Thursday, August 16, 2012

Day 8, Game 1 - Sakushin Gakuin (Tochigi) vs. Risshoudai Shounan (Shimane)

Risshoudai Shounan isn't necessarily the boys of 3 years ago, but they still like to keep things close apparently.  Against Moriokadai Fuzoku, there were 3 lead changes before they won in 12.  So they don't disappoint when it comes to the entertainment factor.

However, they managed 5 runs on just 9 hits, and 3 of them were due to via the HR.  Not to say that's a bad thing, but HR's can be a fickle thing at Koushien, depending on which way the wind blows.  Also, the majority of their sac bunts were done when the batter was not in the heart of the lineup.  This means that they don't think outside of say the 3-4-5-(6) batters, they can generate enough offense on their own to drive in runs.

Also, ace Yamashita had quite a few high-stress innings where there were runners in scoring position and less than 2 outs.  It worked against Moriokadai Fuzoku, but what about Sakushin Gakuin?

Well, they had their own troubles against Nagano representative Saku Chousei.  First and foremost, ace Tsutsui spotted them 3 runs right off the bat, then one more in the 3rd after a leadoff error (and another later on in the inning).  It was only after that the offense showed life with 3 legit runs in the 4th, another pair thanks to a pinch-hit HR, and then 4 more in garbage time (which at 5-4 doesn't sound right until I mention Saku Chousei went to a bullpen that wasn't really trusted later on in their own prefeceturals).

Now, it might be a case where the offense got going once they went once through the lineup.  Which is fine if you're able to make adjustments that quickly because you're potentially spending the first third of the game analyzing the opponent, and you're not going to be able to come back from a deficit every time.

An advantage of Sakushin Gakuin over Risshoudai Shounan is the slightly more depth they have in batting where you don't necessarily feel like you're throwing away outs.  Also, Kobari-kantoku was able to turn to #18 Mizunuma when Tsutsui was ineffective and Miunuma shut down the Saku Chousei offense.  It is still puzzling why they haven't turned to their ace,  but whatever the reason is, they're sticking to it.

As for a favorite in the matchup, I still have to go with the dark horse Sakushin Gakuin, but I wouldn't be surprised if Risshoudai Shounan make it close, or even found a way to win because they're generally good for something like that when they play.

Sakushin Gakuin (Tochigi)
SS Ishii
CF Fuse
RF Shinohara
C Takayama
1B Yamashita Yuuto (#13)
LF Yoshida (#16)
3B Takashima
2B Yamanashi
P Tsutsui (#10)

Risshoudai Shounan (Shimane)
SS Ogawa
2B Kawasaki
C Shiromoto
LF Wanda
3B Watanabe
1B Yokoyama
RF Miyata
P Yamashita Masashi
CF Uda


8:00 - First Pitch

Top 1st
It's a good start for Masashi as he works a clean 1st with 2 groundouts and a swinging K.  Sakushin Gakuin seems to be taking quite a few pitches early to either get a good look at him or to raise his pitch count.

Bottom 1st
Ogawa with a fly ball to right.  Miyata back to get it, and it's a bit scary the way he catches it, but it's an out.

Risshoudai willing to swing at a pitch they like, but Shiromoto does not find one and draws a 2-out walk.

Wanda his an easy ball back up the middle.  Yamanashi takes it to the bag to retire the side.

Top 2nd
Takayama takes a Masashi offering the other way for a base hit.

Yuuto up for Sakushin and he's not bunting (like the rest of the team).  Falls behind 1-2, but fills up the count.  Connects on one, but it's a regular fly to center.

Yoshida, in the lineup thanks to his pinch-hit HR, also takes one the other way to left for another base hit.

But Takashima hits a grounder to 2nd!  Kawasaki takes his time, and starts the 4-6-3 double play, beating out a diving Takashima to end the threat!

Bottom 2nd
In looking at the official Koushien program for this year (Thanks Westbay!) Deanna would probably remark the fact that like the team 3 years ago, the Risshoudai Shounan roster is made of people NOT for Shimane.

Back to the game and Tsutsui gets a stubborn Watanabe to ground to short and a swing happy Yokoyama to ground to short.

Tsutsui then gets ahead of Miyata 0-2, but can't get him to bite on 3 straight balls.  Finally on the 8th pitch he freezes him on an slider over the plate for the 3rd out.

Top 3rd
Yamanashi falls behind 0-2, works the count full, but swings and misses on an outside fastball at 126 kph.

Tsutsui suffers the same fate for Masashi's 3rd K.

Ishii full count rides a pitch to left center!  Uda running to his right, dives, and makes the catch!  Great play by the captain for the 3rd out!

Bottom 3rd
Tsutsui pitching well and missing in the right places.  Risshoudai's batters also being more aggressive at the plate helping his pitch count.  Yamashita and Uda both hit easy grounders while Ogawa gets frozen on a slider.

Top 4th
Fuse swings on a 2-0 pitch, hits a solid grounder, but it's right at Ogawa for the first out.

Shinohara also up 2-0, swings and hits one to center.  Uda running back to the wall, stops!


Shinohara with a ball just to the left of center and it just clears the fence for a HR!  Sakushin takes the 1-0 lead!

TAKAYAMA WITH A BLAST TO LEFT!  Wanda running to the fence!


Takayama with a homerun to center to go back-to-back with Shinohara!  Masashi in a bit of shock as on two swings he's down 2-0!!

Yuuto no doubt trying to go back-to-back-to-back, but goes down swinging instead.  Yoshida grounds to 2nd to end the inning, but what a show of power bu the 3-4 batters for Sakushin Gakuin!

Bottom 4th
One down and Shiromoto with a ball past Tsutsui and into center.

Wanda up and the hit-and-run is on!  Wanda swings and misses for the K, but Takayama's throw to 2nd is offline and Shiromoto is safe.

Watanabe swings in front of an offering from Tsutsui, and flies out to center to end the inning.

Top 5th
Masashi able to put the last inning behind him as he retires the bottom of Sakushin's lineup in order.

Bottom 5th
Tsutsui battles back from behind 3-1 to get Yokoyama to ground out to short. Very next pitch, Miyata also grounds to short.

And just for a little variety, Masashi hits one back to Tsutsui for the out.

We hit the break with the difference in the game being back-to-back booming HR's by Shiromoto and Takayama.

Top 6th
Ishii with a grounder to short, Ogawa with a short throw and Yokoyama can't get it!  Leading runner on.

Fuse with the safety bunt!  He takes the defense by surprise as Watanabe charges in, but his throw is too late!  Now the first two runners are on for Shinohara!!

Shinohara gives it a good rip to center, but this time the park holds it as Uda makes the catch.  Ishii advances to 3rd.

Next up the back half of that HR duo, Takayama.

Hit-and-run!  Takayama gets around one and singles to left!  Fuse takes 3rd as Ishii scores to make it a 3-0 ballgame!

Yuuto with a fly to left!  Wanda with the catch, but it's deep enough to score Fuse as Sakushin extends the lead now to 4-0!

Yoshida takes a low slider for strike 3 to end the inning, but a leading error leads to another pair of runs for the Tochigi representative.

Bottom 6th
Tsutsui cruising along nicely, as he retires the side in order in just 9 pitches.  It's not looking good for a comeback...

Top 7th
Takashima starts the inning off with a solid grounder to the left side.  And after not laying down bunts, Kobari-kantoku calls for another bunt and Yamanashi puts one down.

Tsutsui with a grounder to short.  Ogawa catches Takashima running to 3rd, but he throws it away!  Takashima scores to make it a 5-0 game as Tsutsui goes to 2nd.

Ishii with a single that sneaks through Yokoyama and Kawasaki!  Tsutsui scores to make it a 6-0 game!

Fuse continuing the barrage with a base hit down the left field line to the fence!  Wanda throws it in, but not before Fuse's in with a double.

Oota-kantoku calls for time as #10 Hayashi warms up in the bullpen.

Shinohara with a one handed swing pokes it to right as the throw home it cut off!  Both runners score to make it a 8-0 margin and the rout is on.

Takayama with a grounder to 3rd, but it takes a bad hop and goes to left for a base hit.

Yuuto with a blast to left!  Wanda running to the wall!  He slows up!


#5 batter Yuuto joins in the HR derby with one of his own and it's now 11-0!  Oy.

Yoshida with a comebacker that lands right in Masahi's glove as he tosses to 1st for the 2nd out.

Takashima up for the 2nd time this inning and he grounds to short to end the inning.  But a 7 on the lucky 7 blows the game wide open.

Bottom 7th
#7 Tsuruta in for Yoshida in LF.

Shiromoto starts off the inning with a base hit to center.  Wanda next pitch follows that up with a single to right and there's runner at the corners for Risshoudai with no out.

Watanabe on the next pitch also singles to right!  Shiromoto scores and Risshoudai Shounan is on the board at 11-1.

#13 Ikeda to hit for Yokohama and hopefully keep the hit parade going, but he flies out to right.

Miyata though hits a grounder to Yamanashi who flips to Ishii for the 4-6-3 double play.

Top 8th
Ikeda stays in the game to play 1st while #10 Hayashi will get his first game action this summer and enter for Masashi.

Yamanashi is grazed by a Hayashi offering.

#17 Haneishi comes in to hit for Tsutsui meaning his day is done.  Hayashi walks him prompting Shiromoto to go out and talk to him.

Ishii with a ball to center.  Tha's over Uda's head and to the wall for a double, scoring both runners making it 13-1.

At this point, even though it's the early game, they should consider shutting it down to save energy for the 3rd round game.

Fuse pops out to Kawasaki for the 1st out.

Ishii though goes for 3rd and makes it safely.

Shinohara singles to center and scores Ishii to make it 14-1.

Takayama takes a fastball on the inside corner for the 2nd out.

Yuuto swings on the first pitch and singles to right center.  Shinohara advances to 3rd.

Tsuruta up to bat and he hits one to left center.  Uda sprinting over can't make the diving catch this time as Shinohara scores to make it 15-1.

Takashima flies out to right to end the inning, but it's another 4-spot for Sakushin.

Bottom 8th
#11 Hasuda comes in to relieve Tsutsu in mop-up duty.

#18 Kimura in to hit for Hayashi as his relief stint is done.  He hits a hard ball that deflects off of Takashima for a base hit.  #15 Nozaki runs for him.  He takes off for 2nd and slides in safely. Uda meanwhile goes down swinging for the first out.

Ogawa with a comebacker off of Hasuda's glove and right to Ishii who makes the retirement at 1st.

Kawasaki hits a soft fly to Takashima to end the inning.

Top 9th
#11 Shimozono in to finish it out for Risshoudai Shounan.

#14 Asano to hit for Yamanashi and he singles to center.  Hasuda in for his first AB swings and misses on an outside fastball for the 1st out.

Back to the top of the order and Ishii draws a 9-pitch walk.  Fuse walks in 4 straight and it's manrui for Shinohara.  Oy.

He drives the first pitch to right as Miyata plays it off the base of the wall.  2 come in and it's 17-1.  Takayama with a first pitch single to right, 2 more score to make it 19-1.

Yuuto flies out to center for the 2nd out.  Tsuruta grounds out to 1st on the first pitch and the inning is finally over.

Bottom 9th
Three outs to go for both sides.  Asano stays in to play 2nd.

Shiromoto hits a liner, but it flies into Fuse's glove for the first out.

Hasuda having a little trouble with his release point and he walks Wanda.  Continues to have trouble flying it open and throws 2 more balls.  One in the dirt and he can't seem to find the zone.

Finally he puts one in there for a strike, and then is bailed by Watanabe with a swing on an inside pitch.  But once again Hasuda flies it wide for ball 4.

Hasuda's mechanics are all off as he hits Ikeda to load the bases.

He finally throws a first pitch strike to Miyata who fouls it off.  And while his 2nd pitch is still wide, it's still close enough to get the call for strike 2.  He then takes an offering to left and everyone moves up a base making it 19-2.

Shimozono with a grounder to 1st.  Yuuto takes it to the bag giving up the run to make it 19-3.

And mercifully for all, Uda swings on the first pitch and flies out to left to end the game.

Risshoudai Shounan was competitive for the first part of the game, but when it all fell apart for Masashi, it basically fell apart for the rest of the team.

Sakushin Gakuin advances easily, but the jinx of scoring big at Koushien looms large on their 19 runs as Sendai Ikuei awaits for a spot in the Best 8.

Notable Players
Shinohara Yuuta (Sakushin Gakuin) - 4-6, 2B, HR, 4 R, 6 RBI
Takayama Ryousuke (Sakushin Gakuin) - 5-6, HR, 2 R, 4 RBI
Yamashita Kouta (Sakushin Gakuin) - 2-4, HR, R, 4 RBI, K
Shiromoto Koutarou (Risshoudai Shounan) - 2-3, R, BB

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