd.
2 down now, and Takahashi singles to left! Yasufuku comes in to score, making it 10-1! And now Kaneko walks.
AHHH!!!! Katou with a dive to deep center! Both runners come in to score, making it 12-1.
But what's this? The umpires are convening... and they announce that time was called before the pitch, nullifying the base hit and the runs!
Tokunaga-kantoku doesn't let Ogawa make the same mistake twice, and puts in #14 Maeta Ryousuke.
It doesn't help...
Katou singles to right scoring Takahashi making it 11-1. Ryouichi doubles into the right center field gap scoring Kaneko and Katou making it 13-1. Then after giving up back-to-back walks to Tanaka and Hayasaka, Kamikawa returns to the mound and #18 Komai (Yoshihiro) takes over at 1st.
Kamikawa returns to the mound with the bases loaded and Yasufuku at the plate for the 2nd time.
And Kamikawa walks him on 4 straight, forcing in a run and making it 14-1.
Maeda grounds out to 2nd to mercifully end the inning...
With the game in hand, Kudou-kantoku relieves Maeda. #11 Nishio Takeki comes in for Hayasaka and takes over on the mound. Maeda goes to left.
#13 Ueda Kenji come in to PH for Kadowaki, and gets hit! #16 Fujiwara Naoya comes in to run for Ueda.
Sakamoto with a hard liner to left! That's in for a hit! Maeda cuts it off, but not before Sakamoto's in with a double!
And now Fuke with a single through the right side! That scores Fujiwara and Yazu scores another run! 14-2!
Ichimura though, pops up to Ryouichi on the 1st base line for the first out.
Kamikawa works the count full, but swings at a high fastball for the second out.
And Hagase swings early at a change for the 3rd out.
More defensive changes for Yazu.
#17 Tanigami Kouki comes in for Fuke and plays right. #15 Morisawa Kouhei comes in for PR Fujisawa and plays 3rd.
Fujita first pitching swinging singles to right and is bunted to 2nd. Then, with 2 down, Katou grounds to 3rd. Morisawa charging, but his throw to 1st doesn't beat out a sliding Katou.
Ryouichi with a single to left. That scores Fujita to make it 15-2.
Tanaka strikes out swinging to end the inning.
Defensive changes for Tokishi. #13 Hayashi comes in for Ryouichi and takes over at 1st, #4 Matsui Shun comes in for Yasufuku and takes over at 1st.
Yazu goes quietly in the 9th, and that ends the game.
Unfortunately, sometimes results like this happen when you have teams from small towns or rural prefectures. The quality of play throughout isn't as strong so not all champions are created equal.
Tokisho will be glad to move on, but as with teams who advance in a blowout, must not get complacent as they wait for the next game.
For Yazu, it's certainly not the result you'd like to see in a loss, but they can take pride in the fact that they were able to play for their prefecture this year.