Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Day 5, Game 3 - Masuyama Higashi (Ehime) vs. Nishougakushadai Fuzoku
Our final 2 games of the 1st round are upon us and both involve 21st century teams.
First up is Matsuyama Higashi. They were at Senbatsu 1 time before, and that was 82 years ago. That has to be the longest time between appearances I've seen in ever.
Being a 21st century team means you're generally the underdog. And they're facing the Tokyo runner-ups Nishougakushadai Fuzoku who has been hot in recent years in Tokyo. It's a tough ask, but 21st century teams have done it before.
Matsuyama Higashi (Ehime)
LF Shimizu Tomoki
SS Ishiyama Tarou
CF Sakai Yuusuke
C Yoneda Keisuke
P Kameoka Yuuki
1B Yamada Kai
RF Yamada Taisei
3B Arita Toranosuke
2B Matsushita Kouki
Nishougakushadai Fuzoku (Tokyo)
CF Hirano Tomoya (#15)
SS Shimane Kanto
2B Miguchi Eito
3B Kitamoto Kazuki
LF Okada Kouki
C Imamura Taiki
1B Hashimoto Masaya
P Ooe Ryuusei
RF Oobayashi Yuuma (#13)
14:35 - First Pitch!
Ooe not off to a strong start as he walks Shimizu. Ishiyama bunts him along into scoring position.
However, he comes back and gets Sakai on a high fastball, and Yoneda grounds out to 3rd for the 3rd out.
Kameoka retires the first two Nishou batters without much incident before giving up a single to Miguchi. But it looks like another day in the office as Kameoka gets cleanup batter Kitamoto to fly out to left.
Ooe righting the ship in a hurry. Kameoka chases the slider away for Ooe's 2nd K, then Kai watches another slider hit the outside corner.
Taisei makes contact, but its a routine grounder to 1st and Hashimoto takes it to the bag.
Nishou's batters attacking Kameoka's pitches early, but getting nowhere. Okada with a grounder to 3rd, and Imamura a flyout to center. Hashimoto is patient enough at the plate to draw a walk, but Ooe chooses to go after a 2-0 pitch and grounds out to short to end the inning.
Computer troubles have me trying to catch up with commentary, but the game is going too fast for me!
Ooe just mowing down batters. Arita goes down swinging on a high fastball. Matsushita watches one go by. Shimizu flies out to center, and Ooe is on a roll!
Nishogakusha still attacking Kameoka's pitches trying to break through. But Oobayashi gets all twisted on a fastball up and in, and then in two more pitches Tomoya and Shimane are retired! They're making it easy on them and keeping them in the game!
Ooe hit a hiccup to start the inning as he walks Ishiyama. Sakai tries to bunt him along, but gets to 2 strikes. Hits a chopper off of the plate and goes up the 1st base line. Hashimoto chooses to let the ball go, but it still stays fair, stays fair... and stays fair!!! All safe!
AH! And now Ooe hits Yoneda! Just like that it's manrui for Matsuyama Higashi!
Kameoka liner to right for a base hit! Ishiyama scores and it's 1-0 Matsuyama Higashi!
Kai with a shot up the 3rd base side, but Kitamoto has it! Goes home to get the lead runner. One down.
Taisei lays down the push squeeze and the only play is at first! Yoneda scores and it's 2-0 Matsuyama!
Arita strikes out, but Ooe has done damage to his own team!
Meanwhile, now it's Kameoka on a roll! He strikes out Miguchi on an outside fastball!
Kitamoto swings at a high fastball and hits it to left. Shimizu running back, running back...
With a swing of the bat, Kitamoto brings his team within 1! It's 2-1!
But Kameoka doesn't mind it at all. Okada? Slider away. Imamura? Fastball up and in.
He strikes out the side! But Nishogakushadai gets one run back.
I don't understand Ooe at all. It's like he just plain forgot how to pitch in the 4th. Because he strikes out Matsushita for the 2nd time, then Shimizu. And after that Ishiyama hits a comebacker. 3 up, 3 down.
Hashimoto grounder up the 1st base line.. fair!! He hustles as Taisei reaches the ball and gets 2nd easily.
But Ooe flubs his bunt! He pops it up and it's easy pickings for Kameoka!
Oobayashi at the bottom of the order is the 2nd batter to actually work the count. He runs it full, and hits a liner, but right to Arita.
And Tomoya goes after the first pitch and grounds out to 2nd! We're racing though this game at breakneck speed much to the advantage of Mastuyama Higashi. With Nishougakusha's batters swinging at everything, they're shortening the game for them!
#9 Suzuki in for Oobayashi to play RF.
Matsuyama Higashi back on the warpath? Sakai leads off with a single to center.
And Horiuchi-kantoku starts him! Imamura double-clutches and has no chance!
Now Yoneda with a solid single to right! Sakai stops at 3rd but they're threatening again!
Kameoka on a ball down and in. Okada is running back! He's still running back!! It's over his head! That'll go all the way to the wall and score both runners! Matsuyama Higashi leads Nishogakushadai Fuzoku 4-1!!! And Kameoka has 3 of the teams 4 runs!
Kai comes back to strike out Kai and Taisei on back to back fastballls away. Arita lines out to center, but Nishougakusadai is in real trouble now!
One down for Nishogakushadai and Miguchi hits a ball to deep left. Shimizu playing in has to run it down, and it falls in! He's in with a double!
Kitamoto chimes in with a liner to right. Miguchi holds up at 3rd.
And now Kameoka hits Okada! Manrui for Nishougakushadai! Horiuchi-kantoku calls for time.
Imamura liner to center for a base hit! Miguchi scores! Kitamoto being waved around! He scores!! It's a 4-3 game!
Kameoka refusing to give in, fighting tooth and nail and keeping to the plan. He puts the fastball inside on Hashimoto for the 2nd out.
Ooe up again in a key spot. This time he needs a base hit.
Back to the wall with 2 strikes, he fouls off pitch after pitch working the count full allowing the runners to take off.
Liner to center... falls in! Okada rounding 3rd will score and were all square at 4-4!!!!
Suzuki hits a comebacker to Kameoka to end the inning, but we have a new ballgame!
Can Matsuyama Higashi re-rally here in the Lucky 7?
One down and Shimizu gets things started with a single to right.
Horiuchi-kantoku giving the green light and Shimizu takes off! Ooe bounces the ball and Imamura has no throw! The go-ahead run is in scoring position!
And now Ooe walks Ishiyama! Is Ooe falling apart yet again?
Ooe is so concerned with the bunt that he's missing the strike zone to induce a bad bunt! He's behind 3-1 to Sakai! He manages to fill up the count...
Liner to left... fair!!! Shimizu given the go signal and he's heading home! Throw from Okada, the relay... not in time! Matsuyama Higashi retakes the lead at 5-4!!
Yoneda with a ball back up the middle! Shimane stretches and makes the pick off the ground! Flips to 2nd for one, Miguchi goes to 3rd, but can't catch Ishiyama off the bag. 2 down.
Ooe finally gets out of the inning, retiring the dangerous Kameoka on a slider in the dirt. But no matter! Matsuyama has the lead once again!
Top of the order for Nishougakushadai to try and come back once more.
Tomoya behind in the count, chases a ball outside and chops it to the right side. Kameoka snags it and goes to 1st for the out. Shimane also behind 1-2 grounds out to Ishiyama.
Miguchi down 0-2 also grounds to short. He tries diving into 1st, but to no avail. 3 up, 3 down, and Matsuyama Higashi is 6 outs away from a spot in the 2nd round!
Ooe is like Jekyll and Hyde on the mound. In the 8th, he's dominant again. Strikes out 2, and barely beats Taisei to the bag. It's all the first time I see an umpire start motioning safe, then changing his call.
Uh oh. Is it nerves for Kameoka? He walks Kitamoto to start the inning!
After trying the hit and run, Okada tries the bunt. But now he's 0-2.
Kameoka paying a lot of attention to Kitamoto, and almost picks him off.
Kameoka puts it right at the knees and he's rung up Okada! 1 down.
Another hit and run! But Kameoka jams Imamura and pops it up! Arita with it for the 2nd out!
Maybe out of frustration, Ichihara-kantoku sends Kitamoto! The pitch is high and Yoneda fires to 2nd...
The ball is there in plenty of time and Nishogakushadai has run themselves out of the inning!
Matsushita earns the golden sombrero here in the 9th, striking out for the 4th time on a slider in the dirt. That's 15 K's for Ooe, but he's losing!
Shimizu goes down swinging, and that's 16!
Ishiyama grounds out to 3rd and it's closing time for Matsuyama Higashi!
And worse for Nishogakushadai, it's the bottom of the lineup who's a combined 2-8.
Hashimoto comebacker to Kameoka! He goes to 1st and they're 2 outs away!
Ooe grounder up the middle, Ishiyama over and AHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
He misses the ball and it goes off his foot and into left field! E6 and the douten runner is on! Horiuchi-kantoku calls time as #14 Hirano Jyun comes in to hit for Suzuki.
Kameoka perhaps being careful with Jyun, goes to 3-0! Will Jyun let 2 strikes pass?
He lets one go.
He can't hold his swing and it's strike 2!
Pops it up! Matsushita and Ishiyama converge, bump! But Kai has it for the 2nd out!
Tomoya the last chance.
Chopper back up the middle. Off Kameoka's glove! He chases it down, but everyone's safe! Yoneda goes out to talk to him.
Shimane with no hits so far is their last chance now.
Safety bunt??!! He gets a good jump, but it rolls foul!
Grounder to 2nd! Matsushita with it! Goes to 1st...
Matsuyama Higashi defeats the Tokyo runner-ups Nishougakushadai Fuzoku 5-4!
That was unexpected by a wide margin. As I mentioned during the game, Nishougakushadai allowed Kameoka to pitch whatever he wanted because they were just attacking pitches early in the count. Despite the fact that he threw 136 pitches, 11 of the 38 batters went 2 pitches or less into the AB before putting the ball in play. Only 5 times did he ever reach 3 balls. Yes, Nishougakushadai Fuzoku got their runs, but for the most part he wasn't in high leverage counts or situations.
On the mound, Ooe went from one extreme to another. Where else do you strike out 16, give out 4 free passes, and 5 runs to lose the game? In fact, all of their scoring came in the 3 innings where they got at least 1 hit. Even if they had advanced, I'm not sure how good their chances would be.
So tip your hat to Matsuyama Higashi. They didn't just take this as their 1 free game and go home. They took the game to the metropolitan team, and it turned out to be more then they could handle. Now, will it be enough for the next game? Possibly as they will face either Toukai Dai-yon or Toyohashi Kougyou. They'll have their chances for sure if they play like they did today.