Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Day 5, Game 2 - Kendai Takasaki (Gunma) vs. Ube Koujyou (Yamaguchi)

We have another region in jeopardy of being eliminated in this game, and it's Kyushu's neighbor Chuugoku. Their champs are in play as the last team, facing the always scrappy Kendai Takasaki.

Kendai Takasaki (Gunma)
2B Souma Yuuto
SS Hayashi Kenya
C Tsuge Sena
3B Shibahiki Ryousuke
RF Satou Nozomu
CF Kasuga Yuuma
LF Higa Tsubasa (#14)
P Kawai Tomoya

Ube Koujyou (Yamaguchi)
2B Fujita Tsukasa
P Uenishi Ranma
RF Ueda Rikiya
LF Okada Katsuki
1B Nakanishi Atsuhisa
C Machida Shouhei
CF Umemoto Daiki
SS Umeoka Ryouta
3B Yoshiura Tomoki


11:35 - First Pitch!

Top 1st
Souma draws a 4-pitch walk and let's see if Kendai does their running. They didn't do a lot of it in the super-regionals.

And he does take off! But the pitch from Uenishi almost takes off Hayashi's head! Machida has to chase it down and Souma goes to 3rd!

The umpires converge to talk about things as Ozaki-kantoku maintains the ball hit Hayashi's bat when he ducked for cover. But after discussion it was ruled to not be the case.

Hayashi gets a chance to plate the first run, but he hits a shallow fly to center! Umemoto is there and Souma can't score.Tsuge with the next chance to plate the run.

But Uenishi intends to to shut them down! He strikes out Tsuge on a slider right on the corner for the 2nd out! Shibahiki last chance to get the runner in this inning.

Ball back up the middle, through for a base hit! Souma finally scores and it's 1-0 Kendai!

Ooshima grrounds to 3rd to end the inning, but Kendai Takasaki takes the quick lead!

Bottom 1st
Fujita starting the rally right off the bat with a base hit up the middle! Uenishi with the bunt, but Shibahiki sells out! He crashes in and is right on the ball! Goes to 2nd for 1, throw to 1st... double play!! Risk from the 3B, but it pays off!

Ueda goes down swinging and the inning is over.

Top 2nd
Satou with a ball back up the middle himself for a leadoff single.

Kasuga not bunting, instead hits a blooper to the left side! Umeoka turning back and.. can't get it! Everyone's safe! Kendai Takasaki threatening again.

Higa lays down the bunt, and this time it's Uenishi who crashes in! He goes to 3rd and they cut down the lead runner! One down.

Kawai now with a slow grounder to short, toss to 2nd. SAFE?!

Fujita stretching for the ball, goes off the bag! Higa slides in ahead of the re-establishment and all safe! Manrui!

Souma up, and the infield is playing in looking for the squeeze.

But he swings away! The outfield is in and Okada has to turn tail! All 3 runners are going to score on the play! Souma's in with a bases clearing triple! Kendai Takasaki leads 4-0!

After some discussion by the umpires and some direction, Ube Koujyou appeals that the runner didn't touch 2nd, but the umpires show safe.

Hayashi tries to hit a sac fly, but hits it too shallow.

Tsuge grounds to 3rd to end the inning, but it's a big hit instead of their running that scores the runs!

Bottom 2nd
Okada line drive down the left field line... Fair! Higa runs it down, but not before Okada reaches 2nd!

No bunting down 4, but Nakanishi bites on a slider for the 1st out.

And Machida does the same on a changeup! 2 down and Kawai might get out of the jam!

Umemoto hits a single to center... it falls in! They're waving Okada home! Throw from Kasuga... is on a line and right to Tsuge! It's in plenty of time and Okada is out to retire the side. That's a bit too aggressive there when there's plenty of time.

Top 3rd
Uenishi looking for a bagel, or more importantly a quick inning. And he gets Shibahiki and Ooshima to groundout.

Satou swings and misses on a slider, but the ball gets away from Machida and Satou reaches 1st!

Once again the runners are allowed to run wild and Satou takes off for 2nd, and gets no throw!

But Satou goes a bridge too far! Machida pops out after the 1-2 pitch and pumps his throw before having Satou in no-man's land! He's run down and the inning is over.

Bottom 3rd
Meanwhile, Ube Koujyou's offense can't get anything started against Kawai. The 8-9-1 batters are retired in 10 pitches and things do not look good.

Top 4th
Kasuga with a base hit to right gets Kendai's offense going again. No running or bunting though, looks like Aoyagi-kantoku is playing it straight at the bottom of the lineup.Last batters Higa and Kawai both fly out to center.

Souma comes up ready to do more damage, but Uenishi ends up hitting him.

Hitting him isn't good, but that brings up Hayashi who is 0-2 on the day. Uenishi pits him away with a slider and that's the inning.

Bottom 4th
Despite the troubles, Ube Koujyou has gotten leadoff men on base. This time it's Uenishi who draws a walk.

Ueda follows that up with a line single to right! 2 on, no out and Ube Koujyou threatening!

Ah, but Okada hits a ball up in foul territory! Satou and Ooshima collide and it's Satou with the catch! But Ooshima looks hurt. He's slow to get up and hobbles back to his position.

Now the umpires call time as they notice blood from Ooshima. They roll up his left leg and there is indeed blood. He has to leave to get treatment, and is visibly limping towards the stairs.

After a while, Aoyagi-kantoku goes over to where Ooshima went, and scrambles back, making a change.

#16 Minakawa comes in for Ooshima and goes to RF, Satou goes to 3B and Shibahiki goes to 1B.

Nakanishi up after the delay to try and get the timely hit.

And it seems like the break has affected Kawai! He can't throw a strike and falls behind 3-0! He fights back to level the count.


It's a fastball on the outside corner for the 2nd out!

Machida the last chance here after a great start to the inning.


Machida can only walk back towards the dugout after he watches a slider hit the inside corner for strike 3! 3 out!

Top 5th
Tsuge with a liner down the left field line for a long single.

Uenishi paying a lot of attention to him, and then catches Tsuge taking off early for 2nd! Uenishi runs him down for the first out.

Shibahiki makes contact and does a bat flip?

Umemoto runs over to left center, and back to the wall... 待って。。本当に??!!


I guess he knew something we didn't because that ball clears the fence! It's 5-0 Kendai Takasaki!

Minakawa and Satou are retired afterwards, but the lead is extended!

Bottom 5th
Ube Koujyou needs the break as the offense is on it's heels with Kawai hitting the corners. In fact, he strikes out the bottom of the lineup and Kendai Takasaki looks in total control.

Top 6th
Kasuga with a drive to left, and again the outfield is in! Okada has to chase after it and Kasuga presses to 3rd! The throw in... and he's safe! He's keeping his toe on the bag, but he's safe!

Higa hot shot to 1st, but Nakanishi is there! He looks Kasuga back and goes to 1st for the out.

Kawai still looking for his first hit but he chases a slider for the 2nd out.

And Uenishi prevents any further damage. Souma flies out to left to retire the side.

Bottom 6th
Make that 4 Ks in a row! Fujita goes down swinging on a changeup and that's Kawai's 10th K!

Uenishi puts the bat on the ball and guides it to left, but Hayashi jumps and high points the ball for the out.

And Ueda hits a weak comebacker to Kawai. That's 9 consecutive batters retired and Kawai appears to be in cruise control.

Top 7th
Hayashi draws the leadoff walk.

Tsuge swinging away, but hits one up the middle to Umeoka. But he drops the ball! His only play is to 1st for one.

And Hayashi makes him pay! He steals 3rd without a throw!

And Shibahiki drives in his 3rd run! Just a clean single to right. 6-0.

#7 Chinen in to hit for Minakawa. And he singles to left! Everything going Kendai's way.

2 down now for Kasuga, and he hits a single through the left side! Shibahiki is given the green light around 3rd, but Okada is firing home! Throw in... OUT!

The throw is on line and Shibahiki didn't have a chance!

Bottom 7th
Ube Koujyou finally gets their first hit in 3 innings as PH #13 Nakamura, hitting for Nakanishi, hits a liner to left.

That's all they get though as Machida and Umemoto are retired thereafter.

Top 8th
Nakamura stays in to play 1B.

Kendai Takasaki content with their lead, go down in order to shorten the game.

Bottom 8th
One down and captain #15 Makihata comes is sent in to hit for Yoshiura.

Sharp ball to the left side, Hayashi runs it down in the gap, but the throw is wide and Makihata has a base hit!

That seems to spur on the team! Fujita follows that up with a single to left!

And now Uenishi singles back up the middle! Makihata holds up at 3rd, but it's manrui for Ube Koujyou!

Ueda with a slow grounder to the right side... Souma goes to 2nd for 1, and that's it! Makihata scores and Ube Koujyou is finally on the board at 6-1.

Unfortunately, the momentum dies there as Okada grounds out to 2nd. But the shutout is prevented.

Top 9th
Kendai Takasaki scores 3 more runs, which included the following:
  • #10 Nakasugi coming in for 1 batter, then relieved by #11 Kiba.
  • Aoyagi PH for his cleanup hitter, drawing questions from the announcers.
  • A catcher's interference that instead of an out at home, resulted in a manrui situation.
  • A HBP that the umpires had to converge on.
  • An attempt to score 2 runs on a squeeze play that resulted in a 1-3-2 double play.
Bottom 9th
Ube Koujyou goes down in order in the 9th, and the game ends mercifully.

Ube Koujyou just got off to a weird start. From talking to the umpire about the wild pitch in the 1st thinking it was a foul ball, to the appeal at 2nd, it felt like they were trying to buy as many breaks as possible. And I think it took away from the team a little. By the time they had chances, it seemed like they were already pressing and it was over from there.

With that loss Chuugoku, along with Kyushu, have been eliminated.

Kendai Takasaki looked like the team we're used to seeing. Aggressive on the basepaths and solid defense. We really didn't see the grittyness, as the game was never in doubt, but they look like a contender yet again. Kawai isn't as good as he showed today, but he was hitting his spots and forcing the Ube Koujyou batters into bad swings, or none at all sometimes.If his control can keep up throughout, they could be scary yet again. Tenri may be next, but it's certainly a winnable game.

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