Well, not many surprises yesterday. Today even more well-known names look to keep it scratch.
First up is Kendai Takasaki. In their 2 games so far, the final score indicates that they have easily cleared their opponents. But there is a slightly disturbing trend in the games. Everytime it takes several innings for the team to figure out the pitcher on the mound. When they do however, they unleash the proverbial can of whoop-ass.
The last game against Souseikan was a good example. In that game, they scored their 3 runs against Fujisaki in the 5th, knocking him out. Then when Mizunaga comes in, it resets until the 8th where they score 5 and knock him out.
It would follow then if you had several servicable pitches, you'd sub in one for the other before that happens. By that reasoning Kendai would have to continue resetting and adjusting, never actually breaking through.
Chances are though Akita Shougyou has their ace, and that's probably it. Now, that ace can apparently hit 140, and limited Ryuukoku to just 3 hits, but Ryuukoku is no Kendai Takasaki.
As for the offense, Akita Shougyou had good scoring opportunities in the game, but still managed just 3 runs. With that being said, it does not bode well.
So this game should be advantage Kendai Takasaki.
Akita Shougyou (Akita)
CF Aida Kaito
SS Kusanagi Teruya
1B Takeda Yoshiki
3B Kominami Akira(?)
P Narita Takeru
2B Furuya Ryouhei
LF Narita Kazu
RF Konno Toui
C Kudou Kei
Takasaki Kenkoudai Fukushi Takasaki (Gunma)
CF Kasuga Yuuma
SS Hayashi Kenya
2B Souma Masato
3B Shibahiki Ryousuke
C Tsuge Sena
RF Miyamoto Takahiro (#17)
1B Kotani Kaisei (#13)
LF Satou Nozomu
P Hashidzume Naoya (#10)
08:00 - First pitch!
First pitch is a slider fouled off.
Hey, I like this cheer from Akitashou. Seems new, but I can't place it.
Anyways Aida with a good start as he singles back up the middle. No bunt from Kusanagi, but he knows what to do and hits the ball behind the runner to advance him to 2nd.
But on a hit-and-run Takeda lines out to left and Aida just runs home as he's doubled off.
Hayashi with a grounder to short, but Hayashi muffs on the ball, and continues to do so until he has no play.
And now he takes off for 2nd! Throw from Kudou not in time!
No matter though as Narita strikes Souma out on a fastball on the outer half!
The Okinawan Shibahiki reaches out and takes the outside fastball the other way for a base hit! The throw goes to 2nd as Hayashi makes it 1-0 Kendai Takasaki!
One down and Takeru singles back up the middle. Hashidzume put himself into a bit of a jam when he walks Kazu with 2 down.
Uh oh!! Konno reaches down and drives a ball to center! Kasuga running back, but he's not going to get to it! Both of the Narita's are going to score on the double from Konno and Akitashou has responded by taking the lead!
Kudou with a ball to right center! Kasuga coming in... slides.. makes the catch! That saves a run, but not the other 2 that gave Akitashou the lead!
Miyamoto gets on via the walk and the douten runner is on.
Then he's off. Off to 2nd, and after a strong throw from Kudou, off to the dugout.
It's then becomes a 1-2-3 inning and Kendai Takasaki is up to their normal offensive struggles early.
Hashidzume finally gets a 1-2-3 inning of his own, and a quick one at that at 6 pitches.
Takeru continuing to dominate Kendai batters. Gets another K when hit gets Kasuga watching, and though he walks Hayashi there's no harm done.
Kominami singles to right to start the inning. Takeru then singles to left.
Furuya bunts, throw to 1st, one down...WAIT!!!
Souma can't hold onto the throw and everyone's safe!! Manrui for Akitashou with no out! Kendai Takasaki calls time.
SQUEEZE!!!!!!!!!!! Kazu lays down the bunt, and Hashidzume can't shovel the ball home! They have to go to 1st and cede the run! It's 3-0!
Hashidzume gets Konno swinging for the 2nd out. He grounds to 3rd, but Akitashou extends their lead!!
Another free pass from Takeru starts the inning. But after not bunting on the batter immediately following, he does out with 1 down and almost falls into another double play!
And now Kotani with the safety bunt that catches everyone off guard!
But Satou grounds to first and the opportunity ends there.
Meanwhile Akitashou continues to hit. Aida rips one past a standing Shibahiki for a single.
Kusanagi tried to bunt, but with 2 strikes winds up looking st strike 3 instead.
They try for the hit and run instead but just advance the runner instead.
Kominami with a ball to the left side... Hayashi makes the great diving stop. Goes to 3rd! And they catch Aida off the bag! He tries to hold up, but slips instead! 3 out!
#3 Ooshima to hit for Hashidzume, his day is done.
Blooper to center, Aida charging in dives... makes the catch!
Kasuga goes after the slider and strikes out for the 2nd time.
Hayashi tries to bunt his way aboard, but that fails sending us to the break where Akita Shougyou is the team dominating, and Kendai Takasaki is still trying to unlock ace Narita.
Ace Kawai enters the game and proceeds to lock things down. Takeru chases the slider, while Furuya can only watch his slider go over the plate.
And as Kazu goes down swinging, he strikes out the side!
Souma for sure thinks he's got ball 4 on a full count pitch, but instead he's rung up! Ball called as hitting the bottom of the zone, and there's 1 down.
Shibahiki tries to give the ball a ride to left, but Kazu is there in front of the fence for the 2nd out.
And now if you're Kendai Takasaki you're a little concerned. Tsuge grounds to 2nd and they're down to the final third of the game!
Kawai getting more and more Ks now 5 in a row.
Aida ball to right center... Kasuga and Miyamoto come in.. they collide! Kasuga has the ball, but he's in pain!!
The replay comes and OH MY GOD.
Miyamoto's entire weight comes onto Kasuga's extended leg and bends it in a very bad manner. The stretcher comes out and Kasuga may be done for the tournament...
Which, if Kendai Takasaki can't find 2 runs will be really soon....
Miyamoto is up to start the inning, and he goes down swinging. Kotani takes 3 consecutive pitching inside after falling behind 1-2 and draws the walk.
Satou grounds to 2nd, and Akita Shougyou plays it safe getting the lead runner.
Kawai goes down looking on a fastball at the corner and Kendai Takasaki in a lot of trouble now.
WHAT? How is Kasuga back out there? I would have sworn he would be done after that.
Kusanagi hot shot to 3rd, Shibahiki with the diving stop! Throw to 1st good for the out.! Nice play!
It's another clean inning for Kawai, but all he can do is hold serve.
Kasuga first pitch swinging flies out to right.
Hayashi, despite getting on base twice, gets his first hit dumping a ball into left.
Hit-and-run!! Souma singles to left and has the time finally come for Kendai Takasaki? Akita Shougyou quickly calls time.
Kudou throws to 3rd.. AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
He short hops Kominami and the ball gets away! The runners advance and Hayashi makes it 3-2!!
Shibahiki ball to right... Konno dives... HE CAN'T GET THERE!!
The ball gets by him and to the wall! Shibahiki gets all the way to 3rd and we're all tied at 3-3!!
Tsuge ball to 2nd, and it's a contact play! Furuya goes home.. and they get Shibahiki! 2 out!
Miyamoto grounder to 3rd, Kominami with it, goes to 1st... AHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!
He sails it over 1st! The runners advance and now it's a big pinch for Akitashou!
They'll walk Kotani to create the force.
Satou liner to center! Aida is there and there's the 3rd out! Akitashou stops the bleeding, but has given up the lead!
There's nothing to say here other than Kawai has done exactly what the number on his back is supposed to do. He closes this inning out too and has faced the minimum number of batters in his 4 innings of relief!!
Kawai shot down the 3B line! Kominami dives.. and stops the ball, quick throw to 1st.. can't be a diving Kawai! Sayonara runner on as the lineup turns over!
Kasuga fouls off the first bunt and goes swinging thereafter. But he chases a fastball at the eyes for the 1st out.
Hayashi swinging away as well, but flies out to left. Are we headed to enchousen?
Souma pops it up! Kominami in foul territory has it sized up... and makes the catch! Yes, we are headed to enchousen!
One down and Kudou a screaming liner up the 3rd base line, but Shibahiki makes the snag for the out!
Aida with Akitashou's first hit! It a ball to left center! While Satou misplays it, it would have gone for a double anyways.
Wild pitch from Kawai! That puts the gyakuten runner at 3rd!
Kusanagi ball to the left side, and that goes through for a base hit!! Aida scores and Akita Shougyou may have weathered the storm! They're back in front 4-3!
And another wild pitch from Kawai! That puts another runner in scoring position!
Takeda pops out to short to end the inning, but Kendai Takasaki has to scramble yet again!
Shibahiki jammed, but with the defense back, his blooper to short left center falls in!
#16 Yanagimoto comes in to run for him.
Tsuge drive to deep center!! Aida running back, leaps... and makes the catch! One down!
Miyamoto grounder to 2nd, they go to 1st and there's 2 down!
Kotani liner to center.. Aida leaps... And has the catch!! Akita Shougyou pulls of the 4-3 win over Kendai Takasaki!
I wouldn't have seen that coming, and I love Kendai Takasaki. So it's sad when there's an upset like this (I mean why couldn't some other power school be upset?). But you know what? Good for Akita Shougyou. Their prefecture is more often than not beleaguered and gone early. So for a team to reach the best 8? Good for them.