Thursday, March 27, 2014

86th Senbatsu - Day 6 - Game 3 - Komadai Tomakomai (Hokkaido) vs. Riseisha (Osaka)

The final game today will determine who will face Fukuchiyama in the Best 8.

Riseisha's game against Koyamadai can be pretty much thrown out.  When at Koushien, you are 2 outs away from a no-hitter, combined with the fact that their offense jumping on Itou early (though a lot of that was his own doing) - it's really hard to actually parse anything from this game.  And ace Mizota wasn't really tested on his control as Koyamadai just swung away.

The problem is, when a team is supposed to win, or wins in dominant fashion it's a damned if you do, damned if you don't proposition.  Riseisha was supposed to beat Koyamadai, so you just shrug your shoulders and say "well, they were supposed to do that".

For Komadai Tomakomai's game I had picked Souseikan because I thought Hokkaido as a whole was weaker than normal.  The caveat was that for Souseikan, their runs were scored on stats that were not inflated like they should have been.  So when Souseikan was 3-hit, in some ways it wasn't surprising given the prior results.  But Komadai's offense was for the most part muted with walks and errors aiding their run production, and thus could be a problem in this upcoming game.

Komadai Tomakomai (Hokkaido)
CF Itou Yuuki
1B Sakai Ryuusuke
2B Yasuda Daisuke
LF Wakamatsu Daichi
RF Kamaya Taiki
3B Suzuki Shouya
C Niiyama Keita
SS Tamaru Yuusuke
P Nakamura Masato (#10)

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


14:27 - First Pitch!

Top 1st
Mizota tries to get a slow curve by Yuuki, but Yuuki counters with a ball just out of the reach of Tsuji for a leadoff hit.  Sakai showing bunt, takes 2 pitches and falls behind 0-2.  Still, he manages to bunt the runner along.

Yasuda patient with Mizota gets ahead 2-0 before taking 2 hacks at the ball.  His third try pops the ball out to center.  2 down.

Wakamatsu is jammed, but his looper is just over the leaping Yoshida!  Yuuki rounding 3rd and he'll score as the throw in goes to 2nd! Komadai takes the 1-0 lead!

It's a hit and run, but Kamaya grounds out to short to end the inning.  Still, they fire the opening shot in the battle!

Bottom 1st
Not the best of starts.  Nakamura gives up a leadoff walk on 4 straight to Inoue.  His pitches are all up.  And his first pitch to Tsuji almost takes his head off.  Tsuji does eventually lay down the bunt.

Once again, Nakamura is high on his first pitch to Yoshida.  But, he does get him to swing under a slider and pop out back to Nakamura.  He appears to get out of the inning when Nakayama hits a ball to Suzuki, but he can't get a hold of the ball for some reason and everyone's safe.

Nakamura cannot continue to find the zone.  He walks Nishimura on 4 straight to load the bases.

Hatta does down and drives the slider to left!  That'll score a pair!  Inoue and Nakayama score to give Riseisha the 2-1 lead!

And it just gets worse!  Kinuta singles back up the middle, Tamari makes the stop, but can't flip the ball to 2nd in time!  Manrui for Riseisha again as Sasaki-kantoku calls time.

Tateishi cues a ball off the bat, Yasuda ranges over, makes the grab, goes to first... and gets the 3rd out.  However, Nakayama's struggles give back the lead he was given.

Top 2nd
Suzuki gets ahead 3-1, but watches strike 2... and strike 3 down the middle.

Hm... what's this?  Now it's Mizota who's having trouble locating a bit here, falling behind 2-0 to Niiyama. He hits a ball back up the middle, Inoue tracks it down, tries to glove toss to Yoshida for the relay, but can't quite make it work.  Base hit for Komadai as Sasaki-kantoku has Tamaru bunt.

But Nakamura will not get an AB (nor return to the mound for that matter) as #18 Yamaya comes in to try and drive in the douten run.

Yamaya isn't seeing anything good from Mizota and gets ahead 3-0 before a change goes over for a strike.  He tries to go to the well again, but walks the PH.

Mizota continues to miss with his pitches, falling behind Yuuki 3-0!  And he walks the bases loaded!

Sakai with a chance to tie the game, but before that Okada-kantoku calls time.


Sakai goes after the first pitch and grounds out to 2nd!  WHY?  WHY SWING ON THE FIRST PITCH??

Bottom 2nd
Ace Kikuchi enters the game for Komadai Tomakomai to hold the deficit at1.

Kikuchi retires his first 2 batters easy enough, but winds up offering a free pass to Tsuji.  Doesn't matter as Yoshida skies a ball.  Kikuchi, Sakai converge, but it's Yasuda who winds up with the ball.

Top 3rd
Mizota's struggles continue as he hits Wakamatsu on a full count.

And now Sasaki-kantoku sends Wakamatsu to 2nd!  Hatta double clutches and his throw is just late - fortunate for Komadai Tomakomai.

Kamaya with a hard grounder into the gap on the left side!  Yoshida ranges over to get it, but is only able to block it as it deflects to his right.  Infield base hit for Kamaya.

Suzuki with a hot shot to 3rd, Tsuji blocks it, but it sneaks away from him too!  Throws to 1st... not in time!!  Wakamatsu scores and we're tied at 2-2!!

Niiyama with a drive to left!  Nakayama running back, still running back... It's over his head!  Both runners come in to score easily on Niiyama's double and Komadai takes a 4-2 lead!

Tamaru can't continue the hitting, but does at least move the runner to 3rd with a grounder to the right side.

Kikuchi gets some extra instructions before entering the box.  #10 Nagatani warms up in the bullpen.

And he takes a swing on the high fastball and singles to center!  Niiyama scores to make it 5-1.

Yuuki with a blast out of nowhere!  Nakayama has to run back again, and that falls in at the base of the wall!  Kikuchi scores and the throw to 3rd is a tad short and deflects high in the air.  We're at 6-1, and Mizota is pulled for #10 Nagatani.

Sakai strikes out to end the inning, but this inning they send out the bats and knock ace Mizota out of the game.

Bottom 3rd
Control seems to be missing in places as Kikuchi on his first pitch throws the curve and hits Nakayama on the head. Not too serious though, but Yoshida comes in as an injury runner.

That's strange, after Kikuchi gets Nishimura out, he's replaced by last game's starter #15 Itou Hiromi!  Wonder why...

And Hatta hits a shot to 1st that Sakai can't quite handle.  He scrambles into foul territory, but his toss back to 1st finds no one because Hiromi and Yasuda are late to the bag!  Riseisha with a small chance here to chip away.

But both Kinuta and Tateishi fly out to end the inning.

Top 4th
Nagatani can throw gas, hitting 145 at times with his fastball.  Yasuda flies out to center, though that's an adventure for Tateishi as he has to backpedal to make the catch.

Now Nagatani is just daring the batters to try and hit the fastball.  He hits 147 as Wakamatsu can't keep up.  Kamaya makes contact, but it's a ball to center that this time Tateishi fields better.

Bottom 4th
Nagatani does everything big apparently, booming a ball off the padding in left center for a leadoff double.

Then against Inoue, after getting ahead, he winds up walking him, putting runners at 1st and 2nd for Tsuji.  Okada-kantoku has them moved over for Yoshida.

Meanwhile, Hiromi seems to be struggling just a bit with his control.

Yoshida hits a ball to left, Wakamatsu has to back up a bit, and makes the catch.  But Nagatani doesn't take off!  He probably could have scored since Wakamatsu was on his heels, but he instead chooses to hold up!

And he's left stranded at 3rd!  Nakayama pops out to 2nd and Riseisha gets nothing!

Top 5th
Nagantani is throwing the token offspeed pitch, but he's not changing what's working.  Blows the fastball by not 1, not 2, but all 3 batters!

Bottom 5th
Riseisha's ouen-dan with the deep blue background and the yellow "R".

Nishimura has to take the defensive swing, chops one to 3rd where Suzuki has to make the quick throw to get Nishimura out.

Hatta gets jammed, but Tamaru gets all turned around by the wind and the ball falls in for a double!  More problems for Komadai as Kinuta lays down the safety bunt, but when Sakai fields it, Hiromi gets in the way of Sakai being able to toss the ball to 1st for the out!  Everyone's safe and once again Riseisha threatens!

Tateishi gives the gift right back!  He pops the first pitch up and Niiyama makes the catch near the back screen for the 2nd out!  But that still leaves Nagatani who had a double in his first AB.

But Hiromi goes after him! First pitch strike inside, followed by 3 straight sliders.  Count at 2-2.

SANSHIN!!!  Hiromi goes inside with the fastball again and Nagatani can't get the bat around!  Riseisha again is denied any runs as we head to the break.

Top 6th
Hiromi with a grounder to short, and Yoshida boots the ball.  His throw to 1st is too late and Komadai has a leadoff runner.

Yuuki, for all the good hitting, can't lay down the bunt and almost pops out twice.  He does lay down the bunt, and it's a hard one at that, but Nagatani elects to go to 1st.

Sakai takes an ill-advised swing on a fastball at his eyeballs and he pops out to Tsuji.

Yasuda with a high fly to left, Nakayama backs up, but doesn't get turned around and makes the catch to end the inning.

Bottom 6th
Mixed results for Hiromi.  Full count to Inoue, gets him to hit a chopper to 3rd.  Full count to Tsuji, winds up walking him.

Yoshida doesn't wait for the full count, he goes down and drives a ball to right center and off the wall for a double!  Runners on 2nd and 3rd with Nakayama up to bat.  Sasaki-kantoku calls for time.

Drive to left!  Wakamatsu sprinting back... sprinting back... makes the leaping catch!  Tsuji can walk home and the throw in goes off the cutoff man, Yoshida can also advance!  6-3 Komadai!

Nishimura with a single through the left side!  Yoshida scores and we have a ballgame now at 6-4!!

Riseisha's batter teeing off!  Hatta drive to right center, that takes a hop to the wall and another double means another run and Riseisha is within 1!  It's 6-5!

It's not that Hiromi is missing with his pitches, it's just that I think he thinks he's not getting the calls on the edges and as a result leaving them on the fat part of the plate.

Hiromi finally ends the inning as Kinuta flies out to left, but Komadai is in serious trouble despite holding onto the lead.

Top 7th
Hiromi is probably smarting after seeing Wakamatsu getting called out on the outside fastball wondering "Where's my call?".

Nagatani continues to fire the number 1 up there, but this time Kamaya wins drawing the walk.

Suzuki makes contact with the fastball, but can only pop it up to right.  2 down and Hatta has a quick word with Nagatani.

Kamaya takes off for 2nd and Hatta's throw isn't in time.  Now a base hit might score a run.

If anyone could get a base hit.  Niiyama can't catch up to the 145 fastball and the side is retired.

Bottom 7th
Sasaki-kantoku might want to think about another reliever as Hiromi walks Tateishi to start the inning.  Nagatani tries to lay down the bunt, but Sakai crashes in, throws to 2nd and gets the lead runner.  Throw to 1st, and Nagatani beats it out!

Inoue follows that with a ball back up the middle, but Tamaru fields it near the bag at 2nd!  He has to double back to get the force and his throw to 1st is just a little late.

And now it's a hit-and-run!  Ball back up the middle, Tamaru makes the snag, and barely (and I mean barely) beats Inoue to the bag for the 3rd out.

One bulled dodged.

Top 8th
Komadai continues to be hitless against Nagatani.  He's not throwing 140 anymore, but the batters still can't figure him out.

2 down for Yuuki, and he delivers his teams' first hit with a clean single to right!  And now he steals second!  If someone can get a hit, they can get an insurance run.

If being the operative word.  Sakai makes contact, but flies out to center.

Bottom 8th
Yoshida drive to right!  Kamaya going back, he's turned around, makes a desperate leap...


That ball goes into the top of his webbing and he holds onto it as he hits the wall! That's 2 game saving catches by the outfield!!

I lost connectivity, but it appears that Nakayama got on base due to an error by Tamaru.  He's replaced by #16 PR Furutani.


Niiyama makes a snap throw to 1st and Furutani is caught too far out!  He's picked off and there's 2 outs!

Nishimura flies out to left and Kondai somehow holds on again for another inning!

Top 9th
Nagatani has held up his part of the bargain, yielding just 1 hit in his 6.1 innings of work.  Yasuda manages to make contact and fly out to left.

Which is more than what Wakamatsu and Kamaya can say as both go down swinging.

Bottom 9th
Komadai continues to give Riseisha chances!  Hatta routine grounder to 3rd, but Suzuki bobbles it not once, but twice and the error gives them the douten runner.

And now a bunt from Kinuta and Hiromi in his desperate attempt to field it knocks it back towards home leaving them with no play!  Sasaki-kantoku quickly calls time, but surely they're out of luck this time around.

Niiyama tries the snap throw to 2nd, but Tamaru has to stretch to keep it from going to center and thus can't get the tag.

Tateishi tries to lay down the bunt, but his 2nd attempts fails and it's 2-2 now...  Slider outside... no good.  Full count.

And time probably has run out.  Tateishi with a ball down the line to the wall!  Hatta scores, and Kinuta barely makes it to 3rd under the tag.  But it's 6-6 with no outs and the sayonara runner on 3rd.  They elect to walk Nagatani for the force at home.

First ball, Niiyama smothers.  Fastball outside, 2-0.  All the pressure is on Hiromi as he gets a strike across.

Inoue chopper back up middle!  Hiromi tips it with his glove, goes home for one, and Niiyama makes the dangerous throw to 3rd with Tateishi already sliding in.

1 out, Tsuji up.  Takes 3 hacks, fouls all 3 off but they're solid.  Hiromi tries to entice a swing, but no good.

Drive to left!  Wakamatsu back up, makes the catch!  Hatta heads home, throw in... off Tamaru's feet, and there will be no relay home!  サヨナラ!!  Riseisha finally comes through in the 9th to win 7-6!

Komadai seemed to have luck on their side in the 7th and 8th innings as they somehow kept Riseisha off the board despite the runners they had on base.  But sadly they couldn't get home before the clock struck 12, and the magic wore off.  Great job to Komadai Tomakomai for jumping out to a big lead, but also for Riseisha for coming back and applying pressure inning after inning.  There will be questions regarding Sasaki-kantoku's decision regarding the bullpen, but without more data, it would be hard to see what he was thinking.  But their run here in the spring is over.

Our first quarterfinal is now set - it's an all-Kinki matchup between Fukuchiyama Seibi and Riseisha.  They did not play each other in the Kinki super-regionals, and they'll be playing on 2 full days rest.

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