Friday, March 28, 2014

86th Senbatsu - Day 7 - Game 1 - Ikeda (Tokushima) vs. Toyokawa (Aichi)

Well, start the final day of the first full week of action with what on paper looks like a complete mismatch.

Ikeda had been stymied by 21st century Kainan for the first part of the game.  But in the final 2 innings their spot starter Kanzaki, who was pressed into service a week ago when their ace injured their hand, was extended beyond his limits and could not close out the game.  A pair of runs in the 8th and 9th meant that Ikeda was able to advance to the 2nd round.

Toyokawa had a blockbuster 1st round matchup that in an ideal world should have been a semifinal or final matchup.  And for the first timers, ace Tanaka Sora went toe to to with Nihon Bunri, and found a counter punch whenever Nihon Bunri scored.  They staved off elimination twice before winning in 13 innings.

With all that said, if Ikeda's offense struggled against relief starter Kanzaki, it will be even worse against Tanaka Sora.  God speed to you Ikeda, you may be heading home after this.

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

Toyokawa (Aichi)
3B Nakamura Kazuya
CF Sugiura Kenta
C Himi Taisuke
SS Takakuwa Heishirou
1B Satou Ren (#16)
RF Takeichi Keishi
LF Yamada Daichi
P Tanaka Sora
2B Shima Kairi

09:03 - First Pitch!

Top 1st
Two well located balls and Satou behind 0-2.  Satou the fighter, fouls off a couple of pitches.  But Tanaka pulls out the splitter and that's his first K.

Takai with a drive to right!  Takeichi running back to the foul pole, and it's foul!

And now Tanaka with the slider away gets his 2nd K.

Miyake avoids 3 straight Ks, but grounds the first pitch back to Tanaka for the 3rd out.

Bottom 1st
Already problems for Ikeda as Jyoutoku slips on the grass fielding Nakamura's popup and it falls in for a base hit.  Sugiuchi bunts him along.

Hm... Nanishi early getting a lot of towering popups.  Himi hits such a ball and Okamoto catches it near the Toyokawa dugout for the 2nd out.

More problems for Jyoutoku.  He's shielded somewhat by the runner Nakamura, but he can't field the grounder by Takakuwa and Toyokawa is already threatening.

He's bailed out when Ren grounds a ball to 3rd.  Okamoto throws to 1st, and Kimura makes a good pick off the bounce for the 3rd out.

Top 2nd
Tanaka playing it unexpectedly safe against Okamoto, winds up issuing the leadoff walk.  Kimura follows with obligatory bunt.

Kita makes decent contact, or so I though until Yamada has to come in quite a bit to make the catch.

Hosoda with a ball to deep center, Sugiura ranging to his left, stretches out... and makes the catch!  That saves a run for Toyokawa!

Bottom 2nd
Toyokawa still struggling to find solid contact against Nanishi.  Takeishi grounds to 1st, and while Yamada hits a flyball to left, Hosoda is there for the catch.

But Nanishi can't get the clean inning after he walks Tanaka on 4 straight.

Shima follows that up with a crisp liner to left and Toyokawa has something brewing here.

I guess I spoke too soon about Nanishi.  Nakamura with a drive to right center.  That goes all the way to the wall and both runners will come in to score.  It's a 2 RBI triple and Toyokawa opens the scoring at 2-0. That brings a timeout from Okada-kantoku.

But Sugiura connects on a ball and send that down the left field side for a double to make it 3-0.  Himi with a single scores Sugiura and just like that it's 4-0.  Takakuwa flies to center to end the inning, but as expected Toyokawa jumps on Ikeda.

Top 3rd
Nanishi catches a break when his comebacker is deflected by Tanaka to the left side, forcing Takakuwa to go back to field it.  That allows Nanishi to reach base.

Jyoutoku tries to bunt the runner over, but pushes both attempts foul.

But before that, Nanishi is caught sleeping at 1st, and is way too late in getting back to the bag.  1 out.

Which becomes a shame because Jyoutoku draws a walk.

And then is caught off 1st too!  Boy Jyoutoku looked bad there too.

Throw in a groundout by Masahiro and that's a definitive case of getting in your own way.

Bottom 3rd
Nanishi gets his first K of the game when Ren waves on the forkball.

2 down, and Nanishi's defense is completely failing him.  Yamada with a grounder up the middle, Jyoutoku gets there, but can't make the clean grab.  E6 and the inning continues.

Tanaka singles to right on the first pitch and could they be putting in for another big inning?

It almost looks like Shima hits the ball off the ground!  He flies out to left though and at least for now, the deficit stays at 4.

Top 4th
Ikeda making some good contact on the ball, but can't find the holes.  Takai booms one to center, but Sugiura is already back there to wait for it.

Miyake has to defend the plate on the full count, and unfortunately keeps one in play for Yamada to catch near the fence in foul territory.

Shima finishes off the inning charging a grounder from Okamoto.  He takes a couple extra steps, but crossfires back to 1st for the out.

Bottom 4th
Nakamura with his 3rd hit of the day, with a base hit to center.  He then takes off for and successfully steals 2nd!  Down 1-2 though Sugiura goes down swinging.

Nanishi retires the next 2 batters in order and he's settled down since the 2nd hoping to keep his team in it.

Top 5th
Kita gets Ikeda's second hit, a liner back up the middle that whizzes by Tanaka's glove.

Okada-kantoku tries to put on the hit-and-run, but Hosoda hits it right to Shima.  He gives it to Takakuwa who finishes the double play to end the inning.

Bottom 5th
Ren continues to struggle against Nanishi as he strikes out for the 2nd straight AB.  Takeichi also remains hitless after he skies a ball to Jyoutoku behind the bag at 2nd.

And it's Nanishi's first lean inning as Yamada pops out to Miyake near the his own on deck circle and we hit the break.  Toyokawa up as expected, but outside of the 2nd inning, Nanishi has held his own.

Top 6th
One down for Ikeda, Jyoutoku with a chopper back up the middle.  Tanaka tips it with his glove and as a result deadens the ball preventing Takakuwa from making a play on it.

Masahiro goes down on the slider for Tanaka's 5th K.

It looks like Ikeda might leave a runner stranded again, but Takai with a solid single to the left side keeps the inning going.

Well, for one more pitch anyways.  Miyake goes after the first pitch and flies to left.  Yamada secures it and there goes another chance.

Bottom 6th
Well, Nanishi has continued to stop the Toyokawa offense.  He strikeout of Shima is bookended with two groundouts, so and he has his 2nd clean inning.

Top 7th
Sadly Ikeda continues to be unable to do anything on offense as they are retired in order.

Bottom 7th
Sugiura with a ball into the gap for a leadoff double.  That's the first big hit since the 2nd.

2 batters later, it's Takakuwa with a ball to right center!  That's down for a double, but Sugiura holds up late at 3rd!  Miyake starts the rundown, and although there's a slight hiccup they get the out.

#3 Itou hits for Ren, but fares no better in the spot grounding out to 3rd.

Top 8th
Itou stays in the game at 1B.

One down #11 Hayashi comes in to hit for Nanishi, and promptly puts a ball down the right field line for a double!  And then steals 3rd!

Jyoutoku absent of a base hit, chops the ball to short.  Takakuwa has only one play and Ikeda avoids the shutout. 4-1 now the margin.

#14 Oonishi hits for Masahiro, but he hits a grounder back to Tanaka to end the inning.

Bottom 8th
#10 Watanabe comes in for PH Oonishi and takes the mound.  #13 Tomikawa comes in for PH Hayashi and takes over in CF.

There's a lot of balls going off the pitchers as Takeichi has one go off the glove of Watanabe.  Once again it deflects to the left side and SS Jyoutoku has no chances as he has to backtrack to the ball. Tanaka advances him another 90 feet with a deep fly to center.

Shima though flies out to shallow left, but his team is just 3 outs away from advancing.

Top 9th
Takai tries to get the offense started, but he's way in front of a slider and flies out to right.  Miyake gets a green light on a 3-0 count, but he grounds one back to Tanaka.  And Okamoto ends the game with a flyout to center.

Toyokawa not as dominating offensively as I was expecting, with most of their hits coming in that 2nd inning.  Tanaka was pretty much on his game from the get go and never let Ikeda get back in the game.  He gave up the shutout, but nothing else.

Ikeda can at least say that after a long time away they still won a game.  But it'll take some work for Okada-kantoku to bring the school back to their olden days.

Toyokawa meanwhile moves on in their first go at Koushien.  They do look like a contender, but the offense is bit of a concern.

Side note: Imai-kantoku had played against the Yamabiko Ikeda teams of old and lost.  So this is said to be his revenge as a manager.  Sort of.

Notable Players
Tanaka Sora (Toyokawa) - CG, ER, 5 H, 7 K, 2 BB
Sugiura Kenta (Toyokawa) - 2-3, 2 2B, R
Nakamura Kazuya (Toyokawa) - 12-4, 3B, R, 2 RBI
Nanishi Yuuto (Ikeda) - 7 IP, 4 ER, 9 H, 4 K, BB
Hayashi Ryouhei (Ikeda) - 1-1, 2B, R
Nanishi Yuuto (Ikeda) - 1-2

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