There has been quite a few surprises so far this tournament, and as we head into the 2nd round of games, it'll be a test now to see if these teams can repeat their successes.
Hasami is easily one of those teams. Yokohama's, already suffering from an injury to a key player, had their ace Saitou look rather pedestrian against the Nagasaki squad. Team took full advantage, scoring 5 runs. The defense also played a role as ace Matsuda managed to yield just 1 run despite allowing 8 hits, and 8 walks/hit batters.
Kakogawa Kita was put back on their heels by Kanazawa ace Kamata early on as he sat down batter after batter after batter. It looked like that they had no answer to the strong pitching. But Kamata is only one person, and the defense behind him couldn't hold the fort. 2 poor rundowns between 3rd and home allowed 2 runs to score en route to a 4-0 win.
Hasami definitely looked like a very capable team in all facets, and while Kakogawa Kita did win, they were the beneficiaries of poor play - although I will credit them for not giving up after being hit in the face early.
While Kakogawa Kita may be from the better region, it might be Hasami that is a slight favorite to advance to the Best 8.
Kakogawa Kita (Hyogo) - Kinki 5th-8th place
2B Shibumura Ryousuke
SS Takeda Yuuki
CF Shibata Seiji
RF Tokura Kenshi
P Inoue Maito
LF Odashima Suguru (#10)
C Satou Hiroki
3B Ujihashi Yuuto
1B Yamamoto Takaki
Hasami (Nagasaki) - Kyushu 3rd/4th Place
CF Tanaka Yuuya
3B Yoshiyama Shuuhei
1B Komine Fumiya
P Matsuda Ryouma
SS Shibayama Jyunpei
2B Yamaguchi Yuudai
LF Matsuo Ryousuke
RF Shida Hiromasa
C Kanzaki Takuya
9:00 - Game start!
Shibumura with a base hit to right - and Shida whiffs of the ball! Yuuya backs the play up, but not before Shibumura's at 3rd! The defense of Hasami falters right off the bat and Kakogawa Kita threatens to score right off the bat!
Takeda with a grounder to short! Shibayama makes a great diving stop! He's able to look the runner back and makes the play at first for the 1st out!
Shibata with a comebacker up the middle! Matsuda can't grab it with his glove and it goes into center! Shibumura scores and Kakogawa Kita is out of the gates quickly at 1-0!
Togura up, and Shibata takes off for 2nd on the 1st pitch! Throw from Kanzaki is late and now he's in scoring position.
HE TAKES OFF FOR 3RD ON THE NEXT PITCH!
Throw from Kanzaki late again! Man, he is either a fast guy, is making a good jump, or they see something they can take advantage of.
But Matsuda strikes Togura out on an outside fastball for the 2nd out! One to go!
Inoue with a solid hit, but right to Shida to end the inning. Kakogawa Kita though strikes first!
Inoue wit a good start getting both Yuuya and Yoshiyama to ground to short.
But Komine breaks it up with a slice over Ujihashi down the left field just fair! It rattles around a bit near the catcher's part of the bullpen as Komine is in at 2nd!
However Matsuda hits a grounder to 1st. Yamamoto flips to Inoue to retire the side.
Matsuda doing better this frame as he quickly gets Odashima to ground to 1st. He falls behind Satou, but given the green light he swings away and drives a ball to right! Shida going back, makes a last second leap to make the catch. That's a bit shaky there.
The inning ends though when Ujihashi grounds out to 2nd on the 1st pitch.
After a lazy fly to center by Shibayama, Yamaguchi does the same but a bit shorter which fullas in for a base hit! Matsuo not bunting, but hits a comebacker to Inoue! He reaches down and is able to snag it! He starts the 1-6-3 double play to end the inning!
Yamamoto with a base hit past a diving Komine and Yamaguchi into right!
Shibumura not bunting - but as he strikes out swinging, Yamamoto takes off for, and reaches 2nd safely.
One down, and there's a good opportunity for Kakogawa Kita to play add on!
Takeda with a liner back at Matsuda! His survival skills take over and he makes the catch! Throws to 2nd and Yamamoto is doubled off the end the inning!
Shida leading off the inning getting hit by Inoue! Kanzaki not bunting, but Shida does take off for 2nd!
But it doesn't work both ways! Satou with a rifle throw to 2nd nails Shida and the bases are empty again!
And it's too bad as Kanzaki singles to center! So instead of runners on 1st and 2nd with no out, it's just a runner on 1st with one down.
It is back to the top of the order and Yuuya, but he pops it up! Takeda makes the catch just on the outfield grass for the 2nd out.
And Inoue sends his team into the dugout as Yoshiyama grounds to short.
Kakogawa Kita's batter taking more pitches this inning. Matsuda is still able to retire the batters in order, but takes 16 pitches to do so. His off speed stuff isn't really that accurate right now.
After a popup by Komine, Matsuda hits a shallow fly to right. Shibumura running back makes a nice running catch for the 2nd out!
Shibayama with yet another pop up to short. Ujihashi ranging over in front of Takeda and he drops it! Shibayama running all the way reaches 2nd!
Chance for Hasami, but Yamaguchi grounds to 2nd on the 1st pitch to end the inning.
The game is quickly going through each inning as Matsuda retires the side in just 6 pitches. Hasami will be back on the bats again looking to find the equalizer before the break.
Bottom of the order up for Hasami, and Matsuo goes down swinging on a slider outside.
Shida follows suit, swinging on a high fastball. And while Kanzaki is able to follow a change down, all he can to it tap it to 2nd to end the inning.
Inoue doing a good job of moving around the plate and making the batters uncomfortable. The control may not be all there, but it's good enough right now for have a 1-0 lead over Hasami heading into the break.
Yamamoto with a ball up the middle. Yamaguchi runs down the ball at 2nd, and the throw to 1st beats a diving Yamamoto! Yet another lost hit.
Shibumura tests Yamaguchi's range to his left, and he makes another good stop. Toss to Matsuda gets the 2nd out.
Matsuda can't get the clean 1-2-3 inning as he walks Takeda. Kanzaki helps him out of that one as Takeda takes off for 2nd and he guns him down to retire the side.
After Yuuya pops it up to Satou, #14 Tanaka Kousuke come in to hit for Yoshiyama.
Falling behind 1-2, he fouls off several pitches and works the count full. But Inoue induces a groundout to 2nd for out #2.
And Komine cannot do anything as he grounds to 3rd to end the inning.
Kakogawa unable to make good contact with the ball, as Togura strikes out on a slider away in between two flyouts from Shibata and Inoue. Outside of the 1st inning, which wasn't totally his fault, he's been very good.
Matsuda hits a popup to shallow center, Takeda and Shibata converge, and somehow it falls right in between them! A bit of miscommunication gives Hasami a leadoff runner!
Hasami's batters though have been swinging upwards all game. Shibayama hits a towering fly that Takeda fields just in the outfield grass, Yamaguchi does the same, and Matsuo reaches down and can only hit a grounder to 1st to end the inning.
Odajima with a rip past a diving Hashiguchi down the line! Matsuo over to get it at the wall and Odajima's in with a leadoff double!
Tokunaga-kantoku calls his first conference.
Satou puts down a textbook bunt to advance Odajima to 3rd. Now a sac fly can pad Kakogawa Kita's lead.
That works too! Ujihashi with a slow grounder to 2nd! Yamaguchi looking home, but has no play as Odajima was running home on contact! He goes to 1st for the out, and Kakogawa Kita leads 2-0!
Yamamoto goes down looking to end the inning, but 2 runs in this type of ballgame may be a tall order.
Shida up to start the inning for Hasami, and after a hard AB, gets a leadoff walk.
Kanzaki tries to bunt, but falls behind 1-2. They settle for the hit-and-run to advance him as he grounds to 2nd.
#16 Ono comes in to hit for leadoff batter Yuuya, and all he can do is the same.
2 down, runner on 3rd for Hashiguchi. He grounds to short! Takeda with the throw to 1st... and it beats out a diving Hashiguchi for the 3rd out!
#18 Eguchi comes in for PH Ono and goes to right. Shida moves to CF.
One down for Kakogawa Kita, and Takeda singles through the left side.
Fukumura-kantoku decides not to bunt in the heart of the order, and Shibata flies out to center for the 2nd out.
Now with Togura up, Takeda takes off for 2nd! He's in safely!
Matsuda gets Togura to pop it up! Eguchi coming in, Yamaguchi had already gone out, and it's Shibayama making the catch for the out!
Komine with a comebacker to Inoue. No one is covering first and it's a foot race! Inoue beats out a diving Komine for the first out!
Matsuda not letting the team die! He hits a drive to left! That's takes a hop to the wall and Matsuda is in with a double!
And now the count goes to 3-0 on Shibayama!
He gets the green light, but hits a grounder to 1st! Yamamoto takes it to the bag for the 2nd out!
And Yamaguchi is jammed! Ball rolls to Yamamoto, flips to Inoue, and that's the game! Kakogawa Kita defeats Hasami 2-0 and secures a spot in the Best 8!
Hasami, who looked very good in their game against Yokohama immediately dug themselves into a hole with a misplay on the very first play. The team would play catchup the rest of the game, except that Kakogawa ace Inoue would never let them get a serious scoring opportunity until the 9th. But by then, they were down 2 and running out of outs.
Outside of the two scoring innings though, Kakogawa Kita's offense was for the most part inert. Hasami ase Matsuda is a good pitcher, but should they face Yoshinaga and Nichidai-san, it'll be an ever bigger challenge. They'll have to lean on Inoue even more to carry the team.
Inoue Maito - W, CG, 5 H, 2 K, BB, HBP
Shibata Seiji - 1-4, RBI, K, 2 SB
Odajima Suguru - 1-3, 2B
Takeda Yuuki - 1-3, BB, SB
Matsuda Ryouma - L, CG, 0 ER, 5 H, 5 K, BB
Matsuda Ryouma - 2-4, 2B
Komine Fumiya - 1-4, 2B