Friday, March 27, 2015

Day 7, Game 3 - Oomagari Kougyou (Akita) vs. Urawa Gakuin (Saitama)

And now to our final game of the day, the upstart Oomagari Kougyou facing the Kanto champions Urawa Gakuin. It looks like a David vs. Goliath matchup, but Urawa Gakuin has cracks in the armor, which was shown in their game against Ryuukokudai Heian. The question will be whether it's enough to make up the apparent gap.

Oomagari Kougyou (Akita)
RF Sasaki Shunichi
SS Akagawa Shun
2B Nakano Seiya
P Takeda Ryuusei
RF Nakamura Kazuki
LF Morisawa Kouyou (#17)
1B Okamoto Shuuma
3B Horie Jyou (#14)
C Suzuki Tairi

Urawa Gakuin (Saitama)
3B Suwa Tadayoshi
2B Dai Kouta
SS Tsuda Shouki
1B Yamazaki Kouta
CF Kouki Yuushi
RF Takahashi Tsukasa
LF Araki Yuuya
C Nishino Shinya
P Eguchi Shouri


14:00 - First Pitch!

Top 1st
One down and Akagawa hits a ball to left. Araki going back to the fence, still going back! Looks up!!



Akagawa spits in the face of being the underdog and hits a HR off ace Eguchi! Oomagari Kougyou leads 1-0!!

Nakano with a single to center! Takeda with a single to center!! What the heck is going on here?!

Nakamura grounds out to 1st, but the runners advance to scoring position.

Horie strikes out on a changeup, but Oomagari Kougyou has come to play right off the bat!

Bottom 1st
Suwa liner to left. Morisawa coming in, dives.. makes the catch!!!  Wow. They are on right now.

Dai slowing the pace down perhaps to get his team off the mat early. Works the count full but flies out to left.

Tsuda line shot, but Horie has it for the 3rd out!

Top 2nd
Okamoto with a single to left. They're really hitting Eguchi right now.

Morisawa lays down the bunt, but it's right at home! Nishino goes to 2nd for 1, relay to 1st in time! The first misstep by the Tohoku runner-up!

Bottom 2nd
Yamazaki goes down on 3 straight high fastballs.

Kouki finally gets something going with a single to center.

But Takahashi hits a grounder to Nakano! 4...6... 3... double play!

Top 3rd
Sasaki with a single to left and they have another leadoff runner on.

The 0-1 pitch gets away from Nishino and Shunichi takes 2nd! That changes everything as Akagawa bunts the runner now to 3rd.

Nakano can't bring him home as he swings and misses on a changeup.

Takeda pops one up. Takahashi running into foul territory, slides near the bullpen, and makes the catch! 3 out!

Bottom 3rd
One down for Urawa Gakuin and Nishino gets a base hit to left.

Eguchi now with a ball to shallow right. Nakamura coming in slides... can't secure it! It sneaks away from him and Eguchi has a double! Urawa Gakuin threatens to tie the game here.

Suwa grounder to the right side, past a diving Okamoto, Nakano lays out... can't get there! It goes into right as Eguchi is being waved around! Nakamura throws home, but airmails everyone! Suwa takes 3rd on the throw! 2-1 Urawa Gakuin and threatening more!

Dai lifts a ball to left! Morisawa running back to the foul pole! Is it gone?

Morisawa makes the catch right at the padding! Suwa can walk home to make it 3-1!

Tsuda flies out, but Urawa Gakuin restablishes themselves and look to knock out the upstarts!

Top 4th
But they won't go away easily! Nakamura grounder to the right side, Dai is there, but stumbles when standing to throw and it goes under Yamazaki's glove.

Abe-kantoku goes and sends Nakamura! Throw from Nishino... in time! They got the jump on him once, but not this time!

Okamoto draws Eguchi's first walk, but is left stranded when Morisawa can't pull the trigger on a changeup.

Bottom 4th
Takeda would really like a quick inning to settle things down. The first two batters, Yamazaki and Kouki both fly out to center.

Takahashi is a bit more stubborn, but he eventually grounds out to 2nd for a 1-2-3 inning.

Top 5th
Taisei starts the inning by drawing a walk. That's 4 leadoff men on base. Shouta not bunting this time, but he pops it up! Tsuda has it for the 1st out.

2 down for Oomagari Kougyou, and Nakano gets his 2nd base hit! Taisei takes 3rd and they might get back a run.

But Eguchi jams Takeda! He grounds out to 3rd and the runners are stranded again!

Bottom 5th
Araki with ball down the right field line. Nakamura running over, dives.. but can't make the catch! Araki on his horse makes it all the way to 3rd!

Nishino drives him in! It's a single through the drawn in infield and it's 4-1 Urawa Gakuin!

Takeda able to get the next couple of outs to limit the damage, but as we hit the break, the good vibes we had for Oomagari Kougyou have all but disappeared.

Top 6th
One down, and Eguchi issues another free pass, this time to Horie.

But they can do little wit it. Okamoto grounds into a fielder's choice (barely beating out the double play).

Morisawa hits a hard ball to 3rd, Suwa drops it, retakes, spins and throws - and still get the out.

Bottom 6th
Urawa Gakuin gets a scare when a ball gets away from Takeda and hits Yamazaki in the head. He's stunned a bit, so the umpires take him to the dugout while an injury runner comes out.

He's not needed long though as Kouki grounds into the 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.

Top 7th
One down for Oomagari and Shunichi hits a soft liner over Tsuda for a base hit.

Akagawa fighting tooth and nail at the plate as his team is running out of time. As the pitches increase, Abe-kantoku starts the hit and run over and over again.

Sanshin! Akagawa goes down swinging, and Nishino fires to 2nd! That's in plenty of time and it's a strike 'em out, throw 'em out double play.'

Bottom 7th
8 pitches is all Takeda needs to retire the side. Urawa Gakuin content to finish this out and get some rest.

Top 8th
Oomagari Kougyouis probably realizing this run is coming to an end. The middle of the order gets their swings in, but are retired in order.

Bottom 8th
Eguchi gets his 2nd hit in. Suwa with a ball to deep left center that Shunichi makes a great running catch on.

After a sac bunt, Tsuda doubles to right to bring in Eguchi to make it 5-1.

Yamazaki with another deep ball, this time to left. Morisawa running back, leaps, tumbles... and makes the great catch!

Top 9th
Oomagari Kougyou is about to go quietly into the night when Morisawa gets his first base hit, a single to center.

That gives Abe-kantoku the opportunity to send in more people as #15 ishii comes in for Morisawa at 1B, while #7 Odajima comes in to hit for Taisei.

He's make the most of his AB, working the count instead of just swinging away. He gets ahead of a pitch, but keeps the swing alive long enough to poke the ball to right for a base hit.

The dream ends though when Shunichi grounds to 3rd to end the game.

Early on, I really thought that Oomagari Kougyou had a puncher's chance at defeated Urawa Gakuin. Getting a HR early, and 4 base hits in the first 2 innings, I'm sure it boosted their confidence. Sadly that feeling didn't last long as Urawa Gakuin took the lead in the 3rd and never looked back. Still, I think it was a good showing from the team from Akita.

Unfortunately, what this means is that in the span of 2 days, the entire Tohoku region has been eliminated. That's unfortunate.

As for Urawa Gakuin, Eguchi wound up settling down, but the poor start has to be of concern. That first inning could have been much worse had not he stemmed the tide then. He's still not striking out a lot of batters, and he's walking more than you'd probably like.

Offensively, the team got production from everywhere but the heart of the lineup which went 2-10 (2-13 if you count the 3-6 betters). You could say that it shows versatility of being able to produce runs, but it can also show that the meat of their lineup can be shut down.

They get the winner of Kenritsu Gifu Shougyou and Oumi. It's a better matchup than some of the alternatives, but the farther they go, those alternatives become your opponent.

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