Friday, August 17, 2012

Day 9, Game 1 - Urawa Gakuin (Saitama) vs. Seikou Gakuin (Fukushima)

Day 9 finishes the 2nd round of games and will start signifying the acceleration of the schedule going forward for all teams that move on.

Urawa Gakuin in their opener against Takasaki Shougyou started putting pressure on ace Seki after one through the lineup.  But it was some self-inflicted wounds by Seki himself that saw Urawa Gakuin take the lead and never look back as their ace Satou scattered 7 hits in a complete game effort.

Seikou Gakuin meanwhile had drawn last summer's champions Nichidai-san.  Despite being at Koushien for the 6th consecutive time, I figured they'd be meat.

Instead, ace Okano gave up just 4 hits, survived a scare in the 5th, and held on despite a HR in the 9th.  But though they defeated Sanko 2-1, they only managed just 6 hits themselves with their runs bookended in the game.

Seikou's offensive issues could pose a problem if they have to play a higher scoring game, which they might against Urawa Gakuin.  But, again Saitama has fared poorly in past years as compared to Seikou Gakuin, who has been able to advance at least one round or two.  There's a lot of mixed messages in my opinion regarding this game, and I'm not sure what wins out.

Urawa Gakuin (Saitama)
SS Takemura
C Rinzaki
P Satou
LF Yamane
RF Sasagawa
3B Takada
1B Akashi
CF Nishioka
2B Midorikawa

Seikou Gakuin (Fukushima)
CF Anzai (#9)
SS Hirano
C Nagai
1B Sonobe
LF Saitou Yuuki (#8)
3B Kyouda
RF Sekine (#7)
2B Minowa
P Okano


8:00 - First Pitch

Top 1st
Takemura leads the game off with a grounder to right.  Mori-kantoku looking for the quick strike has Rinzaki bunt him over.

Satou though goes out swinging, and Yamane hits a liner right to Yuuki for the out.

Bottom 1st
One down and Hirano duplicates Takemura's grounder for a base hit.

Saitou-kantoku goes for the hit-and-run!  Nagai makes contact and it's a hit past a diving Takemura!  Hirano into 3rd on the play and Sonobe has a chance to open the scoring.

Satou gets ahead 0-2, but Sonobe connects on the next pitch!  Nishioka running back to the fence, still running!  Looks up!


Satou leaves a fastball right over the plate and Sonobe sends it just over the fence in dead center for a 3-run homerun!  Just like that the Saitama representatives find themselves behind 3-0!!

Yuuki with a base hit to center!  Things aren't looking good for Satou.

Rinzaki gives an assist when he throws out Yuuki trying to steal 2nd.

Kyouda flies out to left to end the inning, but Urawa Gakuin is behind early!

Top 2nd
Sasagawa hits a grounder to 2nd, Hirano bobbles the ball a bit, but the dive from Sasagawa helps get enough time for the out.

Takada just bloops one into center for a base hit.

Akashi not bunting, but falls behind 3-2.  Fouls off a couple before a pitch up and in hits him.

Nishioka with a ball deep to right center!  Anzai chasing after it, watches it take a bounce into the wall!  Takada scores!  Akashi being waved around and Hirano holds the ball!  2-run double by Nishioka makes it a one run game!  3-2!!

Midorikawa can't get the douten timely, but does advance Nishioka with a grounder to 2nd.

Takemura with a ball back up the middle!  Okano can't field it and it's into center!  Nishoka scores and indeed Urawa Gakuin has replied in kind (so far) to make it a 3-3 game!

And now Mori-kantoku has Takemura take off on the 2-2 pitch!  Ball!  Nagai with the throw and Takemura slides in safely!

Rinzaki tomahawks a high pitch into the ground!  That's past Minowa into right!  Takemura being waved around 3rd, Sekine up with throw!  Nagai with the tag... SAFE!

Takemura slides in safely and Rinzaki hits in the gyakuten run!  It's 4-3 Urawa Gakuin!

The replay shows that Takemura was just ahead of the sweep tag and was indeed safe!

Satou flies out to left to end the inning, but Urawa Gakuin has come back from Seikou's early punches and laid a haymaker on Seikou!

Bottom 2nd
One down and Minowa works a 6-pitch walk.  Saitou-kantoku has Okano bunt looking for a one-timer.

But Anzai goes down on 3 straight, watching a fastball on the outside corner for the 3rd out.

Top 3rd
Yamane with a grounder to short.  A good start again for Okano.

Sasagawa with a blast to left center!  Anzai heading back towards the wall!  He's looking up!


Sasagawa jumps on a hanging slider and hits it out!  Urawa Gakuin leads 5-3!

Takada with yet another blooper, this time to left and Okano looks to be in trouble!

Akashi with a grounder to short, but Hirano can only get the front half of the double play.

Nishioka keeps the inning going with a single through to right!  Sekine tries to throw Akashi out at 3rd, but Hirano cuts it off.  But Nishioka was running all the way and reaches 2nd!

Okano in big trouble now!  Midorikaww with a base hit to left!  Akashi scores, Nishioka being waved around!  This time though Yuuki will have him out at home as the hit was too shallow.  Inning over, but 6 unanswered runs mean that Urawa has doubled Seikou's score at 6-3!!

Bottom 3rd
Hirano draws a 4-pitch walk to start the inning.  One down for Sonobe and Hirano takes off for 2nd!  Throw from Rinzaki not in time!

And now Sonobe draws a walk!  Chance developing for Seikou!

But Yuuki lines out to Takada!  He goes to 2nd and doubles off Hirano to end the inning!  Bad luck for Seikou!

Top 4th
And Saitou has quickly gone to the bullpen.  #10 Iitaka comes in to relieve ace Okano.  Tough day for him as he just couldn't keep his pitches down in the zone...

Takemura on the other hand is seeing the ball well.  He singles to left for his 3rd basehit!

After and excuse me sac bunt where Rinzaki was more defending himself, Satou and Yamane are retired on back-to-back pitches to end the inning.

Bottom 4th
Kyouda with a ball back up the middle for a leadoff single.  Sekine then lays down the safety bunt and beats Satou's throw to 1st!  Two on , no out for Seikou!

But Minowa pops up his bunt!  Satou comes in and retrieves it for the out!

Now it's Satou losing the strike zone throw 3 straight balls to Iitaka.  But he comes back with 2 called strikes to fill out he count.

And Iitaka goes down looking on a slider at the knees! 2 outs!

Lineup turns over for Anzai.

He hits a grounder to short, but Takemura can't see the ball into his glove!  The ball bounces out in front of him and he has no play!  Manrui for Seikou!

Conference on the mound as the umpires confer.  What the umpires are talking about, I don't know.

But Hirano up, and he swings on the first pitch and hits a high fly!  Sasagawa secures it for he 3rd out and Seikou's chance goes begging!

Top 5th
Sasagawa throws a curveball with a safety bunt on the AB after a HR!  Kyouda charges in, but his throw is late.

Takada lays down the bunt to advance the runner.  Akashi up and he can't wait to drive him in, so he swings and and flies to right the 2nd out.

Nishioka grounds to 3rd, and Iitaka puts up another 0 for the team.

Bottom 5th
Problem is the offense just can't get to Satou .  Heart of the order up for Seikou Gakiu.

Nagai flies out to center.  Sonobe goes down swinging on a curve and Yuuki on a fastball.

We head to the break with Seikou trailing by 3, not a large margin at all,=.

Top 6th
One down and even though Iitaka is carfeful with Takemura, he hits one down the left field line to the pole for a double and his 4th base hit!

Mori-kantoku has Rinzaki bunt Takemura along for Satou.

And it works as Satou hits one down the right field, scoring Takmura on a double making it 7-3!

Yamane works the count full and he gets hit by Iitaka.  Runners on 1st and 2nd for Sasagawa.

Sasagawa just levels one to left and hits the base of the wall in no time flat!  Satou scores!  Yamane being waved around and there's no throw!  Sasagawa with 2 more RBIs as Urawa pulls away 9-3!

Takada grounds to short to end the inning, but Seikou has yet to answer Urawa's 9 straight runs.

Bottom 6th
Satou looked to have 3 quick outs but Minowa breaks it up with a 2-out single to left.

Iitaka makes Satou work even harder as he works the count full and fouls off several pitches before he's finally retired missing an outside fastball for the out.

Top 7th
Now it's Urawa's turn to make Seikou's pitcher work on the mound it seems.  Akashi gets the count full before striking out. Nishioka does the same, but gets his 3rd hit on a single to right.

Midorikawa lays down the bunt to advance Nishoka to scoring position for Takemura.

It might be better to walk Takemura instead of pitching to him considering his 4-4 day so far.

But, Iitaka pitches to him and gets ahead 0-2 on 2 foul balls.

Takemura makes contact, but he flies out to right and Iitaka finally retires him to end the 7th for Urawa.

Bottom 7th
Anzai leads off the inning and hits a ball to deep left!  Yamane running back to the wall!


Anzai with the 2nd HR for Seikou today and they get a run back at 9-4!

But Hirano and Nagai fly out, and a sharp liner is caught thanks to a great diving catch from Takada.

Top 8th
One down and Satou with a drive to right!  Sekine back to the wall!!


That's the 4th HR this game as Saitou hits the rare (though not necessariily this year) HR to right!  10-4 Urawa!

After a foulout, Sasagawa steps in a triple short of the cycle.

He fights Iitaka on the mound tooth and nail, working the count full while fouling off pitches.  Sasagawa makes contact, but it's a single to left.  Still though, 4 hits on the day.

Mori-kantoku sends Sasagawa, but he gets thrown out to end the inning.

Bottom 8th
Kyouda is able to work a one-out walk, but Sekine and Minowa both groundout to Akashi to end the inning.

Top 9th
Takada with a grounder to short that goes under Hirano's legs into center.  Akashi proceeds to bunt him to scoring position.

And now a wild pitch for Iitaka sends Takada to 3rd!  He then hits a fly to right which is deep enough to score Takada to make it 11-4.

Midorikawa executes a great safety bunt up the 1st base line for a base hit, but is then subsequently thrown out trying to steal 2nd.

Bottom 9th
#18 Nakata up to hit for Iitaka, but he grounds out to 2nd.

Anzai hits a single off Akashi's glove into right for a base hit.

But Satou gets Hirano to ground out to short.  And Nagai reaches down to hit one, but it's right at Sasagawa who makes the catch to end the game.

It looked to be a competetive game early as the teams traded runs, but soon enough Urawa Gakuin would pull away and have full control of the game.  This win puts Urawa Gakuin into the 3rd round at Natsu Koushien for the first time since their first appearance back in 1986!  Satou for his part again had trouble early, then settled down while the offense picked him up once again.

For Seikou Gakuin it's another early exit after an impressive win over last year's champs Nichidai-san.  Sonobe, the only non-senior on the team, will have to work with the new starters to find a way back to Koushien again.

Notable Players
Sasagawa Kouhei (Urawa Gakuin) - 4-5, 2B, HR, R, 3 RBI
Takemura Haruki (Urawa Gakuin) - 4-5, 2B, 2 R, RBI
Nishioka Nobuaki (Urawa Gakuin) - 3-4, 2B, 3 RBI
Satou Takuya (Urawa Gakuin) - 2-5, 2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI
Sonobe Satoshi (Seikou Gakuin) - 1-3, HR, R, 3 RBI, K, BB
Anzai Satoshi (Seikou Gakuin) - 2-5, HR, R, RBI, K

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