Kamimura Gakuen had the fortunate draw of playing 21st century team Ishinomaki Kougyou. Well, that ws the thinking anyways. But when mental lapses and unseen forces (it seems) suddenly gave Ishinomaki Kougyou the lead, Kamimura Gakuen found a way to answer immediately.
Sure, an Ishinomaki win could lift the town's spirits and inspire people, but Kamimura Gakuen is competing for a title like everyone else.
Takasaki Kenkoudai Fukushi would seem to be in a bit of a close game against Tenri, but the actual game was anything but. Despite Tenri taking the lead shortly in the 5th, Kendai dominated the game from start to finish, creating more opportunities and holding Tenri's offense at bay. Their batters tend to work counts, and steal as many bases as the opponents will let them.
Should make for one interesting game!
Takasaki Kenkoudai Fukushi (Gunma)CF Takeuchi Tsukasa
2B Nakayama Keita
C Nagasaka Kenya
3B Uchida Ryouta
1B Oosawa Yoshiyuki
RF Kanbe Kazuki
LF Kobayashi Ryuutarou
SS Akiyama Kousuke
P Miki Keita
Kamimura Gakuen (Kagoshima)CF Niiro Shinya
2B Tanaka Koudai
P Hirayabu Jyunichirou
RF Koga Iori
1B Ootsubo Naoki
LF Seguchi Takuya (#11)
3B Nakazono Fumitaka
C Nakano Daisuke
SS Nikou Takuma
09:00 - First Pitch!
Some clouds overhead, but a small percentage chance of rain. Shouldn't be a problem today *crosses fingers*
Takeuchi draws a leadof walk. I'm expecting him to try and steal 2nd.
Instead it's a hit-and-run! Nakayama hits it right where Nikou vacated on the hit-and-run! Takeuchi takes 3rd and it's an early pinch for the Kyushu champs!
Nagasaka makes it 3 straight runners on safely! He lines a ball to left and Kendai is quickly up 1-0!
It's actually cleanup batter Uchida who puts down a bunt to advance the runners!
And Oosawa with an unintentional swinging bunt gets Nakayama home! It's 2-0 Kendai!
Kanbe flies out to Koga to end the inning, but Kendai is sprinting out of the gates!
Hirayabu denies Miki a 1-2-3 inning as he singles through the right side. But Koga is ahead of the change and grounds out to 1st to end the inning.
Better start to the 2nd as Kobayashi hits a routine grounder to 1st. Hirayabu then gets Akiyama to chase a ball outside and ground to 2nd.
Miki chases another slider outside and Hirayabu retires the bottom of the order
Again, Miki does not get his 1-2-3 inning, this time because he walks Nakazono on 4 straight with 2 down.
Nakano flies out to center though, and it's another stressless inning for Miki
Cruel Angel's Thesis starts playing as Takeuchi steps in. Gets ahead 3-1, and eventually works his 2nd walk on a ball just outside!
And there goes Takeuchi! The throw from Nakano isn't in time!
Nakayama grounds to short, but Nikou as a play at 3rd! Takeuchi is run down, but Nakayama takes 2nd, so no loss in the end.
Another hit-and-run from Aoyagi-kantoku! Nagasaka grounds out to short, but Nakayama advances. Uchida though lines out to shot and the inning is over.
Miki continues to take care of business on the mound. Despite giving up a 2-out single to Tanaka, Nagasaka guns him down trying to steal 2nd and that's that.
One down and Kendai gets another man on! Kanbe singles down the right field line! Nakano can't block a pitch effectively and Kanbe takes 2nd!
And it's another hit-and-run! Kobayashi bails his swing and pops it up! Nakazono makes the catch right next to the camera well and there's 2 down.
But on the next pitch, he hits Akiyama. That brings up Miki, and regardless of the result, we're back to the top of the order again.
Hirayabu gets Miki looking on a full count fastball outside for the 3rd out.
Uchida with a great diving snag on a Hirayabu grounder for the first out!
Takeuchi works his 3rd walk of the game! And he takes off for 2nd again! But this time, Nakano pops up and guns him down!
But Nakayama gets a runner back on with another walk. Nakayama takes off for 2nd, and he's in safely!
And now taking off for 3rd?!!! Nagasaka fouls it off. Wow, they are trying to run laps around Kamimura!
Wild pitch from Hirayabu and you know Nakayama is taking 3rd.
Hirayabu strikes out Nagasaka, but it's in the dirt! Throw to 1st, and Nakayama is going home! Ootsubo goes home, and they get Nakayama! But Nagasaka wasn't retired at 1st and he's on base.
Yamamoto-kantoku makes a change, bringing in #7 Kakizawa for Seguchi and taking the hill. Hirayabu goes to left.
And now Nagasaka goes for 2nd and is in safely!
Kakizawa finally ends the insanity by getting Uchida to pop out to 2nd. It was close though as Uchida and Koga bumped into each other there.
But man do the Kendai runners put pressure on the bases.
Kakizawa in now and he's hit on his right hand (his throwing hand). He's taken out for an injury runner (Ootsubo) so his hand can be looked at.
It's not pretty, but Nakazono lays down the bunt to advance Ootsubo to 2nd.
Oosawa makes a fine diving stop at 1st on a hard Nakano grounder and flips to Miki for the 2nd out. Ootsubo advances to 3rd.
Nikou goes down and loops one to left! Akiyama leaps, but can't get it! Ootsubo scores and it's a 2-1 ballgame! And now a wild pitch from Miki sends him to 2nd!
The problems continue has he falls behind, then walks Niiro on 4 straight.
Tanaka with a chopper up the middle, Nakayama charges in makes a great pick and throw to retire the side. But right before the break Kamimura Gakuen gets a run back!
Looks like the break was a good time for Kakizawa and his hand because he looks fine on the mound. Before I can get settled down pos-break, he's retired the side in order!
Miki still retiring batters, but I can't tell if his control is off or they're trying to trick the batters, because Nagasaka starts in one place then shifts to another before the pitch is thrown.
Either way, he retires the heart of the Kamimura order in order.
Nikou with a great snag of a ball up the middle and running throw to retire Akiyama. Miki flies out to center, and Kakizawa finally does what Hirayabu was unable to do - retire top batter Takeuchi.
Kakizawa becomes Miki's 5th K on a slider away in the dirt. And Nakazona and Nakano both ground out to 3rd and as quickly as Kendai's lucky 7 came and gone, so did Kamimura's.
Kakizawa had continued to cruise along with 2 outs in the 8th, but Uchida lines a ball to left and that's the first hit off the reliever.
Oosawa gets under the first pitch from Kakizawa and Koga takes it for the out.
But Kamimura still find themselves down by 1 with just 2 innings left to go.
Nikou just gets enough on a ball to hit it to left center. Leadoff batter on as Aoyagi-kantoku calls for time!
#18 Shimoda quickly being sent out to the bullpen to warm up. Top of the order and Niiro up for Kamimura.
And Nagasaka picks off Nikou! He takes a big lead, but can't get back on the pitch-out snap throw from Nagasaka! What a time for a baserunning mistake!
Niiro goes down swinging, and Tanaka immediately flies out to center! From a douten opportunity to a 1-2-3 inning, Kamimura will be down to their final 3 outs!
Kanbe with a chopper to the left side. Nakazono picks it but his throw is high and goes into the camera well! Kanbe takes 2nd on the error. #13 Saitou goes to take the place of Kanbe.
Time is called by Yamamoto-kantoku.
Bunt by Kobayashi, and Nakano goes for 3rd! But he has no chance there and now everyone's safe!
Yamamoto-kantoku calls for time again. And they're going to intentionally walks Akiyama to get to Miki. This creates a play at home, but there's no out and nowhere to put Miki!
And now Kakizawa falls behind 2-0!
Miki gets the green light, but grounds to 2nd! Tanaka goes home and they get the force!
Takeuchi up, and he's swings and fouls off the first pitch! Someone should be telling him that a walk = a run, but he swings and falls behind 1-2.
He swings and hits a fly to left! Hirayabu is under it, makes the catch, but Kobayashi doesn't go! The throw is short and rolls on the ground, but it's surprising that they didn't send the runner! 2 down, and Nakayama steps in.
He too swings away on the first and second pitches to fall behind 0-2.
Kakizawa thinks he has strike 3, but the plate umpire says no dice! Ball outside and it's 2-2. Kakizawa thinks he has it again on the outside corner, but the plate umpire shakes him off again! Full count and the runners will take off!
And he hits him! Kakizawa hits him and Kobayashi scores to make it 3-1! I'm sure they're thinking about those two pitches they didn't get calls on, but they appeared to be borderline at best.
Nagasaka flies out to right again to end the inning, but Kendai has plated that all-important insurance run!
And so Kamimura Gakuen will have to score 2 runs to extend the game, 3 to win.
#14 Kouno comes in for PH Saitou and goes to RF.
It's the heart of the order for Kamimura Gakuen. If they can't get this done, they'll never have done it.
Miki gets ahead 2-2 and Hirayabu battles, fouling off 2 pitches before Miki freezes him on a change right down the middle.
Koga hits a foul fly! Oosawa flanking the camera well makes the catch for the 2nd out! Ootsubo the last chance!
And it's a comebacker to Miki! He throws to 1st and Takasaki Kenkoudai Fukushi wins!
Interestingly, for some reason while this is still Koushien (just Haru instead of Natsu), most times teams aren't heartbroken at the end. This time though Kakizawa is seen being a bit choked up. He still has a chance at the summer though, so all home isn't lost.
Kendai's continued pressure on the bases finally got to Kamimura Gakuen early and often and rarely ever let the battery rest. Meanwhile Miki's ability to challenge hitters kept Kamimura off guard for the majority of the game. If they can continue to get baserunners and put pressure on teams, they may be a one to consider now for the title!