Game 2 has our only remaining Chuugoku team squaring off against the Tohoku Friendship representative.
Iwakuni Shougyou, probably the weakest of the three schools representing Chuugoku now stands as the only team remaining. Kanzei couldn't find home plate if it hit them in the head, and Kouryou make a valiant effort, but couldn't keep with with Saibi in enchousen. So they will try and make the valiant charge for the region.
The offense indeed had problems against Riseisha, only scoring when they were able to take advantage of a leadoff triple by Yokota. Otherwise, they really scuffled at the plate.
On the mound, Takahashi dispersed the baserunners though all the innings and never really let Riseisha have a chance at a big inning. The skill isn't a fully manageable skill since it depends on the opposition, but if he can continue to do that they might have a chance.
Yamagata Chuo comes in as the Tohoku Friendship bid. They actually reached the super-regional quarterfinal, so they're not necessarily like a 21st century team. But in looking at their resume, there's not a whole lot to go on. They reached the prefectural final only to lose to Sakata Minami 3-2. And after a mercy rule win over Aomori Kita, they fell to Seikou Gakuin 4-2.
From the little data we have, Yamagata Chuo had 4 pitchers who accounted for almost all their innings. Takahashi Ryouhei (28 inn), Nagai Daichi (21 inn), ace number Ishikawa Naoya (19.1 inn), Takahashi Kazuki (11 inn). Of the 4, Kazuki is the only southpaw. Sadly, I have almost no other information as to how hard they throw, what type of pitches they have, etc.
What I do know is that the statistics indicate that everyone averages around a K/IP except for Ryouhei (1 every 2), all have a WHIP under 1.00 except for Ishikawa (1.45). Nagai has the lowest ERA at 0.43, but has more walks than hits (7:9).
Offensively, the team batted 0.320, but against Seikou Gakuin managed just 5 hits. No one really stands out as an offensive threat though, so it's hard to say how they will do.
Iwakuni Shougyou (Yamaguchi) - Chuugoku 3 seed
CF Nakamura Souichirou
2B Nakagawa Yuuki
P Takahashi Yuuya
1B Shigeoka Fumiya
RF Yokota Hiroki
C Kurisu Tooru
LF Shimizu Kouhei
SS Shigeishi Yuuji
3B Kamidera Yuu
Yamagata Chuo (Yamagata) - Tohoku Friendship Bid
LF Takahashi Ryuusei
SS Konno Shouta
P Takahashi Ryouhei (#8)
RF Kumagai Hiroshi
3B Nakamura Hayate (#16)
C Haga Takahiro
2B Satou Daiki
1B Matsuzawa Shouta
CF Takada Takuma (#17)
11:15 - First pitch!
Well, Ryouhei is pretty much like I expected. Low 130s, slider/curve.
Nakamura quckly grounds out to 1st for the opening out. Nakagawa takes a slider on the outside corner for the 2nd out.
But Yuuya hits a solid base hit through to right! And now Chuunai-kantoku sends him! Throw from Haga is not in time! The ace steals a base!
Shigeoka meanwhile fights at the plate, working the count full and fouling off several curveballs down in the zone.
Finally Ryouhei gets him to put it in play and it's a grounder to 2nd for the third out.
Ryuusei tries the safety bunt, but Kamidera is there and makes the throw to easily beat out a diving Ryuusei for the out. Konno swings on the very next pitch and also grounds out to 3rd.
But Yuuya ruins his own chance at a 1-2-3 inning as he walks Ryouhei.
Kumagai hacking away and falls behind 1-2
Ryouhei takes off for 2nd! Kurisu's throw is high and he's in safe!
And now Kumagai with a grounder past a diving Kamidera! Ryouhei is given the stop sign and scrambles back.
That's as far as he'lll get as Nakamura gets all twisted around and pops out Shigeoka to end the inning!
After a groundout to short by Yokota, Kurisu hits one back up the middle! Satou runs over, but just misses the ball!
No matter though as Ryouhei gets Shimizu to ground into the 5-4-3 double play to end the inning!
It's a rather routine inning for Yuuya as he gets Haga to groundout to 3rd. Satou hits a fly to center that Takada camps under for a while. And Matsuzawa hits a soft liner to Shigeishi.
Shigeishi with a hot shot to 3rd! Nakamura blocks it, but it defects towards 2nd! He runs it down, but has to eat it! Kamidera bunts him along.
Back to the top of the order and Nakamura (Souichirou). He gets ahead 3-0, but Ryouhei comes back to fill the count with fastballs inside. Does it one more time and Souichirou can't get around on it and becomes the 2nd out.
And Nakagawa is jammed and grounder to 3rd! Hayate throws to first and the side is retired.
Takada lines a shot, but right to Kamidera at 3rd.
Back to the top of the order and Ryuusei, but he can't get around on an inside fastball and goes down for the 2nd out.
And Konno hits a grounder back up the middle! Shigeishi running over, picks it with the end of his glove and makes the throw to 1st for the 3rd out!
Ryouhei feeding Yuuya a steady diet of balls outside that he fouls off. He finally wins the battle by getting him to ground out to 2nd.
Shigeoka catches a slider in the zone and gets a base hit through the left side!
Two down for Kurisu and he singles past Ryouhei's glove into center! Runners on 1st and 2nd for Shimizu.
Sanshin! Shimizu can't reach an inside fastball and goes down to end the inning!
Ryouhei works the count full, but is called out on a letter high fastball.
Kumagai swinging early, grounds back to Yuuya.
And Nakamura is late on a fastball and goes down on 3 straight for a stress-free 1-2-3 inning!
Shigeishi with a drive the opposite way! Kumagai running back as Takada sprints to help, but it falls in! Shigeishi rounds for 3rd and will take it standing up!
Jyouji-kantoku calls for time.
Souichirou pushes the squeeze bunt to the right side! Ryouhei and Matsuzawa charging overplay the ball! Satou retrieves it and tries to beat Soichirou to the bag, but he can't get there! Shigeishi scores to make it 1-0 Iwakuni Shougyou!
And after a sac bunt, Jyouji-kantoku brings in a lefty to face Yuuya. #11 Takahashi Kazuki comes in for Matsuzawa and takes the hill while Ryuouhei moves to 1st.
And it works! Yuuya pops out Satou to end the inning, but Shigeishi's leadoff triple helps break the deadlock!
Haga with a grounder past a diving Kimidera for a base hit!
Satou lays down the bunt, Yuuya takes his time, and the throw to Nakagawa covering is not in time!
That brings up new P Kazuki. He's not bunting?!
No! And he gets ahead 3-1!
Kazuki with a drive to center right! The outfield's drawn in! They're running back, but they have no chance! It one hops to the wall! Haga scores! Satou right behind him! Kazuki with a 2-RBI triple gives Yamagata Chuo the lead! It's 2-1!
Takada with a drive to right, and again the outfield is in! Yokota will chase that all the way to the wall! Takada with back-to-back triples extend the lead to 3-1!!
Back to the top of the lineup and Ryuusei. But on the first pitch he hits it back to Yuuya! Takada can't score as Yuuya goes to 1st.
And now Konno hits it to the right side. Yuuya with it again, looks Takada back and gets the 2nd out!
And the top of the lineup is useless! Ryouhei grouds to short and none of the top batters can get Takada in from 3rd! It's the bottom of the lineup that comes through here in the 5th to give Yamagata Chuo the lead here at the break!
Shigeoka with a ball to right for a leadoff hit!
Hit-and-run! Yokota with a grouner to the right side! Nakagawa chasing it to the outfield, picks it, turns, throws to 1st.. OUT! (Huh?)
Throws to 3rd!! Nakamura with the tag... OUT!!!
It's your standard 4-3-5 double play???!!!
Eh? I thought Yokoka had reached safely even with the dive, but on replay he was out! (STOP DIVING!)
Kurisu grounds out to 2nd and a promising inning goes to waste!
Kumagai first pitch singles past Kamidera for a leadoff single! Nakamura bunts him along.
Haga connects on a slider and sends it to left! The outfield is in again and Shimizu will chase that to the wall! Haga is in with a double and it's 4-1 Yamagata Chuo!!
Satou can't extend the lead as he pops out to Nakagawa.
Oy. Yuuya hits Kazuki to put runners at 1st and 2nd now! Fortunately, Takada can't check his swing on a ball away and the inning is over. But Yamagata Chuo is punishing mistakes by Yuuya.
The Lucky 7 for Iwakuni Shougyou begins with Shimizu getting their first walk off of Kazuki!
Shigeishi also playing the waiting game, runs the count full, and stays alive fouling off pitches.
It pays off! He gets around on an inside fastball and bloops it into shallow left! Runners on 1st and 2nd for Kamidera.
Both Satou and Ryouhei charge in at first, but Ryouhei doubles back to receive the throw for the 1st out. Back to the top of the order and Souichirou.
Base hit!! Souichirou singles through to center and that scores Shimizu! It's too hard though and Takada gets it in quickly to prevent Shigeishi from scoring. But it's now 4-2!
Nakagawa showing squeeze, but can't lay it down twice! Has to swings away and chases a curve in the dirt for the 2nd out!
Now that brings up Yuuya. Can he help his own cause?
Grounder to 3rd! Hayate blocks it in front of him, makes the quick throw...
Ryouhei makes a great stretch and pick to just get out Yuuya and the inning is over! But they do get back one run, and that is manageable.
Ryuusei cannot get around on an inside fastball and goes down swinging.
Konno tries the safety bunt and it dies up the 3rd base line! Kurisu makes the desperate throw to 1st, but not in time!
Ryouhei with a base hit to right! Now runners on 1st and 2nd for Yamagata Chuo!
Jyouji-kantoku calls for a double steal with Kumagai at bat?! He misses and Kurisu throws out Konno with miles to spare! 2 out!
Now Kumagai walks and now there's runners on 1st and 2nd again! This time for Hayate who's 0-2 on the day. And he's quickly down 0-2.
And Hayate is still hitless. Grounder to 3rd is taken by Kamidera to the bag and the side is retired.
Shigeishi with his third hit of the day, a single past a diving Konno.
Yokota bunts him along. Getting a run in the 8th and 9th would tie the game after all.
But Kurisu hits a comebacker to Kazuki! He looks Shigeishi back and goes to 1st for the 2nd out!
Chuunai-kantoku goes to the bench. #10 Morimoto comes in to hit for Shimizu.
Like the man he replaced, he works the count full and fouls pitches off. And he works the walk! That brings up Shigeishi who is 3-3 on the day!!
Jyouji-kantoku calls for time. This will be a key AB. What will they do with a man that has beaten them all day?
And they're going after him! A couple of pitches inside and Kazuki is ahead 1-2!
Shigeishi cannot get around on another fastball inside and he goes down swinging to end the inning!!
Morimoto stays in the game in LF.
2 outs and Kazuki slices a ball down the left field line! Shimizu chases that down near the wall and Kazuki has a double!
And his day is done on the mound. #15 Satou Miharu comes in to run for him.
Takada with another booming hit to left! Shimizu back to the wall, Miharu scores! Takada dives in with his 2nd triple of the day to make it 5-2!
Ryuusei with a grounder to 3rd. Kamidera with the throw to AHHH!!!
The ball is short and gets by Shigeoka! Ryuusei is safe and it's now 6-2!!
Kanno pops out to Kurisu to end the inning, but the game seems all but decided now.
#1 Ishikawa comes in for PR Miharu and takes the hill.
Last ups for Ganshou as #17 Saitou hits for Kamidera, but flies out to center.
Nakamura bloops in a single just fair down the right field line for a single!
#14 Fujioka comes in to hit for Nakagawa, but grounds out to 3rd.
Yuuya keeps the game alive for now with a single past Hayate into left. But Shigeoka flies to center and the game is over! Yamagata Chuo gets their first win at Koushien!
In an amazing display of power (but not HR power!), Yamagata Chuo puts up 6 on ace Yuuya and Iwakuni Shougyou and advance into the next round!
Well color me surprised. I never expected to see that. Even if the Ganshou outfield wasn't playing that far in, those balls would still go in for hits I think.
For Iwakuni Shougyou, it still have be considered a mild success. Defeating Riseisha is no small matter, even if you lose to Yamagata Chuo. They may be the first team I see gathering Koushien dirt, but I think it's well earned.
Yamagata Chuo moves on to face Kanto champs Urawa Gakuin. I don't think they'll take them as lightly - especially in the outfield. But I am intrigued about the upcoming game!
Takahashi Ryouhei (Yamagata Chuo) - 4.2 IP, ER, 7 H, 2 K
Takahashi Kazuki (Yamagata Chuo) - W, 3.1 IP, ER, 4 H, 2 K, 2 BB
Takahashi Kazuki (Yamagata Chuo) - 2-2, 2B, 3B, 2 R, 2 RBI, HBP
Takada Takumi (Yamagata Chuo) - 2-4, 2 3B, R, 2 RBI, K
Haga Takahiro (Yamagata Chuo) - 2-3, 2B, R, RBI
Shigeoka Fumiya (Iwakuni Shougyou) - 3-5
Nakamura Souichirou (Iwakuni Shougyou) - 3-5, 2 RBI
Shigeishi Yuuji (Iwakuni Shougyou) - 3-4. 3B, R, K