Friday, March 28, 2014

86th Senbatsu - Day 7 - Game 3 - Chiben Gakuen (Nara) vs. Sano Nichidai (Tochigi)

Our final game of the day is Sano Nichidai versus Chiben Gakuen.  Sano Nichidai faced a Chinzei squad bereft of offense, so when they scored 2 runs in the 5th it would be more than enough to advance.  Tajima had 12 Ks but you have to adjust that based upon the competition.

Chiben Gakuen easily dispatched a Mie team that I had high hopes for - especially after the performance of Toyokawa.  Offensively, they pretty much took apart Mie right from the beginning and looked rather impressive, especially with 2 HRs from Okamoto.  Oda wasn't dominating by any means, and he did give up some big hits to Mie, which could be an issue.

Chiben Gakuen (Nara)
RF Hirooka Taishi
CF Oonishi Ryouta
1B Okamoto Kazuma (#5)
SS Yoshioka Fumiuya (#6)
LF Takaoka Yuuichi
2B Iwata Taku
C Yoshida Takaaki
3B Shimizu Seiya (#15)
P Oda Kyouhei

Sano Nichidai (Tochigi)
CF Nagasawa Yoshitaka
SS Takemura Ritsuki
2B Yoshida Toshiki
LF Inaba Kousei
P Tajima Daiki
3B Kakizawa Fumiya
RF Koizumi Keita
1B Tamura Kaito
C Sagawa Shou

14:00 - First Pitch!

Top 1
Before the siren can wind down, Hirooka swings on the first pitch slider and grounds to 3rd.

Heavy diet of slider from Tajima to start as Ryouta grounds one to 2nd.  Okamoto goes after one too and hits one to left.  Inaba, already playing back goes near the fence to make the catch for the 3rd out.

Bottom 1st
One down for Sano Nichidai and Takemura goes down to hit the forkball dropping it in shallow left center for a base hit.

Toshiki with a drive to left center!  Takaoka has to chase it back to the wall!  Takemura rounding 3rd, given the green light!  He scores, but the cutoff throw goes to 3rd where Toshiki gets too aggressive and is easily thrown out.

Inaba pops out to Iwata on the grass behind 2nd for the 3rd out.  Sano Nichidai gets 1, but a base running error prevents more.

Top 2nd
Yoshioka looks to get Chiben back on track, lines a ball to center for a base hit.  Takaoka fails to bunt the runner over, looks to swing away, but ends up watching a fastball hit the outside corner for the 1st out.

Iwata with a hot shot to 1st, Tamura has it right at the bag for the out.  And the inning is over just like that when Takaaki grounds right to 3rd.  Kakizawa blocks it in front of him and he makes the throw in time for the out.

Bottom 2nd
Oda getting back on track after the first, striking out Tajima with a fastball outside, and then inducing two towering pop flies to the outfield.

Top 3rd
Tajima really on his game early.  While the counts to run deep on Shimzu and Oda, he blows the fastball by both of them to register his 2nd and 3rd Ks.  He completes the clean inning as Hirooka grounds to 3rd.

Bottom 3rd
On the other side, Oda issues his first walk to Tamura.  Sagawa doing the buster hitting for the first two strikes, but now a 2 strikes he shows bunt and yet manages to go from 1-2 to a full count!  He then three bunts and fouls out.  That made no sense.

Back to the top of the order and Nagasawa.  At 2 strikes, he punches pitch after pitch the other way until he gets one he likes and lines it past Yoshioka for a base hit.

Tamura showing bunt with 1 down?  Takes a couple before finally swinging away.  Hits a ball to short, and Yoshioka elects to get the lead runner at 3rd.  Makes sense if you can't turn 2 (which I don't think they could have).

Quick timeout from Kosaka-kantoku.

Oda gets himself out of the jam as Toshiki grounds to 2nd.

Top 4th
By far Sano Nichidai has the advantage with the sticks right now, but that was to be expected given the aces for both squads.  Generally, Tajima is working ahead of the batters and making them work.

Of course I say that and Ryouta lines a ball to right.  He's flying around 1st and reaches 2nd on what would normally be a single!

But with the double, 1st base is open, and I think Tajima knows it.  He's giving Okamoto nothing to hit, falling behind 2-1.

So Ryouta takes it into his own hands!  He takes off for 3rd and easily beats the throw!  Man he's fast.

Also, Okamoto would like to hit, so he sheepishly swings at ball 4 to fill the count.

Tajima obliges!  He throws the slider and Okamoto swings and misses! 1 out!

AH!  Sagawa just completely misses on the 2-1 pitch and Ryouta can just walk home!  That was a very lackadaisical attempt by Sagawa and it costs them a run!  1-1!

What's more, Tajima walks Yoshioka putting the gyakuten runner on base.  Takaoka bunts him over for Iwata.  But he grounds out to 2nd to end the inning.

Still, the passed ball by Sagawa ties up the game!

Bottom 4th
Inaba with the leadoff single past a diving Yoshioka into left.  Tajima with the bunt, and Shimizu can't glove the ball!  Everyone's safe!

Kakizawa lays down his bunt and now both runners are in scoring position for Koizumi.

Koizumi inside-outs a ball and bloops it to left!  Takaoka charging, but he can't get there!  Inaba scores to make it 2-1!


Tamura with a blast to right center!  There's no way the fielders are going to get to that!  Tajima scores, Koizumi reaching 3rd being waved in!  Throw in goes to 3rd where they get Tamura trying to stretch it out to a triple.  I'll forgive that one since it was to RF.  But his base hit gives Sano Nichidai the 4-1 lead!

Fortunate for Oda as Sagawa singles to left.  However, he limits the damage as he retires Nagasawa to end the inning.  Still, he's being knocked around and may not be long for this game.

Top 5th
In fact, being due up 3rd, he may not get an AB.

Takaaki goes down looking on a cut fastball?  It looked like a fastball but was 10 kph slower.

After a groundout by Shimizu, it is indeed the end of Oda's day.  #16 Nakanishi pinch hits for him.  But he can do no better also grounding out to short.

Bottom 5th
#18 Uranaka comes in for PH Nakanishi to take the hill.

Uranaka doesn't particularly throw very hard, but he fools Takemura on the forkball for the first out.

Toshiki gets the bat around on the inside pitch, but he flies out to right.  Today is the first day I can recall where the wind is blowing normally from right to left field.

It's a clean first inning for Uranaka thanks to an assist from Hirooka!  Popup from Inaba, Hirooka charging in toward the foul line, makes the sliding catch!

As perhaps expected, Oda had troubles with the Sano Nichidai lineup and as a result his squad finds themselves behind against a fairly strong ace in Tajima.

Top 6th
Hirooka gets around on the inside fastball and drives it to left center!  Nagasawa chases it down at the wall and it's a leadoff double!  Ryouta moves him over with a grounder to 2nd, bringing up Okamoto.

Tajima goes after him, getting Okamoto to chase 2 consecutive sliders.  He at least holds up on the 3rd one, and just foul tips the 4th one.  Tajima misses wide to fill up the count.


Tajima fires the gas on the inside half and Okamoto doesn't even move the bat! 2 out!

Ball back to Tajima!  He fumbles it a bit, but throws it to first. AHHHHH!!!

Tajima throws it into the ground and Tamura can't field it!  Tajima's unforced error gives Chiben Gakuen some life! It's 4-2!

Yoshida makes a diving catch on the short pop from Takaoka, but there's still plenty of time with the deficit sitting at 2.

Bottom 6th
With Uranaka's slower pitching, Sano's bats are just a step ahead of where they should be.  Tajima and Kakizawa both roll grounders to Yoshioka.

Koizumi finds the speed just fine and grounds a ball back up the middle.  Iwata keeps it in front of him, but can do no more.

Tamura continues the bigger trend though and pulls one to 2nd.  Iwata goes the short way for the 3rd out.

Top 7th
Despite hitting Shimizu with 2 outs, Tajima continues to make batters pound the ball into the ground.  All 3 outs recorded were via the groundball.

Bottom 7th
Last batter Sagawa gets hit on the hand truing to lead out of the pitch.  Nagasawa bunts him along.

Now 2 down, Uranaka doesn't want anything to do with Toshiki and walks him on 4 straight.  That works as Inaba pops out to Iwata behind 2nd for the 3rd out.

Top 8th
After falling behind to Hirooka, he throws 3 sraight strikes, the last hit to short.

Ryouta gets to wreak havoc on the basepaths as he pokes a ball to left for a base hit.

Okamoto shot to short, and Takemura overruns the ball and can't make the grab!  It trickles into center as Ryouta heads to 3rd!  Chance for Chiben with 1 down!

Yoshioka opens the door!  First pitch single through the left side and the score is now 4-3, with still only 1 down!

Takaoka with a ball up the first base line, あああああああ!!!!

Takaoka, running to field the ball, kicks it back towards home and there's no play!  Manrui!  It's a repeat of the Komadai Tomakomai game!

Iwata up to tie or take the lead...

He ties the game!  Another single through the left side and Okamoto scores to tie the game at 4-4!!

And still one down!

Tajima gets one break when Takaaki pops out to Tamura in foul territory.

But still Shimizu with his first base hit can give Chiben Gakuen the lead.

Tajima catches another break!  Shimizu goes around and despite the ball getting away, the inning is over.  But we have a new ballgame with all the momentum sitting with Chiben Gakuen!

Bottom 8th
Sano Nichidai has no answers!  Tajima hits a weak grounder back to Uranaka.  Kakizawa works the count full in an attempt to get on base, but strikes out on the fastball inside.

And Koizumi grounds to 2nd!  3 up, 3 down!

Top 9th
And Chiben Gakuen has a chance to take the lead here in the 9th!

Uranaka's good work is done as #3 Oonishi Ritsuki hits for him in an attempt to start the offense.  But he strikes out swinging.

Hirooka is quickly retired and Ryouta strikes out looking, so the momentum may be lost.

Bottom 9th
Okamoto takes the hill for Chiben Gakuen.  Shimizu goes to 1st, and #14 Kaminakano comes in for PH Ritsuki and takes over at 3B.

Tamura with a ball to deep right, but Hirooka is there for the catch.

Sano Nichidai perhaps in sense of desperation, swings away early in counts which only helps Okamoto get outs.  4 pitches later, and the side is retired.  We're headed to enchousen!

Top 10th
And the first thing Tajima does is hit Okamoto, putting the gyakuten runner on base!  Yoshida bunts him over to 2nd.

But Okamoto gets too aggressive!  Takaoka hits a grounder to short and Okamoto takes off!  Takemura goes to 3rd and Okamoto is meat!

Yoshioka flies out to deep right to end the inning, but will the baserunning mistake cost them?

Bottom 11th
Takemura gives Sano Nichidai the sayonara runner with a single to center!  Toshiki not bunting, but Okamoto can't find the zone either!  He falls behind 3-0, and despite a strike he walks him!  Chiben Gakuen in a big pinch!

Inaba with the bunt, and Shimizu fields it and goes to 3rd???!!  It's not in time and Sano Nichidai may get up to 3 tries to get the run in!  Kosaka-kantoku calls time.

First up, Tajima.

Okamoto going after him, gets ahead 0-2...


Okamoto puts the fastball just out of Tajima's reach and there's 1 down.

Kakizawa with his chance to end the game.  First pitch strike on the outside corner, second fouled off...


Okamoto gets Kakizawa on the slider and there's 2 out!  One more and Chiben Gakuen may be able to pull the game out.

Grounder to short... Yoshioka can't get it!!  サヨナラ!!!

Takemura comes home and Sano Nichidai pulls it out in enchousen 5x-4!!

Notable Players
Tajima Daiki (Sano Nichdai) - 10 IP, 2 ER, 7 H, 8 K, BB, 2 HBP
Koizumi Keita (Sano Nichidai) - 3-4, R, 2 RBI
Tamura Kaito (Sano Nichidai) - 1-3, 2B, 2 RBI, BB
Okamoto Kazuma (Chiben Wakayama) - 5.2+ IP, ER, 3 H, 4 K, 2 BB, HBP
Yoshioka Fumiya (Chiben Wakayama) - 2-3, RBI, BB
Okamoto Kazuma (Chiben Wakayama) - 0-4, 2 K, HBP

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