Saturday, March 21, 2015

Day 1, Opening Game - Hachinohe Gakuin Kousei (Aomori) vs. Kyushu Gakuin (Kumamoto)

My computer I use for doing the write ups is acting up on me, so I'll have to skip the intro for now. And apparently the title as well.

Top 1st
As perhaps expected, Ise is not a flame thrower of any sort. At the same time, we knew Kousei might have issues hitting.

And so it was that Kousei's first runner would come on a HBP to Kasumi with one down. Unfortunately for Kousei, Kasumi perhaps can't pick up on the pickoff move and is caught napping for the 2nd out.

Adachi flies out to left and it's an easy inning for Ise to start.

Bottom 1st
Hasegawa playing the good leadoff man, working the count drawing a walk. Yonemitsu immediately bunts him to 2nd.

Tomoda with a ball to the right side, and Nakzaki can't run it down! And it's so slow that Kasumi has no play at home! 1-0 Kyushu Gakuin!

Matsushita hits back to Nakagawa for a 1-4-3 double play to end the inning, but Kyushu opens the scoring early!

Top 2nd
Nakazaki finally gets the first hit for Kousei, getting around on an side pitch and driving it to left for a single. But Kobayashi flies to left, and Baba swings on high cheese to leave him at 1st.

Bottom 2nd
Kyushu Gakuin is attacking the ball early, but it also gives Nakagawa a quick inning. 6 pitches and three groundballs later, the inning is over.

Top 3rd
Sawaya tries to work the count being in the bottom of the order, but despite a 10 pitch AB, he grounds out to short. The next 2 batters are not as patient, but the results are much the same. It's a true 1-2-3 inning for Ise and Kousei's offense looks as anemic as I thought.

Bottom 3rd
Same goes for Kyushu Gakuin. Their 1 hit was a seeing eye single.Ise tries to buy the walk on a 3-2 count, but it finds the top of the zone for a K. Nakahara and Hasegawa both ground out as well, and this looks to be a very low-scoring affair.

Top 4th
Kasumi with a shot past Ise who has to spin out of the way gives them a leadoff runner. Adachi bunts, but Nakahara tries to go to 2nd! His snap this high, taking Matsushita off the bag!

Now runners on 1st and 2nd, Sawada tries to bunt, but falls behind 1-2. He feigns bunt to work the count full, and Ise throws one wide to the backstop to load the bases!

Nakazaki with a great chance for Kousei, flies one to left. Wakahara makes the catch, and Kasumi tags up easily to make it a 1-1 ballgame!

Kobayashi trying to do something productive, hits a ball to the right side. Tomoda just runs it down on the outfield grass, and makes the putout at 1st, 2 down.

With first open, and the bottom of the lineup perhaps not as strong, Ise sort of pitches around Baba, eventually issuing a walk to create the force.

But Ise's first pitch to Sawaya is wild! Adachi can trot home and it's 2-1 Kousei! Once again, Ise walks Sawaya to load the bases yet again for last batter Nakagawa.

And Ise is having control issues, missing everything either down, away or both.

Nakagawa bails him out by swinging on a 2-1 pitch and grounding out to end the inning. But Kousei looks to be having the better of it right now and leads thanks to missteps by ace Ise!

Bottom 4th
Cleanup batter Matsushita finally breaks the hitless drought with a 2-out single back up the middle and off the 2nd base bag.

Yanagiuchi pops out to Adachi to end the inning and Kousei holds serve.

Top 5th
Ise's control seems to be lacking still as he goes up and in on Arai, grazing his face. After a check from the home plate umpire, he heads to 1st.

Kasumi and Adachi can do no better than advance him with grounds balls to 3rd, and Sawada goes after the first pich. It's down and in, and he rolls it to Yonemitsu for the 3rd out.

Bottom 5th
Wakahara with a drive down the right field line, but it hangs up just enough for Kasumi to run it down. Ise gets his team's 3rd hit with a 2-out single to left. Nakagawa compounds things by hitting Nakahara to turn the lineup over.

Hasegawa however, can do no better than roll it back to Nakagawa who makes the play to send us to the break. The offenses may be slowing winding up, but there'll be a lot more donuts on the board before the game is over.

Top 6th
Kousei perhaps going for the big ball. Nakazaki booms one to left, but not far enough as Wakahara goes near the foul pole for the catch. After another flyout, Baba bloops one off of Tomoda's glove for a base hit. It's 2 outs though and Sawaya can't do much of anything with it.

Bottom 6th
It's running more of the same for Kyushu's offense. No good contact, and right at fielders. 3 up, 3 down.

Top 7th
Nakagawa making a bid for a base hit, lines one to shallow right. Motomura charges in, and makes a great sliding catch!

That sets the tone for the inning as the lucky 7 for Kousei goes quietly in order.

Bottom 7th
Once again Kyushu gets a base hit, but it's with 2 down. Motomura lines one past Adachi for a single. Ise though grounds to Adachi, who goes the short way to end the inning.

Top 8th
Adachi gets the inning started with a single through the right side. Sawada bunts him over.

Nakazaki with a rope to right, it's too hard though to allow Adachi to score. Ise's pitches are being squared up on.

Kobayashi with a ball to shallow left, Wakahara sells out, dives, but can't get there! It bounces behind him as both runners score to make it a 4-1 ballgame!

Things go from bad to worse as Ise walks Baba, then after he takes 2nd he hits Sawaya. Manrui for Kousei for Nakagawa.

And he delivers a ball to deep left! Wakahara goes back to the wall, but he has to play it off the base! 2 more runs come in and it's a 6-1 lead!

Things go from bad to worse when Arai pops up a ball to the infield. Tomoda and Yanagiuchi converge on the ball, neither calls the other off, and it glances off Yanagiuchi's glove and to the ground. That proves to be costly as Adachi would take the next ball to deep right center and off the base of the wall there for a bases clearing triple to make it a 9-1 game.

The hits keep on piling up as Sawada singles to left, but mercifully Nakazaki grounds out to short to end the inning. But Kousei has blown it wide open here late.

Bottom 8th
Nakahara starts the long trek back with a base hit to left. With one down, Yonemitsu single back up the middle to put runners on 1st and 2nd.

Tomoda delivers with a base hit of his own up the middle which scores Nakahara to make it a 9-2 game.

I lost connectivity at this point, but from the box score it looks like Matsushita flew out to center, Yonemitsu tries to tag up, and was throw out at home.

Top 9th
Ise continues to pitch on the mound despite his issues, which continue to persist. Baba and new 1B Ogasawara get back-to-back hits, and then Ise walks Arai with 2 down to load the bases. He does get out of it without further damage though.

Bottom 9th
True to form, Sakai-kantoku does not use a bench player, and while a walk and error put men on base, it's with 2 outs yet again. Nakahara goes down swinging to end the game, and the Kyushu champions go down hard.

Kousei wasn't that great of a team on paper, but you felt like it was Kyushu Gakuin that was on the edge of falling apart, which they finally did in the 8th. The fact that they were the champions doesn't bode well for the rest of the region in their upcoming games. As for Kousei, for them to be that easy throughout could a worry for those in Sendai Ikuei's way.

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