It'll be I think more of the same here as Tottori Jyouhoku and Kumamoto Kougyou do battle under the blazing sun.
Both teams won their prefecutral tournaments without much trouble with the exception of one game, and both teams did not really mercy rule their opponents. Given their prefecture of origin I think it probably hurts Tottori Jyouhoku more, but that will be seen on the field.
Tottori Jyouhoku (Tottori)
CF Tanaka Ryouta
SS Hirayama Takuma
2B Abe Narito
1B Moriguchi Tomoki
C Torikai Rikito
3B Yamada Souta
RF Noma Kyou (not in original roster)
P Uehara Takuma
LF Koyama Tomoki
Kumamoto Kougyou (Kumamoto)
1B Sakai Shun
CF Yamamoto Rikiya
2B Nishiyama Takato
3B Kudou Seiya
LF Takaki Eiji
SS Horita Takafumi
RF Matsushita Ryoumu
P Yamashita Kouta
C Honda Masahiro
10:44 - First Pitch!
Tanaka starts off the game with a ball the opposite way into left. And while the bunt defense looks a little shaky, they get Hirayama out at 1st.
Yamashita is an average pitcher at best with a fastball that just ticks over 130 and a slider in the mid 110s, along with a curve and changeup supposedly.
Abe figts off acouple, but winds up chopping one to short. Tanaka advances to 3rd. That brings up Moriguchi.
But Yamashita induces a grounder to short and the inning is over.
Sakai announces Kumamoto Kougyou's appearance with a ball to deep left center! Tanaka chases it, but it lands at the base of the wall for a double!
Yamamoto with the bunt, Uehara quickly fields it, throws to 3rd... and Yamada can't hold onto the low throw... all safe! It's called an E5, but I wonder if it's an E1 or no E at all... Either way now Kumamoto Kougyou has a big threat early!
But Nishiyama can't capitalize! He pops up to Abe just outside the infield dirt for the first out.
Kudou though delivers! He rips one through to left and Kumamoto Kougyou takes the quick 1-0 lead!
Uehara also looks like another "ace" on the mound. Low-mid 130s fastball, and ah....
A slider in the mid 110s that just hit Takaki to load the bases for Horita.
Hayashi-kantoku calls for the squeeze and Horita just reaches out to foul it off! But now he's behind 1-2 and has to swing away.
Grounder to short! Hirayama goes to Abe for one, toss to Moriguchi... beats a diving Horita for the inning ending double play! Uehara gets out of the jam with just 1 run against him - he should feel fortunate.
Torikai thinks he has ball 4, but Yamashita paints the inside corner for strike 3. Yamada, not wanting to be caught looking silly watching a pitch, instead looks silly chasing a ball outside for another K.
Noma (who isn't on the rosters I found online), must be a good addition - at least to start - lining a single to center.
But Tottori Jyouhoku's batters can't seem to pull the trigger as Uehara watches a fastball go by for yet another K. 3 K's for Yamashita this inning, and his control looks very good to start this game.
Uehara is also featuring a curve in the low 100s and a sinker in the 110s. He can't seem to locate any of them as he walks Matsushita to start the 2nd.
Yamashita shows bunt late and successfully lays it down up the 3rd base side. Runner in scoring position for last batter Honda.
Uehara struggling with control still, hits Honda to turn over the lineup. Meanwhile, the Kumamoto Kougyou ouen-dan is playing a song I hear from Narashino... Not as good, but ah... soothes the soul.
Back to the game, and Sakai hits another gapper to left center for yet another double. This time it scores Matsushita...
And knocks Uehara out of the game. Or at least to right. #10 Fukuiwa comes in for RF Noma to take the hill while Uehara shifts to RF.
Fukuiwa doesn't throw hard either (high 120s), but his 3/4 delivery for way on the first base side sweeps across and gets Yamamoto to chase for the 2nd out.
And Nishiyama hits a grounder up the 1st base line that Sakai smothers and takes to the bag for the 3rd out. But Kumamoto Kougyou hangs another run up on the board.
Well, Tottori Jyouhoku trying to size up Yamashita just can't. 9-1-2 go in order, all with weak groundouts.
Fukuiwa just hung a fastball right in the middle of the zone and cleanup batter Kudou blasts it out to left for a no-doubter. 3-0 Kumamoto Kougyou. Guess it may not be close after all.
Takaki follow up with a single back up the middle and it's got to be red alert time for Tottori Jyouhoku (if it wasn't earlier).
Bunt back to Fukuiwa, throws to 2nd, but it's high and into center. Everyone's safe. Now Matsushita's bunt puts both runners in scoring position for Yamashita.
But Yamashita hits it right back to Fukuiwa who has Takaki out of position at 3rd. He's run down and we reset the runners with 2 outs for Honda.
And while you do walk the runner with 1st base open, in this case it was probably unwarranted as now Sakai steps in again. Another double and the lead may be doubled. Worse part is there's nowhere to put him.
But Fukuiwa finally retires Sakai! He hits a grounder to 2nd and the inning is over with just the HR.
One down for Tottori and Moriguchi hits a ball back up the middle. Nishiyama tries the leaping throw back to 1st, but it pulls Sakai off the bag.
However, Torikai proceeds to ground into a tailor-made 4-6-3 double play and the inning is quickly over.
Yamamoto gets his first hit with a ball back up the middle. Nishiyama bunts him along for cleanup batter Kudou.
Fukuiwa wants nothing to do with Kudou and walks him to bring up Takaki. He puts a charge into one, but Tanaka is able to run it down in deep left center for the 2nd out. Yamamoto advances to 3rd.
Fukuiwa, though with still some difficulty, finally puts a bagel on the board as Horita hits a comebacker to end the inning.
Still, they trail by 3 and they need the bats to get going.
One down, and Fukuiwa hits a comebacker off of Yamashita's foot and into center for a base hit. He's fine and will continue.
For the 2nd straight inning though, Tottori Jyouhoku grounds into a DP. This time Uehara goes back to Yamashita who starts the 1-6-3 DP to end the inning.
It's a tough slog for Fukuiwa and Tottori Jyouhoku. He manages to put another 0 on the board, and is helped out a bit because despite 2 batters going full on him, he also gets first pitch outs.
Well, we're at the break and it's been all Kumamoto Kougyou. Tottori Jyohoku will need to adjust to Yamashita somehow, or else it'll be futility until the end.
Tomoki trying to help the team in any way possible, but is punched out by home plate umpire Doi on a ball inside. The top of the order rolls over after that on 2 straight pitches and the side is quickly retired.
Changes for Tottori Jyouhoku. #9 Takada comes in for Tomoki and takes over in LF.
And Fukuiwa just cannot get a clean inning, though to be fair it was Kudou who hit a laser to right center for a double. Otherwise, the Kumamoto batters chased balls at the edges of the zone and were easily retired.
The game is really humming along in terms of speed - which isn't good for Tottori Jyouhoku as they're down to their final 3 innings.
But Tottori Jyouhoku's batters are just not making hard contact - just weak contact. Torikai debunks that, but its a 2-out single past a scampering Kudou into left.
After a conference call from Hayashi-kantoku, Yamada puts one past Horita for a base hit! Still, there's 2 outs and RP Fukuiwa is at bat.
He's got a good eye and good discipline as he works the count full after falling behind.
Ball the opposite way up the 3rd base line... Fair!! It's past a diving Kudou and into left! Torikai comes in to score on the single and Tottori Jyouhoku is one the board at 3-1!
Looking to build on that, #14 Mankin comes in to hit for Uehara as Fukuiwa is doing a good job in relief. But Yamashita gets him to grounds out to 2nd to end the inning!
Fukuiwa keeping the team in it on both sides of the ball, knocks a run off the deficit.
#13 Miura comes in for PH Mankin and takes over in RF.
Horita with a ball to deep right center, Tanaka running it down makes a great leaping catch for the first out. Fukuiwa sets himself up for a 1-2-3 innning... but that's spoiled when Yamashita collects his first hit back up the middle past Hirayama. That's compounded when Honda is hit for the 2nd time today, flipping the lineup back to Sakai...
But Sakai decides to swing at a slow curve and flies out to right to end the inning. Yet another donut put up on the board as Tottori Jyouhoku tries to mount a late game rally.
Considering how they hit last inning, this inning may be key to see if they have figured out Yamashita.
Takada up for his first AB is a bit behind, as he hits a fly ball to center for out #1.
But Tanaka does have Yamashita's number now! He lines one to left center that splits the defense! He's rounding 2nd, going for 3rd... throw in... SAFE!! He slides around the tag and is in with a triple!
Hirayama with a ball up the 3rd base line! THAT'S FAIR down the line!! Tanaka scores and Hirayama is being sent to 3rd... he slides in safely!! 3-2 and the douten run is 90 feet away!!
The momentum built for Tottori Jyouhoku evaporates on 1 pitch as Yamagi-kantoku calls for the squeeze, the pitch goes wide, and Hirayama is run down for the 2nd out.
Abe is called for strike 3 for offering a bunt and while Tottori Jyouhoku got one run, they could have had more...
The momentum seems to be shifting to Kumamoto Kougyou finally when Nishiyama doubles past Yamada down the 3rd base line.
But Fukuiwa bears down yet again, strikes out Kudou looking after a 6 pitch AB. And then gets Takaki to fly out to center to end the inning!
Despite the bad decision making in the 8th, Tottori Jyouhoku still has 3 outs to go.
Moriguchi gets things off on the right foot with a liner to right for a base hit! Yamagi immediately sacrifices the out for 90 feet.
That brings up Yamada. Hayashi-kantoku makes a defensive change, putting #13 Kiyomizu in for Takaki in LF.
Liner to 1st, caught by Sakai! Goes to 2nd, but Horita is late in covering! All Moriguchi can do is stay at 2nd though as the glue for Tottori, Fukuiwa, steps in.
And with one strike, another change. #14 Iwashita comes in for Sakai to play 1B.
Fukuiwa down to his final strike...
Grounder to short! Horita up with the ball, goes to 1st... game set!
Tottori Jyouhoku fights late, but it's not enough as Kumamoto Kougyou prevails 3-2!
Sadly, this game shows the parts of kokoyakyu I don't like. The bunt is used too excessively, and the squeeze bunt is not a surprise, but expected. You just had back-to-back triples, there's only 1 down, and instead of putting the faith in your hitters to continue, you call a squeeze that the opposition is expecting.
It fails, you lose by 1, and yet questions may not be raised because it's "expected".
Kumamoto Kougyou kept Tottori Jyouhoku in the game, and if not for the *ahem*boneheaded*ahem* decision to try the squeeze, the game may still be going.
But, this is kokoyakyu, take the bad along with the good, and Kumamoto Kougyou will advance to the next round. Fukuiwa has nothing to cry about - he like Sakatani kept his team in the game. It's just that he couldn't complete the comeback.
Yamashita Kouta (Kumamoto Kougyou) - CG, 2 ER, 10 H, 5 K
Kudou Seiya (Kumamoto Kougyou) - 3-4, 2B, HR, R, 2 RBI, BB
Sakai Shun (Kumamoto Kougyou) - 2-5, 2 2B
Fukuiwa Kiriya(?) (Tottori Jyouhoku) - 7.2 IP, ER, 7 H, 2 K, 2 BB, HBP
Fukuiwa Kiriya(?) (Tottori Jyouhoku) - 2-3, RBI
Tanaka Ryouta (Tottori Jyouhoku) - 2-4, 3B, R