We're now getting into the meat of the schedule as Round 2 is underway. The games have certainly gotten better in recent days, so let's hope that carries over to today.
Tottori Jyouhoku started strong, but then were tasked in their final 2 games
versus Yonago Nishi and Tottori Nishi. 0.345 is not a great batting
average with respect to the competition.
Sadly, Tsuruoka Higashi's form doesn't read much better. They almost lost to
Yonezawa Chuo if not for a 5-run 9th and barely edged by Yamagata Chuo.
They didn't have to play either Sakata Minami or Nichidai Yamagata,
which is a big minus.
Tsuruoka Higashi (Yamagata)
2B Tanabe Kazu
1B Fujii Shunsuke
CF Kakizaki Kou
LF Abe Hiroshi
SS Ajiki Kanta
RF Maruyama Hiroshi
3B Kurokawa Hiroto
C Takemoto Daiki
P Fukutani Yuuya
Tottori Jyouhoku (Tottori)
LF Terasaka Rei
3B Kanagawa Satoshi
2B Fujiwara Takehiro
CF Hotei Shouta
P Tsujii Yuuya
SS Nishimura Kenta
RF Enoki Katsuya (#15)
1B Okada Kensei (#9)
C Takami Yukiha
08:00 - First pitch!
Tanabe with a slice shot past a diving Nishimura for a base hit. Fujii bunts him over as usual.
And now Tsujii walks Kakizaki. There's already activity in the bullpen with #10 Nishisaka.
2 down though as Abe is ahead of a slider and lunges a ball out to center.
Ajiki lines up a ball outside, but lines it right to Hotei for the 3rd out.
Wow, Fukutani doesn't throw that hard at all. Mid 120s for the fastball? But he can locate it seems, pitching all low to Kanagawa before getting to chase a letter high fastball and ground to 1st.
1-2-3 inning. Good start for him too. Would like to see if he can continue locating.
With the dead wind, Maruyama goes deep to right. Not deep enough though and Enoki has it in front of the wall.
2 outs and Tsuruoka Higashi continuing to put on the hits! Last batter Fukutani singles, and so does Tanabe with a soft liner to right. That gets a time out from Yamaki-kantoku.
Fujii grounds out to end the inning, but The Yamagata representatives draw first blood!
Well, I see what Fukutani is trying to do, he hides the ball behind him to gain some extra time that he loses with his lower pitches.
And while he walks Nishimura after 2 quick outs, he strays too far from the bag and is picked off by Takemoto.
Kakizaki going for the fences! Enoki going back.. leaps.. off the wall! He hustles and is all the way at 3rd!
One down and they put on the contact play! But it's right to Okada who rifles home and gets Kakizaki by a good margin.
That kills the chance for Tsuruoka Higashi, but there's some power to be had.
Enoki with a ball to the right center field gap for a double! He's bunted over.
But there's no need! Takami blasts it to the other gap and that scores Enoki to tie the game at 1-1!
2 down and what is Fukutani doing at the bottom of the lineup! He hits one deep to right center for a double and he's 2-2 on the day!
Tanabe comebacker! Off the rubber! It pops up and out of the reach of the middle infield! That'll score Fukutani and a bad break gives Tsuruoka Higashi the lead back at 2-1!
Wow, that control that was there early in the game seems gone.
Fukutani walks Fujiwara, but after he's bailed out with a 4-6-3 double play, Tsujii singles to left, then he walks Nishimura and hits Enoki to load the bases!!
Okada grounds to short though and Fukutani slips out of that jam.
Change at P with #11 Nishisaka to relieve Tsujii. But he walks the first 2 batters and is immediately relieved by #11 Sawada.
Ajiki bunts, Kanagawa charging, throws.. SAFE! Ajiki beats it out! Manrui!
Maruyama chopper up the middle for a base hit! 1 run score and it's 3-1!
Kurokawa can't get the run in, grounds to short! They go home for 1 but can't get 2.
Takemoto also to the left side, but Kanagawa balks on where to go! He goes to 2nd, but it's way too late to get 2! Ajiki scores and it's 4-1!
Fukutani now 3-3 on the day! He singles to center and extends the lead to 5-1! as Tanabe grounds out to end the inning.
Takami with his 2nd hit of the day, a clean single through the right side. The #9 batters for both teams are 5-5 on the game!
After a sac bunt, Kanagawa singles through the left side and there's no throw home! Takami scores to make it 5-2.
And with 2 down Hotei drives one to the right center field gap! Kanagawa being waved around, scores all the way from 1st! Hotei slows into 2nd with an RBI double to make it 5-3 as we hit the break!
After a single by Maruyama and a failed bunt attempt, Tsuruoka Higashi gets 3 hits in a row, including another one from Fukutani.Those score 2 to make it 7-3. Toss in a sac fly and it's 9-3.
Only concern is for Fukutani, who is hit on the ankle by a comebacker for Takami. Tottori Jyouhoku does score a runwithout the benefit of a hit, but it's 9-4.
Hm. we might have a situation here. After a foulout, Fukutani walks Tsujii, hits Nishimura, and then gives up a double off the top of the fence to Enoki! One run in and 2 more waiting as #3 Kakiuchi hits for Sawada.
But he hits a fly to right. It gets one home, but they need more this late.
And turnabout is fair play! If Fukutani can't be perfect on the day, neither can Takami! He strikes him out looking to end the inning!
The game eventually ends with Tsuruoka Higashi winning 9-6. Once again a team's summer is over and it's players cry that their summer is over. But, they did fight for as long as they could, which given the score at one time is more than you could say for most teams. So a good job should be given to them for their work to get here.
As for Tsuruoka Higashi, I doubt the offensive outburst will continue, but even more importance is getting Fukutani right before the next game. That liner off his landing ankle definitely affected him near the end so it'll be important to get him comfortable on it without fear. Or else they may be in trouble.