Tuesday, March 25, 2014

86th Senbatsu - Day 5 - Game 2 - Imabari Nishi (Ehime) vs. Kiryuu Dai-ichi (Gunma)

The final quadrant appears to be rather weak in half of it as the second matchup gives a feeling much like the first game.

Both Imabari Nishi and Kiryuu Dai-ichi's offenses are rather weak, dependent on base hits, and in Kiryuu Dai-ichi's case whatever few they can get.

As for the pitching, Imabari's Jinno you might just play craps to determine if he's going to be good or not while Kiryuu Dai-ichi's Yamada will keep his defense busy just about every AB.

It's not going to be a pretty game I don't think.  It'll either be very boring, or very interesting and probably nothing else in between.

Imabari Nishi (Ehime)
SS Tagashira Kanji
2B Wakasa Daichi
C Ochi Tatsuki
1B Akigawa Yuushi
P Jinno Yasuhiro
RF Sugino Kouta (#8)
LF Nishihara Kento (#17)
CF Yoshihara Yuunosuke (#16)
3B Sugiuchi Kouki

Kiryuu Dai-ichi (Gunma)
LF Yoshida Ryuuto
2B Ishii Shouta
RF Yanagiya Sansuke
P Yamada Tomoki
C Onoda Toki
1B Hayamizu Takanari
CF Kubo Shunsuke
3B Kubota Shinji
SS Takahashi Shoukei


11:31 - First Pitch!

Top 1st
Well, Imabari Nishi is swinging away relatively early in counts.  Tagashira hits a liner to right, but Yanagiya is there for the catch.  After that though, 2 routine outs and it's a good start for Yamada.

Bottom 1st
Yoshida meanwhile has success right off the bat, hitting a single to left center.  He's bunted over to 2nd, and moved to 3rd on a grounder.

Jinno just 1 out away from getting out of the jam, but he leaves a slider over the plate and Yamada sends it to left center for a base hit, scoring Yoshida and giving Kiryuu Dai-ichi the 1-0 lead!

Yamada though for some reason takes off too early and is run down for the 3rd out.

Top 2nd
Still nothing new for Imabari Nishi as they continue to go early on counts producing few results.  Akigawa and Jinno with easy flyouts, while Sugino strikes out swinging on the slider.

Bottom 2nd
Once again Kiryuu leads off with a base hit as Onoda lines a ball to right.  Once again, Fukuda-kantoku calls for the bunt, and Hayamizu obliges.

Kubo quickly cashes in the run!  He drives the first pitch to deep left center and Yoshihara has no chance!  Onoda scores to make it 2-0.  Oono-kanoku calls time.

But Oono can't help Jinno stop the bleeding.  Kubota with a grounder through the left side, though Kubo has to hold at 3rd.

Not for long though as after Takahashi gets hit in the head by a pitch, Yoshida grounds to short.  Tagashira's only play is to 1st and Kubo scores to make it 3-0.

Ishii adds in a liner to center for good measure to round out the scoring at 4-0 as Yanagiya flies to right to end the inning.

Top 3rd
Small delay as Takahashi was still being tended to, but he comes out to continue the game.

Yamada continues to frustrate the Imabari batters.  After Nishihara strikes out on the outside fastball, Oono-kantoku actually pinch-hits #7 Nishimoto for Yoshihara before he even gets an AB!

Sadly, Nishimoto can't do any better, skying the ball in front of home for Yamada to catch.

Sugiuchi swings and stumbles, but it doesn't matter as he flies out to right to end the inning.

Bottom 3rd
Nishimoto goes to his numbered position, and so does Sugino.  Nishihara goes to to RF.

But Kiryuu continues to lay the metal on the ball.  Yamada lines a ball deep to right, but Nishihara thankfully is playing back to field it.

Onoda though collects his 2nd hit with a smash through the left side past Sugiuchi.

With 2 down, and for the 2nd time in 3 innings(!), Onoda takes off too early and is picked off 1-6 for the 3rd out.  What's up with that?

Top 4th
Imabari Nishi finally catches a break when Yamada misses inside on a full count pitch.  Seeing as though it's their first opportunity, Wakasa bunts him over to 2nd.

Tagashira takes it on his own to take off for 3rd!  Throw from Onoda not nearly in time and Imabari Nishi can get on the board with any decent fly ball to the outfield.

Instead he pops out to Ishii.  And Yamada gets Akiyama out on front of a slider, and it results in a weak grounder to 2nd.

Bottom 4th
Kubo draws a full count walk and is immediately bunted over.

Takahashi exacts revenge as he takes the ball the other way on Jinno! Sugino misjudges the ball's speed and has to chase it back to the wall, giving Takahashi an RBI triple, and making it 5-0.

I just realized that Kiryuu's ouen-dan was playing Ama-chan. I think.

Despite another run sitting on 3rd, neither Yoshida or Ishii can drive him in, still it's a fairly comfortable lead given the circumstances.

Top 5th
Jinno with a ball back up the middle... just outside of the diving glove of Takahashi and Imabari Nishi has their first hit!

But after a Mizuno flyout to center, Yamada induces the 6-4-3 double play from Nishihara to end the inning.

Bottom 5th
No clean inning for Jinno.  Yamada lines a single past Wakasa into center.

Interestingly, Oono-kantoku as Yamada (who's 2-2 so far), bunt the runner along.  Ochi goes out to talk with Jinno.

Hayamizu pops up the first pitch!  Ochi running back towards the 3rd base side... Makes the catch as we hear the thud of him colliding with the plastic window!

So thankfully no runs for Imabari Nishi, but it's clear they're in a lot of trouble.

Top 6th
One down and Sugiuchi hits a liner to right center.  Kubo tries to charge in and track it down, but he's just a little late.  Manages to catch it on the hop as he dives, limiting it to a single.

However, the next 2 batters can only get groundball outs, and so Imabari Nishi remains scoreless.

Bottom 6th
Hey!  Jinno finally bets his first clean inning as he retires the bottom of the Kiryuu lineup in order!  Yay for moral victories!

Top 7th
Unfortunately, that's about all they're getting because the offense has produced just 3 baserunners.  3 flyball outs from the heart of the lineup, and at this point you need to at least try and play to prevent the shutout.

Bottom 7th
Sugiuchi robs Yoshida of a base hit, as playing way in, he makes the diving stop and throw for the out.

Ishii gets hit flush in the back, prompting a quick visit from Ochi.

Yanagiya checks in with his first hit, sending the hanging fastball into the opposite field gap for a double.

Jinno finally clamps it down, with Yamada hitting a shallow fly unable to score Ishii from 3rd, and Onoda actually goes down swinging on the slider for the 3rd out.

Top 8th
Sugino with a drive to center... Kubo sprinting back... leaps and stretches out... lands and tumbles, but makes the catch!  Sugino is probably wondering if his team can just catch a break...

#10 Kadota comes in to hit for Nishihara, but can't fare any better, and neither can Nishimoto...

Bottom 8th
Kadota says in at 1B.  Akigawa goes to CF and Sugino goes to RF.

Hayamizu finally checks in with a base hit, a liner over Sugiuchi for a single.  With that, every batter has a base hit.  He's rewarded by being replaced by #17 Onaga on the basepaths.  Kubo bunts him to 2nd.

Once again Jinno shuts down the last 2 batters and for his part, has kept Kiryuu Dai-ichi scoreless over the last 4 innings.

Top 9th
Onaga stays in at LF, Yoshida goes to CF, and Kubo goes to 1B.

Sugiuchi with a blooper to center, Yoshida charging in can't make it and it's a base hit!  Sugiuchi taking off for 2nd, and Yoshida has no throw because no one is covering the bag!  Heads up there from the last batter.

He gets advanced to 3rd on a groundout by Tagashira, and they have their best chance at preventing the shutout.

But Wakasa goes down swinging, so it'll be up to Ochi.

Hot shot to 1st, Kubota with the stop, but flubs on the ball!   He tries to go back to it, but in the hurry misses again! That means that Sugiuchi can score preventing the shutout.  5-1.

Akigawa pops out to short, and that ends the game.  Sadly this game felt like the first, with the Shikoku champs struggling in all phases of the game.  I was surprised to see how Kiryuu was so solid in their base hitting early jumping out to the 5-0 lead.  It did stall later, but should give them some confidence going into the next game against Hiroshima Shinjyou.

With Imabari Nishi's loss, only 3rd/4th place Meitoku Gijyuku remains for Shikoku...

Notable Players
Yamada Tomoki (Kiryuu Dai-ichi) - CG, SHO, 3 H, 3 K, BB
Onoda Toki (Kiryuu Dai-ichi) - 2-3, R
Yamada Tomoki (Kiryuu Dai-ichi) - 2-4, RBI
Kubo Shunsuke (Kiryuu Dai-ichi) - 1-3, 2B, 2 R, BB
Jinno Yasuhiro (Imabari Nishi) - 8 IP, 5 ER, 11 H, 4 K, BB, 2 HBP
Sugiuchi Kouki (Imabari Nishi) - 2-3, 2B, R
Jinno Yasuhiro (Imabari Nishi) - 1-3

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