They'll be squaring off against Meitoku Gijyuku, who rallied against Honjyou Dai-ichi to win 6-2. But for 6 innings, Meitoku Gijyuku could not figure out Honjyou ace Tamura. They won't have the benefit of a tiring pitcher this time though as Dr. K heads to the hill...
2B Kuniyoshi Tairiku
CF Ketashiro Kai
3B Ganeko Moritsugu
1B Maehira Daiki
RF Mekaru Keisuke
C Yamakawa Daisuke
LF Irei Shinya
P Shimabukuro Yousuke
2B Ooshiro Kouji (#6)
Meitoku Gijyuku (Kochi)
1B Shouji Hiroto
2B Umeda Tsubasa
RF Andrew Singh
LF Kitagawa Rintarou
3B Sakida Genki
CF Matsumori Daiga
C Sugihara Kengo (#12)
P Maeda Katsuki (#6)
SS Imazato ? (#13)
12:10 - First Pitch!
Kuniyoshi with a shot deep into right center! Singh running over, dives but is too far away! The gall goes to the wall for a leadoff triple!
Ketashiro looking for a sac fly at the least here, and after an extended AB, he walks! Runners at the corners with no down! Mabuchi-kantoku calls for an early conference.
And now Ketashiro takes off for 2nd! Sugihara with the throw to 2nd but Imazato cuts it off.
Maeda goes full on the 2nd straight batter, and walks Ganeko!! Manrui for Kounan!
Can Maehira get a timely hit? He was 0-4 last game.
Grounder to 2nd! Umeda and Meitoku concede the run as they start the 4-6-3 double play! 1-0 Kounan, but Maehira's struggles at the plate continues...
Mekaru with a slicing liner down the left field line... fair! That scores Ketashiro and Kounan now leads 2-0! Yamakawa grounds to 3rd to end the inning, but Meitoku finds themselves down here early!
Shimabukuro gets Shouji looking on a fastball on the outside corner. Umeda strikes out swinging on a change in the dirt, and Singh pops up to 1st.
One down, and Shimabukuro singles past a diving Sakida and Imazato. Ooshiro bunts him alongs for Kuniyoshi.
An 0-2 wild pitch advances Shimabukuro to 3rd.
Kuniyoshi with a liner, but it's right at Sakida to end the ining.
Kitagawa with a hard liner right back at Shimabukuro! He turns to try and avoid it, but it looks like it deflects a little off the glove and continues to center.
And now Sakida singles to right center! Kitagawa advances to 3rd! Runners at the corners for Meitoku!
Shimabukuro comes right back to strike out Matsumori for the first out!
Sugihara with a chopper up the right side. It's past a diving Kuniyoshi into right! Kitagawa scores and Meitoku's on the board, 2-1!
Shimabukuro strikes out Maeda looking on a 1-2 slider, 2 down.
Imazato cant check his swing, and Shimabukuro strikes out 3. But 3 hits between those 3 K's allow Meitoku to cut the lead in half.
Maeda records his first K as Ketashiro strikes out to start the inning. And two popups later, he's heading back into the dugout!
Shimabukuro gives up his first walk to Umeda as a 3-2 fastball goes high.
Hit and run!!!!
Mabuchi puts on the hit and run on 1-0 and Singh slaps it past a diving Kuniyoshi into left!
Runners at the corners as Gakiya-kantoku calls time!
And now Shimabukuro is behind Kitagawa 3-1! Misses outside, and it's manrui for Sakida!!!!
Shimabukuro gets ahead 0-2 and gets him looking on a fastball on the outside corner! The announcers say that because Shimabukuro's a lefty and Yamakawa is a righty, that the normal course of the ball made Yamakawa's glove slightly move towards the plate and perhaps helped the call.
Matsumori the last chance here for Meitoku.
SANSHIN!!!!!! Shimabukuro gets him on a slider in the dirt and he's out of the manrui jam unscated!!!
Irei with a blast to left!!! Kitagawa running to the wall looking up!
Irei with a solo homerun with 2 down here in the 4th, and Kounan retakes the 2-run lead! 3-1!!
Imazato goes down and singles over Ooshiro for a base hit!
And now Mabuchi-kantoku calls in #2 Zaha Masaya to try and tie the game up with one swing!
Zaha goes down swinging and Shimabukuro has 8 Ks through 4!
Mass changes for Meitoku Gijyuku,
- Zaha stays in the game
- #10 Taniguchi Toshiki comes in for Matsumori and takes center.
- #11 Yamada Yuta comes in for Imasato and takes the hill. Maeda goes to short.
Ketashiro laying down the bunt. Yamada goes to field it, but fumbles it! All safe!! Manrui for Kounan!
Mabuchi-kantoku with another change. #1 Iwamoto Toshiki comes in for Yamada... He throws in the low 140's with a slider curve and fork.
Ganeko swings at a high pitch and bloops it into right! The runners advance 90 feet and it's 4-1!
But (perhaps luckily for them) Maehira is up, who's 0-5 including that GIDP in the 1st with the same situation.
...And his struggles continue as he strikes out swinging on a curve inside.
Mekaru with a fly to right. Kitagawa with it, but deep enough to score Kuniyoshi making it 5-1!!
Ketashiro takes off for 3rd! Pitch is high and there's no throw!
Ganeko takes off on the next pitch! But Yamakawa flails at a high fastball and strikes out to retire the side..
Kitagawa has Shimabukuro's number today! He hits a liner off Shimabukuro in the 2nd, and here he hits a ball to center and it bounces all the way to the wall for a 2-out double!
Sakida takes the very next pitch and hits it over Irei's head for a double! Kitagawa scores and it's 5-2!
Taniguchi softly lines out to 2nd to end the inning, but back-to-back doubles get a run back for Meitoku as we head into the break!
Irei starts off the post-break session with a single to center. Shimabukuro sends him over to 2nd.
Ooshiro with a drive to center!! Taniguchi running back to the fence! It lands just in front for an RBI double!! 6-2 Kounan!
With Ketashiro up, Ooshiro takes off for 3rd! Throw from Sugihara is late!
Ketashiro though flies out to center to end the inning, but Kounan continues to put distance between them and Meitoku Gijyuku!
Shimabukuro now cruising as Meitoku tries to press for runs. He just needs 6 pitches to retire the bottom of the order.
Maehira finally collects his first hit as he singles to center! And then with Yamakawa up, he steals 2nd! That's the 4th SB for Kounan today!
Yamakawa hits the 3rd fly ball to center to end the inning.
Zaha with a long drive down the left field line... FOUL!!
And Zaha looked like he didn't want he walk when Shimabukuro threw high on 3-2. Almost like, "But I want to hit a HR, I don't want to walk!" type of reaction.
Umeda strikes out for the first out. That's Shimabukuro's 1st K since the 4th inning.
Singh strikes out looking on a fastball right down the middle. 2 down.
And Kitagawa goes down on a slider in the dirt. Strikes out the side, and now has 11 K's for the game!
Shimabukuro with a drive to left center! Kitagawa runs it down at the wall! AHH!!! Maeda fumbles the ball and Shimabukuro goes to 3rd!
Ooshiro puts down the squeeze! Iwamoto has to go to 1st, and it's now 7-2!!!
Kuniyoshi grounds to 2nd, but Meitoku is in a bad way now.
One down Taniguchi makes a bid for a hit when the ball goes under Ganeko's glove. But Ooshiro makes the stop and a fine throw to 1st for the out!
Sugihara grounds to 2nd, and the run is almost over for Meitoku.
Ketashiro singles through the left side to open the 9th. Gakiya-kantoku puts on the hit and run, but Ganeko grounds out to 2nd. He does advance the runner at least.
And with 2 down, Mabuchi-kantoku relieves Iwamoto for #15 Omatsu Yoshio. Probably to get some work in for him since barring a large comeback, this game is over.
Mekaru takes advantage, lining one past a diving Maeda into left, scoring Ketashiro to make it 8-2.
Yamakawa singles back up the middle and it doesn't look good for the 2nd year.
He gets a quick chat by Zaha, and proceeds to get Irei to ground to 3rd to end the inning.
It's last call for Meitoku.
#16 Sanba Daiki comes in for Maeda but flies out to Mekaru on the right field line.
#17 Yamaguchi Mao comes in for Omatsu and hits a foul fly to Ganeko.
Zaha isn't going to go away without a power swing somewhere, and he lines one down the field line for a double.
But perhaps fittingly, Shimabukuro strikes out Umeda to end the game.
Kounan continues to dominate the competition so far this tournament. Meitoku was for the most part overmatched in the game, and fell to the spring champions. But certainly it's not something to be totally disappointed about. They just faced a good team that has both offense and pitching and were beaten. They can go back to Kochi knowing that they represented themselves well.
And after this game, you have to wonder who can stop Kounan now. Admittedly, Shimabukuro has spots where it seems he is hittable. The question is, can someone fully take advantage of that if it continues, or will he just shut the door alotgether?