Nihon Bunri (Niigata)
CF Takeishi Ryou (#7)
LF Watanabe Ryuuhei (#15)
1B Iidzuka Satoshi (#1)
RF Oguro Kazuki
2B Watanabe Taiga
SS Shiraishi Takayo
3B Ikeda Takamasa
C Kamakura Kouta
P Ooyachi Atsunori (#10)
Osaka Touin (Osaka)
LF Minemoto Takumi (#4)
CF Takagi Toshiki
C Mori Tomoya
1B Kinden Takuya
3B Kasamatsu Yuuya
2B Katsuki Kazuya (#14)
RF Fukumori Hiroto (#7)
SS Mizutani Yukiya
P Kuzukawa Tomoya
12:59 - First Pitch!
Oy, first pitch and it hits Takeishi before the siren even ends.
Kuzukawa looks bad on the mound with two more off pitches. But Ooi-kantoku tries to hit-and-rub, but Ruuuhei misses and while the throw is offline, there's enough time to still tag Takeishi for the out.
Which is a shame because Ryuuhei singles through the right side. And then a wild pitch sends him to 2nd!
He even falls behind Iidzuka but gets bailed out when he swings at a bad pitch and flies out to left.
Cleanup batter Oguro up, and I don't know why they're not taking pitches seeing as Kuzukawa looks off on the mound. Instead he's swinging away on outside pitches and fouling them off.
Oguro grounds out to short to end the inning, but Nihon Bunri helped Kuzukawa out on that one.
Minemoto swinging away early in count, hits ball to right side. Taiga makes great diving stop but throw to 1st is just a hair late.
Nishitani-kantoku goes for the hit-and-run, Takagi grounds out to 2nd for the 1st out.
Finally focusing on Ooyachi, he's a lefty who throws in the high 120s-low 130s touching mid 130s, with a curve in the mid 110s, and maybe some type of slider in the low 120s. That's not a good sign - he'd better stay accurate.
Uh oh. Ooyachi goes careful on Mori, runs the count full and walks him to bring up Kinden.
Count runs full on Kinden too as Ooyachi tries not to give up the big hit. Instead he hits Kinden and it's manrui for Oosaka Touin!
Back against the wall, a sac fly from Kasamatsu isn't the worst thing that can happen. Takeishi tries to get the runner going to 3rd, but no dice. 1-0 Osaka Touin.
Katsuki with a poke into left center and that falls in! Mori scores to make it 2-0 now.
Things go from bad to worse as Ooyachi hits Fukumori to load the bases again...
But mercifully, Mizutani chases a ball in the dirt for strike 3 to end the inning. 9 batters, 2 hits, 3 walks/hit batters and 2 runs. Could have been worse...
Taiga works count full on Kuzukawa, hits blooper to right that Fukumori just can't slide and reach. Katsuki runs it down but Taiga ends up on 2nd, make that 3rd after the bunt from Shiraishi.
Ikeda with a blast to center! Takagi running it down at the wall, but can't get there! Taiga scores and Nihon Bunri gets a run back at 2-1!
Oh... but he follows that up with a mistake. Grounder to 2nd by Kamakura and Ikeda tries for 3rd, but gets rundown 4-5-6 for the 2nd out.
Ooyachi flies out to right and that ends the threat. But Nihon Bunri does get a run back!
Osaka Touin continues to hit. Kuzukawa hits one down the right field side for a leadoff double An immediate bunt to 3rd, followed by a slow grounder to the right side brings him in, clockwork style. 3-1.
Mori just hit a ball to left that kept on carrying for a HR. 4-1 Touin.
Kinden just hit a no-doubter to left that rocketed out in a hurry. Back-to-back jacks and it's 5-1 and ugly.
And believe you me, Kasamatsu is trying his hardest to go back-to-back-to-back. Instead he grounds out to 3rd.
No matter. They're well on their way to a win.
Nihon Bunri is trying at the plate, I'll give them that, but it's not getting results. Takeishi strikes out swinging on 3 straight, Ryuuhei works the count full, but grounds out to 2nd, and Iidzuka strikes out looking for a 1-2-3 inning.
A bit late, Ooyachi is replaced by #17 Kanno Koujiryou.
And he does rather well in relief to start. Katsuki with a routine grounder to 2nd, and though Fukumori hits a hard single through the right side, Mizutani quickly grounds to 3rd and Kuzukawa strikes out swinging to end the inning.
Just to show how badly it's going for Nihon Bunri, Oguro hits a ball off of Kasamatsu. It deflects right to Mizutani who easily throws out Oguro for the first out.
And while Shiraishi inside outs a pitch inside back up the middle, Mizutani makes an over the shoulder catch on a pop fly from Ikeda to end the inning.
Just when I think Kanno is cruising in relief - Minemoto flies out to right, and Takagi routine grounder to 3rd, Mori does it again. This time he pulls one to right off the righty Kanno and it's 6-1.
Kanno then wants nothing to do with Kinden and walks him on 4 straight. Kasamatsu still trying to join HR party, grounds to short to end inning.
Nihon Bunri just swinging away now, two quick outs and almost 3 if Kasamatsu didn't throw the ball away. Takeishi goes to 2nd, but he's stranded when Ryuuhei strikes out swinging.
Katsuki hits a gapper to left center for a leadoff double and is bunted to 3rd by Fukumori. Need those fundamentals just in case you can't hit the HR.
Mizutani can't bring him home even though he hits a chopper to Shiraishi (just not high enough).
And Kanno can't put up another bagel. Kuzukawa slices one over a leaping Ikeda fair for a double to make it 7-1.
For those wondering about Kanno, he's a side-armer who throws in the mid-upper 130's with an apparent sinker in the high 120s-low 130s.
Oh dear. After a walk to Minemoto, Takagi laces one to right. Kuzukawa is held up at 3rd and it's manrui for Mori. So, nowhere to put him.
Ooi-kantoku sends in #11 Kodachi to try and get Mori out... to no avail. He lines one to right, and while I think Oguro may have had the shoestring catch, it's waved off and 2 runners score to make it 9-1.. Suppose it's not a HR which is a victory, I guess...
Kinden grounds out hard to Ikeda at 3rd for the last out, and Nihon Bunri may not want the break so they can just finish the game faster...
Iidzuka leads off the post-break action with a drive over Minemoto's head. He calmly walks it down as Iidzuka strolls in with a double.
Oh, I guess I should talk about Kuzukawa. He's a side armer who in some ways reminds me of Hifumi Shinta. Doesn't throw as hard (high 130s-low 140s), not as much side action on his pitches, and therefore not as many hit batters - but just as inconsistent. Has some type of change in the high 110s-low 120s.
Sadly, despite a wild pitch that gets Iidzuka to 3rd, neither Taiga nor Shiraishi can drive him in as Nihon Bunri tries to hit against the wildly effective Kuzukawa.
Kasamatsu almost gets into the HR parade. He crushes one to left center that I swear was going to go out, but instead it hits the wall for a double. Almost Kasamatsu, almost.
And it's hard to pitch around Osaka Touin's lineup, so even while Katsuki walks on 4 straight, Fukumori bunts one to the left side that Ikeda is late to. His throw can't be cleanly picked by Iidzuka and it's manrui for Mizutani, who is the only Touin batter left without a hit.
Ooi-kantoku calls time, since at this point it's just trying to get home.
Kodachi almost doesn't give Mizutani a chance, falling behind 3-1. But Mizutani rips one... right to Ikeda for the 1st out.
Kuzukawa despite the two doubles, gives a half-hearted swing on a ball in the dirt for the 2nd out.
Kodachi almost gets out of trouble... until he uncorks a wild pitch allowing Kasamatsu to score putting Osaka Touin in double digits. 10-1.
And in a bit of mercy, a wild pitch that goes over everything is not capitalized upon by the runners even though it's ball 4.
Takagi mercifully ends the inning striking out swinging.
If I were Osaka Touin with a 10-1 lead, I'd try to get my bullpen some work. Heaven knows they're probably going to need it.
Kamakura with 1-out gets around on a Kuzukawa offering singling past Kasamatsu. Sadly, PH #16 Iwano lines out right to Kinden who doubles off a helpless Kamakura.
Ace number Iiduzka finally takes the mound, with #3 Oota taking over for PH Iwano and going to 1B, while #8 Hoshi comes in for Takeishi and goes to CF.
I realize that it's a blowout and all and Osaka Touin probably wants to get out of the heat as well, but Iidzuka looked pretty good in a a 1-2-3 inning. He finally retired Mori on a grounder to 2nd, Kinden lined out to right, and Kasamatsu hit a lazy fly to left.
Kuzukawa still out there, and after getting the low strike 3 on Hoshi, he hits Ryuuhei.
But in more insult to injury, Iidzuka lines out to Mizutani who doubles off Ryuuhei for another DP.
Iidzuka doesn't throw any softer (mid-upper 130s), with a slider and presumably change, and has an interesting over the top delivery, that reminds me of a Dodgers P who I can't remember.
Nishitani-kantoku starts emptying the bench.
- #9 Tamura comes in to hit for Katsuki, strikes out looking,
- #13 Tsujita in for Fukumori, flies out to center,
- #17 Fukuda in for Mizutani, draws full count walk,
- #12 Kume in for Kuzukawa (his day is done), liner to right for runners at the corners.
Tamura stays in to play RF, Tsujita in LF, Minemoto moves to 2B, Fukuda goes to SS, and #11 Takanishi takes the hill.
Oho! Nihon Bunri doesn't totally capitulate as with one down, Taiga drives a ball to left field that carries into the ouen-dan for a HR! It's 10-2, but at least they're not giving up. Shiraishi follows that up with a base hit through the right side.
With 2 out, Kamakura fights hard against the reliever, fouling off several balls. However, he's called out on a check swing and the game is over.
It certainly was bad for Nihon Bunri, but at least they finished out the game right. It's hard to hold your head high after a game like that, but they should take pride in getting there at least, even if their performance wasn't what they wanted.
As for Osaka Touin, today's game was a statement to the field. They will punish you if you make mistakes on the mound. Yes, there is their pitching that can be a big chink in their armor, but you need to shut down the offense if you're going to have any chance.
Who, if anyone will be able to step up? All we know is, either Minoshima or Hikawa will be the next team up.
Kuzukawa Tomoya (Osaka Touin) - 8 IP, ER, 6 H, 6 K, 2 HBP
Mori Tomoya (Osaka Touin) - 3-4, 2 HR, 3 R, 4 RBI, BB
Kinden Takuya (Osaka Touin) - 1-3, HR, R, RBI, BB, HBP
Kuzukawa Tomoya (Osaka Touin) - 3-5, 2 2B, 2 R, RBI, 2 K
Iidzuka Satoshi (Nihon Bunri) - 2 IP, 0 ER, H, K, BB
Watanabe Taiga (Nihon Bunri) - 2-4, 2B HR, 2 R, RBI
Ikeda Takamasa (Nihon Bunri) - 1-4, 2B, RBI