Short schedule today with only 3 games on the docket. Odd considering it's a Sunday, but what can you do.
Houtoku Gakuen has a bit of a hard time against Toyama's representative Tonami Kougyou. They manufactured a run in the 4th, 5th and 6th innings to make up for the 2 runs they gave up in the 5th. But for a team from Hyogo, their offense looked awfully lackluster.
On the mound for Houtoku will be their ace Oonishi, who pitched 4 innings of shutout ball against Tonami, striking out 6 batters.
Fukui Shougyou also suffered from a lack of offense outside of the 5th inning, where they batted around for 6 runs against a traditionally good Inabe Sougou team from Mie. In addition, their ace Hasegawa was pretty wild in the shutout, issuing 4 walks and hit 2 batters. Fukui Shougyou has represented Fukui for 8 of the last 11 years, yet has only advanced out of the 2nd round 3 times.
Should be a good opener to start the day.
Houtoku Gakuen (Hyogo)
CF Yashiro Kazuma
2B Tani Koushirou
3B Nakashima ?
1B Koshii Yuuki
C Morita Kouki
LF Kinoshita Haruki
RF Urasaki Yuri
P Oonishi Kazunari
SS Haseba Ryuu
Fukui Shougyou (Fukui)
CF Shioji Takuma
1B Miyoshi Takuma
RF Uchida Souichi
3B Yashiki Kenta
P Hasegawa Yousuke
LF Kondou Daichi
2B Uchiyama Akira
SS Korome Kazuo
C Kobo (Masato) (#12)
9:30 - First Pitch!
Stands are pretty full as the people are out to support the hometown team.
Yashiro with a drive to center! Shioji running back, puts the glove up, looks to have it, but bounced in and out of his glove! Yashiro sliding in with a leadoff triple!!
Tani with a hard shot to center! Shioji running back again, leaps, and this time makes the catch!! Yashiro tags up and Houtoku is up quickly 1-0!
Nakashima with a slow grounder up 3rd! Yashiki charging, throws to first, and is wide! Miyoshi goes off the bag to field, but Nakashima would have had the base anyways.
It's looking bad for Yousuke early, and when Morita flies out down the right field line, the runners advance. Base hit here could but Fukusho in a bit of a hole.
Kinoshita grounds to short though, and Yousuke only gives up the one run.
One down for Fukusho and Miyoshi gets on after Haseba airmails a throw over 1st.
Uchida laying down a bunt, buy flying down the line beats out the throw from Nakashima! Fukusho looking to strike back with the douten!
Yashiki grounds to 1st, but Koshii makes the mistake of touching 1st and then throwing to 2nd. He should have tagged 1st and run down Uchida who was off the bag. So there's 2 down instead of 3.
It doesn't matter though Yousuke flies out to right to end the inning.
Yousuke's control issues persist as he already walks his 2nd batter of the game to lead off the 2nd.
And in a bit of a fundamentals error, Oonishi three bunts and fouls out!
Now Haseba has to lay down the bunt and does. Back to the top of the order and Yashiro.
Yashiro with a good hit to center! Shioji running back to his right! And he makes the catch!
Boy, Shioji has been kept pretty busy so far today, but has done about a good job in center as you could expect (that first ball was really tough to catch and would have been a super play).
Oonishi doing well retiring the side in order, but he's leaving some of his pitches high. Could be an issue later.
Yousuke outside of the first batter has looked okay, and has settled down retiring the side in order although he's still throwing quite a few balls.
Oonishi showing good control in the 3rd, striking out righty Takahiro on a high fastball, and lefty Shioji on an inside fastball.
Miyoshi bloops one into right for a base hit.
AH! Nice try there by Kinoshita! He runs into foul territory to try and catch a foul ball from Uchida, and actually goes onto the wall and stretches his glove out towards the fence. He almost makes the catch!
Uchida grounds out to 2nd to end the inning.
One down, and Kinoshita slaps one the opposite way for a base hit.
He takes off for 2nd on the 0-1 pitch to Urasaki! Takahiro with the throw, but its on the other side of 2nd and Korome has to backhand it.
Urasaki entrenched in an AB against Yousuke. Count at 2-2 he fouls off 4 pitches before grounding out to 3rd. However, Kinoshina advances to 3rd on the play.
It's up to Oonishi, to bring him in. Not sure how confident I'd be given he was asked to bunt even with 3 strikes.
And just as I think that, he takes a high fastball and lines one over Uchiyama's head into right! Kinoshita walks in and it's 2-0 Houtoku!!
Haseba grounds to short, but Houtoku adds a run here in the 4th.
One down, and Oonishi issues his first walk to Yousuke.
Kondou with a grounder under the diving Koshii into right, and the tying run is aboard for Fukusho.
AH!!!! Wild pitch for Oonishi advances the runners, and gets Nagata-kantoku to call a conference. A rapidly developing situation now as a base hit could tie the game!
Uchiyama at the plate is showing bunt, but pulling back to swing. I've tried it, and it help makes contact and slap the ball.
But he strikes out swinging on a high fastball! 2 down!
Korome delivers! He hits a ball through the right side! Yousuke scores as the throw goes home. AH! It bounces off of Morita, but fortunately for Houtoku it goes to Oonishi covering behind home.
Takahiro up now, and Korome takes off for 2nd! Morita fakes the throw, and Korome stops!! Now Morita does throw to 2nd and Haseba makes the tag on a scrambling Korome!
Oh, that's bad.
Kitano-kantoku apparently had the delayed steal from 3rd on and Korome was supposed to get in a rundown, which is why he stopped. But when Morita doesn't throw, Korome's not sure what to do and makes a mad dash for 2nd where he's thrown out.
One down and Tani singles to left. He takes off on the very next pitch and steals 2nd easily! Wow, that was one heck of a jump.
Nakashima walks on 4 straight, not sure if that was an unintentional, intentional walk, but it gets compounded when Koshii singles through the right side! Tani stops at 3rd and it's manrui for Houtoku!
Kitano-kantoku with a conference. They just got back a run, they can't give them back here.
But Morita takes a fastball and shoots it through the infield to left! The runners advance 90 feet and it's 3-1!
Kinoshita with a grounder to short! Korome to 2nd for one, throw to 1st, SAFE! Kinoshita flies down the line and dives in ahead of the throw! Nakashima scores and it's 4-1!
And now Kinoshita takes off for 2nd! No throw! Kinoshita has his 2nd SB of the game! Urasaki grounds to 3rd again to end the inning, but Houtoku now has a 3 run lead!
Takahiro the beneficiary of an irregular bounce as a grounder to Haseba takes a high bounce and all Haseba can do is to defend himself. The ball defects off his hand and into the outfield for a base hit.
And unfortunately Takahiro makes a baserunning mistake as a grounder to the left side of the mound is fielded by Haseba and Takahiro finds himself in front of the ball, and is suddenly caught in a rundown. He's tagged out, and there's only a runner on 1st.
In an interesting shift, Kitano elects to pinch hit for #3 batter Uchida with #14 Yamagata Kouta.
He strikes out looking and the inning is over. We head to the break with the hometown team up 3.
Changes for Fukusho.
PH Yamagata stays in to play center. #11 Fujita Geni comes in for Shioji and takes the hill. Yousuke goes to left, and Kondou goes to right.
One down, Hasebe (whose birthday apparently is today), gets his first hit today - a single to center.
Fujita relieves the next two batters, and heads to the dugout with a 0 on the board.
Yashiki with a single through the left side to lead off the inning. Yousuke three bunts, but fouls out.
Kondou liner to 1st! Koshii with it and he doubles off Yashiki to end the inning!
Not the best of luck for Fukusho...
Korome with a nice play, stopping a ball in the gap and making a one hop throw to first to get a sliding Koshii. Fujita retires the next 2 batters and he's doing a fine job in relief!
Uchiyama with a shot to left center! Kinoshita over, slides but doesn't make the catch. Uchiyama's in with a leadoff double!
Korome grounds out to 2nd, but moves Uchiyama over to 3rd.
Takahiro with a basehit to left! Uchiyama comes in and Fukusho gets a run back! It's now 4-2!
New P Fujita bunts Takahiro over looking for a one timer from Miyoshi.
Miyoshi with a short liner to right! Urasaki charging in, and makes a diving catch!!!!
Urasaki saves a run with that catch and Houtoku leaves with the 2 run lead!
Urasaki with a one out single to left.
And Nagata-kantoku will pinch hit for Oonishi! His day is done!
#15 Ooishi Takaharu comes in and bunts the runner along.
Kitano-kantoku is making a fielding change after the first pitch to Haseba?
Kondou and Yousuke switch places. That's a bit odd.
Haseba flies out to new LF Kondou to end the inning.
Well, whatever defensive changes they make, they have to get some offense going, and it'll be against new P #11 Tamura Ichirou.
But he has just about the easiest inning you could have. Yamagata grounds out to short on 2 pitches, Yashiki strikes out 4 pitches on a high fastball, and Yousuke first pitch swings and grounds out to 2nd.
Yashiro starts off the inning with a walk and is bunted to 2nd.
Nakashima with a hit to shallow left center. Kondou runs in, dives, and makes the catch!!
Okay, so with a lefty on the mound now, I can see why maybe he made the switch...
And Fujita strikes out Koshii looking on a 3-2 fastball on the outside corner!
We head to the bottom of the 9th with Fukusho only down 2. It's not impossible, but it's not easy either.
Kondou with a shallow fly to left! Kinoshita furiously running in! Dives... and he makes the catch!!! One down!
#16 Deguchi Yuki comes in for Uchiyama.
He's hit on a 2-2 pitch, but it's called a ball as he sort of stuck his knee out.
Check swing, but the ball hits the bat! Morita with the ball and throws to 1st! 2 out!
Last chance in Korome, but he flies out to right, and that's the ballgame.
Fukui Shougyou was unable to get anything organized against the tandem of Oonishi and Tamura. And Yousuke's troubles on the mound, while not as pronounced as his first game continued resulting in falling behind counts and giving Houtoku's batters hittable pitches.
For Houtoku Gakuen, there's still issues lingering about their offense. But they advance to the next round and will face Saga Gakuen for a spot in the Best 8.