People may not realize that back in 2012 these two teams faced off. Kendai back then was like the Kendai now, free running and exciting the crowd.
But when they faced Osaka Touin, they got thrown out once and we never saw them try again as they fell 3-1.
If they have to running game, they are lost. That's all I think it really boils down to.
Osaka Touin (Osaka)
LF Nakamura Makoto
2B Minemoto Takumi
3B Katsuki Kazuya
1B Shouzui Yuuya (#8)
RF Aoyagi Kouki (#13)
C Yokoi Yuuya
CF Mori Shinnosuke (#9)
SS Fukuda Kouki
P Fukushima Kousuke
Takasaki Kenkoudai Fukushi (Gunma)
CF Hirayama Takayuki
2B Hoshino Yuusuke
RF Wakimoto Naoto
1B Nagashima Ryouhei
C Tsuge Sena
LF Yamagami Takashi
3B Shibahiki Ryousuke (#15)
SS Yokomizo Takuto
P Kawai Tomoya (#11)
13:10 - First Pitch!
Kawai gets an easy popup from Nakamura to start.
Minemoto hot shot to 3rd, Shibahiki with a great stop and throw gets him out.
Katsuki high chopper up middle, Yokomizo ranges, gets it, spins, throws.. but not in time!
He took an extra step and that probably cost him the out.
Shouzui with a single through the left side and could they be in trouble like Kousei?
No! Kawai snaga the comebacker from Aoyagi and goes to 1st to retire the side!
We'll see if they can run right off the bat as Fukushima walks Hirayama!
And he does! Throw from Yokoi is high and he's in safely!
Hoshino with the bunt! Yokoi can only go to 1st. 1 down.
Wakimoto does his job! He hits a ball to center! Mori catches, fires home as Hirayama tags up, but it's not in time! Kendai leads 1-0!
Nagashima bloops a ball to center that falls in front of Mori.
But Fukushima with a quick toss to 1st gets Nagashima to end the inning!
Yokoi hot shot to 3rd! Shibahiki with a wave of the hand picks the high bounce! He loses it on the way down, but gathers it and throws to 1st... out! Nice play by the 2nd year!
Mori with a liner to center, but Nakamura comes in and is there to make the catch.
Fukuda a bit early on the ball, controls his swing, but grounds to 1st. Nagashima takes it to the bag for the 3rd out.
So the only thing that can derail Kendai is simply not having any baserunners.
And I'm not sure if they'll be able to hit for one, because here in the 2nd both Tsuge and Yamagami both are fooled on Fukushima's pitches and ground out while Shibahiki can't hold up his swing on a ball in the dirt.
Osaka Touin not having as hard of a time getting on base. Fukushima singles back up the middle, and is bunted along to 2nd.
Kawai climbs the ladder on Katsuki and he swings! Yokomizo camps under it for the 2nd out.
Shouzui liner to center, Hirayama charging in, reaches out.. AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hirayama misses the ball and it gets by! Fukushima scores! Minemoto being waved around and he scores on the lucky triple! Osaka Touin leads 2-1!
Aoyagi fouls out to Nagashima, but that decision to go for it by Hirayama costs them the lead!
2 Ks at the bottom of the lineup and we're back to Hirayama.
He tries the safety bunt! Katsuki charging in and fires to 1st... SAFE!! He barely head slides in ahead of the throw.
And then he takes of for 2nd! Yokoi's throw... Fukuda can't secure it! Hirayama trying to manufacture another run on his own.
Hoshino with a ball to right, Aoyagi backing up makes the catch to retire the side.
Osaka Touin is playing small ball??!!
After Yokoi singles to center, Mori bunts him over! This feels odd coming from them.
Because Fukuda strikes out swinging on a slider in the dirt, and Fukushima simply grounds out to 1st for the 3rd out. I guess they figure those 2 can't normally hit.
Wakimoto with a slicer down the right field line! Aoyagi runs it down, but he's in with a double! Nagashima with the push bunt forces Katsuki to field it and Wakimoto advances to 3rd.
Tsuge takes a pitch the other way... and that's in for a basehit! Wakimoto can walk home and we're all tied at 1-1!
2 down for Kendai and Aoyagi-kantoku calls the hit-and-run! Shibahiki takes the ball to right and there's runners at the corners!
Shibahiki takes off to 2nd! Yokomizo swings and misses! Throw to 2nd and Tsuge takes off for home! Minemoto's cuts the ball but loses the grip! Tsuge scores!!
The home plate umpire calls Yokomizo for batter's interference on the throw and he's out! We're still tied at 2-2!
(Personally, I don't know if that was the right call...)
Aoyagi-kantoku figures 4 innings is enough for Kawai and #10 Matsuno comes in to take over.
But he walks Nakamura to start the 5th.
Minemoto not bunting, but kinda throws the bat at the ball down 1-2 and dribbles it to the left side like a bunt. He advances the runner nonetheless.
AH! Pitch from Matsuno is high and deflects off Tsuge's glove! Nakamura takes off for 3rd and reaches with no throw!
Katsuki hits a ball to left, but it's too shallow and Nakamura can't score.
Matsuno gets out of the pinch as Shouzui grounds out to short! Yokomizo's completes the play at 1st and Kendai holds serve.
Hoshino with a 2-out liner to center brings up Wakimoto. But will Hoshino run?
Drive to right! Aoyagi heading towards the foul pole! Still going! He's in front of the fence!
Makes the catch!!!
The hamakaze finally wins a match and it's at the expense of Wakimoto!
We hit the break and so far Kendai has been able to run, but not to the extent of other games, but some bad luck has prevented them from taking the lead. But they have proven that they will try the double steal!
Aoyagi becomes Matsuno's 1st K victim as he chases the slider. Yokoi becomes the 2nd after swinging at a ball in the opposite batters box!
Mori flies out to left, and it's another scoreless inning for Kendai!
Kendai's batters continue to mostly struggle against Fukushima. 2 down, Yamagami gets on base as a short chopper forces Minemoto to charge in and his underhand flip is too high and takes Shouzui off the bag.
Yamagami takes off for 2nd but Yokoi tries to frame the pitch for the K instead! Doesn't get the call and Yamagami is in scoring position!
But Shibahiki flies out to right and that ends things in the 6th.
Matsuno on the verge of walking leadoff batter Fukuda, but gets him to chase the slider inside for the out.
Fukushima with a single to right turns the lineup over for Nakamura.
He hits a drive to left! Yamagami heading to the fence, but he's pulling up!
Leadoff batter Nakamura puts Osaka Touin ahead with one swing! 4-2!
Ah! And now Matsuno hits Minemoto! Aoyagi-kantoku quickly scrambles the bullpen.
Minemoto takes off for 2nd! Throw from Tsuge... not in time!! Katsuki with a flyout to right advances the runner to 3rd.
Oy, Matsuno walks Shouzui.
After an 0-1 pitch up and in, Aoyagi-kantoku calls time.
It doesn't help! (I think) Matsuno walks Aoyagi and the bases are loaded! Perhaps they figure that marginal run they would score is worth getting a force at any base.
Yokoi swings on the first pith though and hits a pop fly to Nagashima for the 3rd out.
One down and #17 Kinjyou hits for Matsuno, but he goes down on 3 pitches all on the slider it seems. Really a waste of an AB.
2 down, and while Hirayama draws a walk, his run would only make it a 1-run game.
He goes for 2nd, and with it ties the record for SB at Koushien!
The record is nice, but I think he wants the win.
Liner to right side, Shouzui dives, makes the catch!! That denies them the run!
Grounder to short, AHHH!!!
It takes a high hop and hits him in the head! Mori is safe, but how is Yokomizo?
Oh, the replay shows the ball hitting his neck, but that still hurts.
Fukuda grounder up middle! Yokomizo knocks it down but can only go to 1st.
Mori advances to 3rd with a fly ball to right.
Nakamura shot at 3rd... And Shibahiki can't pick it! It goes to left and Mori scores to make it a 3-run margin at 5-2.
Takahashi gets Minemoto to end the inning, but 3 runs in 2 innings is a lot to ask of Kendai.
Hoshino liner up right side, but Shouzui snags that one too!
2 down, Tsuge with a shallow fly to left center. Mori charges in, dives but can't get there. It kicks awa and Tsuge is in with a double.
Yamagami with a drive to center, but Mori going back easily fields it and Kendai may fall once again to the powerhouse.
#5 Nakasuji comes in for Yokomizo.
Takahashi retires the side in order, but his team is against the wall.
Kendai goes quietly in 9th and Osaka Touin defeats Kendai Takasaki once again 5-2 to advance to Best 4.
Kendai didn't deviate from their plan, but you could say they were partially a victim of bad luck. The batter's interference on the double steal, Wakimoto's deep fly that just missed being a HR, the two liners that Shouzui were able to snag. It just wasn't their day.
And it's too bad because their baseball is so fun to watch and something you just don't see everyday. There are parts of their team that are young, so perhaps we'll see this team again soon.