Realistically, this game feels more like a Best 8 game or better in my opinion, and the fact that it's a 3rd round game is a shame really.
Because on one hand, you have the guy that broke and tied the old record for Ks in a 9-inning game in Matsui Yuuki of Toukou Gakuen (22 - 19), versus an Urasoe Shougyou squad who seems to do well at Koushien when they do actually qualify.
Toukou Gakuen (Kanagawa)
2B Suzuki Takumu
Urasoe Shougyou (Okinawa)
CF Ooshiro Rishuu
RF Teruya (#10)
10:16 - First Pitch!
Takumu with a drive to right center!! Rishuu runnin back but gives up!!
Another leadoff homerun! This time by Toukou's Suzuki Takumu! Toukou leads 1-0!
Miyazato then strikes out Ukawa swinging, but then walks Mizukai on a full count, then turns around and strikes out Uekusa looking.
2 down and now Yamaguchi singles to center! Miyazato certainly looking a bit shaky in the early going.
He goes full on Tanaka before getting him to chase on a slider away to finally end the inning.
Agarie on an 0-2 pitch reaches out on a slider and pokes it to center for a base hit!
Rishuu not bunting, and flies out to right. Miyazato not bunting either, and he too flies out to right.
So Miyara-kantoku sends Agarie to 2nd, and no one's at 2nd for the throw from Ukawa! It's into center and Agarie into's 3rd!
But Goya grounds out to 2nd and the inning is over. Notice what's missing? Yep, a K.
One down and Take singles to right center. Nakano going to bunt, and he's hit! Runners at 1st and 2nd as Takumu comes in.
After a ball, Miyara-kantoku calls for a conference.
Takumu is way ahead of a slow change and pops it up! Infield fly is called as Touma makes the catch.
And Ukawa can't hold off on a forkball and the side is retired.
Iraha stands in and is very patient, taking some close pitches, including the 3-2 one that gives him the walk.
Touma tries the safety bunt up the right side, but Toukou's defense adjusts as Takumu tosses to Tanaka for the out.
Teruya being patient at the plate taking a lot of pitches. And once again, he holds off on the 3-2 pitch at the knees and takes the walk!
Kise up and he's just defending the plate. Down 0-2, he fouls one off before lining a soft one to 2nd! Takumu quick tosses to 2nd and they have the double play to end the inning!
Mizukai with a drive to left! Goya running back to the fence!!
Two HR's now for Toukou Gakuen and they lead 2-0!
Uekusa with a drive to right center! Rishuu sprinting over, dives, but misses it near the wall! Goya throws it in as Uekusa has a double!
Yamaguchi with a pop up! Uchima running back, gets turned around, but makes the catch! And Uekusa is caught way off 2nd and is thrown out! Bad baserunning there as he's doubled up. You prevent the out first and foremost, then take the base.
Tanaka pops out to Iraha in foul territory to end the inning, but Toukou has another run!
But their strategy is clear. Make Matsui prove he's the K pitcher he is. Take as many pitches as possible, swing only when you have to. Make him throw strikes, and make him stay on the mound as long as possible.
In other words, it's a battle of attrittion.
After two more non-K outs, Rishuu singles to right! And on a pickoff move by Matsui, he's called for a balk! Rishuu advances to 2nd!
He wants more! He takes off on the 1-0 pitch and slides in safely! Their first run 90 feet away!
Matsui finally records his first K on an inside slider!
2 down and Nakano singles through the middle to center and he reaches safely for the 2nd time.
But that's all they get as Takumu hits a comebacker to Miyazato to end the inning.
Goya falls behind 0-2, and grounds out to short.
Iraha works the count full yet again, but freezes on a slider.
Touma works the count full after going behind 0-2, but chases the slider for Matsui's 3rd K.
Ukawa tuns the tables on Miyazato a bit and works the count full, drawing a walk. Mizukai bunts him to 2nd.
But Uekusa falls behind 1-2, and flies out to center.
Conference on the mound as Yamaguchi stands in.
He hits a ball to shallow center! Goya running in, dives, and makes the catch!! Great diving catch by Goya saves another run from scoring and ends the inning!
Urashou's strategy might be unraveling here in the 5th. Teruya swings on the first pitch and grounds to short. Kise works the count full, but chases a slider again for a K.
And Uchima tries to bloop one over Takumu, but he makes a great leaping catch to retire the side!
We hit the break with 2 HR's from Toukou Gakuen being the difference in the game, but will Matsui be able to finish the game?
One down, Matsui hits a foul fly down the right field side, Teruya down the 1st base fence makes the leaping catch.
Take with a squibbler up the right side. Agarie fields it, but his toss to Miyazato is late!
Now Nakano follows that with a single to left! Small chance for Toukou as Miyara-kantoku calls for time.
Top of the order and Takumu steps in. Miyazato misses on the first two, and now Agarie goes to talk to him.
Pitch outisde, but Takumu swings! Now a change now at the knees for strike 2!
But Takumu drives a ball to the opposite field! Goya and Rishuu both try and chase it down in left center! No good! It falls in front of the wall! Take scores! Nakano from 1st, he comes around to score! Takumu slides in with a triple and it's now 4-0!!
And perhaps a batter too late, Miyara-kantoku sends in Teruya from the outfield to replace Miyazato on the hill. He gets Ukawa to groundout to 2nd to end the inning, but the damage has been done. Now Urashou faces a 4-run deficit.
I didn't think that when I was talking about a pitcher fatiguing, it'd be Urashou's ace.
It's really coming apart for Urashou now. Agarie swings on the first pitch and flies to center. Rishuu, behind 1-2, swings and misses on the slider. And Miyazato works the count full, but can only watch a fastball down the middle for strike 3.
Teruya doing what he can in relief. Mizukai fouls out to right, Uekusa drives a ball to deep left, but Goya is there in front of the fence for the 2nd out.
Almost gets a 1-2-3 inning, but "gently" hits Yamaguchi.
...Then walks Tanaka on 4 straight.
But Matsui grounds out to 2nd and no damage done.
With a 4-run lead, Matsui is attacking the zone more. Goya falls behind 1-2, flies to left. Iraha goes to 2-2 and flies out right. And Touma falls behind 1-2, grounds to 2nd.
After recording 2 outs Takumu is hit by Teruya. Doubt it's on purpose or frustration, just trying to pitch inside.
Ukawa flies to center and that's the inning.
Teruya with a drive to left! Yamaguchi running back to the fence!
Well! Teruya gets a run back all by himself with a HR off of what may be considered the most dominating pitcher at Koushien so far! It's 4-1!
#15 Ooshiro Shou comes in to hit for Kise. He works the count full.
SANSHIN!!! Shou chases a fastball high and away for the first out!
Well, I think Matsui is just rearing back and throwing the fastball. Uchima is fed a diet of them and cannot catch up to a 145 and goes down swinging.
And Agarie cannot do much either. Down a quick 0-2, he chases a high fastball and goes down for the 9th K.
They get a run, but there's a long ways to go.
Shou stays in the game to play 3B.
One down and Uekusa checks in with his 2nd hit, a simple liner to right.
Yamaguchi hits a grounder to 2nd, but Touma double clutches and then thows it away! Everyone's safe!
Tanaka with a grounder to Touma again! He fumbles it again, but manages to make the toss to 2nd.
Uekusa not stopping is sent home! He tries to catch the Urasoe defense off-guard, but Uchima makes the throw home for the out.
Last ups as the oen-dan whistles Haisai Oji-san. Rishuu though goes down swinging.
Miyazato get a hold of a slider and drives it to left! Yamaguchi chasing it to the left field line, off the padding! He's in with a double!
Cleanup batter Goya standing in now. Behind 2-2, watches a fastball just miss outside!
Slider in the dirt! He walks! Now the douten run will be stepping into the box! Noro-kantoku will call time.
#13 Kinjyou Kai will hit for Iraha.
Full swing fouls it off of Ukawa's mask!
Swings on a slider and is behind 0-2! Can you be that clutch cold against a guy like Matsui?
NO! He, like many before him, chase a slider in the dirt and goes down for the 2nd out.
One last out for Matsui. Another conference on the mound, as Touma steps in. He's 1-9. His only hit? A homerun.
Matsui falls behind 2-0. Takes a fastball outside for ball 3!
Takes a little off and catches the outside edge. And Touma chases a high fastball! Full count!
Touma is ahead of a 136 kph fastball and Toukou Gakuen advances to the Best 8!
Urasoe's strategy was the best I've seen, and it almost worked even though it looked like all was lost in the late innings. They made Matsui work as hard as I've ever seen him work in the early innings. And near the end, he almost gave out. But they gave themselves a chance, and that's all you can ask for. Yeah, Miyazato taking it about as hard if not more than I've seen anyone. But you know what, you did very well, even if the score or the stats don't show it.
For Toukou Gakuen, Matsui will have to recover as they will have to turn around quickly as they will face a Kousei Gakuin team that is determined to make the finals more than I think any other team. Matsui has carreid this team further than any prior team, and he'll need to dig deep tomorrow.
Matsui Yuuki (Toukou Gakuen) - CG, ER, 4 H, 12 K, 3 BB
Suzuki Takumu (Toukou Gakuen) - 2-4, 3B, HR, R, 3 RBI
Mizukai Shouta (Toukou Gakuen) - 1-3, HR, R, RBI, BB
Uekusa Yuuta (Toukou Gakuen) - 2-5, 2B, K
Teruya Hikaru (Urasoe Shougyou) - 3.1 IP, H, K, BB, 2 HBP
Miyazato Taiyuu (Urasoe Shougyou) - 1-4, 2B, 2 K
Teruya Hikaru (Urasoe Shougyou) - 1-2, HR, R, RBI, BB