Still looking for a compelling game from start to finish. I think we're getting closer.
This is strange. Usually these schools have some track record during their prefectuals I can point to, but here to I have nothing. The only quality win of any kind was Naruto over Komatsuhima 7-5 in the quarterfinals.
The only other thing to go on is overall prefectural strength, and there despite Fukuoka being slightly more metropolitan, the advantage might go to Naruto.
Kyushu Kokusaidai Fuzoku (Fukuoka)
SS Yoshii Kouhei
CF Yamaguchi Youhei
C Iwasaki Kaito
3B Yamamoto Musashi
LF Wakisaka Ryuuji
1B Uto Sou
2B Kameya Shouhei
P Tomiyama Ryouga
CF Hori Kouki
2B Kamata Kouhei
RF Yatake Shouya
LF Tedzuka Kaito
C Sahara Yuuto
1B Mori Yuuta
P Kawano Ryuusei
3B Takeishi Ren
SS Hino Koutarou
13:01 - First Pitch!
Yoshii is jammed but fists the ball over Kamata for a soft single. That's all they get though as the first inning otherwise goes smoothly for Kawano.
Almost the same. Yatake with a single to left center, but again not much else.
Kyukoku trying to prove me wrong early. A single from Uto is paid off when Nakayama punishes a mistake to deep right center. Uto easily scores to make it 1-0.
Naruto trying to strike back. Sahara goes to left center, and that takes a bounce to the wall. He's in with a leadoff double and subsequently bunted over.
Kawano, for a P hangs in there for a 11 pitch AB, but on that 11th pitch swings and misses on a slider away. 2 down, and the douten runner still stands at 3rd.
Sanshin! Tateisihi chases a ball high and despite the leadoff double, they can't bring him in!
Kyukoku forges ahead! Yohii literally golfs a ball to the wall in center and he's in with a triple! Yamaguchi flies out to deep right, and that gets the run in to make it 2-0.
After that, the game enters a bit of a lull where the pitchers are back in the groove, and nothing of importance is happening. Doesn't mean there aren't hits or anything, but there is no feel of a momentum shift.
Kyukoku looking to edge away just a little more. Nakayma leads off witha chopper up the middle. Kamata actually runs it down, but can't make the throw in time. Yoshii gets his 3rd hit of the game, a base hit to right.
But bad luck for Kyukoku, or good luck for Naruto - Yamaguchi lines out to Mori and Yoshii is a dead duck and doubled off.
Naruto meanwhile cannot get any traction. The bottom of the order is retired with little issue, and they'll need to circle the wagons for the 2nd half of the game.
Instead of Naruto circling the wagons for a rally, After a hit batter, Kyukoku rattles off 2 hits with Yamamoto and Wakisaka making it 3-0. And then after a sac bunt, Kameya sneaks it through the left side to plate another run. They've quickly doubled the lead to 4-0 and are looking for more with just 1 down.
Nakayama now 3-3. Single to center makes it 5-0 and all these hits are squared up.
There's another from Tomiyama. That actually splits the outfield defense in left center and it's 7-0 as both runners come to score.
#12 Ozaki comes in to pitch, gives up another hit to Yoshii, but then finally cleans up the mess and gets them in the dugout.
You'd think with this lead you'd want to pitch to contact. But Hori leads off with a single, then after a sac bunt, Tomiyama issues a walk. Then another base hit, and then a 4-pitch walk.
If you count that up, that's 4 batters - and that means a run was walked in.
And yet. With it still manrui, Mori and Ozaki both pop out and 1 run is all they get.
Kyukoku goes to #11 Nogi, with Tomiyama going to 1B, and Uto going to LF. Nogi actually pitched the final 3 games of the Fukuoka taikai.
And Naruto finds him more to their liking! Takeishi singles back up the middle on the first pitch. After a walk and a sac bunt, Kamata singles to left and gets another run home. 7-2 though, and there's still a lot of work to do.
And unfortunately, Yatake, who was 1-1 with 2 walks, actually ends up grounding into a 6-4-3 double play!
Rest of game
Naruto falls apart a bit in the 9th, but only gives up 1 run. It could have been more, but a great stop by Hino prevented that.
The game finally ends in Kyushu Kokusaidai Fuzoku's favor 8-2.