Saturday, March 22, 2014

86th Senbatsu - Day 2 - Game 2 - Kainan (Wakayama) vs. Ikeda (Tokushima)

It's a regional matchup for our sandwich game as Ikeda returns after a long respite to face the wild-card 21st century squad of Kainan.

As mentioned before, Ikeda this time around is not like the team of old as their offense is quite the opposite.  It'll help that they face a 21st century school, though I guess to an extent Kainan could easily say the same for Ikeda...

Kainan (Wakayama)
2B Fukuda Riki
SS Akiyama Yuutarou
RF Sakaguchi Kazama
C Yasu Kensuke
LF Takeda Kazuma
CF Oota Kei
1B Hayashi Katsuaki
P Kanzaki Ryouhei (#10)
3B Ikeshita Yuutarou

Ikeda (Tokushima)
CF Satou Masahiro
2B Takai Katsuya
C Miyake Shun
3B Okamoto Masaya
1B Kimura Shun
RF Kita Masashi
LF Hosoda Konan
P Nanishi Yuuto
SS Jyoutoku Yoshiki


11:33 - First Pitch!

Top 1st
Kainan in their forest green unis quickly get Nanishi going as Fukuda and Akiyama go out on 3 pitches total.  Sakaguchi is much more patient as draws the walk.

So is #4 batter Yasu, and Morimoto-kantoku sends Sakaguchi on the 2-2 pitch.  He gets a free pass as the ball is buried and Miyake has no throw.

However, Yasu grounds to short and Jyoutoku makes the play at 1st to end the inning.

Bottom 1st
Kanzaki gets the start, and quickly makes work of Satou and Takai.  But like his counterpart, Miyake works the count full and he gets on base thanks to a hard hit that Fukuda can't quite smother.

But Kanzaki gets himself in more trouble as he walks Okamoto on 4 straight.  Not quite the start you're looking for.

However, despite going 3-1 on Kimura, he gets him to chase a fastball inside and hits a comebacker to Kanzaki to end the inning.

Top 2nd
Nanishi doesn't throw very hard, low 130s.

Takeda with a drive to left, Hosoda running back to the left field foul pole... Makes the catch as he meets the wall!  Nice play from the Ikeda LF!

Nanishi lives on the bottom of the strike zone apparently leading to very close pitches - and deep counts.

Oota gets the count full, but succumbs to the biting slider.  In addition to that (high 110s) he has the slow curve in the 90s.

Hayashi just so happens to go after a ball up and in, and grounds it back up the middle.  Nanishi lets his defense take care of it as Takai charges in and makes the throw to 1st to retire the side.

Bottom 2nd
That's quick.  Ikeda isn't the Yamabiko of old, but they're swinging like it.  Kita and Hosoda on the first pitch quickly retire themselves.

And Nanishi winds up watching the slider go over for strike 3 and it's a quick inning from Kanzaki.

Top 3rd
He turns around and steps in for his first AB.  Kainan has some good different ouen music. Kainan has a small section in white with the green K.

Kanzaki delivers their first hit, taking the outside offering left up by Nanishi into center.  Ikeshita showing bunt pushes the first one foul.  He pops another one foul and now has to swing away.

Or so I thought.  He shows bunt as Nanishi delivers and lays it down.

Ama-chan!  It's not a bad rendition either.

Back to the top of the lineup and Fukuda gives the ball a ride, but right to Satou... 2 down.

Akiyama grounds to short and that ends Kainan's small chance here in the 3rd.

Bottom 3rd
Kanzaki throws slower than average (mid-uppper 120s) with a slider in the 110s and slow curve in the 90s with so-so control.

Jyoutoku with a ball up the 3rd base line, Ikeshita with a good stop and throw for the out.  A pitch later Satou goes down and lifts a slider to Takeda.

And Akiyama makes a great running grab on a Takai grounder up the middle and finishes the throw to 1st to retire the side!

Top 4th
Sakaguchi just a little ahead and under a fastball and he flies out to right.  Yasu rolls over a ball to short, Jyoutoku makes the hard throw to just beat Yasu.

Takeda goes down and lines a fastball left up to left center.   He goes for 2 on the short ball!  The throw is offline and he's in with a double!

Oota with a hard hit at Okamoto!  He blocks it, picks it up and fires to 1st for the 3rd out!

Bottom 4th
Miyake connects on a slow curve, but is just ahead of it and lazily flies out to center.

Ikeshita is playing in it would seem and Okamoto's grounder is no problem for him for the 2nd out.

And Kimura flies out to center for another clean frame from the relief starter.

Top 5th
If it seems like I'm just reporting the outs, it's because I am.  Neither pitching is particularly wowing me with their effort on the mound, and the batters don't seem to be able to drive the ball deep either, so we're prolly working with singles for the most part.

Also, it looks like we have an umpire who will check for the check swings instead of calling it himself (which is nice sometimes).

Meanwhile, Nanishi misses just enough to walk Hayashi to lead off the inning.  Kanzaki lays down the bunt, and Nanishi almost throws it too high for Kimura to field.

Ikeshita looking for the safety bunt might have had it had it not gone foul.  Nanishi going to the outside corner time and time again forces Ikeshita to defend that bit.  Fastball down and outside though fills up the count.

And it's ball 4!  Hayashi takes off for 3rd??!!  Miyake fires to 3rd and easily gets Hayashi for the 2nd out!

Morimoto-kantoku will not lift off the gas though as he has Ikeshita steal 2nd!  The ball is in the dirt and there's no throw.  Though, stealing 2nd is much different than stealing 3rd...

Fukuda walks anyway, so the SB it kinda moot.

Akiyama jammed, but the ball goes into center!  Satou has no chance at it as Ikeshita is waved around!  Satou drops the ball and Ikeshita easily scores to make it 1-0 Kainan!

Okada-kantoku calls time to settle down his team.

Sakaguchi with a shot right at Takai!  He somehow makes the pick and goes to 1st to retire the side!  Don't know how he did it, but Nanishi is glad he did!

Bottom 5th
Timing Kanzaki's fastball leaves Kita ahead of Kanzaki's slider as he grounds to 2nd.  Hosoda is jammed on the first pitch and pops out to Akiyama in shallow left, while a pitch later Nanishi his a soft fly to Sakaguchi to end the inning and send us to the break!

And perhaps not surprisingly neither team can make a whole lot of offense as the teams combined have 4 hits and the run by Kainan was thanks to 2 prior walks.  The pitching isn't all that impressive either, but it's doing the job for the most part.

Top 6th
Yasu drives a ball to deep right, but it hangs up and allows Kita to run it down.

But Nanishi puts a runner on base as he hits Takeda.  Oota lays down the bunt, and Nanishi panics when the ball doesn't roll foul!  He shovels it to 1st, but puts nothing on it!  Everyone's safe as the ball slowly bounces to Kimura!

Chance for Kainan to add on, but it quickly disappears when Hayashi reaches out and hits a slow grounder back to Nanishi!  He turns the 1-6-3 double play to end the inning!

Bottom 6th
It's the Akiyama show it appears this inning.  Jyoutoku with a ball to the gap in the left side, Akiyama runs it down, stops spins and makes the strong throw to 1st for the out!

Then Satou tests him to his left with a ball up the middle.  Akiyama says, "No problem" as he runs it down near 2nd and makes another great throw to 1st.

Ikeshita gets in on the act as Takai his a bounding grounder to him.  He makes the strong throw across the mound for the 3rd out.

Top 7th
Meanwhile Kainan goes back to struggling at the plate.  Kanzaki with a grounder to 2nd, and Ikeshita swinging and missing on the slider.

Of course I say that and Fukuda singles to left center.  And then steals 2nd on the very first pitch!

Akiyama does it again!  He bloops a ball into shallow center again!  Fukuda breaking for home as the throw is way up the 3rd base line! It's 2-0 Kainan!!

Morimoto-kantoku going for it all as Akiyama takes off for 2nd now!  Miyake drops the ball and there's no throw!

Things go from bad to worse when Nanishi walks Sakaguchi on 4 straight prompting a mound visit from Okada-kantoku.

And Yasu connects with a ball outside, pulling and dropping it down the left field line!  Hosoda charging in goes to 3rd and Akiyama scores to make it 3-0 Kainan!

Takeda flies out to left, but Ikeda is in a world of trouble.

Bottom 7th
Ikeda finally get their first runner since the 1st as Miyake draws the walk.  Morimoto-kantoku calls time.

Okamoto attcks a slow curve from Kanzaki and chops one to 3rd!  Ikeshita, playing in, makes the tricky grab and wheels the 5-4-3 double play!  Tough break for Ikeda!

Kimra flies out to right and can Kainan get a victory as the 21st century team?

Top 8th
Nanishi might be on his last legs as #10 Watanabe warms up in the bullpen. Still, despite a 3-1 count he induces a groundout from Oota.

Despite losing a couple kph on the fastball, Nanishi retires the next 2 batters in order and keeps the deficit at 3.

Bottom 8th
Ikeda's ouen-dan in full voice as the team faces elimination with just 6 outs to give.

Finally some life!  Kita takes the hanging fastball to right center for a double!  Okada-kantoku wastes no time, sending in #12 Fujita to run for Kita, and #11 Hayashi to hit for Hosoda.

But Hayashi is in to bunt?  You're down 3!  He fouls off the first attempt.

And now we know why!!  He puts down a great bunt down the 3rd base side and flies down the line!  Ikeshita's throw not nearly in time!

Morimoto-kantoku calling time, sending ace number Okamoto out, broken hand and all (that's why Kanzaki is starting!).

But Nanishi has none of it!  He bloops one of his own to right scoring Fujita and making it a 3-1 game!  And still nobody out!

Kanzaki laboring, falling behind Jyoutoku 2-1, and after a strike buries one to fall behind 3-1!!

Ball 4!  His pitch is high and it's manrui for the top of the lineup!  Another timeout by Morimoto-kantoku as I don't think Kainan will go to the bench!

Ikeda does as #14 Oonishi hits for Satou.  But Oonishi never swings the bat as Kanzaki puts 3 pitches in the zone to strike out Oonishi!  1 down!

Takai first pitch hits one to the left side..  it gets by both Ikeshita and Akiyama as Hayashi scores to make it a 3-2 ballgame!!  Oh, Kanzaki looks to be in a world of trouble!

Miyake with a ball back up the middle!! Akiyama with a spectacular diving stop by the bag at 2nd!  He tags the bag, throws to 1st... DOUBLE PLAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Akiyama the lifesaver yet again turning the double play to end the inning and hold the lead for Kainan!!

Top 9th
Fujita stays in the game to play RF, Hayashi to play LF, and #13 Tomiyama comes in for PF Oonishi to take over in CF.

Emboldened by the turn of events, Nanaishi turns it up a notch.  He quickly retires both Ikeshita and Fukuda, and when Akiyama proves stubborn at the plate, he freezes him with the slider to retire the side!!

Bottom 9th
Now, can Kanzaki hold on here in the 9th?

Okamoto immediately putting pressure as he lines a ball to right for a leadoff single!

Grounder to short by Kimura and AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Akiyama, who had been dependable the entire game is a little too quick on the fielding in anticipation of the DP and picks up the glove too early letting the ball sneak under!!  All safe!!

Oh, things are turning bad for them now.

Fujita with the bunt!  Kanzaki quick to the ball, but he rushes his throw knowing Fujita's speed and overthrows the bag!  Sakaguchi backs it up, but it's manrui with no out!  Has Kainan got nothing left?

Hayashi with the ball back up the middle!  Akiyama playing in can't handle the hop and it bounces into center!  Okamoto scores!  Kimura comes around... he scores!!!  サヨナラ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh, how heartbreaking for Kainan having dominated Ikeda for 7 innings, Kanzaki just runs out of gas, and Akiyama who had carried the team can't make the final play when called to...

Ikeda puts together the hits necessary in the end when it mattered to come back from down 3-0 to win 4-3 and advance to the next round...

This game I think I'll let breathe...


Ok, I can't.  Kanzaki had done so well for 7 innings but was asked to go the full 9 and just ran out of gas.  With Okamoto hurt, only Takeda supposedly remained in relief.  But it was obvious that Kanzaki would have to finish it, and he just couldn't.  You have to feel bad for him...

Notable Players
Nanishi Yuuto (Ikeda) - CG, 3 ER, 7 H, 4 K, 5 BB, HBP
Hayashi Ryouhei (Ikeda) - 2-2, R, GW 2 RBI
Kita Masashi (Ikeda) - 1-3, 2B, R
Kanzaki Ryouhei (Kainan) - 8+ IP, 2 ER, 7 H, 2 K, 2 BB
Akiyama Yuuarou (Kainan) - 2-5, R, 2 RBI
Fukuda Riki (Kainan) - 1-4, R, SB, BB

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