Monday, March 23, 2015

Day 3, Game 2 - Sendai Ikuei (Miyagi) vs. Kamimura Gakuen (Kagoshima)

Well, it's from one contender to another in Meiji Jingu champs Sendai Ikuei. Kamimura Gakuen is tasked with stopping them, but it's a tall order to ask for.

Sendai Ikuei (Miyagi)
3B Satou Shouta
CF Aoki Reima
SS Hirasawa Taiga
C Gunji Yuuya
1B Sasaki Ryousuke
LF Kii Kaishuu
RF Sasaki Tooya
2B Yatsu Koudai
P Satou Sena

Kamimura Gakuen (Kagoshima)
2B Tokou Masao
RF Kido Keiji
LF Tanaka Hairi (#16)
CF Yamamoto Takuya
C Toyoda Shougo
1B Matsumoto Kenta
3B Kodama Kazuya
P Kitashouji Kyouhei
SS Yamashita Takato (#17)


11:22 - First Pitch!

Top 1st
Not a bad start as Kitashouji gets Shouta to ground out to short.

But then he leaves one over the plate for Aoki and he drives it the other way into right center. Yamamoto runs it down at the wall, but Sendai Ikuei is already knocking at the door.

Of which Hirasawa breaks down! It's a clean single through the right side and just like that it's 1-0.

Kitashouji fights back, as he jams Gunji and gets him to ground into a 6-3 double play to end the inning. But Sendai Ikuei is off and running.

Bottom 1st
Kamimura Gakuen seems up to the fight as Kido takes the first pitch through the left side for a 1-out single. Oda-kantoku will play the small ball game and have Tanaka bunt the runner over - which he does.

Satou Sena I think is the first pitcher we've seen who can hit 140. Though right now he's behind Yamamoto 3-0. Check that, he walked him.

His pitches continue to fly wide as he falls behind Toyoda 2-1. But he successfully gets a ball inside enough to induce a roller to 2nd to end the inning. Some form issues, but no damage.

Top 2nd
Kitashouji is leaving pitches in the zone though! A slider doesn't slide and Ryousuke sends it down the left field line for a double!

And now there's a fastball belt high and Kii takes that one the opposite way! Kido goes back, but it's over his head! Ryousuke scores and it's a 2-0 game.

Kitashouji finally records his first out as Tooya lines out to left.

But he continues to put pitches right down the middle! 3-2 to Yatsu right over and he lines it down the left field line for a double! Tanaka fumbles with the ball, but Kii doesn't head home.

Sena does though when he hits a ball to left. Tanaka makes the catch, but has no play at home. 3-0 Sendai Ikuei.

Shouta grounds to 1st to end the inning. But it's already not looking good.

Bottom 2nd
Sena doing his best on the mound to stymy the Kamimura batters. Easy flyout to center from Matsumoto, and Kodama does the same, oh!

Kodama's shallow fly ball to center goes off the glove of Yatsu, who's backing up, and Aoki who's backing him up deflects it off his glove and makes the barehanded catch! A bit of drama there, but in the end goes down as a P-4-8. Somehow.

About the only thing you could say right now about Sena's pitching is his control as he walks Kitashouji. But that doesn't hurt him as Yamashita makes contact on the end of the bat it seems, and lines out to Kii to end the inning.

Top 3rd
Sendai Ikuei continues to put runners on base. Aoki singles to right to lead off the inning. There's no bunting, but Hirasawa still manages to advance him with a slow grounder to 2nd.

Gunji has a hot shot to 3rd and Kodama makes a great stop, but the throw to 1st isn't in time.

That's ok though as Kitashouji gets Ryousuke to ground into a tailor made 4-6-3 double play to end the inning. Finally a 0 on the board for Kamimura Gakuen as they look to get the bats going.

Bottom 3rd
Kido seems to have Sena figured out as with one out again he hits a clean single past a running Yatsu into center.

Tanaka in his first real AB (he bunted his first time up), battles with Sena, fouling off pitch after pitch while slowly working the count full.

And on the 11th pitch, he loses him!  Gunji goes to the mound as Kamimura Gakuen has a great chance here in the 3rd!

Yamamoto chases a forkball and grounds it right to 2nd. Yatsu goes to 2nd for 1, but the relay to 1st is too slow. Still a chance, but there's 2 down.

And Oda-kantoku sends Yamamoto! Gunji's throw to 2nd is in plenty of time and the inning is over! Kamimura runs them out of a scoring opportunity!

Top 4th
Kii with a drive to left. Tanaka scrambling over, dives, but it's just out of his reach! Kii is in with a double and Sendai Ikuei immediately putting the pressure on!

Tooya does the right thing and looks for a pitch to take the other way, and while he grounds out, he advances Kii to 3rd.

There's no squeeze bunt either as Nakatsu hits a grounder to short. That allows Yamashita to look Kii back before making the out.

And Sena pops it up! Matsumoto in foul territory makes the catch to end the inning! Kitashouji getting into and out of pinches the last 2 inning without damage.

Bottom 4th
Sena still having the occasional hiccup. He goes too far inside on Toyoda and hits him (though he really didn't move a whole lot). But after getting Matsumoto on a nasty forkball, he walks Kodama to put 2 runners on yet again.

Kitashouji manages to at least advance the runners with a slow roller to the left side. But they'll need a base hit to score the runners now.

Yamashita with a dying liner to left center, Kii and Aoki converging... and it's Aoki who makes the running catch to retire the side! Sena stays clean through 4, but he's making it really hard on himself.

Top 5th
Back to the top of the order for Sendai Ikuei and Shouta hits a ball back at Kitashouji! It's off his glove and to the left side, but it's right at Kodama! He throws it to 1st for the normal 1-5-3 putout.

Aoki soon afterwards flies out to left, and Hirasawa hits a soft liner that Yamashita ranges over to catch and finally Kitashouji has a 1-2-3 inning.

Bottom 5th
Sena continues to fight on, using his forkball to keep Kamimura off the basepaths. Tokou swings on top of one and grounds out to short. Kido, trying to work the count, gets to 2-2, but then swings over another forkball.

Tanaka up without an official AB so far, also tries to work the count, but Sena gets him on... you guess it, another slider! That's only his 3rd K, but he's only allowed 2 hits as we hit the break. Kamimura Gakuen has had their chances, but Sena continually shuts the door and appears to be getting things right on the mound. There's still plenty of time, but they can't dilly dally about either.

Top 6th
Gunji with a hot shot to 3rd goes off Kodama's glove! It's right to Yamashita who makes the throw to 1st, but it's not in time ! E5 and once again Sendai Ikuei has a leadoff runner on.

Ryousuke hits a ball to 1st.Matsumoto steps on 1st, throws to 2nd, but it's wide! The ball goes off Yamashita's glove and into left as Gunji heads to 3rd!

And now Kii with a blooper to left! Yamashita and Tanaka converge, Yamashita dives, but can't get it! Gunji scores and it's a 4-0 ballgame.

And now Sasaki-kantoku calls for the bunt! Tooya lays it down, but right in front of home! Toyoda right on it, throws to 2nd.. but it's wide! Yamashita is pulled off and when he lunges with his foot, Kii gets there first! Still only 1 down and Sendai Ikuei looks for more runs.

Nakatsu with a liner over Kodama's head into left! Kii is being waved around... and the throw is cutoff! Kii scores and it's 5-0 and the rout might be on.

Sena still without a hit, but at least he's productive. He does so again here as he grounds out to 3rd advancing the runners.

And perhaps not wanting to see his ace face the top of the lineup again, Oda-kantoku pulls his ace in favor of #10 Shinzato. He does the job for now, as Shouta flies out to left to end the inning. The gap though, has gotten wider.

Bottom 6th
And the batters still haven't figured out Sena just yet. Yamamoto and Toyoda are looking for the forkball and are now making poor contact on the ball. And Matsumoto just whiffs on balls out of the zone to end the inning.

Top 7th
Defensive change as #18 Fujie comes in for Matsumoto at 1B.

Shinzato looking well in relief as he strikes out Aoki on a slider.

Hirasawa is quickly retired thereafter on a routine groundout.

But Gunji attacks the first pitch and sends it down the right field line for a double! He's not out of the woods just yet.

And Ryousuke welcomes Shinzato to the party! He singles through the left side! Gunji is waved around and the throw is cutoff. 6-0 now for Sendai Ikuei.

Kii delivers yet another base hit, a double to left! He's 4-4 on the day! Ryousuke holds at 3rd.

Shinzato is able to do damage control though as Tooya grounds to 1st to end the inning. But it's another run in a game already out of reach.

Bottom 7th
One down and Shinzato makes an impact! He hits a hard grounds to 3rd that deflects off of Shouta's glove! Again it's right to Hirasawa, but his throw is late.

#15 Yonashiro comes in to hit for Yamashita., but grounds into a fielder's choice.

Back to the top of the order and Tokou has a clean single through the left side! That's 2 hits in this inning! There's 2 outs, but perhaps they can score.

Nope, Kido hits a grounder to 3rd. Shouta makes the throw to 1st, and Kamimura remains shutout.

Top 8th
#6 Ihara comes in for PH Yonashiro to play SS.

Ah... Nakatsu is hit on the head by a pitch and leaves for an injury runner.

Sasaki-kantoku continues to put on the hit-and-run and while Sena strikes out, Tooya steals 2nd.

Shouta follows that up with a hard single to center, but it's too hard for Tooya to score.

Sasaki-kantoku continues to send runners, as Shouta takes off for 2nd on the 1st pitch and reaches safely. Shinzato finally gets some relief as Aoki flies out to AHHHHH!!!!

Aoki had hit a fly to right, but Kido completely flubs the catch! Both runners come around to score and it's 8-0!!

Things seemingly are spiraling out of control when Shinzato hits Hirasawa while up 0-2!

He finally gets his 2nd out in Gunji, but not before he advances the runners.

Ryousuke with a blooper to center... and that falls in between everyone! 2 more runners score and it's 10-0.

And since things continue to just disintegrate, here's a quick summary of what else happens next:
  • #15 Seto comes in to run for Ryousuke,
  • Shinzato throws a pickoff move wide and Seto moves to 2nd,
  • Kii hits a ball right to 3rd and off Kodama's glove for an E5,
  • Kii is replaced by #10 Domeki, and #11 Tateyama PH for Tooya,
  • Domeki steals 2nd, Toyoda's throw is high, Seto scores (11-0) ,
  • Tateyama hits blooper to center, Domeki scores (12-0),
  • Nakatsu (2nd AB this inning), grounds to 1st to finally end the inning.
Bottom 8th
Seto stays in at 1B, #17 Saitou comes in for Domeki to play LF, and Tateyama stays in to play RF.

With the game well in hand now, Kamimura Gakuen is retired in order, with Tanaka and Toyoda both striking out looking.

9th Inning
Nothing really happened on Sendai Ikuei's part of the 9th.

And as for Kamimura Gakuen, Shinzato and Ihara both came through with hits with 2 out. But Sena puts Kamimura out of their misery as Tokou is frozen on a forkball for strike 3.

Sadly, another blowout, but again not that surprising.

Sendai Ikuei looked very impressive during the super-regionals and it looks to have carried over to Senbatsu. Sena's forkball is a pretty good weapon, and as long as he can throw it for strikes as well when needed (like he did in the 9th), the team has a good shot at contending for the title.

For Kamimura Gakuen, like all the other teams before them, it's back to the drawing board. There's a lot to get right between now and the summer, and with the region as weak as it is, they'll have to work that much harder to improve.

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