Monday, March 31, 2014

86th Senbatsu - Day 10 - Quarterfinal 1 - Fukuchiyama Seibi (Kyoto) vs. Riseisha (Osaka)

Our opening match on quarterfinal day is a regional affair.  And yet, Fukuchiyama Seibi and Riseisha did not play each other in the super-regionals.

Fukuchiyama Seibi has not been challenged at all so far just putting pressure on their opponents right off the bat and cruising from then to victory.  I would be interested so see what would happen should they be involved in a tighter game as these easy wins can get someone complacent. Ishihara hasn't been dominant per se, but he has been useful enough to allow his team a chance to win - and that can be good enough.

Riseisha won with brute force in their last game.  Down 6-2, they relieved Mizota and sent in #10 Nagatani.  He did almost nothing but present a mid 140 fastball to the Komadai hitters and dared them to hit it.

They didn't.

And that allowed Riseisha to claw their way back in against spot starter long reliever Itou Harumi who had starter their first game.  And having gone through 2 pitchers already, I'm not sure they had anyone left - although they did have relievers in name on the bench.

I don't think brute force will work, so the pitching needs to figure itself out soon, because it will be a matter of when it all comes crashing down on themselves...

Fukuchiyama Seibi (Kyoto)
SS Nishida Tomonori
RF Kimura Noritsugu
C Sano Yuusuke
3B Maeda Ryouta
1B Nishimoto Masaki
LF Fujita Taisei
2B Oomura Ryou (#12)
CF Kimura Soutarou
P Ishihara Takeji

Riseisha (Osaka)
2B Inoue Kazuya
3B Tsuji Motomasa
SS Yoshida Yuuki
LF Nakayama Shouta
RF Nishimura Takahiro
C Hatta Natsu
1B Kinuta Shouta (#14)
CF Tateishi Satoshi
P Mizota Yuuto


08:33 - First Pitch!

Top 1st
First pitch, Nishida pops it right up.  Yoshida behind 2nd makes the catch.

Hm... Mizota falling behind Noritsugu 3-1.  Has his location struggles continued to today?

Well, Noritsugu attacking after that, fouling a couple off before flinching on the fastball down the middle for the 2nd out.

He does seem to be having issues, but has been throwing mainly fastballs though we finally see a slider to Sano.  Still, he gets a hold of another fastball but flies out to right.

Bottom 1st
Ishihara having his own issues early, falling behind Inoue 3-0 before finally walking him 2 pitches later.  Now, Ishihara appears to be barely missing low, which is really fine because there's other places you could miss that could be much worse.

Tsuji bunts him over to 2nd for Yoshida.

Yoshida blasts one to center!  Soutarou drifting back, now running!!  He leaps at the wall, but the ball bounces off of the top of the padding! It's bounces off of Soutarou before he can pick it up, but Yoshida's in with a stand up RBI triple!  Riseisha leads 1-0!

Nakayama up to try and add to the lead with any type of deep ball or base hit.

But Ishihara pulls out the changeup and gets Nakayama swinging for the 2nd out.

Ishihara throwing more offspeed stuff to Nishimura, but he's having trouble locating them, eventually walking him.  Control seems to be a slight issue on both fronts.

Hatta though goes after the first pitch and softly pops to to Oomura for the 3rd out, but Riseisha has the first strike!

Top 2nd
Grounder to 2nd for Inoue, he has a bit of a time securing it, but throws to 1st, AH!

He throws it high and wide!  Kinuta tries to make the swipe tag, but Maeda is already by!  E4 puts douten runner on.  Nishimoto lays down the bunt, and Mizota almost throws it away himself, but Kinuta saves it with the stretch.

The pitching gremlins come out again versus Fujita and Mizota walks him on 4 straight.

Oomura with the liner up the middle, but Yoshida catches it behind 2nd and beats Maeda back to the bag for the double play!  Almost nothing you can do about that, but it's bad luck for Seibi.

Bottom 2nd
Kinuta gives Riseisha another leadoff runner with a single back up the middle.  Tateishi bunts him over.

There's quickly 2 outs when Mizota flies out to center.

But then Ishihara can't find the zone again and walks Inoue for the 2nd time!

That's compounded when Tsuji singles to right, leaving it manrui for Yoshida.


Yoshida blasts yet another ball to center!  Soutarou having to sprint back again, leaps, but can't make the catch!  That'll clear the bases as he is in with another triple!  It's 4-0 Riseisha and Yoshida has all 4 RBIs!!

Nakayama wants to get in on the act and singles to right, scoring Yoshida to make it 5-0.

That's 4 hits in a row now after Nishimura singles to center!  #10 Adachi is scrambled to the bullpen, but it's way too late now.

Hatta sharp liner, but right to Maeda for the 3rd out.  Ishihara clearly in trouble as Rieseisha takes a commanding lead!

Top 3rd
Soutarou grounder to the left side, Yoshida slides over and makes the stop!  But his momentum affects his throw and Soutarou beats it out!

What's this?  Mizota wants to make it hard on himself?  He walks last batter Ishihara to put two runners on with no outs?

Nishida liner to right side, caught by Inoue!  Ishihara was running on contact and is doubled off!  It wasn't a hit and run, but Ishihara should have known better than to run immediately on a liner.

Noritsugu flies out to center and that's the inning.  Looks like it's going to be one of those games.

Bottom 3rd
Ishihara is not on at all as he walks Kinuta on 4 straight.  I'd ask if there were other options beside Ishihara, but I'm not sure any of them are actually viable.

Tateishi tries to bunt him along, but bunts himself into a K.

The misplays continue as Sano's throw to 1st is wide can't be handled by Nishimoto and it goes into right, advancing Kinuta.

2 down, and Inoue finally puts a ball in play, hitting a deep fly to right that Noritsugu has plenty of time to get to to make the catch.

Top 4th
Maeda gets a 1-out single to right.  After Nishimoto goes down on 3 straight, Fujita gives Seibi a small chance when his grounder up the middle takes an irregular hop over a diving Yoshida.

Mizota gives himself some trouble falling behind Oomura 3-1, but he comes back to full up the count and Kimura gets under a pitch and flies out to right for the 3rd out.

Bottom 4th
Ishihara finally retires Yoshida.  He only hits a flyball to deep right center that Noritsugu has time to get under.

But because of that Ishihara hashist 1st clean 1-2-3 inning of the game.

Top 5th
Seibi's batter are either missing Mizota's pitches just under or they have huge uppercut swings.  I say this because outside of Ishihara's grounder (and he's probably a pitcher's batter), Soutarou and Nishida hit very high pop flies.

Bottom 5th
Nishimura gives Riseisha their 4th leadoff runner with a hit to center.  He's bunted over to 2nd, and then a great foul catch from Noritsugu allows him to advance to 3rd.

Ishihara gets out of the mini pinch with a flyout to right, but as we hit the break, it seems to be all Riseisha today.

Top 6th
Nortsugu goes down looking for the 2nd time today, this time on a changeup inside.

Sano with a ball up the middle, Inoue successfully reaches the ball, but can't field it cleanly.  Base hit for Sano.

That's wiped out. Maeda grounds into the 4-6-3 double play to retire the side.

Bottom 6th
Ishihara gets 2 quick outs, but ruins it when he walks Tsuji.  It proceeds to get worse as Yoshida singles to right.

...and then Nakayama singles to center, scoring a run to make it 6-0.  Nishimura grounds to 2nd to end the inning.

Top 7th
Despite the lead, Riseisha not playing a clean game.  After Nishimura makes a great diving catch on a dying ball from Fujita into right center, Yoshida shorthops the throw to 1st on a Oomura grounder.

Tsuji makes up for it a bit when he makes a good stop on a ball up the 3rd base line from Soutarou and the strong throw to 1st retires the side.

Bottom 7th
After this half inning, I think many would wonder where was this pitching the entire game.  He strikes out 2, and then gets a groundout from Tateishi to end the inning.

Top 8th
Ishihara's day is done as #14 Tadokoro comes in to hit for him.

And delivers a gapper to right center!  He's in with a double!  #17 Horie comes in to run for him.

Nishida pops out up to left.  Nakayama coming in, but the ball drops in!  Horie advances to 3rd, but Seibi can prevent the shutout.

Now #18 Nakajima comes in to hit for Noritsugu.  Anything to get the offense going now.

Ball deep to right!  Nishimura goes to the foul pole.... FOUL!!!  Oh, that was close.

Single back up the middle!  Horie scores and Seibi is on the board at 6-1!

That's going to be it for Mizota.  #10 Nagatani comes into the game with that heater mentality.

Sano challenges it immediately, but grounds to 3rd.  Tsuji chooses to go to 2nd for the out.

Maeda works the count full, taking some borderline pitches, but he pops it up!  Tsuji in foul territory makes the catch for the 2nd out.

And Nishimoto hits a grounder to 2nd, AHHHH!!

Inoue whiffs on the ball and it goes to the outfield!  Nishida scores on the error and it's 6-2!  Still a bit of a ways to go though.

Nagatani continues to challenge with the fastball, and Fujita falls behind 1-2...

SANSHIN!  Nagatani climbs the ladder on Fujita and ends the inning.  Seibi gets a pair of runs, but it's not nearly enough at this point.

Bottom 8th
Nakajima stays in to play LF, Fujita goes to RF.  and #10 Adachi comes in to pitch in the #9 spot.

And Adachi pitches a clean 1-2-3 inning in relief with no hiccups.

Top 9th
#13 Kanaoka comes in for Nakayama to take over in LF.

Last ups for Seibi, and they're taking their hacks.  Oomura chases the outside fastball.  Soutarou for some reason can't pull the trigger on the fastball and goes down for the 2nd out.

#13 Umeno the last chance for Seibi as he hits for Adachi.

But he goes down on 3 straight and that's the game.

Fukuchiyama Seibi just didn't feel competitive the entire game.  Yes, they were unlucky as well, but some things might have been preventable as well.   There will be plenty of things to shore up for the summer campaign.

As for Riseisha, their hitting continues to... well, continue.  It was muted a bit later on, but they still gave themselves opportunities.    In addition, the errors didn't hurt them today, but that won't necessarily be the case going forward.

The bigger question will be ace Mizota.  He seems to be getting less and less consistent on the mound, and I'm not sure how much they can ride reliever Nagatani. That will remain to be seen in the upcoming days.

Notable Players
Mizota Yuuto (Riseisha) - 7+ IP, 2 ER, 7 H, 3 K, 2 BB
Nagatani Nobuaki (Riseisha) - 2 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 4 K, 0 BB
Yoshida Yuuki (Riseisha) - 3-4, 2 3B, 4 RBI
Nakayama Shouta (Riseisha) - 2-4, 2 RBI
Ishihara Takeji (Fukuchiyama Seibi) - 7 IP, 6 ER, 9 H, 5 K, 5 BB
Tokoro Koutarou (Fukuchiyama Seibi) - 1-1, 2B
Nakajima Ryousuke (Fukuchiyama Seibi) - 1-1, RBI

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