Our middle game again is between the two regions dominating Koushien so far - Tohoku and Hokushinetsu!
Seikou Gakuin played about as offensively bereft of a game as you could play against Kobe Kokusaidai Fuzoku. The duo of Imaizumi and Funabasama did not dominate batters at all, striking out 3 batters combined, but they also kept them off the basepaths as well combining for a 1.00 WHIP. I don't believe that can hold up, but you never know.
Saku Chousei had a similar game against Toukaidai Koufu. The offense managed just 5 hits but wound up scoring 3 runs.
That would wind up being enough as Terazawa and Morozumi struck out 10, while just allowing 8 baserunners. Unlike Seikou Gakuin, the K's mean that perhaps it might hold up in the long term.
Give the results, this should be yet another low scoring game with both teams working hard to manufacture runs.
Seikou Gakuin (Fukushima)
LF Yaoita Takumaru
2B Fujiwara Issei
3B Yaginuma Kentarou
1B Yasuda Kouki
CF Isagi Shun
RF Iijima Tsubasa
SS Ishigaki Mitsuhiro
C Takano Kouki
P Funabasama Taiga
Saku Chousei (Nagano)
3B Motoyama Hiyuu (#17)
SS Morii Koutarou
CF Wada Osamu
1B Tanabe Naoki (#5)
LF Takeuchi Kousei
2B Hama Ryuutarou
RF McCarthy Ryumikku (#16)
C Kanazawa Ren
P Terasawa Seiya (#10)
12:05 - First Pitch!
Not a good start as Terasawa hits Yaoita. Fujiwara bunts him along.
Yaginuma with a soft fly to center, Hama runs it down, and Yaoita doesn't realize it was caught. He's doubled off the inning is over.
Motoyama in a prolonged AB with Funabasama but loses the battle swinging at a slider on the outside edge.
Morii catches a slider off the end of the bat and just puts it out of Ishigaki's leap for a base hit.
Fujiwara-kantoku going for the safety bunt as Wada puts it to the left side! Yaginuma charges in, and his throw just beats Wada. 2 down.
AH! Tanabe with a drive to right center and that will bounce all the way to the wall! Morii comes in to score on the timely double from Tanabe! Saku Chousei leads 1-0!
Takeuchi clean single through the left side! Tanabe has to hold at 3rd as Yaoita gets the ball in.
Hama gives the ball a ride, but Yaoita has time to go back and field it for the 3rd out. But Saku Chousei with the first strike!
Yasuda slider down the left field side, goes all the way to the wall for a double! Seikou threatening to tie it up immediately!
Isagi not bunting, but hits it to the right side to advance the runner.
Iijima grounder to the right side! Infield in, but Hama backpedals to get the ball! His only play is to 1st and Yasuda scores to level it at 1-1!
Ishigaki pops up to end the inning, but Seikou comes right back!
McCarthy ahead of Funasama 3-1, gets green light but rolls one to 2nd for the 1st out.
Kanazawa hits a ball to deep left, but didn't get enough as Yaoita is in front of the fence for the catch.
Terasawa goes down on the slider and Funabasama gets healthy on the bottom of the lineup.
Two quick outs for Seikou, but Yaoita squares up a hanging slider and sends it to the left center field gap for a double.
But Terasawa makes a great pick on a chopper back up the middle. Runs it to 1st and the side is retired.
Funabasama might be settling down now. 1-pitch groundout to Motoyama, then Morii chases the slider tailing away. Wada pops the sidearm offering up and Takano makes the catch for the 3rd out.
Yaginuma with a ball to deep center! Wada running back, but can't get there! It takes a bounce off the wall and he's in with a leadoff double!
Yasuda with a deep fly to right, McCarthy runs it down, but Yaginuma can advance to 3rd on the play.
Oy, and now Terasawa hits Isagi.
Iijima clearly up at the plate with a plan, and he hits a fly to center! Wada is there for the catch, but Yaginuma can score easily taking a 2-1 lead.
Ishigaki locks into Terasawa's fastball and drives that to deep left center! The outfielders have to run back and Isagi can score to take a 3-1 lead! Takano ends the inning on a groundout, but Saku Chousei might be in trouble.
2 down for Saku Chousei, and Hama hits a ball down the right field line.. Iijima makes a dive for it, but can't reach it! Hama rounding 2nd, reaches 3rd!
But McCarthy swings on the first pitch and flies out to Isagi in left center for the 3rd out.
Yaoita with his 2nd base hit with a comeback to center. Saitou-kantoku has his go for 2nd, and Kanazawa's throw is offline! It goes into center and Yaoita takes 3rd!
Fujiwara flies out to right, but it's deep enough to score Yaoita to make it a 4-1 game!
Yaginuma flies out to 2nd and the inning is over.
Kanazawa draws a leadoff walk. #3 Totsuka PH for Terasawa so his day is done. He flies out to right.
Motoyama with the hit and run grounds to 1st. Yasuda thinks better of it and goes to 1st for the safe out.
Morii with a looper over Fujiwara and that's down for a base hit! Kanazawa score to make it 4-2!
Morii tries to steal 2nd, but Takano throws him out and the side is retired. Seikou Gakuin having the better of it right now, but Saku Chousei has some momentum going into the break.
Ace Morozumi comes in for PH Totsuka to take the hill.
Yasuda almost makes it 5-2 with a booming shot down the left field side, but the strong hamakaze pushes it foul. He winds up striking out looking on a splitter left up in the zone.
Morozumi though then walks Isagi after filling up the count.
But he takes off too early to steal 2nd! Morozumi turns around and throws to 2nd and he almost sneaks in with a dance, but can't quite reach the base.
Iidzuka with a single back up the middle replaces Yasuda on the basepaths. But he tries to steal 2nd and he's thrown out by Kanazawa to end the inning.
Saku Chousei's batters continue to chase after the slider way outside. Wada and Tanabe both fall victim to it and look silly doing it.
Takeuchi swings at the first pitch not outside, but it jams him. Yasuda makes the catch in foul territory and the side is retired.
Ishigaki with his 2nd hit, a clean single through the left side.
Takano gets a pitch way up an in, and yet still puts the bunt down.
AHH!! They did it again! Ishigaki takes off too early and Morozumi has him! Throw back to 2nd and he's out!
Morozumi throws the splitter and gets Funabasama, but Saku Chousei is running out of innings.
One down and #9 Hikigi hits for McCarthy. He draws a walk, though he doesn't realize it for a little bit and needs to be nudged by the umpire.
Kanazawa fooled on another slider, but pops it up to shallow center. Isagi charges in, makes the wide slide... and makes the catch.
Morozumi first pitch swings and flies out to Ishigaki. Until they can solve how not to hit Funabasama's slider, they're lost. If they can even crowd the plate maybe. I don't really know.
Hikigi stays in the game to play RF.
1 down, Fujiwara with a ball to the right side. Hama makes a great diving stop at the outfield grass, but his throw one hops Tanabe and he can't secure it. Infield base hit for Fujiwara.
Morozumi quick throw to 1st and they pick off Yaginuma! 2 down!
Yaginuma liner, snagged by a dashing Tanabe for the 3rd out!
Motoyama falls behind 0-2, and just pokes a grounder on yet another outside slider to short.
Morii at the edge, but not crowding the plate and not attacking balls down the middle. Instead he swings on a slider away and grounds to short aided by a head-first slide.
Wada flies out to right and Saku Chousei looks to be going down in defeat.
One down, Morozumi hits Isagi with a fastball. Iijima lays down the bunt, but it's right in front of the plate! Kanazawa goes to 2nd for one, relay to 1st for the double play.
Tanabe hits a drive to deep center, Isagi sprinting back, makes the running catch for the 1st out.
Takeuchi pops out to Fujiwara and Saku Chousei down to their final out.
Funabasama hits Hama and so that allows the douten runner to step into the plate.
And now Funabasama hits Hikigi. The douten runner is on base and Saitou-kantoku calls for time.
But Kanazawa quickly behind 0-2 swinging on the outside slider.
He gets a hack at it, but hits it well foul.
They go inside, and Kanazawa is able to get around and foul it off.
But the pitch that has plagued Saku Chousei gets them one last time. Kanazawa twirls around and strikes out to end the game. Seikou Gakuin defeats Saku Chousei 4-2.
Saku Chousei struggled with the outside slider from Funabasama all game, and as a result struck out or hit playable balls for the fielders. That's pretty much what it boiled down to.
Seikou Gakuin moves on, but the question will be if the opposition can solve that sweeping slider. In addition, 3 of the 4 runs scored by Seikou were done in the course of an out (groundout/sac fly). It will be left to see when if they need a base hit they can deliver.