So remember when I said we didn't know anything about these teams because they blew out their opponents in the first round?
Well, we still don't know anything about these teams - because I could barely keep up with the action as the teams apparently wanted to set some type of record for shortest 15 inning draw in history.
2 hours, 24 minutes.
And because I was blogging, tweeting, and scoring - I could barely discern anything from the game. Not that I think I could mind you even if I was paying attention considering they'd hit every first pitch into play if they could have.
Kidding aside, the fact that they weren't hacking away from the 9th inning onwards suggested they wanted to play a sudden death type of game. But it'd be rather improbable to have both teams actually planning such a strategy.
I'd almost want to reiterate what I said in jest yesterday. I don't think these teams thought they had a shot at winning senbatsu, so they decided - let's play to a draw, and then we get to play again all by ourselves! We'll have the limelight all to ourselves!
All the other 7 qualified teams would also be thanking them because all their teams get an extra day of rest.
Hiroshima Shinjyou (Hiroshima)
SS Nakabayashi Kouki
LF Tanaka Takuya
2B Nishijima Haruto
CF Sakagaki Kazuya
3B Okuda Shingo
RF Nikaku Taiyou
1B Kumata Jyunpei
C Tanaka Keisuke
P Yamaoka Shuuya
Kiryuu Dai-ichi (Gunma)
LF Yoshida Ryuuto
2B Ishii Shouta
RF Yanagiya Sansuke
P Yamada Tomoki
C Onoda Toki
3B Kubota Shinji
CF Kubo Shunsuke
1B Hayamizu Takanari
SS Takahashi Shoukei
15:00 - First Pitch!
Both aces are out to start again. No relief starts for the replay!
Nakabayashi takes 3 pitches! It's a miracle! He does groundout to short though.
Takuya also taking pitches, goes to 2-2 before he makes contact. Shot to 3rd, but Kubota has it and goes to 1st for the 2nd out.
And I think we're going to have a normal game because while all 3 batters are retired in order, they are taking pitches.
That being the case, which ace will run out of gas first?
Yoshida for Kiryuu hitting a ton of pitches foul. Finally gets the ball into play and bloops a single to left center! Takuya has the ball go off the soft ground (it rained quite a bit) and off his glove, and that allows Yoshida to go to 2nd!
Ishii with the bunt to move him over, and it takes a great play from Okuda on the bare-handed throw to just get him out.
Yanagiya single to center! He delivers a first pitch single to center and Kiryuu Dai-ichi leads 1-0!
Yanagiya takes off for 2nd! Throw from Keisuke... not in time! Kiryuu trying to leave no doubt this game! Yamada does the right thing - hitting a grounder to the right side to advance the runner.
Yamaoka leaves it at 1 though as Onoda chases the slider, but it's Hiroshima Shinjyou that must chase the run!
Hiroshima gets the douten runner on after Yamada hits Sakagaki.
Hit-and-run! Sakagaki takes off, and Okuda hits a sharp liner... caught by Kubota! Sakagaki is helpless as he's doubled off at 1st for the double play!
Nikaku grounds out to end the inning, but hard luck for Hiroshima there.
Other than the Yanagiya single, each AB so far has gone at least 3 pitches. Kubota is no different as he goes 2-2 before hitting a weak grounder back to Yamaoka.
Kubo works count full before missing on the cutter.
But Hayamizu drives a ball to center! Sakagaki running back to the wall... slips and falls! The ground wreaking havoc for Hiroshima! I don't think he would have gotten to it anyways, and Hayamizu doesn't take an extra base.
The small chance for Kiryuu evaporates as Takahashi pops one up. It's still a bit of an adventure in the outfield, but Nakabayashi makes the catch for the 3rd out.
Kumata breaks trend and swings on the first pitch, but hits a weak ball back to Yamada.
Keisuke getting ahead of Yamada 3-0, but Yamada comes back to fill up the count and throws a ballsy slider inside that just catches the inside edge.
Hiroshima taking pitches, but having no additional success at the plate. Yamaoka grounds to short and they're still hitless.
Yoshioka first pitch lines a base hit just onto the outfield grass in left. Once again, Ishii bunts him along.
Yanagiya blooper to short center! Takuya charging in, but it drops in! Yoshida had to hold up, but the top of the order for Kiryuu is threatening yet again!
Looks like Hiroshima will play for the DP instead of the back home with Yamada coming up.
Yanagiya taking off for 2nd! It's a pitchout! Yamada strikes out swinging, but Keisuke double clutches and the throw is late! Now a base hit from Onoda could score 2!
But instead it's a grounder to 3rd! Okuda comes up with it, goes to 1st, and that's the 3rd out! Yamaoka getting into trouble again, but only has yielded that one run!
Still nothing going for Hiroshima... Nakabayashi and Takuya both ground out.
Nishijima with a hard grounder to 2nd, but Ishii can't field it cleanly! Throws to 1st... not in time! A diving Nishijima beats out the throw!
Sakagaki with a ball down the right field side.. fair! Nishijima off on contact makes it to 3rd! Douten runner on 3rd!
Okuda grounder to 2nd! Hayamizu can't get it! Ishii backing up the play gets the ball, but finds no one at first! Yamada scrambles as Ishii throws to 1st...
And Yamada steps on 1st just beating out Okuda for the 3rd out!
Kubota starts off the inning with a walk from Yamaoka who actually threw behind him on the full count. Kubo bunts him along for Hayamizu.
Yamaoka careful with Hayamizu, mainly working away. But he leaves one over and Hayamizu drives one to right! Nikaku is there to make the catch, but Kubota tags up to 3rd.
But once again Yamaoka gets out of the pinch! Takahashi pops it up on the 1st base side and Keisuke makes the catch in foul territory for the 3rd out!
Hiroshima's hitters can't even get the ball in the outfield to challenge the fielders' ability in the wet.
Yamada gets 2 more groundouts before Keisuke finally hits a ball to the outfield. But it's a high fly and Yoshida has plenty of time to get to it.
Yamaoka finally retires Yoshida on a grounder to 2nd.
Ishii though, finally able to swing the bat, hits a ball back up the middle! Yamaoka stumbles to field it as the ball bounces off the mound and into center for a base hit!
How does the saying go? Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me?
Well, it's not quite that, but Ishii tries to pull a Yanagiya and steal 2nd, but this time Yamaoka has him picked off! Ishii is run down 1-3-6 for the 2nd out!
And with everything all out of sorts, Yanagiya goes down on 3 straight pitches, just watching the fastball down the middle for the 3rd out!
So Yamaoka has allowed baserunners every inning, but yielded just one run. Unfortunately, his team has 2 hits total...
Apparently, Hiroshima's batters got the message about hitting the ball in the air.
But they can't be too routine of a fly...
Yamaoka hits one almost right to Yoshida, and then Nakabayashi pops one up next to home and Onoda makes the catch.
Takuya hits a popup to left, but it's in foul territory where the astroturf is, and Yoshida is free to make the sliding catch near the fence for the out!
Kiryuu Dai-ichi making a change in strategy possibly, trying to shorten the game. Yamada and Onoda both get out on the first pitch. Kubota tries to keep Yamaoka's pitch count rising, but eventually grounds to 1st.
Nishijima one of the few batters having success against Yamada today, collects his 2nd hit with a grounder past a diving Hayamizu.
Despite it being late in the game, Sakoda-kantoku does not elect to have #4 batter Sakagaki bunt.
Hit and run! Sakagaki hit it down the left field line! Yoshida running over from his position in left proper... still running into foul territory... dives... and makes the catch! Yoshida with his 2nd great catch of the game!
#18 Toometsuka comes in to hit for Nikaku. Sharp grounder to the right side, smothered by Hayamizu! Goes to the bag and a leadoff hit goes begging!
Toometsuka stays in to play RF.
Kubo scooter down the 3rd base line, past the diving Okuda for a leadoff single!
Hayamizu swinging away, ball back up middle for a seeing-eye single! Are things falling apart for Yamaoka?
Takahashi with the bunt, Okuda charging in, AHH!!
The ball takes an irregular final bounce and Okuda can't adjust! All safe! Oh boy, things are not looking good for Hiroshima now..
Yoshida puts the bat out on the ball and hits a soft liner to right for a base hit! Kubo scores to make it 2-0!
Ishii tries to get the sac fly, but it's too short and everyone has to hold.
Yanagiya with a hard grounder to 2nd, *sighs*
The ball bounces high off of Nishijima's glove and into right scoring another run to make it 3-0. Nishijima looks a bit distraught about the error...
Yamada tacks on another run with a sac fly before Onoda grounds out to end the inning. But it's a 4-0 lead and I just don't think Hiroshima has it in them for a comeback.
#11 Sasaki comes in to hit for Kumata, but goes down swinging.
And while Yamaoka gets on base due to an error, Nakabayashi pops out to 2nd to make it a relatively quick inning.
Sasaki stays in to play 1B.
Yamaoka with 2 quick outs, but then Hayamizeu hits a ball to left center. Takuya sells out on the sliding catch, but he's unfortunately no Yoshida and the ball gets by him. Sakagaki backing up gets the ball in, but not before Hayamizu's in with a triple.
Yamaoka finishes his Koushien performance freezing Takahashi on a fastball. At least he gets that memory, if nothing else.
Credit to Hiroshima Shinjyou though, they're not just trying to hit the first pitch - they're still trying to get on base.
But unfortunately it's the same old story. 3 up, 3 down for Hiroshima as Sakagaki chases the slider for the final out.
While it did not have the frenetic pace of their first game, they still finished this game in 98 minutes.
Both pitchers did not look the worse for wear, so it perhaps would be which ace could hold out the longest which would determine the game.
It would be apparent though that Kiryuu Dai-ichi had all the chances in the game though, and finally pulled away in the 7th.
While the issues for Kiryuu Dai-ichi are apparent, they have to time to rest. They'll play their 3rd game in 3 days tomorrow when they play Ryuukokudai Heian!
Yamada Tomoki (Kiryuu Dai-ichi) - CG, SHO, 3 H, 3 K, HBP
Yoshida Ryuuto (Kiryuu Dai-ichi) - 3-4, R, RBI
Yanagiya Sansuke (Kiryuu Dai-ichi) - 2-4, RBI, K, 2 SB
Hayamizu Takanari (Kiryuu Dai-ichi) - 3-4, 2B, 3B, R
Yamaoka Shouya (Hiroshima Shinjyou) - 8 IP, 2 ER, 10 H, 6 K, BB
Nishijima Haruto (Hiroshima Shinjyou) - 2-4
Sakagaki Kazuya (Hiroshima Shinjyou) - 1-3, HBP