Toukai Dai-yon (Minami Hokkaido)
CF Takahashi Iwami
2B Oogawara Akira
SS Fukuda Ryouta
LF Ookouchi Wataru
1B Abe Yoshi
RF Takada Shou
P Nishijima Ryouta
C Ueno Jyunki
3B Wakahara Shunnosuke
Kyushu Kokusaidai Fuzoku (Fukuoka)
2B Nakao Hayato
RF Kawaguchi Shuu
SS Furusawa Shougo
C Shimizu Yuki
CF Hikida Rentarou
3B Yamamoto Musashi
LF Nakatani Kousuke
P Tomiyama Ryouga (#13)
1B Kobayashi Taiki (#15)
10:30 - First Pitch!
Tomiyama getting the bench start instead of ace Andou, but he starts off well with a strikeout of Takahashi. Oogawara swings at a ball outside and flies out to left, and Fukuda just watches a fastball go by for the 3rd out.
Nakao with a hard grounder to short, Fukuda stops it but then loses the handle on the ball! E6 gives Kyuukoku a base runner. But Ueno makes a snap throw to 1st and they get him napping on the bases!
Not to be outdone, Nishijima uses his offspeed pitches to fool Kawaguchi and Furusawa and rackup a pair of K's himself.
One down for Toukai and Abe gives a ball a ride, but gets under it and allows Hikida to catch up to it in front of the fence in right center.
Takada goes down swinging on a fastball high and away and the side is retired.
Shimizu starts off the inning with a single to the left side. And he takes off for 2nd! Ookouchi's throw in is too high for Fukuda and allows him to take 2nd!
Hikida with a single to left, and Ookouchi's boots the ball! It stays close to him, but a shaky start for Toukai's LF.
Yamamoto not bunting, and Nishijima gets him to chase a slider in the dirt for the first out.
Now a wild pitch from Nishijima allows Hikida to take 2nd. Base hit can score 2 now.
Nakatani a bit eager swings on the next 2 pitches to fill up the count before finally taking a pitch for ball 4. Manrui now for pitcher Tomiyama.
Nishijima still going to his offspeed pitches, but gets into a corner when the count reaches 3 balls. That's when he goes to the fastball and gets him swinging for the 2nd out!
Nishijima wanted that 0-2 pitch to Kobayashi, but the umpire isn't biting. He tries to entice a swing, but Kobayashi isn't buying that either!
Nishijima catches Hikida taking off early and he's caught in no man's land! Shimizu tries to get home before the tag, but Hikida can't buy enough time and Toukai is out of the pinch!
Nishijima finally gets a hit off of his counterpart, a nice single back up the middle with one down.
Wakahara showing bunt but goes buster and singles through the right side!
Takahashi goes down and loops a ball to shallow left! Nishijima being sent home, throw is cutoff and Toukai Dai-yon takes the 1-0 lead!
And now ace Andou enters the game for Kyuukoku!
Oogawara with a liner to left center! That'll score Wakahara and it's 2-0 Toukai! Still 1 down, runners at the corners!
Fukuda with a fly ball to left and that'll be deep enough to score the runner from 3rd and it's 3-0!
Ookouchi with a slicer down the left field line! Nakatani takes a bad route to the ball and it goes all the way to the wall! Oogawara scores to make it a 4-0 ballgame!
Abe flies out to center, but Toukai Dai-yon strikes Kyuukoku hard here in the 3rd!
And it's Kyuukoku that's having trouble finding traction in their offense. One down and a hard liner by Nakao is snagged by a leaping Oogawara. Kawaguchi would go down swinging thereafter and it's a quick inning for Nishijima.
Oowaki-kantoku looks for insurance runs as after a one-out single by Ueno, he has Nishijima bunt him into scoring position. However Wakahara grounds to 2nd to end the inning.
Nishijima unleashes his eephus pitch, which apparently went 50 kph and was a ball. The crowd goes wild.
Yoshizawa meanwhile tries to drive a pitch deep, but Takahashi has no problems getting under it for the out.
Meanwhile Shimizu can only watch a fastball hit the outside corner for strike 3, and Hikida can't help but go after an outside slider for another K.
Oogawara gets his 2nd base hit, with another single to center. Ookouchi with 2 down singles to center! Hikida throws to 3rd.. and it gets by everyone! Oogawara scrambles home and it's 5-0 on the error!
Abe grounds out to end the inning, but Kyuukoku looks uncharacteristically sloppy.
Yamamoto swings and misses on a slider by Ueno can't block the ball and Yamamoto reaches 1st on the pitch.
There's no bunting from Wakao-kantoku, and that allows Nishijima to strike out Nakatani looking on another well-placed fastball.
Kobayashi trying really hard to turn over the lineup, works the count full.
But it's no use! He freezes on a fastball inside and Nishijima has 10, 10(!) K's going into the break! Who saw this coming?!
Defensive change as #12 Iwasaki comes in for Nakatani and takes over in left.
Takada with a shallow liner down the right field line, Kawaguchi charges in, slides, but can't make the catch! Takada winds up at 2nd, though is promptly bunted to 3rd. Nishijima can't bring him home as he hits a slow grounder to the right side. Furusawa crashing in makes sure that Takada can't come home on the throw.
Andou leaves that runner stranded as he gets Wakahara looking on a slider and he keeps the deficit at 5.
Nishiima helps get Kyuukoku's inning started by hitting Nakao.
But as easily as he gives them something he takes it away! Kawaguchi comebacker to Nishijima and he starts the 1-6-3 double play!
And it's another eephus! It's right in Ueno's glove but no strike.
Another one! But this one is really short and definitely not a strike.
Perhaps the baseball gods say that's enough as Yoshizawa lines a ball over a leaping Abe for a double.
Shimizu with a drive to deep left! Ookouchi to the wall and it's off the top of the padding! Yoshizawa scores and Kyuukoku is on the board at 5-1!
Punishment over though as Yamamoto pops it up! Fukuda under it, makes the catch for the 3rd out. Kyuukoku gets a run back, but nothing more.
#3 Tezuka in the game for Kobayashi at 1B
And Takahashi booms a ball to left! Iwasaki playing way in has to chase after it and he's in with a triple! That's paid off right afterwards with a sac fly from Oogawara and Toukai gets the run right back at 6-1!
Fukuda grounds to 1st, but Tezuka can't field it cleanly, tries to make the stretch to the bag, but it's not in time! E3 and things really looking bad for Kyuukoku.
Ookouchi with a single through the left side and now Wakao-kantoku has #11 Germais warming up in the bullpen.
And now a balk is called! Andou drops the ball while set and the runners get to advance!
However, neither Abe or Takada can drive in the runs so Toukai Dai-yon has to settle for getting the run back.
Andou manages a one-out single, but all Tezuka and Nishio can do is hit grounders to 2nd...
Wakahara, in an attempt to pad his stats (kidding) succeeds in a bunt single with 2 down. Takahashi then tries to run with it singling to center.
Andou ends such shenanigans by getting Oogawara to hit a weak comebacker at him for the 3rd out.
Nishijima throws the eephus yet again, apparently not having learned his lesson. Though I think he's trying to get it called a strike.
Anyways, he retires the side in order as he climbs the ladder on Shimizu for his 11th K.
Abe is able to check in with a base hit in the 9th before being picked off late in Takada's AB, but they're looking to get to the finish line now.
Kyuukoku obliges with PH Aoki popping out to Abe for the final out.
So in an unexpected result, Toukai Dai-yon has no trouble with Kyushu Kokusaidai Fuzoku and wins handily 6-1!
Usually teams from Hokkaido do not fare well, not dominate in the manner that Toukai Dai-yon did, this after being away from Koushien for 21 years! Nishijima records 12 Ks, and gives up just 5 hits in the effort. Despite the fact that Fukuoka isn't a strong prefecture the stat lines are still impressive. Kyushu Kokusaidai Fuzoku wil just have to reload and try again next year.
It'll be interesting to see how Toukai Dai-yon will do in their next game given the results. It was a dominating performance, but not to the extent that they are say dark horses now to win it all.
(Notable Players to be done later)