Well, I think today's games have been rather exciting/surprising so far. We finish out the day with two schools who are "new" faces to the scene.
Now Iwami Chisuikan is not new. But they are representing their school for the first time since they changed their name from Gonokawa. Their road this year wasn't easy as they had to survive both Kaisei and Risshoudai Shounan.
Now while the offense put up a lot of runs, I think their 2-1 game against Kaisei is probably more indicative of their offensive abilities.
The crowds are out in force to support home Nishiwaki Kougyou. You could call them the cardiac kids of Hyogo. First was a 14-inning affair against Awaji Mihara where they needed 2 runs in the 8th for the tie. Then they gave up a 1-run lead in the 9th to win in 10 over Kakogawa Nishi, and then walked off on both Akashi Shougyou and in the finals Touyoudai Himeji.
They may not be strong in any particular thing, but they appear to have the guts that endear people to Hanamaki Higashi.
Iwami Chisuikan (Shimane)
2B Tanaka Yuuta
RF Sakamaki Shouta
1B Saitou Shouta
SS Nishida Kazuo
LF Satou Seigou (#5)
3B Ootsuka Atsushi (#15)
CF Asaki Takahiro
C Itou Naruto
P Tanabe Ryouta
Nishiwaki Kougyou (Hyogo)
CF Imai Tetsuya
RF Takami Naoki
2B Yamanaka Shunpei
P Oota Katsuki
LF Murakami Kouhei
1B Morishita Ikuya
C Nishizawa Jyun
SS Hieda Taisei
3B Ishii Tomoki (#15)
16:00 - First Pitch!
Yuuta drives the first pitch into left center for a leadoff single! And now Oota is called for a balk! Kitani-kantoku calls for a quick conference.
Uh oh. Sakamaki with a hard ball back up the middle past Yamanaka. No throw home and just like that Iwami Chisuikan is up 1-0!
Now #3 batter Saitou bunting and he pops it up! Nishizawa under it for the 1st out.
Cleanup batter Nishida grounds to Hieda for the 2nd out.
And Suemitsu-kantoku pushed the action too far as Sakamaki goes for 3rd. Nishizawa snaps throws and he's out by a country mile to end the inning.
Well, it could have been worse, but Nishiwaki Kougyou will play from behind.
Imai with a slow bounder up the 3rd base line. Ootsuka charging in, throws... SAFE! Boy that looked awfully close there, but Imai gets the call!
Kitani-kantoku calling for the bunt and Takami lays a beauty to advance the runner.
Yamanaka with a to the right side, Yuuta charging in... boots the ball!! Everyone's safe!! Nishiwaki Kougyou thanks to some fortunate bounces are challenging to tie the game right back!
Oota high chopper! But it says near home! Imai can't advance as Itou Naruto fires to 1st for the 2nd out!
Murakami goes down, slices it the other way.. FAIR!! Fair down the left field line! Imai scores! Yamanaka follows right behind and Nishiwaki strikes right back! It's 2-1 Nishiwaki!
Oh, this isn't good... is playing the visiting team getting to Tanabe? He plunks Morishita and prompts Suemitsu-kantoku to call time.
Tanabe finally ends the inning striking out Nishizawa to end the inning, but not before they relinquish the lead they just got!
Satou striking right back for Iwami! He hits a ball to right center for a base hit! Takami coming in for right can't field it and Satou takes 2nd as Imai backs up the play.
No bunt for Ootsuka, but he pops it up! Yamanaka catches it in the outfield grass for the first out.
Asaki falls victim to climbing the latter and is Oota's first K.
Naruto fighting in his AB versus Oota, but on the 8th pitch swings under the forkball to retire the side!
Hieda continuing Nishiwaki's offense with a blooper up the middle that lands just in front of the outfield grass!
Ishii lays down the bunt, but Tanabe fields it and goes to 2nd for one, relay to first... Double play!
That chance is wiped out and with Imai's groundout to 3rd, so is the side.
Tanabe swings on the first pitch, but softly lines out to Hieda. Yuuta fills up the count, but can only groundout to short.
Sakamaki gets a late strike 3 call when it was certainly hard to tell the locations since Nishizawa was moving a lot. He can only smile as the side is retired.
Takami a bit surprised when 1-2 pitch catches the outside corner for the first out.
Two out for Oota and he singles back up the middle.
Murakami with a booming drive to right, but it's not deep enough as Takami makes the catch for the 3rd out.
Oota's spotting of pitches isn't particularly good, but he's missing in the right places - though he walks Saitou to start the inning. Nishida trying to bunt the runner along, but fails and falls behind 1-2. Manages to fill up the count, but leans over and misses a fastball outside for the 1st out.
Oota doesn't let the walk get to him as Satou flies out to Murakami in foul territory, and Ootsuka grounds out to 2nd to end the inning.
Morishita with another base hit for Nishiwaki back up the middle. Nishizawa lays the bunt down, throws to 2nd... off Nishida's glove as its back to his right! All safe!
Hieda laying down the bunt changes direction and drags it up the 1st base side! Saitou's only play is to 1st.
Iwami worried about the bunt, but Ishii takes an outside the the other way and through the drawn in infield! Morishita scores and it's a 3-1 lead for Nishiwaki now!
Imai grounder to the left side! Nishida quickly runs it down, goes back to 2nd for one, throw to 1st...
SAFE! Imai beats the double play and Nishizawa scores to make it 4-1 Nishiwaki!
Takami grounds to 2ns to end the inning, but the home team is slowly pulling away.
I'm suffering from sleep loss right now, so I'll keep on trying to keep current.
Oota is chugging along relatively smoothly with a 3-run lead. Asaki hits a popup to Hieda. Naruto hits a fairly deep fly, but Takami has it for the 2nd out. And while Tanabe gets a single the best Yuuta can do is fly out to center to end the inning.
Seems to be either on or off for ace Tanabe. This inning it's his first clean 1-2-3 inning needing just 7 pitches to retire the heart of the Nishiwaki lineup, all on routine grounders.
So we head to the break with Nishiwaki holding a 4-1 edge and home field advantage.
Saitou hard comebacker to Oota, but he knocks it down and throws to 1st for the out.
Saitou works the count full, and doesn't bite on the forkball and earns a walk, his 2nd of the game.
Against Nishida, Oota doesn't miss and records his 2nd straight K on Nishida with a fastball that catches the bottom of the strike zone.
Satou keeps the inning going pulling a ball through the gap at short for a base hit. Mini chance for Iwami Chisuikan!
Ootsuka line shot to left... but right at Murakami for the 3rd out! Unlucky there for Iwami!
Tanabe settling down now trying to keep his team in it. Nishiwaki batters not making solid contact anymore as Morishita, Nishizawa and Hieda don't get the ball out of the infield.
#17 Adachi comes in the game for Morishita and takes over at 1B
Oota meanwhile continues to flummox the Shimane champions. His favorite hobby? Climbing the ladder on opposing pitchers. Asaki and Naruto become strikeout victims 6 and 7, while Tanabe swings on the first pitch and grounds to 1st. Side retired.
Ishii with a ball to the left isde, Nishida with the great stop and throw to get Ishii for the first out!
2 down, and Takami finally gets Nishiwaki's first hit in 3 innings with a ball through the right half of the infield!
Kitami not wasting any time with the opportunity! Takami takes off for 2nd and Naruto's throw is late!
Now it's the hit-and-run! Yamanaka grounds one to the right side! Nishida cuts in front of Satou, goes to 1st, and beats a head-sliding Yamanaka for the 3rd out.
Small delay as Yamanaka has some cramps after that play.
Yuuta with a foul fly to the right side. Adachi coming in, reaches back at the last minute and makes the catch!
Sakamaki making Adachi work with a slow bounder that he takes himself for the 2nd out.
Saitou up, and this time he gets on the old-fashioned way, he got a base hit back up the middle right where Oota vacated. But he's be stranded there when Nishida rolls another grounds ball to short to end the inning.
One down, Nishiwaki gets his 2nd hit off of the day on a grounder to the left side. He'd aggressively take 2nd, but got no throw. He'd be stranded there after Nishizawa popped out to Yuuya.
Defensive change for Nishiwaki as #14 Usui replaces Yamanaka at 2B.
Satou up, but he can't get on base, flying out to center.
Ootsuka does get on base with a single through the left side! #13 Matsushima hits for Asaki, and he hits a hard ball to 3rd! Ishii in front of it, but can't cleanly field it. All safe!
#17 Seto to hit for Naruto and perhaps drive in a run.
But he hits a fly to center! Imai catches it and there's 2 out!
The crowd really up and cheering with the home team one out away.
Tanabe up to try and keep his team alive. Fouls off a couple and falls behind...
Tanabe takes a big looping swing, but misses and the game is over! Another first timer team in Nishiwaki Kougyou advances into the next round!
It seems odd how this game turned out, mostly because you could tell what Nishiwaki Kougyou's strategy against Iwami Chisuikan was. I don't know if this was they way they won the Hyogo super-regionals, but Oota didn't miss over the plate with his low pitches and Iwami Chisuikan just chased the high pitch over the plate.
Iwami Chisuikan was also somewhat unfortunate in the game, with a ball just fair down the 1st base line scoring 2 in the 1st, and then a slightly errant throw on a bunt in the 4th led to the other 2 runs. But the inability to adjust to Nishiwaki's strategy ultimately led to their downfall.
Oota Katsuki (Nishiwaki Kougyou) - CG, ER, 8 H, 8 K, 2 BB
Murakami Kouhei (Nishiwaki Kougyou) - 2-4, 2B, 2 RBI
Ishii Tomoki (Nishiwaki Kougyou) - 1-3, RBI
Satou Seigou (Iwami Chisuikan) - 2-4, 2B
Sakamaki Shouta (Iwami Chisuikan) - 1-4, RBI