In Hiroshima, it's usually the Kouryou and Jyosuikan show. But for the seconds straight year, neither of them claim the title. Jyosuikan made it all the way to the semifinals before being soundly upset by Hiroshima Shinjyou 7-2.
Kouryou suffered an earlier demise, striking out 14 times, yet only giving up the lead in the 8th inning to Setouchi. That same ace - Yamaoka Daisuke would go on to strike out 11 batters in the semifinals, and then 15 in a 0-0 draw against the aforementioned Hiroshima Shinjyou. Understandably with 1 day rest between the replay, he would only K 6, but that on the surface seems really impressive.
And no wonder. He throws low-mid 140s with a cut ball, slider, curve and change.
His first game at Koushien will not be an easy one. They will have to face a Meitoku Gijyuku squad who is making their 4th straight appearance at Natsu Koushien and who last year reached the semifinals.
Now, that was last year, this is this year. True, but they return quite a few bench players from last year, most notably ace Kishi who last year saw action against Osaka Touin of all teams. What did he do?
2.1 IP, 1 H, 3 K
That's not bad at all. Until you realize he was a FRESHMAN.
Yep, he's a 2nd year now and still has one more opportunity to go to Koushien. Last year he threw in the mid-upper 130s. Still does apparently, and striking out a good number of batters to boot.
Oh... this looks like a good way to end Day 6. Heck, we've almost had good days every day!
2B Kitayoshi Hiroki
CF Yoshimoto Kazuya
LF Okishige Yuuichi
1B Satou ?
C Oomachi Taichi
RF Yamamoto Takeshi
SS Iwaki Shouta
3B Hori Ryuutarou
P Yamaoka Taisuke
Meitoku Gijyuku (Kochi)
CF Yano Masao
2B Hata Hikaru
3B Ituzaki Tomonari
P Kishi Jyunichirou
1B Nishioka Takashige
RF Son Ho Kyun
LF Oonishi Kazumasa
C Baba Yuudai
SS Iwami Takashi
14:10 - First Pitch
Kitayoshi lines ball right to Nishioka! Takes it to bag for out.
Yoshimoto chases an outside fastball for his first K.
And Kishi likes the high fastball. Okishige goes after one and pops out to Iwami to end the inning.
First pitch, 143. Slider in at 129 (that's some aces fastballs!).
He's regularly sitting in the low 140s.
Yano not impressed, turns around 145 high fastball and singles to right.
Mabuchi-kantoku going for the hit-and-run! But it's fouled off. Yano taking a big lead at 1st.
Hata though winds up laying down the bunt.
Hm... Yamaoka having trouble finding the zone, walks Itsuzaki on 4 straight to bring cleanup batter Kishi.
Kishi comebacker to Yamaoka! Cat like reflexes snag the ball! Goes to 2nd for 1 throw to 1st... Satou with the pick for the double play!
One down for Setouchi and Oomachi gets jammed but bloops one into right for a base hit.
Oh? Yamamoto takes the next pitch past a diving Satou and Setouchi is threatening!
But Ogawa-kantoku calls for a bunt from Iwaki - which he executes, but there's 2 down.
Once again, high fastball and Hori can't get on top of it and skies one to Yano in shallow center for the 3rd out
Yamaoka seems to have settled down now. Nishioka goes after a slow slider and grounds to short.
Son chases a hard slider down and in for the 2nd out, and after shaking off Oomachi several times, fires a 144 fastball outside of the zone that Oonishi chases for the out.
Yamaoka patient at the plate, not afraid of taking the walk, which he does.
Top of the order and Kitayoshi, who shows bunt initially but appears to be taken off.
But he's left staring at something after he's punched out on a 139 fastball on the outside corner.
Yoshimoto goes for the sac bunt, but the ball unfortunately dies right in front of home allowing Baba to throw to 2nd for the force.
Okishige with a drive to left center, but Yano is able to run it down for the 3rd out.
Yoshioka says "Anything you can do I can do better", outside corner swinging strike to Baba
But he then leaves a fastball a bit up and Iwami singles past Hori.
Safety bunt! Yamaoka running to the ball up the 1st base line, scoops, runs a bit behind Yano, but makes the toss in time for the out.
And Hata becomes Yamaoka's 4th K victim as he chases a fastball way outside.
Kishi matching Yoshioka on the mound, starts off by having Satou chase a slider away for his 3rd K.
Then on 2-2 count to Oomachi gets him jammed on an inside pitch and rolls one to Nishoka for the 2nd out.
Yamamoto makes contact the other way, but Itsuzaki ranges over makes the stop and makes strong throw to 1st for the 3rd out!
Itsuzaki catches a hanging slider and drives it to center! Yamamoto running back to the fence, back pedals... Makes the catch right in front of the wall for the 1st out.
Outside of that pitch, Yamaoka has been locating a lot better.
Kishi too gets a hold of a slider but also flies out, this time to right.
And boy, he just pulls the rope on a changeup that makes his Nishoka look embarrassing.
Kishi working really fast, throwing the next pitch almost as soon as he gets it back.
Iwaki working the count, takes some close pitches and fills out he count. But Kishi goes inside and all he can do is weakly ground to short.
Oh? Kishi wasn't getting that call earlier, but he is able to punch out Hori on an inside fastball.
And Yamaoka grounds out to 2nd to end the inning.
Son catches a hanging slider and drives it to left! Okishige running back to the wall...
Son breaks the deadlock in a big way with a homerun into the netting in left! Just left one too many sliders over the plate! 1-0 Meitoku!
Yamaoka comes back to get Baba chasing a slider for his 6th K.
Baba with a ball to the left side. Iwaki chases it down, but can't get a good throw as he enters the outfield grass. Infield hit for Baba.
Iwami with the bunt, Yamaoka fields, throw to first, WIDE!
It goes into foul territory as Baba heads to 3rd!
Yamaoka in a pinch here in the 5th as Ogawa-kantoku calls time.
Oh... not good for Yamaoka now as he hits Yano to load the bases for Hata!
SQUEEZE!!!! They go for it on the 2-1 count, but Hata fouls it off!
Drive to left! Okishige coming in, catches it on the run, throws home... but it's up the 1st base line and Oomachi can't get back in time! 2-0 Meitoku Gijyuku!
Mabuchi-kantoku sends Yano to 2nd, but Oomachi with strong throw gets him out to retire the side.
However, a leadoff homerun from Son leads to some trouble for Yamaoka and as a result the first timers are behind 2-0 heading into the break.
Kitayoshi leads off the post break with a single the other way!
Yoshimoto bunts him along for the heart of the lineup.
Okishige grounder to the left side, through! They're waving Kitayoshi home! Oonishi has to throw to cutoff man and the throw home is late! Setouchi gets one back immediately! 2-1!
But bad break for Setouchi! Satou lines back to Kishi who doubles off Okishige to end the inning! They do respond immediately though and get back a run!
Okishige not doing too much with the offering from Yamaoka, poking it the other way for a base hit. He's bunted along for Nishioka and Son.
But Yamaoka hits Nishioka on the foot and that puts 2 on for Son.
This time around, Yamaoka wins. Son chases a slider away for the 2nd out.
Yamaoka successfully regroups, getting Oonishi to case a ball out of the zone for the 3rd out,
Defensive change. #15 Ozaki comes in for Oonishi and goes to RF, Son to LF.
Oomachi with a high popup. Iwami under it, back pedals... dives!!! And makes the catch. Wind blowing out today and almost costs them an out.
Iwaki up, bunt looks to be on... wait off... nope back on again. They'll look for he one timer from Hori.
But Kishi climbs the ladder and Hori obliges with a swing and miss!
Baba with a ball to right! Yamamoto trying to run it down but can't and Baba is in with a double! Iwami moves him to 3rd
Mabuchi-kantoku calls for squeeze, but Yano pops it up! Yamaoka catches it and tosses to first for the inning-ending double play, much to Mabuchi's chagrin.
But Setouchi is running out of innings. Yamaoka gets twisted trying to go on an inside fastball.
Kitayoshi sends one to the outfield, but right to Ozaki for the 2nd out.
And Yoshimoto can do no better than chase the high fastball and groundout to 2nd.
Yamaoka doing what he can on the mound. Quick flyout from Hata to left, Itsuzaki goes after low slider and grounds to 2nd, and Kishi can only look at a fastball on the inside corner for strike 3.
Last chance for Setouchi and their 3-4-5 batters are up.
Ball up first base line from Okishige, but right to Nishoka who goes to 1st for the out.
Satou puts the douten runner on as he singles past a diving Hata.
Oomachi under one! Son and Yano converging on it...
They collide, but Son has it for the 2nd out. Last chance for Setochi with Yamamoto up to bat.
He pops it up! Baba running over to the 1st base dugout... makes the catch and the game is over! Meitoku Gijyuku 2nd year ace Kishi out-duels ace Yamaoka to win 2-1!
It's unfortunate really. Both pitchers had a great game, but there had to be a loser. The boys for Hiroshima aren't caught up in the loss and considering how they played, had nothing to be disappointed about. They just happened to play a really good school the first round and got beat.
Kishi's backed up his performance from last year's Koushien with this game today. He doesn't have the velocity of a dominating ace, but he has shown that his control is good enough to compensate for that. The offense was certainly stymied, but against an ace such as Yamaoka is to be expected.
Kishi Jyuunichirou (Meitoku Gijyuku) - CG, ER, 6 H, 6 K, BB
Son Ho Kyun (Meitoku Gijyuku) - 1-3, HR, R, RBI, 2 K
Baba Yuudai (Meitoku Gijyuku) - 2-3, 2B, R
Yamaoka Taisuke (Setouchi) - CG, 2 ER, 6 H, 9 K, BB, 2 HBP
Yamamoto Takeshi (Setouchi) - 2-4
Okishige Yuuhchi (Setouchi) - 1-4, RBI