Thursday, August 21, 2014

Day 11, Game 1 - Toyama Shougyou (Toyama) v. Nihon Bunri (Niigata)

While perhaps these teams on this side of the bracket were worried about having to face Osaka Touin, perhaps they're relieved they didn't have to play Tsuruga Kehi.

Our 2nd half of Round of 16 games starts with another regional matchup, this time from the Hokushinetsu region. It's mainstays Nihon Bunri, versus a team stronger in their older days Toyama Shougyou.

Of course, don't let them hear me say that. They've actually done well so far slaying two big prefectures out of the tournament Nichidai Tsurugaoka and Kanzei giving up just 1 run in the process.

Now, they've scored only 5 runs in those games so that may be an issue later on if the pitching starts to falter a bit (They've only used Morita so far and he's starting today).

Nihon Bunri's had a slightly easier time of it, defeating Oita then coming back to edge out Touhou. Iidzuka looked much more in control in the 2nd game than the first lending some evidence that perhaps the walks were planned after all.

They have roughly the same offensive issues as Toyama Shougyou, so Iidzuka will need to do heavy lifting as well.

So on paper 2 similar squads.

Toyama Shougyou (Toyama)
CF Shiina Kouhei
2B Yokomichi Eiji
RF Sakamoto Jyunichirou
LF Kutsuwada Takuma
1B Katou Daisuke
C Tomikawa Seiya
3B Iwase Daiki
SS Yanase Kazuya
P Morita Shunya

Nihon Bunri (Niigata)
RF Hoshi Kenta
SS Kurodai Naito
CF Kodachi Otowa
3B Ikeda Takamasa
LF Kobayashi Masaya
2B Arai Makoto
1B Kataoka Yuuto
C Kamakura Wataru
P Iidzuka Satoshi

08:00 - First Pitch!

Top 1st
Not a great start for Iidzuka as he hits Kouhei, giving Tomishou a chance for a run early.

Maekawa-kantoku going for the hit-and-run instead of the bunt, but Yokomichi fouls it off.

Kouhei takes off for 2nd! Yokomich watches the fastball down the middle and he strikes out! Throw from Kamakura in time for the strike 'em out, throw 'em out double play!

Iidzuka though hits another batter in Sakamoto, but it doesn't wind up hurting him as Kutsuwada grounds to short to end the inning.

He's wild again today to start. Is there a plan in place?

Bottom 1st
Morita also starts off with a walk to the leadoff batter. Ooi-kantoku though has Kurodai bunt the runner over.

Kodachi perhaps expecting a slider outside, sees a slider go over the inner half and just freezes. 2 down.

But Morita gives 4 straight balls to Ikeda in a possible unintentional intentional walk to bring up Kobayashi.

He flies out to right and the inning is over. But both pitchers have throw quite a few pitches early.

Top 2nd
Katou with a single to center. Tomikawa showing bunt, but fouls a pair off and has to swing away it seems. A slider down and away sets him down.

Iwase grounder to short, Kurodai flips to 2nd from one knee, Arai's relay as Katou comes in.... and a great pick from Kataoka complete the 6-4-3 double play!

Bottom 2nd
Morita with another leadoff walk here in the 2nd.

Kataoka not bunting, but ends up surprised when he's rung on a changeup called on the outside edge.

Kamakura goes down swinging, but when Tomikawa throws to 3rd, Morita takes off and reaches 3rd!

Iidzuka a little early on the swings, actually slows the bat down and he single to right!  Arai scores and Nihon Bunri leads 1-0!

Maezaki-kantoku calls for time.

Hoshi grounds out to Katou, and they almost blow it as Morita takes a little too much time to make it slightly uncomfortable.

Top 3rd
So this must be a plan. He walks the leadoff runner this game apparently and try to get Tomishou to bunt. This time around they do.

But Iidzuka comes back with the slider outside to nail Kouhei, and then Yokomichi get a slider in the middle, but he just grounds to 1st.

Bottom 3rd
No leadoff walk this time, instead he goes straight to retiring the 2-3-4 batters with no issues.

Top 4th
Neither side making any type of decent contact. Tomishou can't get the ball out of the infield and they're just switching places back and forth.

Bottom 4th
Kobayashi ball back up middle. Yanase runs it down, but his throw to 1st short hops Katou and unfortunately brings him into a running Kobayashi. He takes a tumble past the bag, but seems to be ok. As expected, he's bunted to 2nd.

Morita though continues to go to the hammer that is his slider, and it continues to work. Kataoka and Kamakura go down swinging for what is now Morita's 6th K!

Top 5th
Tomikawa ball up middle, Iidzuka stops it with his foot! throws to 1st and he gets the out! Now that's new! And it looks like he did it on the bottom of his cleat where there is a lot of protection.

2 down, Morita tries to hit a ball through the right side, but Arai runs it down near the grass, and makes a spin throw to 1st to retire the side.

Bottom 5th
Hoshi with a high chopper up middle, Yokomichi charges, makes throw, but not in time!

Kurodai shows bunt, but Morita puts it in the dirt! Tomikawa can't block it cleanly and Hoshi takes off for 2nd and reaches safely!

Kurodai still without a hit as he buster hits a ball to 2nd, though he advances he runner.

Kodachi with a single to left! That'll score Hoshi and Nihon Bunri tacks on another run to make it 2-0!

Ikeda fouls out to C Harada near the netting and we're at the mid-game break.  Nihon Bunri has done the most with the little opportunities they've been given and it'll be up to Iidzuka to bring them home!

Top 6th
Morita with a drive to center! Kodachi has to turn back and chase after as it take a bounce to the wall! He's in with a double!

He's bunted to 3rd, and with Yokomichis fly to center he's able to tag up and score! Tomishou is still in the game here at 2-1!

Sakamoto drive to deep left center! The fielders won't get to this one either! He's flying around the bases and is in with a triple! Tomishou threatens to tie the game with a base hit!

Liner to left! Kobayashi coming in, dives... makes the catch! Kobayashi prevents the douten run from scoring!

Bottom 6th
Kobayashi singles to center to start off the inning. Arai though can't lay down the bunt and there's 2 strikes! He goes for the three-bunt but fouls it off! One down.

Ooi-kantoku sending in #16 Takeishi to hit for Kataoka. He grounds to short though and Yokomichi goes to 2nd for the force! 2 down.

Kamakura with a single past Iwase for a base hit! Takeishi holds at 2nd.

And Morita doesn't want to deal with Iidzuka and walks him, but it does make it manrui for Burri.

The plan works as Hoshi hits one back up the middle where Yokomichi awaits, he tosses to 2nd and Morita's out of the inning!

Top 7th
Takeishi stays in to play CF, Kodachi goes to 1B.

Iidzuka showing that he had a slider too, takes Katou and Tomikawa down.  He jams Iwase but his blooper falls in the right side and almost dies like a chip shot! No one can get to it in time and Iwase's on with a base hit!

Maezaki-kantoku decides to send Iwase, but Kamakura makes another strong throw and Tomishou has just 2 innings left!

Bottom 7th
Another leadoff walk as Kurodai takes 1st. He goes for 2nd! Throw from Tomikawa to 2nd is wide and Yanase can't stop it! It goes to center and Kurodai takes 3rd!

Maezaki-kantoku calls for time...


Morita throws a ball in the dirt and Tomikawa can't block it! Kurodai comes all the way home by himself and it's 3-1 Nihon Bunri!

2 down now after Morita racks up 2 more K's and Kobayashi takes a ball the other way to right for a base hit. Arai follows that up with a single through the left side! Nihon Bunri threatens again, but Takeishi's liner is snagged by Katou for the 3rd out.

Top 8th
#12 Shiina Kouhei comes in to hit for Yanase. Iidzuka hits him to start the inning!

Another PH! And it's for Morita! #14 Ookura comes in to swing the bat!

And its a bounder to the left side, Kurodai ranges to his right, dives, but it gets by! The pinch hitters are bringing Tomishou back!

Kouhei lays down a bunt to move the runners along, and Ooi-kantoku calls for time.  Maekawa-kantoku sends in #18 Koshiba to run for Ookura.

Yokomichi grounder up first base line, FAIR!!!!  It's fair as it gets by a diving Kataoka!  Hoshi running it down but both runners will come into score!!  Yokomichi hustling around the bases slides into 3rd... SAFE!!!

In almost no time flat Tomishou has come back and tied the game at 3-3!!


Kutsuwada with a comebacker up the middle and drawn in infield has no chance! Yokomichi scores and Tomishou has the 4-3 lead!!!!

Katou flies out to center, and that's just the 2nd out.

Tomikawa single to left! Sakamoto has to hold at 3rd and it's manrui for Tomishou!!

Iwase single through left side! Sakamoto scores! They're sending in Kutsuwada!  Throw from Kobayashi... in time! Kamakura makes the tag and the side is finally retired!

But not before Tomishou rocks Iidzuka and takes a 5-3 lead with just 2 innings to go!

Bottom 8th
#16 Wakagi comes in for Kyouhei and takes over at SS. #10 Iwaki comes in for PR Koshiba and takes over on the hill.

Kamakura liner to center, Kouhei charging in, dives but can't secure the ball! Leadoff hit for Bunri!

Iidzuka not swinging, hits one back to Iwaki! He starts the 1-6-3 double play and there's quickly 2 down!

Hoshi not giving in, takes a slider down the right side for a double!

And now Iwaki walks Kurodai! Douten runner on base!

Kodachi drives a ball to left center! Kouhei running over, but can't catch it! Hoshi scores! They're sending in Kurodai! Relay throw from Yanase....


Tomikawa comes over and makes the tag! Kurodai slams the helmet into the ground while Tomikawa looks injured!  He's holding his glove hand that collided with Kurodai on that slide! He's finally helped up, but his play preserves the lead! Tomishou leads 5-4!

Top 9th
Kouhei gets a 2-out single, but otherwise Iidzuka sets down the Tomishou offense...

Bottom 9th
...but they're down to their final 3 outs!!

Tomikawa is coming out for the last, but if Bunri gets a baserunner, they WILL test him.

4-5-6 batters up for Bunri starting with Ikeda.

He takes a ball off the end of his bat to center for a leadoff single!  Kobayashi is not bunting!

But he flies out to right! Just 2 outs left...


Arai with a drive to left! Kutsuwada isn't chasing it!!!

HAITAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  SAYONARA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The ball lands almost 20 rows up and Nihon Bunri pulls it off again right at the end 6-5!

It's a time to celebrate, but at the same time,  the cameras point to Iwaki tasked with holding the lead, and it's a slow disintegration as he uncontrollably sobs...

And sadly that is the world that we enter into when we watch these games. It's great to celebrate, but when it comes to these types of endings, I tend to remember more the side that loses....

1 comment:

JapanVidMan said...

Are you kidding??! LOL