Wonder what will happen today....
The theme of avoiding the powerhouses continues in the first game of full action. Nichinan Gakuen only had to go through Miyazaki Nichidai and Nisshou Gakuen to run the prefecture. And in both of those cases, they were low scoring affairs with Nichinan winning 3-1 and 2-0. In fact, that 1 run against Miyazaki Nichidai was the only one they gave up the entire tournament. But given the competition and the low scores, it certainly is a point of concern.
Same goes for Touhou. No Chuukyoudai Chuukyou, no Aikoudai Meiden. Just a 6-3 over Toyokawa in the 5th round as their notable victory. But it would appear that they have a super rookie in #10 Fujishima Kento that might help carry them. As a rookie, he can supposedly hit the mid 140s on the radar gun and has a changeup in addition to the standard fare. He was certainly successful in the Aichi taikai, but
Still, I know it sounds like a broken record, but with neither team really tested against the upper tier teams, it's hard to put a finger on who has the advantage.
Nichinan Gakuen (Miyzaki)
CF Tabuki Shou
2B Uemura Yuusuke
1B Takumi Daichi
C Hagiwara Masato
SS Maeda Tomoya
P Yokogawa Yuuta
RF Tanigawa Eiji
LF Azuma Katsuya
3B Shintani Rui
SS Suzuki Daisuke
RF Okada Satoshi
1B Kodama Daiki
3B Miyazawa Kazushige
C Mine Kouhei
CF Kudou Shun
LF Mizoguchi Yoshichika
P Fujishima Kento
2B Matsubara Matsunori
08:30 - First Pitch!
Not the best of starts for Fujishima as his pitches are up and he walks Tabuki to start the game.
Uemura lays down the bunt, but Fujishima goes to 2nd for 1, throw by Suzuki is wide! Uemura takes off for 2nd, but the ball bounces off the wall and Kodama fires to 2nd, and they get the double play anyways!
Fujishima may be the super rookie, but apparently he's still hittable. Takumi singles to center, and Hagiwara gets it off the end of the bat, but it's through the left side for a base hit! Fujishima in trouble again.
But Tomoya flies out to left and the inning is over. No damage done, but Nichinan showing they can hit early.
Suzuki with a soft base hit to center, and he goes for 2! Throw in, and it's not in time! That's a hustle double from Suzuki!
Okada tries to lay down the bunt, but the defense crashes in and he can't advance.
No matter though because Kodama singles to left center! Suzuki on his wheels again, and there's no throw home! Touhou leads 1-0 just like that!
2 down, and Kodama tries to take 2nd, but is thrown out by Hagiwara for the 3rd out. Still, Touhou takes the early lead!
Yokokawa somehow gets on a ball way inside and shoots it through the right side for a single. He's moved over to 2nd.
Azuma gets hit on the helmet, but it's not a fastball and it's a glancing blow. Still an injury runner comes in as per mandate.
Shintani with a single through the right side! Yokokawa has to hold at 3rd, but it's manrui for Nichinan and it's back to the top of the order and Tabuki!
He's constantly trying to take the ball the other way, but winds up hitting it right to Miyazawa! He goes home for the force and there's 2 out!
Fujishima finally dialing it up, hitting 140 on the gun. He gets ahead of Uemura 1-2....
Uemura looks at a ball just on the inside half for strike 3 and Fujishima with the guts pose runs back to the dugout! He may be a 1st year, but he's not letting the game get to him.
Meanwhile Touhou works on Yokokawa. Mine with a ball back up the middle for a leadoff base hit.
Kudou follows that up with a solid single through the left side.
Mizoguchi with a blooper to center, and that's in for a base hit! Manrui for Touhou!
And Kanagawa-kantoku is making a change! #10 Yanagi Yuusei comes in for Uemura, and takes the hill. Yokokawa goes to left and Azuma goes to 2nd.
And Yanagi is throwing gas. He's hitting 140 on the gun and the ball seems to rise all the way to the glove. Fujishima just swings and whiffs on 3 straight.
Matsubara lays down a perfect squeeze bunt and Yanagi can only go to 1st! Mine scores and it's 2-0 Touhou!
Suzuki flies out to deep center, but Touhou puts another crooked number on the board.
Nichinan Gakuen swinging away as Takumi and Hagiwara both fly out. And Tomoya just walks back the dugout after a 118 kph curve just goes right down the pipe for strike 3.
Yanagi can throw harder, but he's missing outside. Okada draws the leadoff walk. Kodama deadens the ball and they're in business once again.
Whoops. Okada goes a tad too early for 3rd, and he's easy prey for Yanagi. It's your standard rundown for the 2nd out.
But Yanagi's control is still lacking and he hits Miyazawa.
And he's not even close to Mine, throwing all 4 balls outside. Nichinan looks to be in bad shape on the hill...
Now he's missing low to Kudou.
Yanagi puts a ball over, but right in Kudou's wheelhouse as he singles to center! Miyazawa scores and Touhou extends the lead to 3-0!
There were no other pitchers used, so unless Kangawa-kantoku has something up his sleeve, he might be in trouble.
Yanagi gets the count full, but Mizoguchi hits a ball down the 3rd base line... FAIR!
It bounces over the bag and Shintani can't get it on the dive! Mine scores on the double , it's 4-0 and Kanagawa-kantoku calls for time as #18 Wama warms up in the bullpen.
Yanagi actually gets ahead of Fujishima, but winds up plunking him to load the bases!
Yanagi gets ahead of yet another batter, 1-2 to Matsubara. He hits one right to 3rd, but it's off Shintani's glove and takes a left turn into foul territory! Another run scores and it's 5-0 Touhou!
The inning finally ends when Suzuki is jammed and grounds to 2nd.
I suppose it could be worse when you send 9 batters up, but Touhou extends their lead in a big way.
Meanwhile, Nichinan is trying to swing their way out of the deficit, but instead they get 3 groundouts on just 5 pitches!
At lest it looks like Yanagi's pitches are getting close to the zone, Okada is taking some healthy hacks, but grounds to short.
And then he leaves one too far in and Kodama singles to center.
Miyazawa also gets a hold of one in the zone and puts some zip on it, but Tomoya makes the leaping catch for the 2nd out.
Hey! It's a donut! Mine can't make it 3 times on base as he strikes out looking on a Yanagi fastball that touches the outside corner. They finally stop Touhou, but the battle's far from over.
Last batter Shintani about the only thing going right for Nichinan as he lines over Miyazawa for a base hit!
Oh? Tabuki with a grounder that sneaks its way through to left for a base hit! Now Kanagawa has Yanagi bunt the runners over and a base hit can put a dent in the deficit.
Takumi bloops one to right! Matsubara has no play and both runners come in to score! It's 5-2!
Hagiwara with a drive to left center! That's past the outfielders! Takumi heading home, the throw is late! Mine fires to 3rd, and they gun down Hagiwara trying to take an extra base. It's 5-3, but I think that's a baserunning error despite the run.
Tomoya grounds to 2nd to end the inning, but despite the base running mistake, Nichinan responds with a 3-spot of their own!
Touhou's bats though are on the prowl again. Kudou lines a single to right and despite being 2-2, Mizoguchi bunts him along to 2nd.
Fujishima with a long AB, fouling off 5 pitches before hitting a ball back up the middle. It goes off Yanagi's glove but right to Tomoya who tags Kudou for the out, but the throw to 1st is way too high and Fujishima gets 2nd on the throw.
Matsubara in a complete carbon copy of Fujishima's AB, fouls off several of his own behind 1-2.
This time though he hits a short liner down the right field line! Tanigawa tries to make the diving catch, but at least keep the ball in front of him. Fujishima though scores on the double and it's 6-3.
Oh that error is proving costly! Suzuki with a drive to deep right and it's over Tanigawa's head! Matsubara scores and Suzuki is in with a triple to make it 7-3!
With Wama warming up in the bullpen, Yanagi walks Okada on 4 straight, all outside.
Kodama continues the assault on the Nichinan pitching staff with a solid base hit through th left side. 8-3 now for Touhou.
Miyazawa flies out to center to end the inning, but Nichinan Gakuen at the break find themselves having to outhit their pitching.
Nichinan continues to try and swing early to get on base, but again, it winds up being a short inning. 6 pitches later and Touhou will be back on the bats.
Yokogawa takes the hill once again, with Azuma going back to left and #15 Tsukamoto coming in for Yanagi to play 2nd.
But after recording the first out, Kudou doubles to the right center field gap.
Well, that went downhill fast. Mizoguchi hits a 2-run HR to right and it's 10-3 Touhou.
Fujishima checks in with his first hit, a scorcher past a diving Shintani for a single. #11 Iita is being sent out to the bullpen.
After a flyout, Suzuki gets yet another base hit, this time down the left field line for another double.
Okada pops out to short, but Touhou continues to pile on the runs....
Now they're just showing off, Grounder to the right side of 2nd, Miyazawa flips to Suzuki who goes to 1st for the out.
Tabuki and Tsukamoto go down in order and Nichinan may be waving the white flag now.
Touhou appears to be doing the right thing and trying to cycle through the game quickly with the big lead. 6 pitches later and we're onto the 8th.
Takumi also one of the bright spots for Nichinan as he hits a deep gapper for a double and his 3rd hit of the game.
But he can't even advance another 90 feet as both Hagiwara and Tomoya fly out while Yokogawa hits it right to 1st for the 3rd out.
Kudou tries to go for the gusto I think, but he just flies out to center and is retired for the first time.
That allows Mizoguchi to catch up with a single to center.
Fujishima getting his swing down here late in the game, blasts one over Tabuki's head for a double.
There some discussion going on after Matsubara's flyout to center, but I can't make out what it's all about.
No matter though, Suzuki singles to right making it an 11-3 game.
And Touhou isn't stopping either. They get Suzuki to 2nd on a feigned steal of home.
Mercifully though Okada goes down swinging to end the inning.
Last ups for Nichinan Gakuen, and Fujishima is given a break as ace # Ooi enters the game.
Nichinan Gakuen goes down swinging and Touhou advances with an easy 11-3 win.
Not much to say here. Nichinan Gakuen's pitching just wasn't up to snuff today as Touhou knocked them around to the tune of 20 hits and 11 runs. They make a return to Koushien, but the say is brief.
For Touhou, it won't be this easy going forward, but rookie Fujishima seems to be up to the task.
Fujishima Kento (Touhou) - 8 IP, 3 ER, 9 H, 3 K, BB, HBP
Suzuki Daisuke (Touhou) - 4-5, 2 2B, 3B, 2 R, 2 RBI
Kudou Shun (Touhou) - 4-5, 2B, 2 R, RBI
Mizoguchi Yoshichika (Touhou) - 4-5, 2B, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI
Takumi Daichi (Nichinan Gakuen) - 3-4, 2B, R, 2 RBI
Shintani Rui (Nichinan Gakuen) -2-4, R