Kanoya Chuo's signature win came when it really mattered, a 3-1 victory over Kamimura Gakuen which I was luckily able to watch. A lot of that was because of ace Nanashima Takuya.
Chiben Wakayama's grip on Wakayama prefecture may be nearing an end. Last year they couldn't even get out of the round of 16, then this year Shiritsu Wakayama - perhaps with more confidence then usual given last year's result went toe-to-toe, staving off elimination in enchousen before winning in 12 innings. That meant that Chiben failed to reach Koushien for the 2nd straight year, and the last time that happened was back in 1994-95!
Shiritsu Wakayama (Wakayama)
SS Nishiyama Shouma
CF Yamaguchi Seigo
1B Setoguchi Rei
LF Kokubo Kyoushou (#9)
3B Nakayama Shouta
RF Abe Kazumasa (#13)
C Tanaka Yuuta
P Akao Chihiro
2B Yamane Shouki
Kanoya Chuo (Kagoshima)
LF Kawasaki Kenshirou
SS Hakiai Shunichirou
3B Tokushige Jin
RF Kihara Satoshi
C Kawauchi Daiki
1B Oota Takeshi
2B Kanda Kouta
CF Yamashita Ryouta
P Nanashima Takuya
10:45 - First Pitch!
Nishiyama with a ball to left center! He's in with a leadoff double! Handa-kantoku has Yamaguchi bunt him over to 3rd.
Things are shaky for Nanashima early as he walks Tokushige.
He takes off for 2nd! Throw from Kawauchi in plenty of time, and the dancing around won't help! 2 down!
And Kokubo grounds back to Nanashima and Nishiyama is stranded at 3rd!
One down and Hakiai reaches down on a slider and lines one to left for a base hit.
Tokushige though with a grounder to short. Nishiyama goes to 2nd, throws it away! It goes to right and Hakiai goes to 3rd! Kanoya threatening right back with runners at the corners!
And now Akao hits Kihara! Manrui for Kanoya Chuo as Kawauchi steps in!
But he hits a grounder to 2nd! Yamane starts the 4-6-3 double play and the side is retired! Both aces are in trouble in the opening frame but both get out of the jam!
It's a real quick inning for Nanashima in the 2nd. He needs just 8 pitches to retire the side in order, and he puts his team back on the sticks.
Oota tries to inside out a ball, but flies out to Abe for the 1st out.
Kanda with a solid single past a diving Nishiyama for a base hit.
Yamamoto-kantoku tries the hit-and-run! But Yamashita hits it right to 2nd! Yamane again starts the 4-6-3 double play and the side is retired once again!
Akao looks to help his own cause with a leadoff single through the left side.
Yamane lays down a great bunt, but Nanashima fires to 2nd! He cuts down the lead runner with a great play!
Handa-kantoku puts on the hit-and-run, but Nishiyama flies out to left for the 2nd out.
Yamaguchi straightens out his swing after just lining one foul, and it goes fair down the left field line! Yamane heading to 3rd, being waved home! Relay throw... in plenty of time and he's thrown out to end the inning!
Boy, that was a base running mistake there by Shiritsu Wakayama...
The game is flying along as Kanoya tries to scrap together a base hit. Kawasaki tries a safety bunt with one down, but that fails as Akao has a 9 pitch inning.
One down for Kokubo and he hits a single to left. No wait! He's heading for 2nd! Kihara scrambles to get the ball in, but Kokubo catches the defense off guard and he's in with a hustle double!
Nakayama slicer down the left field line.. fair! Kawasaki has to run it down, but Kokubo scores from 2nd and Shiritsu Wakayama takes the lead! 1-0!
Nanashima retires the next 2 batters, but back-to-back doubles give Wakayama the lead!
One down, Kihara goes into a long AB vs Akao. He finally wins, drawing a walk on the 10th pitch of the AB.
Kawauchi trying to lay down the bunt, fails, and now there's 2 strikes.
They try the hit-and-run, but Kawauchi reaches down and lines one right to Nishiyama who doubles off Kihara for another inning-ending double play!
After recording his 3rd K, Nanashima leaves a slider over the plate and Yamane takes it down the right field line for a double!
Comebacker by Nishiyama! Nanashima snags it! He looks Yamane back and goes to 1st for the out!
Another comebacker to Nanashima! He gets a glove on it, it deflects to Kanda who makes the play at 1st for the 3rd out!
Oota fooled mightily on a slider, just gets the bat on the ball and grounds to 2nd. Akao gets his 2nd K as put a fastball perfectly on the outside corner to get Kanda.
Yamashita goes for the safety bunt, and Nishiyama has too much ground to cover! He's in safe with a head-sliding bunt single!
Handa-kantoku continues trying for the hit-and-run, but Nanashima grounds to short to end the inning.
It's actually been a clean games, with the sending home of Yamane being the only blemish. Shiritsu Wakayama holds a tenuous 1-0 lead as we hit the break.
Nanashima seems to have settled down after the break as none of the balls hit by the 4-5-6 batters gets out of the infield.
Meantime Akao is continuing to keep the Kanoya batters off the bases, striking out Kawasaki on a fastball cutting the outside corner. He then gets some help when Yamane ranges behind 2nd to grab a hit from Hakiai. The throw takes a bounce, but the head-slide buys it more time for it to get there for the out.
Tokushige manages to get a 2-out hit to center, but can't make anything of it as Kihara grounds to 2nd for the 3rd out
Nanashima has really found his tempo as he's hitting his spots and getting bad contact. Yes, he backs Abe out with a ball inside, but its the old in and out trick and Abe just waves at a ball outside for the 1st out.
Tanaka and Akao follow right behind and Nanashima has his 2nd consecutive clean inning.
One down in Kanoya's lucky 7, and Oota turns the ball back up the middle for a base hit. Yamamoto-kantoku elects to go for the one time shot with a sac bunt.
Ah, but Yamashita rolls a ball over to 2nd and the side is retired! Nothing doing in the lucky 7 and they're down to their last 6 outs.
Nanashima's streak of retired batters ends at 10 when he walks Yamaguchi with 2 down. He quickly turns around and gets Setoguchi to fly out to right to end the inning.
That'll be it for Nanashima, #13 Nishimura comes in to PH for him to lead off the 8th.
The strategy pays off as Nishimura lines a fastball to left for a base hit! He's replaced immediately by #17 Hiromori at 1B. Kawasaki lays a bunt up the 1st base line and the douten runner is in scoring position.
Hakiai goes after the first pitch, grounds to 3rd. Hiromori can't advance and there's 2 down.
Tokushige base hit up the middle! They're sending Hiromori home! Throw from Yamaguchi cut off! He scores, but Akao goes back to 2nd where they get Tokushige for the 3rd out.
BUT! We have a whole new ballgame as we head to the 9th!
With Nanashima gone, #10 Yonezawa comes in for PR Moriyama and takes the hill.
Kokubo shot to 3rd, Tokushige tries to backhand, but it deflects away and Kokubo is on with a base hit. Nakayama bunts him along.
And now it's Shiritsu Wakayama's turn to send in a PH. #7 Ooshima comes to hit for Abe.
Ooshima goes down swinging, but the ball gets away from Kawauchi! He scrambles to get the ball up the 3rd base line and fires wide! Oota makes the catch and tag though an d there's 2 down. But Kokubo advances another 90 feet to 3rd...
That brings up Tanaka to try and break the tie...
Grounder to short! Hakiai with the grab, throw to 1st... Oota makes a great stretch to get the ball and the side is retired!
Ooshima stays in the game at RF.
Kihara and Kawauchi both retired quickly and we look to be headed for enchousen when Oota hits a single to left.
And now Kanda hits a ball back up the middle and the sayonara run is in scoring position!
Yamashita doesn't seem anxious to swing, gets ahead 2-1 before going after a ball inside to level the count.
Base hit to left! Oota being waved around??!!
Throw home from Kokubo... easily in time and while Oota evades the tag the first time, he's got nowhere to go and we're headed to enchousen!
Yonezawa doing well in relief so far, getting Akao to swing over a slider for the first out.
Of course I say that and then he loses Yamane to a walk. And now Nishiyama singles through the left side! Gyakuten runner in scoring position as Yamamoto-kantoku calls time. #11 Sorachi is scrambled to the bullpen.
Liner from Nishiyama! Right to Hakiai! Yamane can only look up in frustration as he's doubled off to end the inning!!
Yonezawa hard hit to right side, but Yamane make a great pick! Throw to 1st and there's 1 down! Nice play on the bad hop!
Akao retires Kawasaki and Hakiai for a clean inning, and we're headed to the 11th.
Setoguchi gives the ball a ride, but right to Yamashita. Kokubo does the same, but this time to Kihara.
It's not a clean inning though because Yonezawa issues his 2nd walk to Nakayama.
Handa-kantoku with the hit-and-run again, but Ooshima grounds to Hakiai to end the inning.
Tokushige with another base hit back up the middle and Kanoya Chuo is in business!
Kihara swinging, but it's a ball right to Setoguchi! He goes to 2nd for one, throw back to Setoguchi, double play! Kihara hits into the 3-6-3 double play and there's suddenly 2 outs!
Kawauchi flies out to center and we move onto the 12th!
The teams are searching for any momentum as Tanaka takes the first pitch and flies out to left.
Akao can't get anything going and goes down swinging.
It's 1-2-3 for Wakayama as Yamane hits a swinging bunt that Kawauchi fields for the 3rd out.
Oota grounder to short, but Nishiyama muffs the ball! Nakayama backs up, but it's too late!
Kanda lays down a hard bunt, but Akao's play is still to 1st. Sayonara runner on in scoring position.
Yamashita base hit through the right side! Oota rounding 3rd, is held up as Ooshima gets the ball in. Sayonara runner 90 feet away as Handa-kantoku calls time...
Yonezawa grounder to 2nd!! Yamane with the ball, goes to 1st??!!
Yamane goes to 1st and Oota scores the sayonara run...
What do you even say? It's obvious what happened. Yamane lost track of the outs, threw to the wrong bag, and Kanoya Chuo walks off 2-1...
There isn't any joy in this win either. Kanoya Chuo got a break, and Yamane is completely broken. The cameras are all focused on him for obvious reasons, but all he wants to do is hide.
You just never want to see a game end this way. 12 hard fought innings with both sides playing great baseball... and then the game ends on something like this. All he can do is apologize, and probably wonder that his legacy will be remembered for that one play.
It shouldn't. It really shouldn't...
Nanashima Takuya (Kanoya Chuo) - 8 IP, ER, 6 H, 4 K, 2 BB
Yonezawa Yuuya (Kanoya Chuo) - 4 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 3 K, 2 BB
Yamashita Ryouta (Kanoya Chuo) - 3-5
Tokushige Jin (Kanoya Chuo) - 3-5, RBI
Akao Chihiro (Shiritsu Wakayama) - 11.2 IP, 2 ER, 12 H, 2 K, BB, HBP
Kokubo Kyoushou (Shiritsu Wakayama) -2-5, 2B, R