Gosh darn it, that was an excellent game that ended wrong (for me anyways). Hopefully the excitement of that game continues the rest of the day.
These two schools has to survive close calls to make it here. Shimonoseki Shougyou had to endure a rain delay and then a douten 2-run HR. But I still maintain that the fistpump given was a bad thing for Shirakaba Gakuen as they had not finalized anything with that HR. And as the innings passed, the momentum from that HR went away and eventually sided back with Shimonoseki Shougyou who won the game in 11.
There's nothing that special with their lineup as almost everyone got a base hit, but nothing standing out. And as for ace Morimoto, he's about as average as you can get. Gave up 4 hits, 5 free passes while striking out 4.
As for Toukaidai Koufu, they got out to a big lead only to see Shizuoka chip away. It wasn't until RP Matsuba came in that they were able to hold on for the win. The bottom of the lineup is a black hole (0-11), and Kikuchi was no better on the mound giving up 11 hits and 5 walks in his 6.2 IP of work.
With the P situation as uncertain as it is, it's hard to pick a side in this matchup. You could say Toukaidai Koufu due to their offense, but having 3 auto outs isn't helpful at all. I think maybe then Shimonoseki Shougyou given that Morimoto prevents the free passes. But the offense is rather anemic.
Shimonoseki Shougyou (Yamaguchi)
CF Tsunenobu Taiichi
SS Matsumoto Chihiro
RF Tomioka Yasuhiro
C Sakaguchi Reito
3B Masumoto Hiromasa
2B Sakamoto Yuuki
LF Sasaki Yuuji
P Morimoto Susumu
1B Maedera Kazuhiro
Toukaidai Koufu (Yamanashi)
CF Takabe Eito
2B Fukutake Shuu
LF Kakuyama Ryuu
RF Hirai Ren
3B Matsuoka Shunyuu
SS Igarashi Homare
1B Miyagawa Kazutaka
P Kikuchi Hiroki
C Iidzuka Ryuuya
10:45- First pitch!
Kikuchi off to a needed good start, getting 3 ground balls for 3 outs.
Morimoto gives up a swinging bunt single to Fukutake, then walks Kakuyama. But he gets 2 easy outs afterwards and it's game on.
The anemic Shimonseki offense is even more so. It's a 1-2-3 inning once more. Kikuchi has 5 groundouts and a K.
Igarashi starts off with a single to left. He's bunted over, but Kikuchi flies out to left.
Iidzuka with a ball the other way!! Tomioka chases after it, but pulls up!
That was unexpected!! Last batter Iidzuka takes a ball the other way.. and somehow it goes for a 2-run HR!
It continues to be more of the same. Groundout to 1st, then a K.
Maedera finally gets their first baserunner. A 3-2 walk. At least he steals 2nd and creates an opportunity.
But Tsunenobu strikes out looking. Yeesh, this looks bad.
Because at least Toukaidai Koufu has enough offense to get base hits.
2 down, Hirai and Matsuoka get back-to-back singles. However, Igarashi chases after the first pitch and flies to center.
Matsumoto gets a leadoff walk. At least they can get runners that way,
Now it's a hit-and-run! Tomioka pops one down the line in shallow left... it falls in!! The runners were off from the word go and they're at 2nd and 3rd! Big chance for Shimonoseki Shougyou!
Sakaguchi chopper to 3rd! Matsuoka fields it and lunges for Matsumoto! He gets the tag! That's an unfortunate play for Shimonoseki Shougyou.
They play the bunt for the one-timer, but Sakamoto grounds to short and the inning is over with nothing to show for Shimonoseki Shougyou.
Morimoto takes out his frustration on the Toukaidai batters (not really), as he needs just 11 pitches to retire the bottom of the order, striking out 2.
The 5th inning almost went without any fanfare. But with 1 down for Toukaidai in the bottom of the frame, Fukutake would draw a walk.
And on the very next pitch Kadoyama would turn around the pitch and split the defense in right center. Fukutake comes around to score and makes it 3-0.
One more walk from Morimoto and his day would be done. Sasaki-kantoku sends in #10 Murao, and promptly gets the 4-6-3 DP to end the inning.
And so Toukaidai Koufu extends the lead before the break and given the way things have gone 3 runs may very well be enough.
Fun fact: All the outs that Kikuchi has recorded for Toukaidai Koufu have either been via the K or the groundball.
Two more groundouts for Shimonoseki Shoguyou.
And then out of nowhere Tomioka hits a clean single to left. Then it's a hit-and-run whereSakaguchi follows that up with a single through the right side. So runners at corners with 2 down.
But it's another groundout. This time Masumoto his it to 3rd where Matsuoka goes the short way for the 3rd out.
After giving a 1-out walk, we find out that Kikuchi is getting treatment and is sightly delayed in coming out for his AB. He does eventually as #10 Matsuba warms up. And bunts the first pitch moving the runner over.
Iidzuka does it again! Base hit through the left side and Miyagawa scores to make it a 4-0 game.
Takebe first pitch single to the left side as well. Puts runners at the corners.
Throw in a walk and it's manrui.
Kakuyama with a ball deep to the left center field gap. 2 runs are going to score, and they're sending home Takefuku! But the relay is on point and the runner thrown out. Still it's 6-0.
Shimonoseki Shougyou finally tries to make headway. Sakamoto is hit on the first pitch, and then Sasaki takes his first pitch through the left side for a base hit.
At this point Muranaka-kantoku sends in #10 Matsuba.
And he promptly gets to infield flies, the first flyball outs recorded by Toukaidai pitching.
Tsunegoi draws a walk and it's manrui.
Matsumtoto grounder to 3rd, and it bounces off of Matsuoka! Everyone's safe and the shutout is averted! 6-1.
But that's all. Tomioka strikes out and that's all there is, there isn't anything more.
#11 Takashima enters the game on the mound for Shimonoseki Shougyou.
Toukaidai plays add-on as Hirai's leadoff single come around to score when where with 2 outs Miyagawa singles back up the middle.
That would be the first of 4 base hits that would extend the lead to 9-1.
Rest of game
By this point Shimonoseki Shougyou was done. The final innings went with little fanfare as Toukaidai Koufu moved onto 3rd round with easy win.
Unfortunately you need really good pitching if your offense can't hit and Shimonoseki Shougyou just didn't have that. We won't really know if it was the bad offense or got things figured out but Kikuchi was obviously much better this game than last.