Game 2 will be a bit hard to judge. Okinawa Shougaku only got by Houtoku Gakuen 1-0, but in reality they were never challenged all game. So when they did get their first run they could just cruise to the victory. However, it will be very difficult to implement that strategy as they progress. The offensive problems have appeared here early, and now is a full red flag to their championship prospects.
Much like Riseisha, Hakuoudai Ashikaga had a game that could only highlight negatives on their team. They did defeat Touryou as expected 9-1, and every starter got a base hit, though certainly it was the top half that did the most damage. So since they did what they supposed to, you can't really use it for any judgements going forward.
But if pressed, I think Okinawa Shougaku has more to prove in this game.
Hakuoudai Ashikaga (Tochigi)
CF Shuutou Takahito
2B Nakajima Kenjyu
LF Ooshita Seiichirou
1B Naoi Shuuta
3B Onodera Yuuya
C Ogawa Masaki
SS Shimokado Hikaru
P Higa Araki
RF Oogawa Yoshihiro
Okinawa Shougaku (Okinawa)
CF Akamine Ken
2B Kubo Shuuto
LF Nishihira Daiki
3B Asato Takeru
1B Uehara Kouta
SS Sunagawa Osamu
C Irabu Shouta
P Yamashiro Daichi
2B Nakamura Masaki (#13)
11:20 - First Pitch!
Shuutou lining a fastball back up the middle, Yamashiro thankfully doesn't successfully block it with his leg. Nakajima bunts him along.
Yamashiro though hitting his spots early, putting Ooshita behind 0-2. But he gets a hold of a slider and send it back up the middle! Nakamura can't get to it and it goes into center! Shuutou getting the wave around, and Akamine's throw home isn't in time! Hakuou leads 1-0!
Trying to limit the damage, he doesn't miss with the slider and Naoi swings and misses for the 2nd out. Onodera follows right after with a popout to Asato. But some solid hits back up the middle might be trouble for Yamashiro.
Akamine with a quick swing hits a liner to left, but Ooshita has time to move to his right and make the catch.
However, Higa leaves a slider over the plate and Kubo singles to center. Then they get careful with Nishihira as he falls behind 3-0 before getting a borderline strike. Nishihiro though singles past a diving Shimokado for a base hit. Okishou threatening to tie the game.
Asato first pitching swinging lines out to right, leaving it up to Uehara to keep the inning goin.
Uehara does it! Higa leaves one over the plate and he shoots it to right! Kubo comes in to score and we're all tied at 1-1!
Sunagawa up and Higa still not finding the plate, falling behind 2-0, and 3-0! (That last pitch looked good) before he fires down the pipe for a strike.
He may be squeezed a little by the home plate ump as he doesn't get the call on a ball right near the corner. Manrui for Okishou as Fujita-kantoku calls time.
Irabu stepping in looking to get ahead early here in the 1st. But he chops one to 2nd. Nakajima goes to 1st and Hakuou gets out of the jam, but not before losing the lead.
Ogawa jammed, but flares one the other way to right for a leadoff hit. Shimokado tries the bust-and-run, then the bunt, but neither work. He swings away and just beats grounding into the 1-6-3 double play despite diving into 1st.
Fujita-kantoku will go for the one-shot timely as Higa bunts him over into scoring position.
Oogawa hits a high chopper, but not high enough as Sunagawa fires to 1st for the 3rd out.
Ogawa directing a lot of traffic behind home plate moving fielders around.
After a quick foulout by Yamashiro, Higa falls behind Nakamura before filling up the count. Nakamura hits a ball to the right side, Naoi makes the stop and Higa just beats Nakamura to the bag for the out.
It's a 1-2-3 inning for Higa as Shimokado makes a great catch and quick throw to beat a speedy Akamine for the 3rd out.
2 quick outs for Yamashiro as Shuutou pops out to 2nd, while Nakajima had to defend down 0-2 and popped out to Asato dear the Hakuou dugout.
Ooshita with a sharp hit to the left side, Sunagawa makes the great stop! Throw to 1st in plenty of time to retire the side.
Okishou's batters are struggling to get level swings on the ball. Both Kubo and Nishihira hit high flies to the outfield. Asato finally puts a ball on the ground, but it was on a ball at his shoulders. It's a grounder to 2nd and another clean frame from the Hakuou ace.
Naoi leads off the inning, taking a fastball inside the other way for a base hit. Onodera though pops his bunt up and Uehara makes the catch for the out.
They try the hit-and-run with Ogawa, but he fouls it off. He hits a hard liner, but Nakamura makes the leaping catch for the 2nd out.
Shimokado hits a cue shot to the left side, Sunagawa comes in, but whiffs on the ball! It stops where he made contact, but by the time someone gets to it, everyone's safe.
No harm though as Higa hits a ball right to Uehara. He steps on the bag and the side is retired.
More fly balls from Okishou. Uehara with one to left, Ooshita this time has to go back quite a ways to make the catch.
Just to make things interesting, on Sunagawa's flyout to left center, Shuutou gives Ooshita a shove after he makes the catch (actually no one failed to call for the ball, though Shuutou did hold up).
And whatever isn't popped up is pounded into the ground. Irabu swings on a slider very low and bounces it to 3rd.
Oogawa with a chopper back up the middle, Nakamura goes to field it, but pulls up after Sunagawa's momentum puts him on a collision course! The ball goes into center for a base hit! Higa-kantoku calls time.
Shuutou almost pops out on his bunt attempt, but Uehara can't quite get there. He tries again on a pitch way outsde, makes contact but foul. He's forced to swing it seems, and lines out to Akamine.
Yamashiro has settled down after the 1st, and certainly not leaving pitch over like earlier. Nakajima chases a slider way low for the 2nd out.
And Ooshita with a ball right to Nakamura for the 3rd out.
Yamashiro hits a home run - if we were playing in a silo. Oogawa comes in to shallow right center to make the catch.
Nakamura becomes Higa's 9th flyout lifting a ball to center. Akamine becomes #10 after he takes a half swing and pops out to 3rd.
And so after the teams traded runs in the 1st, they've entered a lull period where neither team really can create an opportunity against another team. Sometimes the break can shake the cobwebs out - let's see if that's the case.
Oddly for Hakuou, they've had the leadoff runner get on in every inning except the 3rd.
Oh, and now the 6th as Naoi chases the fastball in the dirt for the out.
Onodera does get on base with a single to center, but Hakuou can't make anything of it as Ogawa first pitch flies to right, and Shimokado behind 0-2 hits a weak ball back to Yamashiro for the 3rd out.
There is a lot of bad contact going on. Kubo hits a slow comebacker right to Higa.
I say that and Nishihira lines a fastball back through the middle for a base hit.
Asato follows that up with a ball through the right side and now runners at the corners for Okishou! Fujita-kantoku calls for time.
Uehara does his job! Flyball to right! Oogawa catches it, but Nishihira comes in to score without a throw and Okishou leads 2-1!
Higa finally gets his routine fly to end the inning, but back-to-back hits are rewarded by Uehara as they break the deadlock!
Higa with a grounder to 2nd, Nakamura finds that Uehara was trying for the ball as well, so he has to wait to make the long throw to Yamashiro, who makes it there in time for the out.
Oogawa digs down and lines a ball past Sunagawa into center for a base hit, and more importantly flipping the lineup.
But Shuutou hits it right to Sunagawa! Goes to 2nd for 1, and despite the dive from Shuutou he gets in safely to prevent the double play.
Shuutou takes off for 2nd, Irabu with the throw, but Shuutou slides in safely! Douten runner in scoring position!
For about 20 seconds.
Nakajima hits a ball back to Yamashiro, who tosses to 1st for the 3rd out. Hakuou running out of time here to mount a rally, and they just haven't been able to make solid contact on the ball.
Irabu collects his first base hit with a liner over a leaping Onodera into left. That's it for Higa as Ooshita comes in from LF to pitch. #13 Asahina comes in Higa's spot and goes to LF.
Yamashiro bunts the runner along hoping Nakamura can help his cause.
Liner right to Onodera for the 2nd out! Irabu scrambles back to 2nd.
Ooshita not really a special pitcher, just serviceable it seems. Popup to shallow right center. Shuutou and Oogawa comes in... they collide and the ball falls in! I can't tell who goes to field the ball, but both Irabu and Akamine comes in to score on the play! Kubo's double gives them a 4-1 lead, but attention goes back to the outfield as Oogawa is writing in pain. The umpire is there first followed by Fujita-kantoku and the doctors.
And then the stretcher...
At first I thought it was a shoulder, but from the replay it looks like perhaps he got a knee to his side. He's taken off on the stretcher and attended to.
After about a 10 minute delay, he comes back out again and will stay in the game!
With that settled for the better, they now have to turn to the fact that they're behind 3 runs with only 2 inning on offense left!
And natch, the ball finds him too. Nishihira drives a ball to right center and while Oogawa goes back to chase it, it doesn't look like full speed. 5-1 now for Okishou.
Things may be devolving for Hakuoudai as Ooshita walks Asato...
Uehara with a drive to right! Oogawa going back... makes the catch.
The side is retired, but Okinawa Shougaku takes a commanding 5-1 lead.
Ooshita is hit to start the inning, but he wiped off the basepaths as Naoi hits into a 3-6-1 double play.
Onodera nubs one in front of home and Irabu throws him out to end the inning.
Sunagawa hits a chopper back up the middle for a base hit, Irabu pops out trying to bunt him along. Higa-kantoku has Yamashiro bunt them along instead.
Nakamura with one back up the middle! Nakajima tries to fire to 1st, but Nakamura is just too fast! All safe, and Fuijita-kantoku calls time again.
Now a ball in the dirt allows Nakamura to take 2nd. A base hit really puts the nail in the coffin.
There it is. Akamine with a ball down the 1st base line past Naoi down the right field line. He books it all the way to 3rd beating the throw, and it's 7-1 Okishou.
That's it for Ooshita on the mound. #10 Hasegawa comes in for Oogawa and takes the hill. Ooshita goes back to LF and Asahina to RF.
Kubo drives in one more before Hasegawa retires the side. 8-1 as we head to the 9th.
2 down for Hakuoudai and Asahina singles through the left side and steals 2nd. But that's the last gasp for them as PH #12 Seshita grounds to short to end the game.
It was a close game early, but almost on cue Okinawa Shougaku pulled away after the mid-game break. ace Higa broke down, and Ooshita wasn't much help in relief. Yamashiro kept the Hakuoudai offense in check for the entire game, allowing just the one run in the 1st. They'll be the ones to face Toyokawa next, and unless they can find a way to break down ace Tanaka Sora, it could be a long game for the Meiji Jingu champs...
Yamashiro Daichi (Okinawa Shougaku) - CG, ER, 8 H, 4 K, 0 BB, HBP
Kubo Shuuto (Okinawa Shougaku) - 3-5, 2B, 2 R, 3 RBI
Nishihira Daiki (Okinawa Shougaku) - 3-5, 3B, 2 R, RBI
Higa Araki (Hakuoudai Ashikaga) - 6+ IP, 3 ER, 6 H, 0 K, 1 BB
Ogawa Masaki (Hakuoudai Ashikaga) - 2-4
Oogawa Yoshihiro (Hakuoudai Ashikaga) 1-3