Friday, March 27, 2015

Day 7, Game 2 - Tsuruga Kehi (Fukui) vs. Sendai Ikuei (Miyagi)

And now the main feature of today, the Meiji Jingu champs Sendai Ikuei against one of the scarier pitchers in baseball, Hiranuma Shouta of Tsuruga Kehi. Let's sit back and enjoy this shall we?

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

Tsuruga Kehi (Fukui)
3B Shinohara Ryou
2B Nakai Kidzuku
SS Hayashinaka Yuuki
P Hiranuma Shouta
CF Yamamoto Kouta
LF Matsumoto Teppei (#17)
1B Ueda Ryouya
C Kamon Yuusuke
RF Mori Shigeki (#7)


11:55 - First Pitch!

Top 1st
Well, that's a way to start. Hiranuma's sweeping slider makes Shouta fan the opposing dugout he swung so hard.

Aoki early on a slider outside and grounds out to short.

Hirasawa fighting valiantly at the plate fouling off several offerings, but grounding to 2nd in the end.

Bottom 1st
Sena, wanting to show there's 2 sided to this battle, pulls out his forkball and strikes out Shinohara.

Not so fortunate with Nakai as he connects on a high fastball and drives it to deep right center for a double!

Hayashinaka gets a fastball down the middle, but pulls it to Shouta. Looks back the runner, goes to 1st, but the throw is offline! Ryousuke makes the swipe tag though for the out.

Topping it off he goes 3 straight forkballs on Hiranuma and the side is retired!

Top 2nd
Gunji attacks the first pitch from Hiranuma and drives it to deep left center. However, he's just under it and Matsumoto runs it down for the out.

Then against the left Ryousuke, he goes inside with the slider, and ties him up for his 2nd K.

Kii flies out to right and 2 clean innings so far.

Bottom 2nd
Yamamoto hot shot up the middle, but Sena picks it out of the air and makes the play at 1st.

Matsumoto becones the 3rd victim to the forkball.

Ueda gets a great pitch down the middle, but doesn't hit it square. Tooya is there to end the inning.

Top 3rd
Hiranuma cruising along, gets a foul fly and yet another K. Sena grounds to short and should be the end of the inning, but Hayashinaka boots the ball! E6 and Sendai Ikuei has their first runner.

Doesn't last long though. Shouta flies out to center and the inning is over.

Bottom 3rd
One down for Mori and he hits a ball into the gap on the left side. Hirasawa runs it down, tumbles, and throws it anyways?! It's way offline, and to no one at all! That allows Mori to take 2nd. That was so not necessary.

With 1st open, I think Sena unintentionally intentionally walks Shinohara to create the force.

Sena tells them, he doesn't need it! He strikes out Nakai on a forkball, and Hayashinaka?

Yep, you guessed it! Another forkball and the side is retired!

Top 4th
Aoki with a roller up the 1st base line, Ueda there, but the ball bounces off the bag and away from Ueda! He should have moved up to the base to wait for it.

One down and Gunji hits a ball back up the middle. Hayashinaka with it, but he gets himself twisted around! He manages to toss to 2nd for the out.

Perhaps out of precaution, Azuma-kantoku switches the keystone positions.

Hiranuma gives his men a rest as he strikes out Ryousuke to retire the side.

Bottom 4th
Hiranuma for some reason can't hit Sena so far. Even when he leaves the forkball high he ends up being fooled and pulling it to 2nd.

But then he issues his 2nd walk to Yamamoto.

Azuma-kantoku needing runs sends Yamamoto! Throw from Gunji not in time!

Satou goes to his forkball and gets Matsumoto to ground to 3rd, and then Ueda makess contact, but it's just a grounder to short to end the inning! Sena's out of the inning, but he's leaving some of his pitches up.

Top 5th
Hiranuma doing everything possible to shut down the Sendai Ikuei offense. 8 pitches and the side is retired without hitting a ball into the outfield.

Bottom 5th
Kamon on the board with a liner to center! He's bunted to 2nd by Mori.

With the same situation as the 3rd, he walks Shinohara.

Nakai sharp grounder to 1st! Ryousuke tags the bag, throws to 2nd... but it's not in time!

Hayashinaka up to try and bring the 2 runners in.

Swings on a high fastball! Goes to right, and that will fall in! Kamon scores! Shinohara waved around, throw home... not in time! Hayashinaka breaks the deadlock and gives Tsuruga Kehi the 2-0 lead!

Hiranuma connects on a forkball and drives it to center! He's under it though and Aoki makes the catch. Sena's done well, but now his offense will have to come through as Hayashinaka gives his team the lead before the break!

Top 6th
But Sendai Ikuei needs runners first, and they can't even get that. Sena goes down on a slider for Hiranuma's 5th K. And neither Shouta or Aoki get the ball out of the infield either (only 3 balls have).


Bottom 6th
One down and a questionable dead ball is called. Replay shows the ball went clean through.

Ueda lines one to left and Kii is just there to make the catch.

But the dead ball costs Sena pitches as Kamon battles for 10 pitches before finally grounding out to short.

Top 7th
Lucky 7 for Sendai Ikuei and they need a lot of help.

Hirasawa blows the fastball inside on Hiranaka and he can't get around on it. Gunji grounds to 1st and there's quickly 2 outs.

Ryousuke with a ball to left, Matsumoto going back, and he's twisted around! The ball falls in and he's in with a double! Sasaki-kantoku then elects to send in #15 Seto to run for him.

No surprise why as they go for a hit and run! But Kii fouls it off.

And again! But this time it's inside! Kamon goes to 3rd and Seto is out by a wide margin! Inning over!

Bottom 7th
Seto stays in the game to play 1B.

One down and Shinohara, who finally gets to swing the bat, gets a single to left.

Nakai with a liner to center, but Aoki is in the right place to field it.

Azuma-kantoku sends Shinohara to 2nd! Throw from Gunji is not in time! But Hayashinaka grounds to short and the inning is over!

Top 8th
Kii ball down the left field line.. fair!! Kii slides in with a double! He's replaced by #10 Domeki, and #11 Tateyama hits for Tooya.

But he flies out to right.

Oh! Hiranuma hits Yatsu! Do they have a chance? Sena up to help his cause.

Hiranuma shuts the door there with a K.

Shouta with a chopper over Hiranuma! Nakai there, goes to 1st... OUT!  3 out and Sendai Ikuei will be down to their final 3 outs!

Bottom 8th
#17 Saida comes in for Domeki to play RF, #16 Yamamoto comes in for Tateyama to play RF.

Sena retires the side in order with little trouble, leaving it to his offense one last time.

Top 9th
3 outs from victory for Hiranuma.

SANSHIN!!! Aoki can only helplessly watch as the fastball tails back over the outside corner for strike 3!

Hirasawa looper to the right side... over a leaping Nakai into center! Sendai Ikuei can bring the tying run to the plate.

Gunji with a ball to right center, and that's in for a hit! Hirasawa takes 3rd! Now the tying runner is on base.

Seto slow grounder to 2nd! Nakai's only play is to 1st and a run scores! 2-1 and the douten runner is in scoring position!

Saida the last chance for Sendai Ikuei.

But he hits a grounder to 2nd! Nakai makes the throw to 1st and Tsuruga Kehi holds on!

It was certainly shaky there late for Hiranuma and the Hokushinetsu champs, but 2 runs is enough after all.


For about 6.2 innings, Sendai Ikuei could do nothing. But when they finally did something, Sasaki-kantoku sold out to score runs and it might have cost the in the 9th when Ryousuke and Kii were not available, having been lifted after their hits. Sena, for his part held Tsuruga Kehi to just 5 hits. It just so happens that 2 of them came in 1 inning and resulted in 2 runs.

Tsuruga Kehi wins, but it's concerning that Hiranuma faltered late. He's going to get little rest going forward and showing problems now isn't good. The offense only putting out 5 hits isn't good either. There are a lot of question marks this team is going to have to answer if they want to take the title, because in all probability Osaka Touin looms large.

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