The tarp is on the field right now, under what I think is a lightning delay.
But I'll be writing this up assuming that the game is on.
Now again, I don't have anything against Kounan. In fact it was great to see Kounan go Haru-Natsu. But as I've said before, they've had their title, give someone else one.
Kounan has been challenged in both of their games. As mentioned in the marathon vs Iwamichisuikan, then chipping away against Toba, tying and then winning the game 4-3 late. These close games can either mean they're good at fighting close battles, or they're on the cusp of finally being broken. Which one though I don't know.
As for Kanto Dai-ichi, they got their test in Chuukyoudai Chuukyou where it was a pitching duel all the way through before Igarashi ended the game with one swing.
Ace Tanabe gets the start today after getting the Chuukyoudai Chuukyou game off. Yes. Off. Could this be a case like Nobeoka Gakuen where they have an embarrassment of riches at the position?
Kanto Dai-ichi (Higashi Tokyo)
CF Okoye Rui
LF Ihashi Toshiki (#5)
SS Itou Masato
1B Igarashi Yuuki
RF Nagashima Ryouma
3B Maruyama Shunya (#13)
C Suzuki Daichi
2B Kuroda Shunta
P Tanabe Ren
SS Higa Tatsutoshi
2B Naka Hibiki
LF Gushiken Taiki
1B Kina Chouki
RF Shiroma Gakuto (#18)
C Sakumoto Kazuki
CF Sunagawa Kento
3B Takara Shoubu (#13)
P Hiyane Masaya
15:55 - The tarp is finally coming off, but estimated start time has not been mention yet.
The game is set to start at 16:20 though the rain is still falling.
Okoye goes down swinging after Hiyane pounds him inside.
Ihashi also can't figure out the delivery of Hiyane and is late to a ball inside.
And Itou goes down swinging as well! Hiyane strikes out the side!
One down for Kounan and Naka hits a chopper up the middle. Kuroda runs it down, but has no throw to 1st.
Gushiken walks on 4 straight and Kounan perhaps with something brewing. But Kina goes down swinging on a changeup for the 2nd out.
Shiroma liner to right.. but Nagashima is there for the catch! Side retired!
Igarashi with not a strikeout, but does groundout to short.
Nagashima with a drive to left! Gushiken sprinting to the wall! Looking up!!
So, Nagashima homers to end the game against Chuukyoudai Chuukyou, then homers here to start against Kounan. 1-0.
Sakumoto scorcher up 3rd base line past Maruyama! He'll be in with a leadoff double!
Sunagawa grounder to left side, goes under Maruyama's glove! Itou backs up but there's no play!
Takara grounder to short, OFF ITOU!!! Everyone is safe again and Kounan has manrui, no out!! Kanto Dai-ichi calls time.
There's no place to put Hiyane, and Tanabe goes 3-1 on him! Does run the count full, but this is dangerous!
Tanabe with a sense of relief as Suzuki wanted that ball inside, and he went outside corner.
But Higa gets the run in! Deep fly to right, Okoye makes the catch and the tag up makes it 1-1!
Naka liner to center! Okoye charging in! Slides!
Just misses it! He slides another 20 feet as Ihashi gets to the ball! Sunagawa scores and it's 2-1! The weather may have had something to do with it as if it were dry he may have gotten to that ball.
It seems like a while ago, but Hiyane now gets his 5th K as Tanabe chases the high heat.
Ihashi lays down the bunt, but Takara picks it up despite it looking like it was going to run foul. His throw to 1st is late and the inning continues! This does bring up Itou with 2 outs and perhaps an imperfect AB.
But Itou singles to center! Sunagawa up with the AHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!
Sunagawa misses the ball! Ihashi heading home! The throw is much too late and we're tied at 2-2!
Igarashi grounds to 1st, but we're back level through 3.5!
Tanabe still struggling a bit. He walks Kina to start the frame and is subsequently bunted to 2nd.
But Sakumoto flies out to left, and Sunagawa chases the changeup for the 3rd out.
Nagashima continues his hot hitting! Hits a ball just fair down the right field line for a double. Maruyama bunts him over.
Suzuki grounder to 3rd, off Takara! It's right to Higa, but he has to go to 1st! Nagashima scores and it's 3-2 Kanto Dai-ichi!
Another error! Grounder to 2nd and it's off Naka's glove and into the air! Kuroda is safe and Kounan has to call time.
Tanabe strikes out for the 2nd time, but Kanto Dai-ichi retakes the lead.
Higa with a grounder to 3rd, and that's off of Maruyama and into foul territory! Higa going for 2nd! Maruyama throws and it's wide!!! Higa going for 3rd! Nagashima charging, throws to 3rd...
AND THEY GET HIM!!! Despite all the errors Maruyama made, Nagashima of all people bails him out with a strong throw to get a greedy Higa!
Ihashi with a one-out walk. And with 2 down Igarashi singles past a diving Higa.
And that brings up of all people, Nagashima.
Do you even pitch to this guy right now?
They do and he goes down swinging on a changeup! 3 out!
The bottom of the 5th goes very quickly and we hit the break with Kanto Dai-ichi holds a slim 3-2 lead! There's been mistakes on both sides as well as timely hitting. It'll be the team who can execute in the rain that will win this game.
Hiyane with his 8th K, tying up Maruyama in the process. Gets Suzuki too on a ball in the dirt.
Doesn't quite get the 3 Ks he did in the 1st inning, but Kuroda's groundout to 2nd will easily suffice.
Shiroma base hit to center puts the douten runner on. Sakumoto moves him to scoring position.
And now #16 Ninomiya hits for Sunagawa. But Tanabe sits him down on a fastball down and in!
With Takara's walk though it puts two runners on for Hiyane.
Grounder to 2nd... off Kuroda! He can't find it! Shiroma coming home!
No wait! He stops! But now he's caught in no-man's land! Kuroda fires to 3rd and they get him! Oh, man, that's 2 3rd outs at 3rd base...
This is interesting. #12 Katou is hitting for Tanabe! His day is done!
Okoye becomes Hiyane's 10th K en route to a clean frame.
It is #16 Kaneko who takes the hill.
One down and Naka continues to rake! Hits it by Kuroda for a single!
Hit-and-run!! Gushiken with a single through the right side and it's runners at the corners now! Kanto Dai-ichi calls time.
SQUEEZE!!!! The squeeze is on, but Kina fouls it back!
They go with the forkball and Suzuki somehow is able to catch the foul tip! 2 out!
Shiroma scorcher up 3rd base line.... FOUL!!! JUST FOUL!!!
But he won't be denied!! Shiroma liner... just out of the reach of a diving Itou!! Naka will score and we're all tied at 3-3! Sakumoto pops out thereafter, but we have a new ballgame!
Igarashi with a gapper to right center gets on with a 1-out double.
Nagashima with one right at Kina, but he blocks it and takes it himself for the second out.
Maruyama goes down swinging and Kounan will look to take the lead in the 8th!
But the bottom third of the order goes down with not so much as a whimper. Two flyouts to left and a K on Hiyane and just like that we're off to the 9th!
Problem is, we're in the next inning and Kanto Dai-ichi is only now sending up their 7-8-9 hitters!
One down, Kuroda singles to left. He's not stopping!!! Going for 2... and he somehow slides underneath the tag!!
Kaneko is all tied up and now there's 2 outs!
It's all up to Okoye now, but he's hitless on the day.
OKOYE ANNIHILATES THE BALL! HE LETS OUT A SCREAM!!!!!!!!!!! ISHIKAWA CAN ONLY RUN HELPLESSLY TO THE WALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
He finally gets his first hit of the game, and boy is ever a big one!!!! He gives his team the 5-3 lead with just 3 outs to go!!
Kounan not done yet!!
Higa ball to deep left!! Ihashi to the foul pole, but it stays in the yard! Higa gets a leadoff double!
Naka reaches down and pops it up! Kaneko and Igarashi almost mess it up but Kaneko makes the catch!!
Gushiken fighting tooth and nail fouls of a couple of pitches.
Liner to left! THAT'S A BASE HIT!!! HIGA WILL SCORE AND IT'S 5-4!!!
Kanto Dai-ichi calls time!
Now Kina steps in, he's hitless on the day!
Grounder to short! Itou doesn't have Kuroda there! Has to take it himself! Gets the out at 2nd! Throw to 1st... HIGH!!!!
NOW IT'S SHIROMA UP FOR KOUNAN!!!
.Count goes to 1-2 after he swings over a slider!
THE BALL GETS AWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SASAKI THROWS TO 1ST!!!!!!!
Kanto Dai-ichi holds on to defeat Kounan 5-4 behind the as clutch as you can get 2-run HR by Okoye!
Whoo.... I don't know what to say.