All right, shorter day today with just 3 on the docket. We're also onto the last of our Round 1 matches, with the final game the first Round 2 match of the tournament.
But, first up is the ever plucky Kendai Takasaki versus Kagawa's Sangawa.
Kendai Takasaki makes just their 3rd appearance, but their 2nd consecutive. They've actually come on the scene in recent years as a speedy ballclub that would steal and take the extra base when warranted (and sometimes not).
The only landmark game they had during the tournament was the final where they held on against Kiryuu Dai-ichi late for the 5-4 title win batting 0.350 for the prefecturals.
Sangawa faced quite a few above average teams in prefecture. Teams such as Sanbonmatsu, Eimei and Marugame Jyousai. Almost got tripped up by the former two. However, the team just batted only 0.320 and gave up 16 runs in their 6 games.
Now, Kendai Takasaki hasn't been the speedsters they used to be, but I imagine that this will be a somewhat easy first round game for them.
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 Kawai Tomoya
Fuji Gakuen Sangawa (Kagawa)
SS Eifuku Daiki
3B Kanagawa Sougo
P Takada Atsushi
1B Shirai Toshiyuki
LF Kawamura Reo
RF Sasaki Shuuhei
CF Kuroda Masayo (#18)
C Akou Daisuke
2B Asano Terukazu
09:30 - First pitch!
Very normal 1st inning for Kendai Takasaki. No bunts, just swings away, though some of the swings look a bit feeble, like Hayashi's swing on a slider way away.
Eifuku right back above Kawai and into center for a leadoff single.
Kanagawa pops up his bunt, but Kawai lets it drop! Throws to 1st and Souma tags both runners! 2 out!
Takada strikes out and there's a interesting 1-2-3 inning!
This time after a one-out walk, Sasaki does lay down the bunt. Though there is 2 outs with Kuroda up.
Kawai though issues his 2nd walk. Kendai Takasaki looking unimpressive to start.
And although he almost walks his 3rd batter, he manages to strike out Akou to end the inning.
That's more like it. After Kotani singles, he takes off for and steals 2nd. Though when Satou singles to right he holds up.
Takada walks the last batter Kawai and turns the lineup over while loading the bases. Creates the force, but that's a bad tradeoff.
Which Kasuga proves by hitting a ball past Eifuku for a base hit! Kotani and Satou score without a throw and it's 2-0!
After a sac bunt and another walk, Satake-kantoku calls time.
Shibahiki lines a ball over Shirai down the line! 2 more score and it's 4-0!
Tsuge blooper down right field line.. FAIR! 2 more score and it's 6-0!
Miyamoto to the gap in right center! Tsuge stops at 3rd and this is looking real bad.
SQUEEZE! After a failed attempt, Kotani lays out again but bunts it but right to Takai, he tosses home and Tsuge is meat.
And now Takai has Kotani taking 2nd too early! They go to run him down, but Miyamoto comes home! Throw back, slides.... SAFE!!
Miyamoto with a great slide away from Akou and his leg catches the plate safe! 7-0!
Satou grounder to 2nd. AHHH!! Asano boots it! Kotani comes all the way home from 2nd without a throw, 8-0! Oy.
Kasuga finally grounds out to end the inning, but 13 batters later this game is all but over.
Or so I thought. Maybe.
Takda doubles down left field line. Shirai singles to left scoring Takada without a throw. 8-1.
Kawamura singles, but then for some unknown reason Shirai is caught off 2nd and picked off. Which is a shame because Sasaki singles and then Kuroda walks and the bases are loaded.
Akou though can't figure out Kawai and strikes out for his 2nd time.
Asano walks! Kawai walks in a run! It's 8-2 with a chance at more.
Ah, but Eifuku grounds out 6-4 and that's that.
One out double from Kotani and He tries to take 3rd on a grounder to 3rd by Katou. But Shirai fires back to Eifuku who swipe tags Kotani as he tries to reestablish, and is called out.
Quiet inning to head to the break. Kendai Takasaki still in control, but Kawai needs to tighten things up for sure.
So Kendai turns the heat up on offense. Hayashi 2-out bunt single. Then steals 2nd.
Souma singles to center, Kuroda perhaps thinking about throwing home bobbles ball, and then has not throw at all. 9-2.
Bottom 7th/Top 8th
Both kantoku's decide this woud be the best time to switch pitchers. This is more imporant for Kendai Takasaki because of how Kawai has performed up until now.
After 2 quick outs, Yoshida walks Sasaki and then gives up a single to new P Sugimoto.
Kawai, playing RF now gets fooled on a flyball from Akou and that goes for a double and an RBI.
Now a balk as Yoshida never got set scores another run.
Eventually the game is closed out and Sangawa falls 10-4, but while Sangawa played as well as they could, Kendai Takasaki has a big hole at P. And generally you won't win without at least a decent P staff. The offense and speed was certainly good to see, but offense is no good without at least decent pitching and that's a problem for them.