Well, it's getting crunchtime for these schools and with most of the probable front-runners for the Koushien title on the other half of the bracket, these schools will look to take full advantage of the next 2 rounds.
Jyousou Gakuin has not necessarily wowed you with their efforts, but if nothing else they have been consistent. Dominated Hokushou in their first game, had to battle with Sendai Ikuei for 5 innings before breaking the deadlock.
In fact in both games, the Jyousou offense actually remained silent for almost the first half of the game each time. It's almost like their mid-game adjustments after the break help them win the game.
They also have been very efficient in scoring runs when they do get runners on base, so opposing teams need to clamp down when they do get runners.
Ace Iida effectively mixes in all his pitches - shuuto, slider, change and curve, all to be stingy in allowing baserunners. He wont necessarily give in to batters either when behind, which does lead to walks like the ones he issued against Sendai Ikuei, preferring to go after the next batter.
Fukui Shougyou has been walking the tightrope even since stepping onto the field. Almost losing to Obihiro Ootani in their first game, they were caught up in a standoff with Seikou Gakuin until they finally broke through in the 8th inning and held on for the win.
So far, Yonemaru-kantoku has depended on #10 Hasegawa Ryouta more than their ace. In that game against Seikou Gakuin, he pitched a complete game using a good fastball along with his slider to keep the batters off balance. Only struck out 1, so his defense was rather busy the entire game. It will be interesting to see if they turn to him once more, or go to their ace number who has not been as successful in his only outing.
Jyousou Gakuin (Ibaraki)
CF Takashima Shouta
RF Yoshinari Yuusuke
2B Shindou Suguru
C Uchida Yasuhito
LF Ikezawa Kouhei
SS Yoshizawa Gakushi
1B Ishii Daiki
P Iida Harumi3B Ganryuu Tatsuya (#15)
Fukui Shougyou (Fukui)
CF Yamamoto Takuma
C Nakamura Tatsuya
3B Seki Ryouma
LF Ooishi Itsuki
RF Yasuda Atsuki
1B Hayashi Katsumi
P Hasegawa Ryouta (#10)
2B Nakaya Masato
SS Miyazaki Masaya
08:00 - First Pitch!
Wow, Jyousou going after early pitches, With Takashima going after a 1-0 pitch and flying to left, and Yoshinari grounding out to Nakaya on the first pitch.
Shindou gets a hold of a slider and lines it to left for a base hit, but he's retired for the 3rd out as Uchida his a hard grounder to 3rd.
Yamamoto goes almost kneeling on a slider and lines it deep down the right field line! Ganryuu plays it off the wall as Yamamoto goes for 3rd... and in in with a leadoff triple!
Fukui Shougyou not missing around, they're going for the early run!
Ah... but after fouling off a couple of pitches, he chases the slider for the 1st out.
Seki showing bunt! But it looks like a safety squeeze as Yamamoto isn't immediately taking off, but he falls behind 2-2...
Seki chases the 2-seamer for the 3rd strike and there's 2 down!
Cleanup batter Ishii up to try and get the run in, he falls behind 0-2.
But he doesn't bite on any of Iida's offerings and fills up the count..
That is until Iida pulls the slider and gets him swinging! Runner on 3rd, no out and Iida strikes out the side!! What a start!
Ikezawa leads off the 2nd with a base hit through the right side! Jyousou perhaps this time around going to get scoring opportunities early.
Hit-and-run! Sasaki-kantoku calls for it and Yoshizawa puts an ugly swing but grounds slowly to short to advance the runner.
But Ishii gets under a ball and pops it way high! Hayashi coming in, secures it for the 2nd out.
Hasegawa playing the role of cool ace as he induces Iida to ground to 3rd for the final out.
With Iida throwing strikes and getting ahead, Fukushou perhaps feeling pressure to make contact before 2 strikes. Yasuda on 0-1 pitch grounds to 2nd.
Hayashi ahead 2-1 attacks the next pitch but fouls it off.
He grounds to 2nd as well for out #2.
And for the trifecta, Hasegawa rolls one to Shindou for the 3rd out.
Ganryuu with a quick grounder to Seki for the first out.
Hasegawa painting the inside corner on Takashima punches him out for his first K!
After getting ahead of Yoshinari with two well placed pitches, he tries to get him to chase pitch after pitch until at a full count he just misses down and in to issue the walk bringing up Shindou who had a hit in the 1st.
Once again Hasegawa gets ahead 1-2.
Shindou pulls a ball to 3rd! Seki once again with it, goes to 1st, side retired!
The bottom of Jyousou Gakuin's still struggling with a strategy against Iida. Nakaya goes after 2-1 pitch, but it's a routine grounder to short. Miyazaki goes after the first pitch and grounds to 2nd.
And Iida puts a shuuto just out of the reach of Yamamoto for the 3rd out.
Uchida blooper to right, Nakaya sprinting back, leaps... Over his head! Another base runner for Jyousou!
Hit-and-run from Sasaki-kantoku again! But Ikezawa grounds it to 2nd! Nakaya goes to 2nd, but Uchida breaks up the relay to 1st.
Yoshizawa with a ball to deep center, but it hangs up and Yamamoto has it for the 2nd out.
Ishii single through the right side! Ikezawa takes 3rd on the base knock and Yonemaru-kantoku calls time..
Iida with a chance to help his own efforts with a base hit here. #1 Nakamura warms up.
Change over the plate for a first strike.
Iida with a ball to center again! Yamamoto going back once again... catches it in front of the wall for the 3rd out!
Nakamura unable to get the hands around on a ball inside from Iida, flies out to center.
Seki goes after a slider outside and pulls it to 2nd.
Ooishi having the best AB for Fukushou in a while, works the count full, but is frozen on a slider for the 3rd out.
Outside of that first triple, Fukushou's bats have been absolutely silent.
Ganryuu gets a hold of one, goes to deep left. Ooishi going back, still going back, tries to leap on to the wall!
#9 batter Ganryuu opens the scoring with a home run! 1-0 Jyousou!
Takahashi grounder to the right side, Nakaya dives, picks it on the hop! Throw to first... in time!
Hasegawa trying to get back on track freezes Yoshinari on a fastball right down the middle.
But Shindou returns a ball back to sender into center for a base hit.
Uchida also goes down on a slider to end the inning, but Jyousou again has come through in the middle innings.
Fastball down and away gets generous call - not like Iida needs it right now for 13 straight retired by Iida.
Hayashi finally ends it for Iida, getting those hands around the fastball and lining it back up the middle for a base hit - their first since the opening batter!
Ah, but Hasegawa hits a comebacker right to Iida! He goes 1-6-3 and we're at the break.
Iida in full control of this game so far, and with Ganryuu's HR and the certain post-break adjustments, is Fukui Shougyou done for?
One down for Jyousou Gakuin, and Yoshizawa with a ball to center! Yamamoto running back, backpedals, leaps.. over his head! Yoshizawa in with a double!
Ishii times a fastball inside, fights it to center! Yamamoto coming in... won't get there! Yoshizawa coming home, throw from Yamamoto... late! Here's comes Jyousou Gakuin, it's 2-0!
Iida goes and bunts the runner along to see if Ganryuu can add to the lead.
Hasegawa gets him to twirl on the slider to retire the side, but Fukushou has one more run to overcome!
Iida pounds outside to Nakaya, freezes him with a fastball inside for strike 3.
Miyazaki jammed inside yet again on a fastball, but squeezes it past Yoshizawa for a base hit.
Yamamoto pressing just looks bad on two swings on two 2-seamers and goes down for the 2nd out.
Nakamura flies out to right and the inning is over.
Takashima with a ball past the feet of Hasegawa for his 1st hit of the day. Yoshinari bunts him along for Shindou who is 2-3 on the day.
Shindou takes a slider outside the other way for a base hit, Yasuda doesn't go home and Jyousou Gakuin takes the 3-0 lead!
Hasegawa retires the next 2 batters, but Fukui Shougyou in a much deeper hole now.
Seki up, draws the walk. Down 3 with 3 innings to go, Yonemaru is having Ooishi-bunt.
Ball up and in as he goes for the bunt and it hits him on the side of the helmet! He's slow to get up as Yonemaru-kantoku goes out to look to him. He's brought back in the dugout as Nakamura goes to run for him.
Yasuda successfully lays down the bunt and now Iida in his first real pinch since the 1st!
Hayashi rightfully patient as Iida knows he has 1st base open, on the 3-1 pitch gambles and fouls off pitch down and in.
Chopper to 1st! Ishii goes home, but Seki slides in safely! Uchida up the 1st base line has to reach back for the tag and it costs him! 3-1 Jyousou Gakuin, still one out and the douten runner on base!
AH! Hasegawa hits a grounder to 2nd! Shindou to 2nd for one, throw to 1st, double play! Hasegawa can't help but express his frustration about killing the opportunity.
Hasegawa gets himself back on track before taking the hill, retires the side in order
#11 Okai to hit for Nakaya, but he grounds out to 3rd. Fukui Shougyou now obviously pressing as Miyazaki goes on the first pitch and grounder to 2nd.
Yamamoto in last ditch effort tries the safety bunt but Arahara's throw just beats him for the 3rd out. 5 pitches, 3 outs.
#18 Mizuma comes in for PH Okai and takes over at 2B.
One down and Takashima singles through the right side.
Going for insurance runs, Sasaki-kantoku goes for the hit-and-run. Yoshinari follows that up with a liner to left center. Takashima takes 3rd, and Yoshinari takes 2nd when the throw goes to 3rd.
Shindou up 3-4 on the day, 1st base open, don't give him anything to..
Hasegawa leaves one over the plate, Shindou drives it to left. Ooishi scrambling back, but it won't do him any good. It goes one bound into the wall. 2 runs score and it's 5-1.
The game completely falls apart for Fukui Shougyou as Hasegawa leaves one more over the plate. This time Uchida will not let anyone get to that one, except for someone about 20 rows up in left center. 7-1 and Hasegawa is pulled for #15 Nakamichi
After a promising K, he walks Yoshizawa, then on a base hit by PH Wada RF Yasuda whiffs on the ball allowing Yoshizawa to score to make it 8-1.
Iida doubles to right center to make it 9-1.
#14 Shioya comes in to hit for Ganryuu.
Shioya hot shot to 3rd, Seki makes a great stop. Sees no play at 1st, goes to try and get Iida at 2nd, throw his his elbow. He gets some itai spray as the inning continues.
Fortunately for them Takashima grounds to 3rd to end the inning.
Wada stays in to play 1B, Shioya stays in at 3B.
Fukui Shougyou emptying bench.
#13 Houshou grounder to 1st, #12 Nakanishi grounder to short.
#14 Oyanagi gets a single through the right side before #16 Nakamura sings on first pitch and grounds to Ishii who flips to Iida for the final out.
That game pretty much as I expected. Fukui Shougyou struggling for offense, Jyousou Gakuin waiting until post-break to unleash on opposition.
The throw to 2nd that hit Iida may be a concern considering he'll be going on back-to-back days. Would have like for him to ice that arm/elbow down with the game firmly in hand in the 9th.
Iida Harumi (Jyousou Gakuin) - CG, ER, 4 H, 8 K, BB, HBP
Shindou Suguru (Jyousou Gakuin) - 4-5, 2B, R, 2 RBI
Uchida Yasuhito (Jyousou Gakuin) - 2-5, HR, R, 2 RBI
Ishii Daiki (Jyousou Gakuin) - 2-4
Hayashi Katsumi (Fukui Shougyou) - 1-3, RBI
Yamamoto Takuma (Fukui Shougyou) - 1-4, 3B