Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Day 10, Game 2 - Nishougakushadai Fuzoku (Higashi Tokyo) v. Okinawa Shougaku (Okinawa)

One of the big powers enters the field now and faces a team that still has something to prove.

Okinawa Shougaku made Sakushin Gakuin look just silly. 1 run on 3 hits and 14 strikeouts. Sakushin Gakuin is not one of those teams that's strong in prefecture and then weak at Koushien. At worst, they're generally middle of the road. For me, on the mound that has to be their best performance in recent years where I've always believed they've underperformed their talent.

Now, on offense... that's another story.  They managed just 4 hits but was able to patch together 3 runs in the effort.  So once again, the offense will be a glaring issue because you can't win a game 0-0.

Nishougakushadai Fuzoku helped me a little prove to the JHBF they had made a mistake in defeating Kaisei (Nagasaki) 7-5.  They put up runs in each of the first 5 innings as every starter registered a base hit.

The only question that remains might be the pitching staff.  Ookuro cruised through the first 4 innings, but struggled in the 5th and had to be bailed out by fellow kousai Ooe who completely shut down the Kaisei offense.  Not a strikeout pitcher, just recorded outs.  This will be a great test for Nishougakushadai and could be an indicator how strong the team may be.

Nishougakushadai Fuzoku (Higashi Tokyo)
CF Suematsu Yuuya
3B Kitamoto Kazuki
SS Takehara Yuuta
1B Komine Eisuke
LF Miyamoto Yuuki
RF Hata Shoutarou
C Imamura Daiki (#12)
P Kishida Yuuta (#17)
2B Miguchi Eito (#15)

Okinawa Shougaku (Okinawa)
CF Akamine Ken
2B Nakamura Masaki (#13)
LF Nishihira Daiki
3B Asato Takeru
RF Kubo Shuuto
1B Uehara Kouta
SS Sunagawa Osamu
P Yamashiro Daichi
C Irabu Shouta


10:45 - First Pitch!

Top 1st
Suematsu draws a walk to start the game against ace Yamashiro.

Kitamoto showing bunt, but it's a bust-and-run! Chopper to left side, but Asato is there to make the play, but can only throw to 1st.

Yamashiro through gets Takehara to fly out to left for out #2.

But Yamashiro goes to the slider and Komine swings and misses for the 3rd out!

Bottom 1st
Kishida starts off with a walk as well. Nakamura with a bunt, but Kishida throws it away! Ken moves to 3rd base and Okinawa Shougaku is threatening!

Nishihira with a ball through the left side, the defense playing in has no chance and it just rolls its way to left! Ken scores to make it 1-0!


Kishida throws a wild pitch and Nakamura scores to make it 2-0!

Nishihira moves to 3rd on the flyout by Asato.

Kubo single to center! Nishihira can walk home and it's 3-0!

Kishida can only record 1 out as he is relieved by ace Ookuro...

And now Kubo takes off for 2nd! Throw is late!

Uehara with a ball to deep right!  Hata has to chase it to the wall and Kubo scores on the double! 4-0!

Ookuro retires the next 2 batters, but the damage is more than done. Okishou has a commanding 4-0 lead!

Top 2nd
Miyamoto slow grounder to right side, Nakamura charging, tries to make throw, but it's late! Leadoff runner on for Nisshougakusha!

Hata grounds to 3rd, but with no play at 2nd goes to 1st.

Miyamoto goes to 3rd on a pitch in the dirt! No throw from Irabu!

And Imamura with some weird swing slices the ball through the right side for a base hit! Miyamoto scores and Nishougakusha gets a run back. 4-1.

Ookuro with a bunt, but Asato inexplicably picks it up as it's rolling foul! All safe!

But with #9 batter Miguchi up, Ichihara-kantoku calls for the bunt hoping that Suematsu can get the timely.

Yamashiro though limits the damage as he gets Suematsu to fly out to right for the 3rd out.

Bottom 2nd
Ookuro getting to work keeping his team in it, gets Irabu to ground out to short to start the inning.

Ken then strikes out on a high change...  and Nakamura flies to right!  Ookuro might be able to do it!

Top 3rd
Kitamoto with a seeing eye single through the left side. Takehara bunt up 1st base line, Uehara's throw to 1st is wide towards foul territory and pulls Nakamura off the bag! All safe!!

Komine with the push bunt into the gap in left! Yamashiro runs it down! He fires to 1st for the out!

Miyamoto to try and get the run in...


Yamashiro freezes him with a slider inside and there's 2 out!

Hata drive to deep center right!!

Ken running, running!  Collides with the wall!!  But the ball bounces off the top of the padding as he's stunned! Both runners will score on Hata's triple and it's 4-3!!

Wow! Nishougakusha is playing the smartest ball I've seen!

Imamura draws a walk and the inning continues!!

Ah, but Yamashiro gets Ookuro looking on a fastball that paints the edge! 3 out but we have a ballgame!

Bottom 3rd
Okinawa Shougaku not taking it lying down. Nishihira gets his 2nd base hit much like the first - with a single through the left side.

But the Nishougakusha battery guesses right! Nishihira takes off and it's a pitchout! Imamura's throw to 2nd is on line and they nail him for the out!

Ookuro replaces him on the next pitch as he walks Asato. Higa-kantoku calls for the bunt and Kubo lays it down.

But Uehara flies out to left and once again Ookuro puts up a 0!

Top 4th
Miguchi a drive to left center! But the defense is playing in! Ken has to sprint back again as Miguchi flies around the bases and slides in with a triple!!

Suematsu chopper over Yamashiro, and Sunagawa can't play it off the hop! It kicks to the right side and Miguchi scores!  Nishougakusha douten just 3 innings after giving up 4 runs! It's 4-4!!!

Kitamoto bunts the runner over and they're threatening to take the lead!

Ball gets away from Irabu! Suematsu goes to 3rd!


They try for the squeeze but Takehara pushes it just foul!

Takehara takes a borderline 3-2 pitch and earns the walk!!

Takehara takes off for 2nd, but Irabu won't throw! Now a base hit could score 2!


But Komine misses! Suematsu is left hanging! He's trying to stay alive... 2-5-1-6-3... NO!!!!

Suematsu goes wides and simultaneously slides into home! SAFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Uehara misses the tag and Suematsu scores!!!!  Nishougakusadai Fuzoku has the lead at 5-4!!!

Miyamoto hits a soft liner to short to end the inning, but who saw this coming from the first-timers??!!

Bottom 4th
Miyamoto with a base hit to right center putting the douten runner on. Yamashiro bunts him to 2nd.

Irabu grounder to the left side, Takehara with the pick and quick throw! Komine up the 1st base line, makes the tag on a diving Irabu for the out!

Ken flies to right and the side is retired!

Top 5th
Hata with a ball to center, Ken moves in a little late and it falls in!

Imamura looking to bunt, but he three bunts and it goes foul! One down.

Ookuro bunting, but he falls to 2 strikes.

Grounds to short! Sunagawa goes to 2nd for 1, throw to first, wide!!  Uehara goes off the bag, but has enough time to reestablish for the 3rd out!

Bottom 5th
Yamashiro works the count and draws the leadoff walk! Nishihira moves him into scoring position.

Asato gives a ball a ride but foul. Still he works the count full and too draws the walk!

Kubo flies out to right, Nakamura tags to 3rd.  2 out.

And Ichihara-kantoku goes to the bullpen! #18 Ooe enters the game! 1st year Ooe enters in a high leverage situation!

Uehara grounder up middle!  Takehara with it, tags 2nd! 3 out!! Ooe gets Nishougakusha out of the jam and they have the 1-run lead going into the break!

From doing the bust-and-run, to trying push bunts in holes left open by a bunt, Nishougakusha has been a joy to watch.

Top 6th
Miguchi with a single to left!  He's 2-2 on the day!

But Suematsu puts down a poor bunt and Yamashiro throws out Miguchi at 2nd!

Kitamoto punches the ball, but right to Yamashiro who goes for the 1-6-3 double play to end the inning!

Bottom 6th
Okinawa Shougaku continues to threaten! Sunagawa with a leadoff single through the right side! He's bunted along to 2nd by Yamashiro, and then to 3rd by a fly ball to right by Irabu.


On a 0-2 pitch to Ken, he throws it 50 feet and it gets away from Imamura! Sunagawa easily scores and we're douten at 5-5!!

Ken pops out to end the inning on the very next pitch, but Nishougakusha's work has been erased with one bad pitch!

Top 7th
One down and Komine gets his first hit, a seeing eye single between Asato and Sunagawa.  He advances to 2nd on a wild pitch from Yamashiro while pitching to Hata.

And Hata works the count full and earns the walk.

But Imamura can't pull the trigger! Imamura watches the fastball on the outside corner for strike 3 and the side is retired!

Bottom 7th
Nakamura with the safety bunt, but Ooe's undertoss to 1st is high! Nakamura slides in safe! Are the nerves getting to the young pitching staff?

Nishihira with the bunt, Ooe's throw to 1st... AH!! That was close to throwing it away, but Miguchi secures it.

Ichihara-kantoku calls for time...

Ooe jams Asato and he skies it! Suematsu secures it for the 2nd out!

He goes inside to Kubo! He's jammed and grounds to 3rd! Kitamoto to 1st and Ooe is out of his own jam!

Top 8th
Ooe not so handy with the bat as he goes down swinging on the outside slider.

Yamashiro showing he can go inside, spins Miguchi on a fastball for the 2nd out.

Suematsu hits a 2-out single to left, but there's a lot of work to be done.

He takes off for 2nd, but the throw one hops Sunagawa and he has the base!

But once again Kitamoto gambles on an outside pitch and loses! Yamashiro paints the corner and the side is retired!

Bottom 8th
One down and Sunagawa with a single on a high pitch through the right side.  Higa-kantoku will go for the one-timer as Yamashiro bunts him to 2nd.

Irabu single through the left side! But Miyamoto playing in and Sunagawa has to hold! Runners at corners as Ichihara-kantoku calls time!

Ooe gets out of it! Ken flies out to right and once again they escape unscathed!

Top 9th
Komine one out single back up the middle. Ichihara-kantoku plays for the one point and Miyamoto bunts him along.

SANSHIN!!!!!  Yamashiro with the guts pose as once again he strikes out the final batter of the inning! Hata had no chance on the inside fastball!

Bottom 9th
Once again, the leadoff runner gets on! Nakamura with a single back up the middle! No doubt the bunt is coming, especially since Ooe has been shaky at times fielding.

Imamura fields the bunt instead, but it does it's job.

Asato drive to left!!!  Miyamoto is playing in!  It will fall in as Nakamura scores! Sayonara!!!!

Okinawa Shougaku comes back late to win 6-5!

Oh it started so terribly for Nishougakushadai Fuzoku as they went down 4 runs. But they didn't give up, they fought and played what seemed like smart baseball to tie the game and actually take the lead. But once they did it felt like they went back to regular baseball. And that's when things seemed to stall and Okinawa Shougaku was allowed to catch back up as they started putting pressure every inning on the 1st year relief ace until he finally broke.

Still, I was pleasanly surprised with how Nishougakushadai fought early, even though they seemed to stray later. While they exit here, I hope to see them again, a year later and wiser.

For Okinawa Shougaku, this was a good performance from Yamashiro's point of view. The defense was very sketchy and will need to be fixed, otherwise they will be lost. But, they move on and that's what matters.

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